What were the specific goals of this creative economy project? Describe the community development challenge or opportunity that your project was designed to address:
This project allows BCC to fully embody our mission by uniting the diverse sectors of the creative economy in our community. By fostering a connection between traditional artists, entrepreneurial crafters, and creative agriculturalists, we are able to highlight and celebrate the web of connectivity between these diverse economies. The rural nature of Waldo County presents unique challenges to our efforts but also underlines the importance of this work. The tour is a celebrated event attended by locals and visitors alike and has created incredible opportunities for growth and development as we continue to fine-tune our work.
If the goals change over time, please describe how:
This project is now four years old and while the goals have remained consistent over time, our structure has evolved to better serve participating artists. Each tour focuses on specific communities (generally 3 to 4) and rotates throughout the County over time. The goals and structures now align to serve each participating site with greater impact and attention.
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):
Our project relies on relationship building between various economic sectors and is developed in part by each site participant. Originally, the program was developed as a partnership with Maine Farmland Trust and we continue to rely on them for introductions to farmers but have also grown our own network to be able to connect with community participants directly. Our stakeholder base is made up of various artists, small business owners, gallerists, and farmers. However, project implementation is led by BCC staff and Cultivate Committee Members.
How does this project relate to a larger community development strategy?
This project relates to our larger community development strategy by focusing on the breadth and depth of our relationships with individuals. As we grow these relationships over time, we are able to more clearly understand, articulate, and celebrate the impact of the creative economy in Waldo County.
What projects or places, if any, inspired your approach to this creative economy project?
We were inspired by a variety of rural studio arts tours throughout the country and continue to draw inspiration from projects that work across sector lines to fully embody the spirit of the creative economy field.