of Creative Capacity at all Levels of Public Education: Creative
curriculum in the public school system is an efficient way to reach
all city youth.
in Creative Community Programming: Providing access to cultural
programs at the neighbourhood level, particularly in at-risk neighbourhoods,
is a major tool for enhancing social inclusion. This neighbourhood-based
approach is also the primary way to achieve a creativity-based economic
development strategy that improves rather than undermines social
inequity. Such programming can identify and develop latent talent,
and provide a safe environment for learning important life skills.
for Creative Programs in Higher Education: Strong post-secondary
programs in creative education are vital for grooming creative talent
and future creative industry employees.
Programming/Festivals/Events: Affordable and accessible cultural
institutions and events increase exposure to creative activity.
and Retention Strategies: These targeted strategies promote
a quality of place that encourages creative workers to move to,
or remain in, the city.
and Mentoring: Art and design schools often provide little
or no business training, so creative practitioners need help acquiring
Entrepreneurship Support: Moving out of the home is often the
hardest leap for creative businesses. They need help with basics
like writing a business plan, finding work space, and hiring employees.
This support should be tailored to the specific needs of their industry.
By providing affordable professional space, shared support services,
networking, mentoring, and other business development functions,
incubators can provide a nurturing environment for small creative
Sector/Cluster Support: The strategic promotion of specific
sectors within the region for investment and export purposes can
leverage an urban area’s particular creative strengths for
Support: Showcasing creative products and services (for example,
in art galleries or craft-selling booths) is often prohibitively
expensive for entrepreneurs and firms, preventing them from getting
their products to market. Interventions such as websites designed
to display creative goods for sale and events that open artist studios
to public access can expose buyers to creative products that would
otherwise remain hidden.
Creative Capability of Other Industries: Linking of creative
industries with other sectors such as biotech, healthcare, and manufacturing
yields benefits for both partners.
Business Support: Traditional business support is often not
appropriate for creative businesses as they have different needs
than businesses in other sectors. Also, within the creative industries,
business types vary widely in size (from the self-employed to many
employees), needs, sector focus, audience, and goods produced. For
example, support for a ‘designer-maker’ business will
differ greatly from support for a film company.
Centres: Linking and connecting creative practitioners with
similar struggles and needs, so they can help and learn from each
other, can silo-bust between different scales of enterprise, organizations
and sectors, stimulating further creative innovation and subsequent
Affordable Space for Artists: Creative people and businesses
are often displaced by rising rents, threatening their ability to
survive, create, collaborate, innovate and animate the city. They
need affordable, stable space.
City Spaces: Improving creative city spaces can instil a sense
of civic pride, and attract and retain creative talent/knowledge
workers, investment, and tourism. Ways to undertake this improvement:
Design for Built Form and Public Spaces
— Capital Investments into Major Cultural Institutions and
— Heritage Preservation/Adaptive Building Reuse
— Promotion/Financing of Art for Public Spaces (including
Neighbourhood Regeneration: Creative people and
cultural facilities are a powerful force in regenerating neighbourhoods.
However, non-market forms of intervention are usually required to
preserve affordable space for creative activity once the regeneration
process gathers steam.
Bodies: A body with a mandate to lead and advocate for the
creativity agenda can promote a wider view of a city’s creative
life, connecting all its elements.
to connect existing creative activity: Assigning individuals
(or teams) to the task of bridging gaps between creative spheres
is a simple way to promote connectivity. Such brokers can be situated
in governments, in arts organizations, within specific sector organizations
and elsewhere. Their specific purpose is to reach out to other areas
of creative activity (whether in different geographic areas, different
departments, different sectors, etc) to connect parties that can
learn from each other and/or benefit from collaboration.
Networks are an effective, inexpensive way to spread awareness of
different activities and resources within and between sectors. Organized
networking activities and events can bring isolated artists together,
connect buyers with creative producers, and create relationships
between members of different creative sectors, for example. These
networks can result in artistic collaboration, advice and support,
selling creative products, accessing new markets, and acquiring
new skills, customers, relationships, and inspiration.
Consideration of Creativity in Existing Structures: A linked
consideration of creative support throughout civic life is crucial
for a sustainable creativity strategy. In other words, a strategy
must convince all departments/structures that help a city to function
(e.g. the planning system, education departments, public infrastructure
programs, etc) to consider their contribution on the city’s
creative and cultural life when making decisions.
people and organizations working on creativity is important, it
must be accompanied by the connection of vital resources to the
projects described above. Funding bottlenecks threaten a city’s
creativity and care must be taken to direct resources efficiently:
Mechanisms for Creative Projects: Whether directed to support
people, enterprise, space, or voice, tools such as tax incentives
and angel investment funds connect important projects with necessary
for the Arts: Strategically connecting tax dollars to vital
creative activity can result in dramatic economic gains for a city.
Creative Accomplishments: Officially recognizing the achievements
of talented individuals, firms, and leaders builds a proud creative
a Culture of Risk-taking: Risk-taking is inherent to creativity.
If a city’s voice is to be reflective of its creativity, it
must celebrate risk and promote the understanding that supporting
the ‘risky’ can lead to unprecedented creative success.
Multi-level Political Support for a Creativity Agenda: A city’s
collective creative voice must include the commitment from various
orders of government and across departments (e.g. planning, social
services, infrastructure, etc) that creativity plays a vital role
in all aspects of political, economic and social life.
In order to ensure that a collective and representative creative
voice is expressed to the world, a city’s population must
be consulted widely on their beliefs and needs regarding creative
activities, whether related to leisure, instruction, employment
or public space. A city’s creative voice will be strongest
and most effective if citizens can see themselves and their creativity
expressed in that voice.
the vision through creative voice: Promotion/Marketing/Messaging:
A city’s creative voice can be used effectively to define
a city’s creative image, catalyze immense city pride, and
market its assets both locally and abroad.