Social, Cultural, and Financial Ties: Innovating Economies through the Arts
Millersville University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Arts Symposium Series will welcome Markusen Economic Research Services’ Dr. Ann Markusen as she presents “Arts, Culture and Place: Economic and Planning Challenges.”
Markusen will discuss how active capacity-building by artists, citizens, community groups, and governments helps shape arts and cultural offerings and their positive impacts.
Following the keynote presentation, panelists representing players on the local economic scene will explore how communities transitioning away from industrial-based economies can successfully turn to the arts as a primary method of community development, discuss the interrelationships of social, cultural and financial ties which best build and understand the deployment of arts for community development.
Ann Markusen is Director of the Arts Economy Initiative and the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Markusen's arts studies include California's Arts and Cultural Ecology (The James Irvine Foundation, 2011), Creative Placemaking (National Endowment for the Arts, 2010), Native Artists: Careers, Resources, Space, Gifts (McKnight Foundation, 2009), Crossover: How Artists Build Careers across Commercial, Non-profit and Community Work (Hewlett, Irvine, and Leveraging Investments in Creativity, 2006), Artists' Centers (The McKnight Foundation, 2006), and The Artistic Dividend (Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, 2003).
Markusen holds a Foreign Service Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Michigan State University. PRIE’s website: http://www.hhh.umn.edu/projects/prie
Ryan Orr is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Millersville University. After receiving his Ph.D. from Iowa State University in 2009, he became a member of MU’s Sociology/Anthropology Department. Orr’s professional interests include social theory, culture, and community change.
Aaron A. Young is in his tenth season as Managing Director of the Fulton Theatre, the largest arts organization in central Pennsylvania housed in the Fulton Opera House, a National Historic Landmark. The Fulton employs 24 full-time artists and administrators and provides a living wage to more than 250 actors, directors, designers, choreographers, playwrights, and crew members each season.
Aaron is a magna cum laude graduate of Brigham Young University and holds a degree in theatre arts. After several years in shopping center marketing, Aaron decided to devote his career to furthering the careers of artists in order to break the cycle of belief that the arts are a nice hobby but not a worthwhile profession. For six seasons, he directed the marketing and management of the Sundance Film Festival and Sundance Theatre, both programs of Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute.
Aaron has also served as general manager for the Missouri Repertory Theatre and marketing and corporate development manager for Kansas City’s historic Folly Theatre. He has served as a panelist for the TCG Observership Program and on the strategic planning committees for the Lancaster City Tourism Plan and for the creation of LancasterARTS, where he currently serves as board chair. Once a professional performer, he now enjoys singing with his daughters to the accompaniment of his wife’s clawhammer banjo.
Dr. Sandra McPherson has a Ph.D. in Economics from Indiana University and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at Millersville University and a Visiting Scholar at the Local Economy Center (LEC) at Franklin and Marshall College. Dr. McPherson teaches courses in Principles of Macroeconomics, Money and Banking, Intermediate Macroeconomics, Statistics, and Econometrics. She engages in and publishes research on macroeconomic and monetary issues as they relate to and affect local and regional economies. As a result, she has published articles on topics such as regional disparities in structural unemployment as well as the regional aspects of the unemployment - job vacancies relationship. She has also published book chapters on the importance of the relationship of local banks for the health of local economies and the importance of local financial integration in the propagation of monetary policy.
Since becoming a member of the faculty at Millersville University, Dr. McPherson has become involved in research on the Lancaster economy and surrounding region. As a Visiting Scholar at the LEC, Dr. McPherson has collaborated on various projects to examine the state of the Lancaster economy. She is also involved in an ongoing project at the LEC to develop an economic forecasting model of Lancaster County and surrounding region.
Kevin J. Brown is co-owner of The Fridge, a craft beer bottle shop and artisan pizza café in Lancaster City. Born and raised in Lancaster County, he is a 1984 graduate of Lancaster Catholic H.S. and a 1988 graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Marketing. Following college, Brown began a 25-year career in sales, marketing and advertising. From 1993 – 2009, he was employed by Baublitz Advertising, a York-based agency that specialized in building materials and architectural products. Here, as Account Executive and eventually Vice President, Brown developed and directed strategic marketing plans for clients. In 2010, he was promoted to Vice President of Marketing for the agency’s parent company, The Wolf Organization, a wholesale distributor of building materials.
In September 2010, organization-wide downsizing due to the recession cost Brown his job. He saw this as the perfect opportunity to combine his business experience with his passion for food, craft beer and art. Brown developed a stronger appreciation for craft beer, creative cuisine and the arts as he traveled across the country for business. He decided to capitalize on what he saw as a market need and perfect fit for his hometown, which was undergoing a cultural renaissance. Brown developed the concept and began writing the business plan for “The Fridge” immediately, and opened in August 2011 in what was an abandoned industrial warehouse. The mission of The Fridge is to share the passion for craft beer, pizza, art and music with the community, while supporting the local economy by purchasing as much as possible from local producers, merchants, suppliers, farmers and artists.
Brown currently lives in Lititz, PA with his wife Linda, a professor in the Liberal Arts department of PA College of Art & Design, and his son Declan, a senior at Warwick H.S.