What were the specific goals of this creative economy project? Describe the community development challenge or opportunity that your project was designed to address:
The Commonwealth’s Creative Economy Initiative identified five key areas that Creative Industries most valued, including Business Development, Access to Capital, Visibility, Talent and Space. The Pioneer Valley Creative Economy Network is charged with exploring and supporting each of these areas, and each month the group examines what each partner or the Network as a whole is doing to advance one or more of these items as they pertain to our region and its own unique needs.
For example: The Western MA Film and Media Exchange was held in October of 2014. Over 200 people attended. Focus was on how our local filmmakers could run their businesses more successfully as well as for local businesses to learn how to incorporate film/video in their marketing and PR efforts (and hire local filmmakers). It was a full day of panels and workshops and an Exhibit Floor that featured the latest equipment and local vendors/production companies.
The Creative Economy Summit 2015 is scheduled for May 2015. Each partner serves on the Creative Economy Summit Planning Committee and most are chairing a workshop at the Summit and are responsible for identifying speakers/panelists, all vet the speakers/panelists. The panels will address the key issues of Business Development, Access to Capital, Visibility, Talent and Space.
If the goals change over time, please describe how:
The Pioneer Valley Network has expanded the partnerships to include Chambers of Commerce, Tourism, University partners, the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative, as well as and as a result has added research (conducting and sharing surveys and research projects), mutual support of projects (such as buying booths and support of the Western MA Film and Media Exchange).
The Arts Extension Service (AES) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has just launched their new Arts Entrepreneurship Initiative which works with creative businesses to expand internship opportunities for UMass’ 2,000 arts and culture students; present business and professional development trainings, and workshops for artists, creative businesses and others; and is exploring an artist mentoring project.
In Hampshire County, (project detailed below), community leaders are launching a new economic strategy with a major focus on the creative economy. The Network will collaborate wherever possible to support their plans to offer coordination and market-oriented opportunities.
Who was involved in this project and what did they do? (be sure to include the partners from outside of the creative sector and how local voices were included):
The following share the role of expanding the partnership and meeting our shared goals through projects; sharing news of events, trainings, and information on Plug-in Network events on all of their social media and news pages; each partner will serve on the Creative Economy Summit Planning Committee and most are chairing a workshop at the Summit, and are responsible for identifying speakers/panelists, all vet the speakers/panelists, all share the information about the work being done. We are working to create our first website/marketing/branding for the Pioneer Valley Creative Economy network.
• Ann Burke, Western Massachusetts Economic Development; is project leader and hosts monthly meetings at her office, hosts the Pioneer Valley Creative Economy Network Calendar on their website, serves as liaison with Commonwealth's Creative Economy Initiative.
• Suzanne Beck, Director, Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce/Regional Tourism Council
• Jeffrey Bianchine, Creative Economy Coordinator, Planning and Economic Development, City of Holyoke (Adams Art Project)
• Dee Boyle-Clapp, Director, Arts Extension Service, University of Massachusetts Amherst, (former Coordinator of Fostering Art and Culture Partnership, Adams Art Project), artist
• Don Courtemanche, Amherst Chamber of Commerce
• Lisa Davol, Franklin County Chamber of Commerce (former Coordinator of RiverCulture, Adams Art Project), Fostering Art and Culture Project
• Burns Maxey, Arts Coordinator, Easthampton City Arts+, (Adams Art Project), artist
• Katy Moonan, Director, Springfield Cultural District
• Chris Russell, Director, Springfield Business Improvement District
• Diane Pearlman, Director, Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative
• Mary Vilbon, Director, Shelburne Falls Area Business Association
How does this project relate to a larger community development strategy?
Many of the partners are responsible for creating their community’s development strategies. This partnership allows each to be briefed on what is coming, what is in progress, and what is working and what needs support. By having such a regional approach, the partners work together to fill in the gaps, cross-market, share resources, offer ideas to the partners, and share information with their own constituents across the three counties. This effort is beginning to eliminate the commonly held complaint that “no one knows what is going on.”
1. In Hampshire County, community leaders are launching a new economic strategy with a major focus on the creative economy. The creative industries are the sixth largest industry in the county, with 5,292 jobs and a concentration of jobs that is 1.6 times greater than the US average. The strategy includes efforts to create more coordination and market-oriented opportunities to scale up creative businesses, organizations and individuals.
2. Fostering Art and Culture Project is a partnership of artists, businesses and cultural organizations that provide training and networking opportunities for creative professionals in Franklin County. They do this through monthly BUZZ creative networking events and produce a Creative Economy Summit uniting creatives and ideas from Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties through this year’s partnership with the Pioneer Valley Creative Economy Network.
3. Easthampton City Arts+ is expanding opportunities for Pioneer Valley artists and creative organizers through programs that give hands-on experience and business guidance through an educational incubator space program.
What projects or places, if any, inspired your approach to this creative economy project?
As noted, the Creative Economy Initiative launched the concept and we continue to expand the possibilities.
The Pioneer Valley Creative Economy Network is about to hire a marketing firm, as we are now ready to create a cohesive marketing and branding. We are inspired by Berkshire Creative, though one single county, they have done a wonderful job of consolidating and marketing the richness of their cultural and professional development offerings.