All posts tagged: creative economy

a real renaissance: the arts in western MA.

Earlier this summer, I attended the Creative Communities Exchange in North Adams, MA, home to Mass MoCA.  North Adams has become something of a poster child for the creative economy, as the museum is housed in a former textile mill and the arts community has been a bright spot in the relatively dim economic outlook of the town and the region as a whole. A bit of context: North Adams is located in the Berkshires, home to countless nationally recognized arts organizations, such as Tanglewood and the Jacob’s Pillow dance festival, the Clark Museum and Shakespeare & Co.  There are already lots of arts supporters in the area.  There are already lots of artists in the area.  Essential to this story is the fact that the MoCA’s success is not replicable everywhere, and instead represents a well thought out, place-based strategy for post-industrial redevelopment.  The Berkshires now boasts an incredible creative economy advocacy organization, Berkshire Creative, one of the hosts of the conference.  They recognize that cultural production in their region can be a major …

good jobs.

If you follow my twitter feed, you know that I’ve been thinking about jobs lately.  Well, okay, everyone’s thinking about jobs lately.  The president’s talking about it, the media’s dancing around it, my job is all about it, Richard Florida as usual is writing  about it.  But lately I’ve been thinking about not just what we’re saying about jobs, but, more importantly, what kind of jobs we’re talking about. Last semester, I did a design studio project about economic development in Boston’s Innovation District.  I argued that creative and innovation economy strategies, which focus on highly skilled jobs and highly educated workforces, drive a wedge between the rich and the poor, a wedge that is growing faster in New England than anywhere else.  New England, and in particular New England cities, are  one of the most highly educated regions of the country, most equipped to take advantage of the innovation economy.  And that’s what everyone’s talking about…the rise of cities as a hub of economic generation, the emergence of technology as a key for American …