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Dayton Creative Incubator Update

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 kate.ervin@cityofdayton.org

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3 Responses to “Dayton Creative Incubator Update”

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  2. Anissa Lumpkin says:

    This sounds promising, now is the time to revitalize the City of Dayton. There are many people out here who view the city in a positive light and want it to prosper. I’m more than willing to volunteer my time and support.

  3. Kate says:

    Hi Anissa, if you’d like to e-mail me your contact info, I’ll keep you in loop about the project. Is there any aspect of the project you’d like to help with?
    Kate Ervin