Development 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.

Investment 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.

Support for Creative Programs in Higher Education: Strong post-secondary programs in creative education are vital for grooming creative talent and future creative industry employees.

Cultural Programming/Festivals/Events: Affordable and accessible cultural institutions and events increase exposure to creative activity.

Talent Attraction and Retention Strategies: These targeted strategies promote a quality of place that encourages creative workers to move to, or remain in, the city.

Training and Mentoring: Art and design schools often provide little or no business training, so creative practitioners need help acquiring business skills.

Creative 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.

Incubators: By providing affordable professional space, shared support services, networking, mentoring, and other business development functions, incubators can provide a nurturing environment for small creative businesses.

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 economic benefit.

Showcasing 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.

Developing Creative Capability of Other Industries: Linking of creative industries with other sectors such as biotech, healthcare, and manufacturing yields benefits for both partners.

Specialized 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.

Convergence 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 economic gains.

Creating/Protecting 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.

Creative 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:

— Better Design for Built Form and Public Spaces
— Capital Investments into Major Cultural Institutions and Facilities
— Heritage Preservation/Adaptive Building Reuse
— Promotion/Financing of Art for Public Spaces (including natural spaces)

Arts-led 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.

Leadership 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.

Intermediaries 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: 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.

Increased 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.

While connecting 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:

Funding/Financing 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 resources.

Public Funding for the Arts: Strategically connecting tax dollars to vital creative activity can result in dramatic economic gains for a city.

Vision & Voice

Developing creative vision:

Celebrating Creative Accomplishments: Officially recognizing the achievements of talented individuals, firms, and leaders builds a proud creative city voice.

Developing 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.

Developing 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.

Consensus-building: 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.

Expressing 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.