Dayton Creative Incubator
As part of the Dayton Creative Region Initiative- DaytonCREATE- the Dayton Creative Incubator project is one of five initiatives established in March of 2008 to help the Dayton region improve its economic prosperity and create an environment of improved livability.
The Dayton Creative Incubator project was established to respond to the idea that thriving, economically prosperous regions are successful because they attract and retain the largest number of people and businesses involved in the “creative economy,” the fastest growing and highest paid sector of the U.S. economy.
To attract this talent base, a successful region needs three important things: tolerance: a supportive environment for diverse self-expression; technology: accessible mechanisms for people to turn their talent into market or public goods; and territorial assets: quality of place.
Put simply, economically prosperous regions attract a solid talent base by providing an economically and culturally stimulating environment where people feel comfortable being themselves, can find outlets for their self-expression, can convert their talent into money easily, and feel surrounded by an authentic sense of place.
It is the goal of the Dayton Creative Incubator project to support primarily the cultural elements of this equation. Specifically, the mission of the Dayton Creative Incubator project is to improve the attractiveness of the Dayton region by supporting the authentic cultural and artistic assets (both human and built locations) that exist here.
Needs of the Community
Economically prosperous and sustainable regions have authentic cultural communities residing in their core cities. The stronger the sense of authentic culture and place, the more attractive it is to the creative class. It is essential that the Dayton region do everything it can to improve its core authentic cultural community.
Tolerance and Diverse Self-Expression
There is an essential need to develop a tolerant community particularly in the core city where authentic self-expression, artistic experimentation and creative interaction can occur regularly and unrestrictedly. Creative class people are inherently attracted to other creative class people and they routinely seek out experiences that put them in physical contact with other creatives. Creative class people work while they play, while they eat, while they dance, while they socialize. Few barriers divide the elements that constitute a typical creative person’s life. Providing for this blending of work/play is an essential need for the creative class community.
Territorial Assets – Creating an authentic sense of place
Creative class people spend a significant portion of their time in physical locations where they can connect with other creatives. These locations are commonly referred to as third spaces. Third spaces are defined as gathering locations that are not work spaces or home spaces (first and second spaces). They are locations where people come for work and play, to express themselves, to meet other people and to participate in their community.
Third spaces are an essential need of a vibrant creative class community. The more authentic these third places are, the more attractive they will be to the creative class. (Example: independently owned restaurants, not chains; independent film theaters, not megaplexes). The most attractive third spaces typically reside in the core city where the most authentic territorial assets (i.e. built spaces) exist. There is a significant need for the Dayton region to revitalize its downtown territorial assets and to provide authentic third spaces for creatives to utilize and enjoy.
Preliminary Project Scope
The Dayton Creative Incubator project scope is as follows:
What: The Dayton Creative Incubator project is an initiative that hopes to improve the authentic cultural community in Dayton by developing a process to help facilitate and promote three intertwined cultural “scenes” in Dayton: music, visual arts, and performing arts.
This initiative will be limited in scope to supporting local, emerging, independent artists.
In conjunction with supporting these three scenes, the Dayton Creative Incubator project intends to highlight and promote territorial assets (built locations) that have the potential for becoming venues.
How: The Dayton Creative Incubator project will create a process for supporting these scenes and connecting them to built spaces after a significant amount of stakeholder research takes place. The research plan includes the following:
- Interviewing as many stakeholders as possible (artists, musicians, venue owners, building owners, developers) and evaluating their needs.
- Researching arts incubators and other approaches to improving music and arts scenes.
- Visiting/researching other successful cities.
- Hosting at least three forum events downtown to bring together stakeholders for each of the scenes, plus a final meeting to present our findings to key decision-makers/community leaders.
The Dayton Creative Incubator project’s short term goal for this year is to serve these three scenes by connecting the dots, per se, so that that a logical process for improving, supporting and promoting these scenes can begin to unfold.
Where: This initiative will focus on the Dayton core city, specifically the areas at the eastern edge of downtown (Oregon, Merchants Row, Jefferson) that are more human scale, pedestrian oriented and have more potential to be thriving cultural districts.
Metrics: After completing our research and holding the three forum events, the committee will write three “plans for implementation,” one for each of the scenes.
These plans will include:
- The type and scope of support we can give to each of these scenes.
- Who the stakeholders are in each scene.
- How we can connect them to community leaders who hold other stakes in improving the downtown community.
We will then present our findings to these key decision-makers in a large, multimedia event.
Volunteers are encouraged to contact Kate Ervin: 937.554.8865 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Innovation Collaborative’s public meeting at the Cannery Art and Design Center went extremely well. The team now has the addition of four new creatives: Tom Ireland, Ilya Lisenker, Mike Madero, and Sandra Mikesell. The new additions really added to the team synergy and a lot of great new ideas were generated to fortify the Innovation Collaborative’s vision, and to make the “Walk on Water” event planning even more effective.
We will be teaming with Five Rivers MetroParks and in order to have adequate time to foster the collaborative- integrated process between artists, engineers, entrepreneurs and skilled workers- the “Walk on Water” event will take place in the summer of 2009.
In the lead-up to this event, the group is planning several events that showcase the collaborative process and keep the public involved and engaged in the process. Thursday night’s meeting included discussion about these lead-up events, and several great ideas were generated about the kinds of events that may be held. We also discussed some of the objectives of the Walk on Water challenge, and the practical applications that can come from the solutions to the problem.
The next group meeting will be the evening of May 15, but the exact time and location are TBD. Contact Sarah Ammar at email@example.com for more information.
The Innovation Collaborative initiative will be having a public meeting on Thursday, April 17 at 6:30 pm at the Cannery Art and Design Centre (434 E Third Street).
We welcome any and all who would like to join our team and help bring synergy to the region. (Speaking of synergy, we have teamed up with Metroparks for our 2009 Walk on Water Challenge!)
Meeting Time: 6:30 – 8:00ish
* Introductions of team members/attendees
* Overview of Richard Florida Program
* Brief overview of all 5 initiatives
* Review of Innovation Collaborative
* Walk on Water Challenge
* Sign up for committees
Since Last Week
1) We are meeting with other teams in the region who have young professional initiatives.
2) We have completed the business plan (which is now in the final review process).
3) We met with Summer in the City to consider a joint effort with their mentoring program.
4) Planning Committee is formulating a meeting with Volunteers.
5) We have a temporary date for the summit (currently called the Springboard Summit).
6) Developed “Talking Points” for summit team (under review).
7) Communication plan 99% complete (under review).
Since Last Week
As we add new members, the discussion changes. Our original intention- to roll out the initial posters for the May 16th Urban Nights- is changing as our ideas and our options evolve. We will take the next week or so to finalize the Project Charter and make sure we’ve got a solid plan to move forward with. Once the plan is more refined, we will focus on growing the team as well as rolling out some of the posters.
The Changing Vision
We’re discussing making it more in tune with Tolerance or Diversity. While our initiative ultimately touches on talent, technology, territorial assets and tolerance, we felt in light of the other initiatives’ missions, we might want to focus more on diversity/tolerance. So we’ve decided to take a step back, focus on the project charter and hope that brings our vision into greater focus. As anxious as we are to get something out for the public as soon as possible, we want to make sure we’re rolling out a strong, viable product or vision.
Getting and keeping everyone focused on the same mission; as we add new members, new ideas surface. While this is good, it can pull us off target. We’re trying to figure out how to define the goal, recruit new members, and utilize their feedback without rehashing previous discussions or losing momentum.
We have suggested that the overall task force focus on fundraising so that each of the initiatives aren’t knocking on the same donors’ doors asking for money.
We also want to develop an “Adopt a Highway” approach, and that will require getting some firm pricing and quotes so we can develop options for potential donors and sponsors.
We have identified graphic artists to help us with the design, and a couple of sources for producing them, but haven’t finalized all the details yet.
We’ve discussed a need for greater diversity among our group. We could use more 20-somethings, more ethnic backgrounds, and some socio-economic or educational diversity. Contact David Seyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Susan Byrnes at email@example.com to get involved.