Creative Economy Collaboration

Team: ARTS/OED | Facebook + Twitter

How might we better connect tech and creative sectors to provide economic opportunities for creative professionals - particularly creatives of color?

Problem: The Creative Economy Collaboration was formed to bring arts and tech together to help artists, particularly BIPOC artists, better collaborate and bridge the gap between the tech and arts sectors. One of the clearest illustrations of this gap is how creativity is compensated in the technology sector versus arts, design, media, and entertainment jobs.

With COVID-19 eliminating in-person experiences (the primary source of income for most creatives), the need for helping creatives find new virtual audiences and developing marketable skills to engage in this new economy is greater than ever.

Solution: The Creative Economy Collaboration is not a traditional technology project, rather, it is focused on creating opportunities for creatives - particularly creatives of color through cultivating relationships, knowledge transfer, and business.

Pre-COVID, the Office of Arts and Culture (ARTS), Office of Economic Development (OED), Twitter and Facebook were making headway towards launching Summer Studio, a campaign to cross-promote neighborhood arts and culture events alongside larger flagship events such as Bumbershoot. Summer Studio also aimed to provide grants to artists and integrate work experience opportunities for young people of color in putting on these festivals and events.

When Summer Studio became impossible due to COVID, the partnership quickly transitioned to figuring out how to help creatives survive without an in-person audience. Twitter connected ARTS to an expert in Live Streaming who spoke at a Virtual Mixer. The Virtual Mixer was well received and became a simple and effective model for IAC engagement.

The Creative Economy Collaboration project is only beginning and we would like to continue providing on-going opportunities for the IAC to engage in: 1) Knowledge and skills sharing with artists and other workers struggling to be part of the new virtual workforce, 2) Providing work opportunities for displaced workforce directly, and 3) Amplifying stories and promoting content from local BIPOC artists and small businesses to drive business to their sites.

Microsoft Office

Contact: Alex Rose, Office of Arts and Culture, Alex.Rose@Seattle.Gov