Olaf Kuhlke | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Olaf Kuhlke

Dr. Olaf Kuhlke holding a camera


Ph.D., Kent State University
Diplom-Geograph (Philipps Universitaet Marburg, Germany)
Email Address

Dr. Olaf Kuhlke spent the last 20 years as a faculty member at the University of Minnesota Duluth, in the Department of Geography and Philosophy. As a geographer, taught courses on community-based research and cultural geography, and his research focused on a diverse array of topics including international migration, cultural festivals and their economic significance for communities, the place of national identity in popular music and the role of religion in shaping our public spaces.

Over the past decade, he shifted his teaching and research focus to arts and cultural entrepreneurship. He was the founder of the B.A. Program in Cultural Entrepreneurship at UMD and has extensively written about the foundations of this new form of entrepreneurship emerging out of the (liberal) arts.

He recently completed a National Science Foundation-sponsored project in the Canadian Arctic and Northern Alaska, where his team explored the ways in which Inuit/Koyukon communities utilize entrepreneurship to build their local economies and implement digital media training programs in remote Arctic Communities.

Currently, he is leading a project called “Our People, Our Climate: Visualizing Climate Change Through Hemispheric Dialogue,” which is developing a climate change visualization curriculum that utilizes audiovisual skills training to document climate change. Youth from both hemispheres, more specifically arctic and tropical environments, will create compelling visual evidence for the climate change they are literally experiencing in their backyard.