What were the specific goals of this creative economy project? Describe the community development challenge or opportunity that your project was designed to address:
Provide creative opportunities for persons of all abilities, support local artists by training and hiring them to host workshops. Preserve traditional crafts like caning and weaving with new design elements for contemporary tastes as well as traditional. ESA addresses the lack of opportunities for persons with disabilities to become cultural contributors and connect with their arts communities. Additionally employees CT artists to train and run workshops. Many CT artists are impoverished and this collaboration aids all.
If the goals change over time, please describe how:
We have proven that providing this all access studio training for support staff and local artists is a new source of income generation and we wish to expand ESA to other organizations. We are developing a network called Open arts for East Coast arts programs that work with these populations to address the acknowledgement that art and artisan work can lead to income. Our Goals have grown to make policy changes and to build and contribute to this emerging field called Creative Workforce Development.
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):
Marrackech Inc. the non profit social service provider supporting ESA
The City of New Haven, supported ESA with a CBDG block grant to renovate a blight stricken building into a neighborhood icon. In addition, ESA has been awarded a Mayors Grant to install public art on the building developed by our artisans and local artists – the community and stakeholders will attend the unveiling of this community based work in May 2017 on the occasion of our year anniversary.
CT office of the Arts – Awarded ESA a small grant to develop the support staff inclusion trainings.
Real Estate developers of the new apartment complex known as Corsair are our community partners in planning upcoming events and initiatives as well as near by restaurants, coffee shops and retailers.
Upper State Street Association- cross street neighborhood businesses will join in the Spring block party to celebrate East St Arts
Arts Council of New Haven just awarded ESA a Arts Award, we will out reach and liaise with them to attract creatives from other fields such as Fashion Design, eco arts and printing.
Other stakeholders are our immediate businesses the coffee peddler, and Big Green Pizza Truck- headquarters soon to be a restaurant where we will sell our aprons and hand-printed napkins too.
How does this project relate to a larger community development strategy?
As these usually unseen populations help expand and change culture in the neighborhood, they are seen as contributors to a new community of new arrivals to the apartment complex in a historic building that was just completed as well as longtime residents in the neighborhood as ESA will lead the way and has begun beautification, week end events, and open studio to all.
ESA relates as a model of what can be for other populations who have previously have not been able to explore their creative talent, connect with society and contribute to the arts.
The development strategy is to become sustainable through our artisan work and provide more opportunities to the astounding number of those persons receiving social service compensation who do not fit in traditional jobs such as transitioning high school students with autism that often become isolated as no creative job opportunities exist for them with mentorship that has been specially trained to accommodate there needs. The next generation of access professionals needs more attention and programming to ensure this field continues to grow and make the changes we need to expand these opportunities.
What projects or places, if any, inspired your approach to this creative economy project?
Gateway Arts in Boston, Spindleworks in Brunswick Maine, LAND in Brooklyn, Creative Growth in California.