Perfect Day & The Creative Class

My new column in the paper is about the creative class and some upcoming events related to momentum-building in that area. Today I emailed it to some of the people at the Art of Transition group and they were so kind as to forward it onwards to Richard Florida. I received an email back that he had read it and liked it. I feel so happy. Almost as happy as when I sent and received an email with Douglas Coupland. Maybe more happy. Either way, it has been an awesome day.  I was slaying design dragons all day today. I met with someone from the Ottawa Art Gallery to share ideas for communication. 100% good stuff today.

After work I went to visit my high school art teacher and we chatted for three hours and came up with some super-cool ideas. It was inspiring and weird all at the same time because I'm not really the type to go back to my school after graduation. In fact after graduating college I didn't even go to graduation itself to pick up my diploma, I had them mail it to me. It just isn't my style to go backwards.

In any case it was fun to see my old haunt and see how crazy the art program has gotten there since I left. It's specialized  now and you have to apply to get in. It was always pretty intense compared to most schools but now it's like the Fame of fine art. I felt a little jealous of all the advanced classes that are offered but I had more than enough high school when I was there so not jealous in any sort of wistful way. Mostly I felt jealous when he said students have gone on to the Parsons School of Design and the Chicago Art Institute. But really that's awesome cool beans and it's great that a program like that exists in high school these days. Those students are lucky!

Alas jealousy is a waste of time. Life is about creating new opportunity and forging ahead and doing your best work. Today I'm inspired. Again, today is a day I'd rather not sleep and work the night through. Unfortunately I also want to work (and need to work) tomorrow so now I'll sign off and paste in my new article.

Creative class means creative thinkers

By Jacquie Severs/Art Columnist
The term “creative class,” coined by economic intellectual Richard Florida, refers to workers who inhabit fields that require them to be creative thinkers. This isn’t limited to the creative types that might spring to mind right away; artists, writers and musicians. It also includes creative thinkers who you might not consider at first; scientists, computer programmers, small business operators, teachers and so on.
Our local economy has historically been based in manufacturing. As a result, our community is familiar with the struggles come with the downturn in manufacturing jobs. While the change is certainly not going to happen overnight, in order to survive and thrive in the future, growing our economic diversity will be a key to our prosperity. In turn a prosperous local economy benefits all members of a community.
A forum has been created by the Region of Durham in support of this economic process of change, called The Art of Transition. The Art of Transition offers an invitation to all members of the community to connect, share and innovate. The hope is that in doing so new partnerships and opportunities will arise, new jobs will be created, a vibrant arts scene can continue to foster and creative class workers will seek homes here in the Region. The result can be new economic drivers that in turn improve our quality of life, revive our historic buildings and encourage new investments by industries of all types.
A quarterly publication called Transitions which highlights local entrepreneurs, creative thinkers and events supports the efforts of this evolutionary concept. The newest issue will celebrate its launch on Friday, March 4 at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) during their First Fridays event.

The March First Fridays event features live music by Forest City Lovers, who were founded in 2006 by Whitby-born Kat Burns. The band were recently nominated for an Independent Music Award and are making this stop in Oshawa en-route to Austin, Texas where they will be performing at the well-known South by Southwest music festival.

This is a unique evening, presenting a live band performing alongside the launch of a locally-produced magazine, in the setting of an art gallery. A place to kick-start your weekend immersed in culture, First Fridays is free to attend for all members of the community.

The partnership is well-timed as The Art of Transition is set to launch their Culture Fund later in the month of March. The fund is a permanent endowment for charitable initiatives that help culture thrive in our community. The fund launches at the Regent Theatre March 25 paired with a performance by the Ontario Philharmonic.
Richard Florida highlights that purpose and meaning can be found in the new creative economy. In his estimation purpose and meaning are created by three things; meaningful work, social relationships and community. The artists, entrepreneurs, partnerships and events that create the content of Transitions magazine are comprised of these three components. The feeling that places exist in our community that we love, that we feel free and creatively inspired in, are keys to creating a livable, lovable city. That is what the RMG seeks to capture in this event series.
Creative thinkers of all stripes are encouraged to attend, connect, celebrate and enjoy.

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