Thank you to all of you who joined in our historic Creative Corridor initiative. We are off to a heady start, thanks to the passion of the crowd convened in late January: We have launched some buzz, started a dialogue and accepted responsibility for kick-starting action to restore creative pride—and bring back creative jobs, with or without public-sector support.
This is just the beginning, and we have flagged five items coming out of the Creative Corridor kickoff that we need to pursue. In order to keep the momentum going, we need help, contacts and focus.
1) We need local educational institutions to embrace, enhance, promote and utilize the talent base, and also keep us refreshed. A creative learning consortium, especially around the digital space, is a must.
2) We need to teach the hybrid-collaboration model to the solo and small practitioners who up to now have competed, and this includes our very own trade group. Thus I ask for an all-industry, moderated open-mic event in the next 30 days on Making Hybrid Fast, Flat, Fun and Profitable (for business owners, as well as for trade groups). UConn has agreed to host this evening, and we’ll set a March date shortly (using the university as a venue for this event reinforces the first point).
3) We will not win at this game without winning at the game of getting the commuters off their seats on Metro North, so I want to create a challenge to bring the commuter class back into the community as creative members and mentors with a (drumroll) creative campaign across all mediums, to be launched no later than July 1, as new graduates start the evil trek. We need private-sector supporters to cover costs, and I will begin the outreach for funds. Our initial goal will be to line up 200 commuter mentors and to build a database of 1,000 volunteers to help local, small creative businesses think different and to become one community of caring creatives available to help the nonprofits in the area. We need a chairperson and an active committee to spearhead this initiative.
4) We need to ask all reasonably sized marketers in the state to pledge to direct 10 percent of their marketing budgets to companies with a strong local presence. We need to create guidelines for registration so that local business owners and businesses and regional offices of giants can be proud (and benefit). I have some ideas on how this voluntary, spend-local campaign can work but am open to ideas—and help. Again we need a chairperson and an active committee to lead this effort.
5) We need all local communicators to share your perspective with colleagues, neighbors, friends, the media, etc. We did NOT achieve our goal of 100 new voices in January, so now we urge each of you to tackle 10 per month, with a mix of letters, blogs and telephone calls, to enlist new enthusiasts ahead of the open-mike event.
Lastly, let your voices be heard on our site. Add comments to the blog posts we have seeded here regarding the Corridor (such as the very one you’re reading now), share them via social media and lead others to do the same. These messages help spread the buzz.