Radical Center: Culture, Politics, Entre...

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Ryan Tanaka

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Hi all, thanks for visiting this page. My name is Ryan Tanaka -- founder of OK Music, composer, scholar, and improvisor. I'm in the process of earning my Ph.D in historical musicology... more


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Created by Ryan Tanaka on May 24, 2011

Hi all, thanks for visiting this page.

My name is Ryan Tanaka -- founder of OK Music, composer, scholar, and improvisor.  I'm in the process of earning my Ph.D in historical musicology at the University of Southern California at the moment.  I'm currently working on a research project that will attempt to combine my interests in politics, music/culture, entrepreneurship, and technology into one book.

In my experiences traversing the worlds of the arts, entrepreneurial communities, and academia in the Los Angeles area, I've noticed a few intellectual trends that seemed to run common amongst each group.  Unfortunately it seems that nothing has been written about this yet, especially from a perspective that includes a sociological or cultural standpoint.

In particular, I'm looking to draw parallels between the "Radical Center" political movement, the emerging entrepreneurial communities in urban areas, and ideological shifts which are currently occurring in select areas of the arts.  Among each demographic there seems to be a sense that things are changing very quickly and that they're somehow going to be part of the process, but many of them don't seem to have the means of expressing what they're doing outside of their own circles.  The objective here would be to close the "gaps" in understanding that currently exists between the fields, which would lead toward better explanations and narratives in which American economic, cultural, and political issues can be addressed.

A sample article on the subject can be seen here: The Culture and Politics of Entrepreneurship: Radical Center

The book will attempt to expand and elaborate upon some of the ideas presented here, as well as additional topics deemed relevant.  Some of the topics will include:

- Cultural Entrepreneurship: Art and Economy in the 21st Century 

- The Politics of Technology:  How Tech Entrepreneurs Have Influenced the Way We Think
- Teaching Creativity in the Schools: Programs in Entrepreneurial and Improvisational Studies

- Drawing a Story: Common Narrative Elements Found Among Progressive Artists, Entrepreneurs, and the Radical Center

This project exists separately from my doctoral research, so I will not be getting any support from my current program.  Due to budget cuts, I'm also currently not receiving a stipend from my university, so I'm in search of support that will allow me to not have to take out another job so I can focus solely on my research.  Amount listed here is the amount which would pay for roughly 1-year of my expenses living in the Los Angeles area.

If you're representing an organization and would like to make a direct contribution, contact me at ryant@ryangtanaka.com.  In addition to this page, I will also be looking into private and public grants to supplement the project.  Thanks!

*Excess funds will go toward publishing/promotional costs, or will supplement OK Music's operational budgets.

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