What were the specific goals of this creative economy project? Describe the community development challenge or opportunity that your project was designed to address:
- Building a regional community of creative arts therapists
- Increasing awareness of the health benefits of the arts
If the goals change over time, please describe how:
We received interest from professionals outside of Maine, so we included presenters from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and expanded our marketing demographic for year two (upcoming). We also realized that community collaborations were born out of the conference, so we wanted to find ways to support these collaborations- we became a contact portal for artists, art therapists, and healthcare professionals who wanted to work together.
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):
Maine Music & Health (Kate Beever), University of Southern Maine School of Music: hosts. USM provided the location, the programs, the catering, and helped with promotion. Kate Beever put together the speakers, the sponsors, and the schedule. Dreamland Technology filmed throughout the day for future promotion. Zombisbee designed the logo and marketing materials. Presenters included twelve certified creative arts therapists. Sponsors included arts organizations River Tree Arts, Musikata, Maine College of Art, The Studio, The State Theatre; healthcare organizations Vast Horizons, Holistic Pathways; and businesses Casco Federal Credit Union and Gorham Savings Bank.
How does this project relate to a larger community development strategy?
The population of Maine is spread out over a large amount of land. There are many arts organizations doing wonderful things, and healthcare organizations with populations who could benefit from the arts. We'd like to see more connections being made between the two sectors to improve patient care and to increase funding and access to the arts for underserved populations. We'd also like to see the other sectors to view the arts in a more positive light.
What projects or places, if any, inspired your approach to this creative economy project?
Many of the conferences I've been to in the past- I have a lot of speaking engagements throughout the year- both at arts conferences (i.e. American Music Therapy Association) and at healthcare conferences (i.e. Maine Health Care Association, Canadian Down Syndrome Network). I was familiar with the model enough to put together a conference, and have networked with other professionals enough to be able to reach out and ask what they'd like to see in an arts and health conference.