Chicago’s New Creative Industry Cluster

August 30, 2010

Just as I was about to move onto other work I stumbled upon this post that trumpets a new plan in Chicago destined to galvanize the city’s creative industries.  It’s a great and exciting plan.  I wish I had known about this during my Cities x Design tour because it would have definitely made the cut.

It’s a perfect example of what can happen when the creative industries work collaboratively with local government.  In my last post I mentioned the importance of involving government in our efforts to promote the creative industries.  But don’t just take my word for it, here’s Jason Foumber, of, making the case for working with government agencies to get your projects done.

“By now you’ve built small creative communities of your peers in the city and on Facebook and Flickr, but there’s a behind-the-scenes class of civic organizers who, often maligned because they’re improperly lumped-in with our problematic city government, are working overtime to build Chicago’s next art frontier. Even a group of super-motivated citizens would eventually have to turn to the DCA [Department for Cultural Affairs] for any similar proposal, but “no one else is doing this,” says Koenen. The city’s tradition of do-it-yourself art spaces, no doubt self-empowering, has a reputation for invisibility. This, here, now, is the opportunity to evolve, and it’s coming—happy surprise—from the City of Chicago.”

Way to go Chicago!  We’ll keep an eye on how this evolves.

via In With the Old: Can Chicago turn the Spice Barrel District into a creative center? | Newcity.

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Cities and the Creative Industries

A Creative Industry Primer

The creative economy movement started in the UK in 1994. Follow the links to understand how national cultural policy became creative industry policy and how it's now changing the world.