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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Richard Wilkie

Subject Categories

Human Geography


The Rethinking the Creative Economy Project utilized a participatory action research methodology with an asset-based approach to examine the noncapitalist practices of artists and artisans in the context of a community economy. By privileging noncapitalist practices, the contributions of artists and artisans can be assigned value, where no or little value was assigned before. In the context of creative economy development, by ignoring the diverse economy of artists and artisans there is a real danger of continuing a narrative of deficits and a lack of agency. However, artists and artisans are crucial to the viability of a creative economy because of their civic engagement. Without the civic engagement of artists and artisans, their creative endeavors and influence are limited to the confines of their studios and their close relationships. When artists and artisans are able to participate in civic engagement, building a relationship with their community, and are encouraged and rewarded for this engagement, the artists and artisans have the potential to transform a place into a vibrant reflection of the kind of world they would like to inhabit, a world that prioritizes social justice, creative expression, and sustainability. This strengthening of a sense of place performs an increase in the quality of life for a community by enabling a core identity to be retained even as regions evolve and change.