Creating Regional Excitement, Action, Talent and Enthusiasm
A few weeks into the Creative Region Initiative and my fellow catalysts and I are busy getting organized and growing our teams (busy enough that I’ve been a bit quiet on this blog lately!). Our communication team has really been impressive right out of the gate… They have recruited an online pro (hi Brooke!) who has been busy creating a new website for the group: www.DaytonCREATE.org
This new site is the place to keep up with each team’s progress updates. And don’t worry, we’ll continue to do stories about the initiative here on DMM from time to time and our new DMM Forum will continue to serve as the official communication forum for both catalysts and non-catalysts alike. You are ALL welcome to sign up there and get involved with the conversations. And if you are interested in getting involved with one of the team initiatives then contact the appropriate person (more info at the DaytonCreate.org site).
Btw – I am on the Dayton Creative Incubator team and we are currently researching arts incubators. As many of you know, Dayton has one helluva arts scene. An arts incubator would provide our independent artists with affordable (free?) space and services in a true community setting. And with the exciting things happening in the newly formed Oregon Arts District, now is the time to capitalize on our region’s strong arts community by helping them grow.
The following is the first DaytonCREATE press release – check it out and then go check out the new website. And of course your comments are welcome here on DMM. What do you think?
DaytonCREATE launches website
after participating in a two-day research, training and brainstorming seminar
facilitated by the Florida Creativity Group.
The website will be used to issue weekly updates on the progress of the
initiatives, seek input and guidance from the community and share
information on how to get involved in revitalizing the region’s economic prosperity.
The five initiatives, originally introduced at the conclusion of this seminar on March 6th, address what social theorist Richard Florida refers
to as the "Four T’s": talent (also known as the workforce), technology
(also referred to as innovation), tolerance (otherwise known as
diversity and inclusion) and territory assets (the things that make the
Dayton region great). Through his research, Florida shows that
basic aspects must be addressed to build sustainable communities.
Listed below are the five initiatives and a brief description of their scope:
bring life back to one or several of our vacant downtown spaces by
working with building owners to allow local artists to use the spaces
for creating and displaying art- as well as providing community spaces
where artists, musicians and other creatives can hang out, network and
simply exchange creative ideas.
2. Dayton Pride– will highlight the region’s many unique assets
and diverse population through billboards, kiosks, bus signage, and
window signage throughout the region. By rebuilding community pride,
residents will become ambassadors promoting the area’s strengths- thus
making the region attractive to non-residents and employers considering
3. Film Dayton – establish an endowment that will
fund grants to local filmmakers who are making films in the region, and
to host an annual film festival- beginning in 2009- eventually
featuring films funded by Film Dayton.
4. Innovation Collaborative–
to integrate the area’s rich concentration of artists, engineers and
workers into synergistic relationships to stimulate a stronger
economy and promote job creation through innovative collaboration.
Each year they will issue a challenge to teams of artists, engineers
skilled workers. This challenge will culminate in a celebration open to
the community where these teams will unveil their innovative solutions.
5. Young Creatives Summit– bring
together diverse young talent, business leaders, non-profits,
universities and elected officials, to address the flight of young
talent from the region. The Summit will
air the concerns of young people, engage them in the region’s decision
making process, and help build a shared vision of how the Miami Valley
can be improved.
In a recent interview with Soapbox Cincinnati, Richard Florida shared his thoughts on his Dayton visit, "We were working with 30 community
catalysts in greater Dayton a couple weeks ago and I was blown away by
what’s happened in downtown Dayton. It’s a more interesting and
exciting place, filled with arts and restaurants and renovated houses
and buildings. But too how these thirty catalysts, black, white, young,
old, Hispanic, Latino, how much they cared about making their city
better. And I think that’s the kind of thing you see in parts of Ohio
and Illinois, there’s this incredible sense that people care, and I
think unleashing that energy in people is really key."
In 2007 The Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education
assembled the Creative Class Taskforce of 20 community groups, that
funded Dr. Florida’s "Creative Communities Leadership Project" in the
area. The 32 catalysts have launched these five initiatives and are
now expanding the movement to include the residents of our great
region. Together we strive to
pull together the ideas and talents of all parts of the community in
building creative environments for broad regional prosperity.