Native American Artists: Routes out of Personal and Community Poverty

WCPC Seminar Series on Poverty and Policy: Fall 2009

Presented by Ann Markusen
Professor of Public Affairs
Director of the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics
Universtiy of Minnesota
Monday, November 9, 2009  12:30 - 1:30 p.m., questions / discussion until 2:00 p.m.
Parrington Hall Forum, Room 309
University of Washington


Ann Markusen is Professor and Director of the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Markusen’s work on arts, cultural and community development focuses on artists as creators and on important public, non-profit and commercial decisionmakers. Recent publications include San Jose Artists’ Resource and Space Study (2008), Crossover: How Artists Build Careers across Sectors (2006), Artists’ Centers (2006), The Artistic Dividend (2003) and many journal articles. Markusen earned a Bachelor's Degree in Foreign Service at Georgetown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics at Michigan State University, and has taught at the Universities of Colorado, California Berkeley, Northwestern and Rutgers. Winner of the 2006 Alonso Prize in Regional Science, she has served as North American Regional Science Association President, Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow, and AAAS Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy Chair. Markusen is a frequent keynote speaker on arts, cities and economic development.


While Native American artists make major and varied contributions to their communities, they face special obstacles in developing their own livelihoods and marketing their work. This seminar uses an intensive study of Ojibwe artists (visual, performing, musicians, writers) in Minnesota to explore how they develop their skills and enterprises, use their art to combat poverty, solve community problems, nurture and preserve cultural identity, and innovate to bridge with other cultures. Policies to improve their abilities to do so are proposed for public, non-profit, private and tribal actors.