Nexus Work: Catalysts
Elizabeth Long Lingo, Ph.D., Assistant Director of the Curb Center and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Owen Graduate School of Business, focuses on catalysts, or the individuals who negotiate the interstices of institutions and disciplines to develop new business models, organizational practices and creative products. Using social network analysis coupled with ethnographic data collection, the project offers a first-of-its kind focus on informal, relational practice of entrepreneurs as a lens into cultural production systems. Lingo examines the work of catalysts, paying close attention to the challenges they face and the strategies they use to make things happen amidst a web of competing interests and perspectives.
Lingo maps the extent of social connection, collaboration, and organizing among catalysts within and across multiple art forms in the Nashville cultural ecology to shed light on how the existing pattern of networks might constrain or enable entrepreneurial action. Her research transcends non-profit and for-profit boundaries, and examines the work of both institutional leaders and informal agents of change across a range of artistic disciplines—in this case film, music, songwriting, theatre, dance, visual art, and the written and spoken word. Together, her work offers a fertile approach for identifying the systems and actions that support the ongoing vitality of a creative ecology and opportunities for policy intervention and investment.
Sara Milena Lee
“Findings: Nashville Arts Summit: Synthesis of Discussion.” Metro Nashville Arts Council Cultural Executive Network meeting, May 2006.
Current Working Paper
“Creative Catalysts: Nexus Work and Cultural Entrepreneurship”
As part of her research, Elizabeth observed the organizing of the first-ever Nashville Art Summit, held in the spring of 2007. At this meeting, participants representing dance, theatre, music, visual arts, written word and film met to identify best practices, opportunities for change and the factors that might foster the vitality of the Nashville art community as a whole. The summit was designed to not only collect data, but as a first step in harnessing the entrepreneurial energies of individuals who are often not part of policy- and decision-making. Elizabeth synthesized the discussion for the community in the Nashville Arts Summit report. Read the full report: Nashville Arts Summit: Synthesis of Discussion, June 2006