This research focuses upon how best to support sustainable musical micro-enterprises in the rural creative economy.
Cultural policy research in recent decades has focused upon urban settings, both because of the growth of cities, and the desire to conjoin the creative economy with urban regeneration. Micro-enterprises, despite being the most common business in the creative economy rarely feature in research literature and the vast majority of the literature serves the urban, metropolitan creative economy based largely on Floridian notions of proximity. This research offers a unique case study examining musical micro-enterprises in the rural creative economy of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Fieldwork with a representative sample of promoters, performers, festival organizers, tour operators, music tutors, recording studios and instrument makers in the Highlands and Islands will focus upon how best to support their services and products and their contribution to social capital in rural Scotland. This study will take a mixed methods approach with ethnomusicological fieldwork and quantitative analysis to explore how connecting enterprises, artists, residents and local government might be able to support more sustainable and integrated approaches to small and partial artistic livelihoods in the rural creative economy.
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