Creative Industries and the Urban Environment (2018-2019)

Over the past ten years, Durham has witnessed a boom in a number of key cultural initiatives including the Durham Performing Arts Center, Golden Belt, 21c Museum Hotel and RUNAWAY clothes. These cultural productions have not only been seen as enriching the city’s image, but have also attracted other creative ventures. Further, Duke University has contributed greatly to the cultural development of Durham through such sites as the Nasher Museum of Art and the new Rubenstein Arts Center.

This project team examined the relationship between urban development and cultural production in Durham. Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class (2012) ranked Durham number one in highest concentration of creative class workers (researchers, musicians, artists and others). The project team assessed Florida’s methodology, especially where it is applied to Durham, and considered whether creativity in the city fosters economic prosperity.

In order to establish whether there is an observable relationship between creative industries and economic growth in Durham, and to foster an interdisciplinary network of students and scholars interested in the study of cultural industries and art markets, the team also tracked the growth and change of businesses in downtown Durham. The team focused on changes in bars, retail stores and restaurants from 2010-2017.


Fall 2018 – Spring 2019

Team Outputs

Hans J. Van Miegroet, Kaylee P. Alexander, Fiene Leunissen. “Imperfect Data, Art Markets and Internet Research.” 2019. Arts 8(3):76.

Creative Industries and the Urban Environment (poster by Hans J. van Miegroet, Eric Monson, Lee Sorensen, Fiene Leunissen, Kaylee Alexander, Felipe Álvarez de Toledo, Cynthia Amelia, Natalia Avila, Tatiana Ermakova, Gentry Fitch, Marina Frattaroli, Erin McDermott, Rahi Patel, Laura Ritchie, Ivy Shi, Alicia Sun, Hannah Wolfe, presented at Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 17, 2019)

This Team in the News

Demystifying Research at Duke

See earlier related team, Creative Industries and the Urban Environment (2017-2018).

The team at work

Team Leaders

  • Kaylee Alexander, Arts and Sciences–Art, Art History and Visual Studies–Ph.D. Student
  • Fiene Leunissen, Arts & Sciences-Art, Art History, and Visual Studies
  • Eric Monson, Duke Libraries
  • Hans van Miegroet, Arts & Sciences-Art, Art History, and Visual Studies

/graduate Team Members

  • Felipe Alvarez de Toledo, Art and Art History-AM, Art and Art History-PHD
  • Cynthia Amelia, Master of Engineering Mgmt-MEG
  • Laura Ritchie, Liberal Studies-AM

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Natalia Avila, Int Comparative Studies (AB)
  • Tatiana Ermakova, Economics (BS)
  • John Fitch, Mathematics (BS), History (AB2)
  • Marina Frattaroli, Art History (AB)
  • Erin McDermott, Political Science (AB)
  • Rahi Patel, Robertson Scholarship - UNC
  • Jia Chen (Ivy) Shi, Computer Science (BS)
  • Alicia Sun, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Hannah Wolfe, Art History (AB)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Patrick Herron, Arts & Sciences-Art, Art History, and Visual Studies
  • Lee Sorensen, Duke Libraries