Editors' Picks

Celebrate #ArtsMatterDay with your community

On #ArtsMatterDay October 23, the creative community will flood social media with images and videos celebrating why arts matter in Massachusetts.

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Creative Economy Summit 2015 on May 15th, 2015

May 15th, 8:30am – 5:00pm, $45
Greenfield Community College
, Main Campus

A major regional event designed to increase the capacity and success of the creative industries in Western Massachusetts. This annual convening of creative professionals provides the opportunity to network, address public/private partnerships, gain business and technical skills, and access practical information about available resources.

Keynote Tim Loew – Executive Director and Founder of Massachusetts Digital Games Institute. MassDigi is a statewide center, designated by the Commonwealth, for academic cooperation, entrepreneurship and economic development across the Massachusetts digital and video games ecosystem. Loew’s work is a successful  model with concepts that are transferable across the creative industries.

The day focuses on a series of panels on five action areas the state of Massachusetts has identified as crucial to the success of this sector of the economy:

Business and Development/Access to Capital
How to leverage resources to get to the next level through training, mentoring, money, relationships. The panel and Q&A will focus on examples of how to grow a creative business by leveraging traditional and nontraditional financing and creative strategies along with relationships for growth.  Presenters: Mitch Anthony (brand strategist, Clarity),Jon Crispin (Photographer),Fred Fierst (Law Firm Fierst, Kane, & Bloomberg), Paul Silva (Valley Venture Mentors)

Whether an independent artist or a creative company, visibility is vital to survival and success. From market research to cross-collaboration, this panel of successful Western Massachusetts artists, creative businesses and arts organizations will share the strategies and tactics they use to make their work visible and relevant to their markets and communities. Moderated by Diane Pearlman,  Executive Director of the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative.  Presenters:Amrita Ramanan (Double Edge Theatre),Janna Ugone and Justin Thomas (Ugone & Thomas Fine Lighting and Home Accessories), Kamil Peters (Artist), Steve Porter (Porterhouse Media), Bronwen Hodgkinson  (The Valley Arts Newsletter, ArtSalon)

Everyone in the creative economy needs space; places to meet, network, collaborate, create, perform, exhibit, and sell.  Hear about some innovative solutions to transforming former mill buildings into new venues for art, entertainment and enterprises. Topics will include overcoming the obstacles of conventional performance and work space, new thoughts about shared workspace, creative solutions in the restoration and re-purposing of historic mill buildings, zoning and legal issues, and ways that local government encourage private investment and create job in gateway cities.  Moderator: Aaron Vega(State Representative City of Holyoke).  Presenters: Kerry Dietz (Dietz & Co. Architects),Umberto Crenca (AS220), Seth Lepore (Co.Lab in Easthampton), Evan Plotkin(Properties and Facilities Management)

Who is talented and how do you know it when you see or hear it?  How do you bring talent into your creative business?  How do you tap the rich intern pool from UMass?  How do local businesses reach out to bring in top talent and bring them to the Pioneer Valley.  Moderated by Dee Boyle Clapp Director of the Arts Extension Service University of Massachusetts. Presenters: William Baczek (Art Gallery owner), Caroline Gould(Career Planning, University of Massachusetts), Paul Hake (HitPoint Inc), Jim Olsen(Signature Sounds)

Registration is $45 and can be found here.  If you would like to help fund a ticket for those who are unable to cover the full fee, there is a donate option on the registration page.  This will enable us to give discounts on a first come first serve basis.

Celebrating its 5th Creative Economy Summit, Fostering Art & Culture Project in Franklin County, MA, which has been the primary producer of past summits, has teamed up with the newly formed Pioneer Valley Creative Economy Network in producing this summit and to increase collaboration in the region to strengthen the creative sector.  A full list of producing partners can be found here.

For more info, please contact Lisa Davol, Summit Coordinator, at lisa@franklincc.org.


Letter to the editor: Aiding the arts (GF Recorder 9/28/2014)

Aiding the arts

There have been a number of recent letters about the plight of artists in area.

First, be aware there are number of state initiatives, such as the local cultural councils, there is one in EVERY TOWN, which has a grant cycle that needs to be submitted by Oct 15. If you have not seen an announcement for your town in The Recorder, look up your town at mass-culture. org.

Second, there is the Creative Economy Network, with Fostering the Art and Culture Project being the Franklin County partner who runs monthly events and the Creative Economy Summit coming in March in Shelburne Falls; and third, there are many local galleries and art/studio tours in the area.

While these help artists, there is no panacea that artists still have to address the basic challenge of any small product-oriented business: you still have to make the product to sell, which for most artists largely means finding a way to support their life creating their art. Unlike many countries, we do not provide any level of basic sustenance for creative endeavors. It is up to individuals to realize that life is not worth living without various objects of beauty around us, and for businesses to realize that making design a key part of their product or service serves both their social obligations and business needs.

Greenfield Local Culture Council
Fostering Art and Culture in Franklin County