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District to Kick-Off Creative Economy Initiative DCs Focus on Idea People Can Transform Neighborhoods

Thursday, August 30, 2007
Press Advisory for Immediate Release

The District’s Summit on the Creative Economy, Creative DC, will explore the concept of the creative economy, its implications for the District and how the city can leverage its creative economy to transform neighborhoods and contribute to the city’s overall economic vibrancy. The "creative economy" is an economy fueled by the power of innovative thought and ideas. Manufacturing and routine-intensive jobs are rapidly being outsourced abroad, while technology and innovation are playing an increasingly important role in the American market place. The number of businesses and jobs based on the arts, design, music, performing arts, technology and software development, media, research and film sectors continue to grow. These enterprises—both commercial and not-for-profit—play an important role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy. They employ people, spend money, attract tourism, facilitate home sales, foster existing businesses and bring new companies to cities. The creative economy has become an important sector of the modern city.

A first step under this new initiative is the launch of the Creative Action Agenda, a year-long assessment of the District’s creative assets that will be led by the District’s Office of Planning. The Creative Action Agenda will lay out an action plan for strengthening the District's creative economy, expanding employment and business development opportunities, and enhancing neighborhoods. This is the first comprehensive assessment of its kind undertaken by the District.

Presenters will illustrate how a deliberate focus on supporting a creative economy can help transform neighborhoods, spark and sustain economic growth, support city residents, improve schools, foster and cultivate new and existing businesses and attract new and repeat visitors.

National and international examples of how this focus has produced results in other cities will be shared along with insights into what this could mean for District by comparing each city’s challenges, opportunities, solutions and results.


WHAT The summit is a collaborative project between the Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Economic Development, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Washington, DC Economic Partnership and the DC Office of Planning. To learn more, please visit
WHO Top city officials, civic, arts and business leaders from across the country including DC Mayor Adrian Fenty; Deputy Mayor Neil Albert; CEO of CEOs for Cities and nationally syndicated public radio host Carol Coletta; Stacey Mickelson of Artspace in Minneapolis; Tony Gittens, executive director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities; Steve Moore, president and CEO for the Washington, DC Economic Partnership; John Talmage, CEO of Social Compact; Carole Walton, manager of Create Boston and Jed Walentas, vice-president of Brooklyn-based Two Trees Development.
WHEN Wednesday, September 5, 2007, 8:00 am–11:00 am (EST)

8:00 am–8:30 am Breakfast
8:30 am–9:00 am
Deputy Mayor Neil Albert
DC Arts Commission Chair Anne Ashmore-Hudson

What is the Creative Economy?
Carol Coletta, CEOs for Cities

9:00 am–9:45 am
Best Practices—What successful strategies have other cities utilized to develop their Creative Economies?
John Talmage, Social Compact
Stacey Mickelson, Artspace, Minneapolis
Jed Walentas, Two Trees Development, New York City
Carole Walton, Create Boston, Boston
9:45 am–10:00 am
Mayor Adrian Fenty
10:00 am–10:45 am
Creative Economy in Washington, DC—What is the District’s Creative Economy and How Does it Function?
Steve Moore, Washington, DC Economic Partnership
Mary Brown, Life Pieces to Masterpieces
Anthony Lewis, Verizon Washington
Penny Pickett, DC Tech Council
Steven Pedigo, Greater Washington Initiative
10:45 am–11:15 am
Implications for Washington, DC—What should the District be doing next to develop and nurture its Creative Economy?
Deputy Mayor Neil Albert
Carol Coletta, CEOs for Cities
Rhona Wolfe Friedman, DC Commission on the Arts
Tony Gittens, DC Commission on the Arts
Monty Hoffman, PN Hoffman
Steve Moore, Washington, DC Economic Partnership

WHERE The Shakespeare Company’s Lansburgh Theatre
450 7th Street, NW