A New Movement is Captured and Gains Momentum
Oregon Creative Industries (OCI) is not just a new organization, it’s a movement. The Oregonian article about OCI that was published on the front page of the December 14th Sunday Business section puts it this way:
There’s reason to believe this is a movement with potential…Portland’s soon-to-be mayor, Sam Adams, says the creative economy is a priority. A growing chorus of public- and private-sector groups rally around the idea.
The response to the article has been tremendous, with many people from a variety of disciplines and locations throughout the state reaching out to us asking how they can help. Here are some examples of people we heard from:
- Katie Merritt, founder of BendFilm, and her husband, architect and Bend City Councilor Peter Gramlich, who have agreed to be regional liaisons for us.
- Jerry Ketel of ad agency Leopold Ketel and filmmaker Kenneth Luba.
- Entrepreneur Steve Keck on the Oregon Coast, photographer Brian Shortt in the Columbia Gorge, industrial designer Jack Gilbert in Wilsonville and creative director Jason Halstead in Eugene.
- Jeff Hawthorne of the Regional Arts & Culture Council and Anna Johnson of the Ross Island Pottery Studio.
Every conversation we have had with creative economy leaders confirms that this is the right idea at the right time. We continue to gather input and ideas from the community in order to help us focus on areas that will have the greatest impact.
The article has helped us take OCI to the next level, building momentum in a way that we could not have done without it (who says print is dead?). For example, a Facebook Group for OCI that was created just before the article was published grew to over 250 members in just two weeks.
Now our challenge is to harness the positive energy and passion that is apparent in this movement and apply it toward developing new initiatives and programs that are being defined via our various community town halls, leadership round tables and one-on-one discussions, leading to overall growth for the creative industries sector.
Let us know if and how you would like to help out. You can also connect with us in a variety of ways (email list, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).
by Steve Gehlen