Thursday, October 01, 2009

Creative Economy Council: "Is MA sexy?"

First report by Massachusetts Creative Economy Council

Massachusetts needs to be rebranded as a “leading creative economy state,” according to the first report from The Massachusetts Creative Economy Council, which was submitted to the state legislature on Aug. 27. “Is MA sexy?,” the report asks. “People see us as conservative. This needs to be ‘the’ hot place to be.”

Much of the 22-page report (pdf) from the committee, billed as the first such state-level council in the nation, reads like boiler plate from a group just getting its bearings since it began meeting on Jan. 29. More interesting are specific proposals floated by the committee, like tax credits for the video game industry and perhaps live performing arts, or developing “a hot new creative signature event like SXSW” for music and/or interactive technology. Though I can’t tell how much folks from Away will be impressed by our creativity in staging copycat events.

In addition to rebranding the state, council priorities include:
  • Support for entrepreneurship.
  • Continued state-provided financial support for cultural organizations, artists and tourism efforts, both in operating and capital funding.
  • Clarify the state’s definition of what makes up the Creative Economy into measurable data points. Hope to finalize this by end of this year.
  • Coordinated workforce initiatives to retain talent and support future job growth.
The group says a focus for the next six months will be to put together legislative proposals to lay the groundwork for creative economy growth as the general economy recovers.

Proposals floated for reaching the council’s various goals include:
  • Gather seed funding for creative entrepreneurs – such as an independent film fund “as raising money is the most difficult part of the process”
  • Organize a Massachusetts Creative Economy Association
  • “Need to be a place where people can bounce ideas off each other.”


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