Friends of the Arts Ecosystem Research Project (AERP)

The Arts Ecosystem Research Project (AERP) is an initiative of Seattle University’s Master of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership Program and Lemieux Library dedicated to researching, documenting, and sharing information on the Seattle region’s dynamic arts and culture sector. Friends of AERP supports the work of students, advisors, partners, individuals and entities contributing to the project. The research focus is the arts organizations, businesses, and major events that have shaped the region’s unique cultural character, with the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair serving as a threshold event in recent cultural history. The first phase of research looks at the fifty years from 1962 to 2012. Data collected by participating MFA students provides the foundation for a digital Arts Ecosystem Timeline. Additional research and related sources augment selected timeline entries via a digital repository that is made available to the public via SU’s Lemieux Library. Data is collected and added each year to the timeline and the repository. The work of AERP is informed by AERP Advisors representing diverse experiences in the arts and cultural sector. Research is undertaken with the participation of community members who have been directly engaged in this history, regional archives, funders, and other supporters. AERP project and Friends of AERP is designed to support: — Collecting information while many of the individuals involved are able contribute to the understanding, legacy, and lineage of this still young and vibrant arts ecosystem. — Providing a foundation for a more nuanced and holistic understanding of the sector and set the stage for further research to inform the future of the arts sector here and elsewhere. — Involving and informing future arts leaders though participation in applied research.

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