With a whirlwind of posts, the spring 2013 Createquity Writing Fellowship came to an end last week. For the first time since 2011, three writers plied their craft side by side for the full length of the term, providing a welcome diversity of perspectives and approaches. This round also saw some innovations compared to previous editions; most notably, each Fellow managed an Around the Horn for two weeks and peer-edited another Fellow’s article. I’m grateful to Tegan, Hayley and Dan for their willingness to be trailblazers for the program in these respects. Here’s everything that they did over the past four and a half months:
Tegan Kehoe was Createquity’s first museum specialist, and I suitably have Nina Simon to thank for pointing her my way. Tegan’s analytical and methodical approach was an asset to the site all the way through.
- Just three days after the tragic Boston Marathon bombings, Tegan offered an inside peek into how arts organizations respond to disaster and the economic implications of those decisions in Boston Museums Offering Solace.
- Tegan addressed the complex and still white-hot debate over deaccessioning in cultural institutions in Free to a Good Home? Or For Sale to the Highest Bidder?
- Tegan’s most popular post to date has been her bid to redefine museums not as arts, cultural, or educational organizations, but rather as “inspirational institutions”: What is a Museum?
- In Arts Policy Library: The Artistic Dividend, Tegan analyzes Ann Markusen’s seminal work on the arts economy and comes away unsure of what the fuss was all about. Check out the condensed version for the highlights.
- And Tegan presents Createquity’s first exploration of healing and the arts in The Potential of Partnerships in Arts and Healthcare (peer-edited by Dan Thompson).
Dan Thompson sought to bridge his background as a jazz musician with his current studies in statistics, economics and social policy throughout his Fellowship term.
- The Pitfalls of Shared Goals: What is the Commons? is the first of a three-part series exploring how the tragedy of the commons plays out in the arts realm, and how the arts embody approaches to collaboration that can, in fact, be part of the solution.
- Dan’s second post in the series, The Promise of Shared Goals (peer-edited by Hayley Roberts), elaborates on how literature from economics, political science, cognitive linguistics, and even mathematics informs the question of how people overcome the tragedy of the commons in everyday arts settings, and how these lessons can be applied to arts funding. Dan’s third and final post in the series is forthcoming.
- What am I Worth to You? considers conflicting expectations of compensation among creative artists, and how three different logics – of utility, community, and justice – inform our disparate responses.
- Dan’s Arts Policy Library: Good & Plenty takes on Tyler Cowen’s book about the “creative successes” of American arts policy. While Dan takes issue with the book’s framing of the political conversation about the arts, he finds some merit in its celebration of decentralization as a guiding principle of arts funding.
Hayley Roberts brought her background in social justice philanthropy to bear on several meaty articles exploring the role of the arts in building (or tearing apart) communities.
- They’ve Got Something in Common: Sports, Cultural Institutions, and Building Booms draws a parallel between controversies over sports stadiums and recent evidence that big facility projects for arts organizations are not always a great idea.
- In Saving the Music, One Diva at a Time, Hayley offers the VH1 Save the Music Foundation up as a cautionary tale of relying too much on celebrities as a fundraising strategy.
- In Watching Gentrification Unfurl (peer-edited by Tegan Kehoe), Hayley compared and contrasted arts-led revitalization efforts in two rapidly transforming New York City neighborhoods, Harlem and Crown Heights.
- Finally, Hayley analyzes Mark Stern and Susan Seifert’s epic collaboration with The Reinvestment Fund in Arts Policy Library: Culture and Community Revitalization (executive summary here). She lauds Stern and Seifert’s innovative analytical approach to measuring the impact of cultural activity on neighborhood outcomes, but finds their treatment of gentrification unsatisfying.
Congratulations Tegan, Dan and Hayley! The next round of applications for the Createquity Writing Fellowship will open in a few weeks. An announcement will be posted at that time, and until then you can find the archived application materials and instructions here.