Marketing & Communications

Creativity: New catalyst for economic growth

Dr. Richard Florida, the Heinz Professor of Economic Development at Carnegie Mellon University


• A state-of-the-art teaching and research facility for the digital arts as part of the new center;
• New courses developed through the collaboration of the College of Business Administration’s Entrepreneurship Program and the Department of Theatre and Film;
• An Arts Roundtable uniting area arts organizations committed to mutual support and growth;
• A group of Arts Advocates assembled from alumni and area leaders in the arts, with the mission of acting as ambassadors for the University’s arts programs and initiatives.

What do these efforts have in common?
They are the new tools for economic development in the new economy.

This was the message Dr. Richard Florida, the Heinz Professor of Economic Development at Carnegie Mellon University, delivered to Toledo and northwest Ohio last November as the keynote speaker at Toledo Mayor Jack Ford’s Summit on the Arts, Education and Technology for Greater Toledo. Florida’s ground-breaking book, The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life, addresses the role the arts can play in regional growth.

Florida’s premise has inspired cities and regions across the nation to focus on developing and implementing plans for the arts and culture to help revitalize their economies by creating a vibrant, dynamic place which young people will not want to leave, and to which business and economic investment will be drawn.

In this spirit, Mayor Ford held the summit to unveil the Greater Toledo Strategic Plan for the Arts and Culture. The plan calls for bringing together various constituents from the arts, education and business within the greater Toledo and northwest Ohio regions to foster the well-educated and creative workforce needed by business today.
Richard Florida event

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