Linda Essig is director of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programs in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, which, as Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship, helped more than three dozen student teams develop arts-based ventures for Arizona and beyond since its inception in 2006 and publishes the only research journal in the field ,Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts. She was the first director of the ASU School of Theatre and Film, now the School of Film, Dance and Theatre, where she also served as artistic director of the school's MainStage Season from 2004–2010.
Essig's research interests include value creation by and evaluation of arts incubators; the relationship between art, money, and entrepreneurial action; and factors affecting individual artist success. As a lighting designer, her work has been seen at theatres across the country including Cleveland Playhouse, Milwaukee Rep, Missouri Rep, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Skylight Opera, La Mama ETC, Pioneer Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre and others, and in the USA National Exhibit of theatrical design at the Prague Quadrennial. Her work has been funded by the Kauffman Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Tempe, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
She is the author of articles and book chapters on both arts entrepreneurship and lighting design as well as three books: "Lighting and the Design Idea" (third edition, January 2012), "The Speed of Light: Dialogues on Lighting Design and Technological Change," and "The Arizona Arts Entrepreneur Toolkit." She currently serves on the boards of directors of the Association for Arts Administration Educators and Rising Youth Theatre. Prior to joining ASU, she was on the faculty of University of Wisconsin-Madison for 16 years. Her blog covers arts entrepreneurship, arts policy, higher education in the arts and, occasionally, cooking.