Creative Economy Summit of Western Massachusetts

May 15, 2015
Greenfield Community College
Main Campus, 1 College Dr, Greenfield, MA

The Creative Economy Summit, taking place May 15 from 8:30am-5pm at Greenfield Community College, is a major regional event designed to increase the capacity and success of the creative industries in Western Massachusetts. This convening is open to all members of the creative sector and will provide the opportunity to network, address public/private partnerships, gain business and technical skills, and access practical information about available resources. The summit program features panels of western Massachusetts leaders in the creative industries discussing issues, resources, and successes relating to the fields of Marketing, Architecture, Visual Arts & Craft, Design, Film & Media, Digital Games, Music & Entertainment, and Publishing.  Registration is required ($45 including lunch) and may be accessed at creativeeconomysummit.com.

Keynote: Timothy Loew

The event will commence with this year’s keynote speaker, Timothy Loew, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDigi).  Loew spearheaded a statewide center, designated by the Commonwealth, for academic cooperation, entrepreneurship and economic development across the Massachusetts digital and video games ecosystem. It is the result of creative collaboration among academia, state government and industry, aimed at fostering the growth of the innovation economy in Massachusetts. Loew’s work is a successful model with concepts that are transferable across creative industries.

The day’s schedule will proceed with a series of panels that focus on five action areas the state of Massachusetts has identified as crucial to the success of this sector of the economy: Business and Development/Access to Capital, Visibility, Space, and Talent.

The panel topics and presenters include:

Business Development/Access to Capital
Panel Description: How to leverage resources to get to the next level through training, mentoring, money, and relationships. The panel and Q&A will focus on examples of how to grow a creative business by leveraging traditional and nontraditional financing and creative strategies along with relationships for growth.


Panel Description: Whether an independent artist or a creative company, visibility is vital to survival and success. From market research to cross-collaboration, this panel of successful Western Massachusetts artists, creative businesses, and arts organizations will share the strategies and tactics they use to make their work visible and relevant to their markets and communities. Moderated by Diane Pearlman,  Executive Director of the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative


Panel Description: Everyone in the creative economy needs space; places to meet, network, collaborate, create, perform, exhibit, and sell.  Hear about some innovative solutions to transforming former mill buildings into new venues for art, entertainment and enterprises. Topics will include overcoming the obstacles of conventional performance and work space, new thoughts about shared workspace, creative solutions in the restoration and re-purposing of historic mill buildings, zoning and legal issues, and ways that local government encourage private investment and create job in gateway cities.  Moderator: Aaron Vega (State Representative City of Holyoke)


Panel Description: Who is talented and how do you know it when you see or hear it?  How do you bring talent into your creative business?  How do you tap the rich intern pool from UMass?  How do local businesses reach out to bring in top talent and bring them to the Pioneer Valley.  Moderated by Dee Boyle Clapp Director of the Arts Extension Service University of Massachusetts


The summit is presented by Fostering Art and Culture Project of Franklin County and the Pioneer Valley Creative Economy Network  which includes the following members:
Amherst Business Improvement District, Amherst Chamber of Commerce & Hampshire County Regional Tourism Council, Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, Arts Extension Service/UMass, Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative, Beyond Communications, Easthampton City Arts+, Economic Development Council of Western Mass, Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and Regional Tourism Council, Fostering the Arts and Culture Project, Franklin County Community Development Corporation, Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board, Greenfield Community College, Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association, City of Holyoke, Springfield Business, Improvement District, Springfield Cultural District,Thrives Media/WeLoveMuseums.com, Turners Falls RiverCulture

Creative Economy Summit 2015 takes place at Greenfield Community College 1 College Dr, Greenfield, MA For more information visit: creativeeconomysummit.com or contact Lisa Davol, Summit Coordinator, at 413-773-5463.

Celebrating its 5th Creative Economy Summit, Fostering Art and Culture Project in Franklin County, MA, which has been the primary producer of past summits, has teamed up with the newly formed Pioneer Valley Creative Economy Network to increase collaboration in the region to strengthen the creative sector.

Contact: Lisa Davol, Summit Coordinator