Art Biennials and the Rise of the Creative Economy in Europe

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
2.03 (Binnengasthuis)
John Zarobell , International Studies (BAIS), University of San Francisco
Art Biennials and the Rise of the Creative Economy in Europe

Since 2002 when Richard Florida coined the term “Creative Economy”, there have been a flurry of studies on how the arts and creative energies fuel economic growth but nowhere has this idea been embraced more than in Europe.  The European Commission Report from 2006, “The Economy of Culture in Europe” was the first synthetic analysis of data about the creative economy from all over the continent but many reports have emerged since evaluating regional strengths and promoting strategies of development based on cultural assets. 

This paper will consider the significance of art biennials to the European economy, considering the scope of the series of art events around the continent, such as the Venice Biennale and Documenta in Kassel, which drew 860.000 visitors in a period of three months in 2012. In the past decade, biennials have popped up all over Europe in locations as diverse as Liverpool and Lodz, in order to encourage economic development in regions that have struggled economically.  This paper will consider whether art biennials have a significant economic impact and what other effects they have upon the locations that host them.

  • Biennials and Economic Development in Europe.pdf (102.5 kB)