Editors' Introduction to Special Issue

Creative Placemaking and Arts Entrepreneurship


  • Maria Rosario Jackson Arizona State University
  • Greg Esser Arizona State University


Guest editors Maria Rosario Jackson and Greg Esser introduce this special issue of Artivate and the specific articles herein. They signal an emerging strand of arts entrepreneurship scholarship critical to the evolution of Creative Placemaking and, more generally, to our understanding of what it takes and who is implicated in helping to build healthy, equitable, and artful communities.

Author Biographies

Maria Rosario Jackson, Arizona State University

Maria Rosario Jackson's expertise is in comprehensive community revitalization, systems change, arts and culture in communities and dynamics of race and ethnicity. She has worked widely with philanthropy and governments advising on strategy, program design, research, learning and evaluation. She is an Institute Professor and is affiliated with the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. Prior, she was with Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. for 18 years.

Greg Esser, Arizona State University

Greg Esser is associate director in the Dean's Office for ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. He has directed three of the largest municipal public art programs in the United States: the City and County of Denver (1991-1996), the City of Phoenix (1996-2004) and Los Angeles County (2009-2011). He also worked at the national level as Public Art Manager for Americans for the Arts in Washington, D.C. (2004-2006). He is the founder and former executive director of the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization focused on community revitalization through the arts and culture in downtown Phoenix. He has preserved and restored 10 vintage or historic buildings in the Roosevelt Row Artists' District to provide studio and exhibiton space for artists and established contemporary art venues including eye lounge gallery, 515 gallery, MADE art boutique and Sixth Street Studios. Esser was appointed to serve on the transition team for Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and currently serves on the Mayor's Sustainability Advisory Committee and Creative Sector Task Force. He has written numerous successful grants including two ArtPlace America and two National Endowment for the Arts "Our Town" awards in addition to grants from the Annenberg Foundation, City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office and Office of Arts and Culture, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. He received the Phoenix Community Alliance Starr Award, 2014, the "Contemporary Catalyst" award from the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 2009, a Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Award, 2009 and was named a "Diversity Champion" by the Phoenix Business Journal in 2013.

Maria Rosario Jackson




How to Cite

Rosario Jackson, M., & Esser, G. (2017). Editors’ Introduction to Special Issue: Creative Placemaking and Arts Entrepreneurship. Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, 6(2), 1–4. Retrieved from https://artivate.org/index.php/artivate/article/view/66