I’ve been working in my local community to help fuel a movement to designate a portion of the city as an “Arts and Culture District.” The goal has been to get the myriad of arts and culture organizations in the city to join forces to actively promote and grow into a more cohesive community that can be marketed as a destination for visitors looking for that kind of experience.
A secondary, unspoken goal is to create an environment where the “creative class” that exists can be encouraged to flourish and expand. With that, the hope that the economic benefits of more services and products required to support such a population can benefit the entire community.
It’s got me thinking what it takes to create an art and culture scene in any given location. Can it be planned and encouraged or does it have to happen spontaneously? Which comes first? And is this elistist thinking?
Kwende Kefense posits in “What’s in a Scene?” on the CreativeClass.com blog that cultural scenes may often be the deciding factor in what kind creative talent can be attracted and retained in any given region.
Richard Florida, father of the creative class concept contends in Who’s Your City that deciding where one lives is one of the most important decisions anyone makes, and quality of life and cultural scene have a huge impact on that decision. And some of the statistics he has gathered are suprising! What’s your city’s “Bohemian Index?”
Listen for the comments about what constitutes true creativity in this video clip. Not education, not affiliation–but openness to all kinds of experience.