Linda Essig joined Cal State LA as the Dean of the College of Arts & Letters in 2018. She previously was director of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programs for the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, including the Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship and Curb Master of Arts in Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership. She was the founding director of the School of Theatre and Film at ASU where she also served as Artistic Director of the school’s MainStage Season from 2004–2010. She previously served as Director of University Theatre and chair of Theatre & Drama at University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2012, she launched Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, the first-ever research journal in the field. Her articles have been published there as well as in Cultural Trends, Entrepreneurship Research Journal, Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society, Theatre Topics, Stage Directions, Theatre Design and Technology, and elsewhere. Formerly a professional lighting designer, Essig’s design for Suzan–Lori Parks’s “Venus” was part of the USA National Exhibit of Scenography at the Prague Quadrennial in 2007. She designed for theatres throughout the country including Cleveland Playhouse, Milwaukee Rep, Missouri Rep, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Skylight Opera, La Mama ETC, Pioneer Theatre, and others. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on both arts entrepreneurship and lighting design, and three books: Lighting and the Design Idea, The Speed of Light: Dialogues on Lighting Design and Technological Change, and The Arizona Arts Entrepreneur Toolkit. At ASU, Essig taught courses in Arts Entrepreneurship, Arts Management, and Arts Policy. She currently serves on the board of directors of Self Help Graphics & Art in Boyle Heights. Dean Essig holds an MFA in lighting and set design from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and a PhD in Public Administration and Policy from Arizona State University.
Photography credit: J. Emilio Flores