Research Projects

Current research

This study will examine the role of artists in fostering creative solutions to complex socio-economic problems and their perception of this role within the civic sector. Conducted primarily in a lab setting and cross-validated in a real-life setting, artists and non-artists will be tested on a set of multipart open-ended tasks geared toward creative problem solving. The aim of this research is to identify the benefits of artists-in-residence programs and/or provide guidance for employing artists in non-arts settings.

This research project will focus on exploring the role artists play in leading the emerging platform and gig economies, and consequently identify settings that promote successful arts-related innovation. The study will first examine the resilience and entrepreneurship of artists in the new economic realities, juxtaposed with the resilience of independent contracts in the non-arts sector. Afterward, it will assess a major crowdfunding platform to ascertain the drivers of entrepreneurial success in arts- and design-intensive projects relative to other projects.

The aim of this study is to identify where firm and employment growth occurs in the digital media sector and the extent to which that growth interacts with broader societal innovation and economic growth. The data to be examined will be obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Zip Code Business Patterns dataset, covering about 40,000 areas and recorded annually from 1998–2015. With the use of detailed patent data, this study will identify the forces driving local digital media growth and innovation and compare it to that of a regional scale.

This research thrust strives to determine which arts-related sectors predominantly facilitate broader social innovation and economic growth. During an approximate 16-year period, the study will analyze national-level time series and state-level panel data compiled from the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ new Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account. Findings from this analysis will inform strategies for growing various art-related sectors as well as provide insights on how the arts sector impacts economic and job growth.

Related research projects

  • “Who Goes Freelance? The Determinants of Self-Employment for Artists” by Joanna Woronkowicz and Doug Noonan. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.
  • “Planting the seed to grow local creative industries: The impacts of cultural districts and arts schools on economic development” by Shiri Breznitz and Doug Noonan. Environment and Planning A 50(5), 2018.
  • “Artists, employment and the Great Recession: A cross-sectional analysis using U.S. Current Population Survey data” by Joanna Woronkowicz. Cultural Trends 24(2), 2015.