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Tricks of the Trade to Investigate Creative Economy

02/27/2014

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Artists, designers, cultural organizations and for-profit companies are all part of the creative economy - one of Berkshire County's four key economic sectors. Where do you fit? What's the latest in the field? Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) and the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC), in cooperation with Berkshire Creative, is proud to present a trio of Tricks of the Trade sessions that will delve into issues pertaining to our Creative Economy, spear-headed by Megan Whilden, Director of the Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development.

"The Berkshires have been and continue to be a leader nationally in recognizing the importance of the creative economy. It's an exciting time to look at where we are and how we continue to grow this essential sector of our economy." says Megan Whilden, Director of Cultural Development for the City of Pittsfield.

The March sessions kick off on Tuesday, March 4th at IS183 in Stockbridge, MA with, "The Creative Economy: Advocacy". For the creative economy to continue to grow, it needs to be recognized and supported by government at all levels: local, state and national. Tonight we'll discuss the importance of making sure our voices are heard and how to be strategic about advocating for resources and policy that benefit artists, arts organizations, designers, creative businesses and more with state legislator Tricia Farley-Bouvier and MassCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson.

The following day, March 5th, come on down to the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts for session, "The Creative Economy: Economic Impact". A recent national study shows that the creative economy has a large economic impact nationally, larger than tourism. Williams College economist Stephen Sheppard, State Creative Economy Director Helena Fruscio, and Dee Schneidman from the New England Foundation for the Arts talk about current efforts to ensure the creative economy is properly measured through innovative data collection and analysis. Moderator Van Shields of the Berkshire Museum will be joined by Helena Fruscio, Creative Economy Industry Director for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Stephen Sheppard of C3D.

March 6th, "The Creative Economy: Education & Training"  will take place at MCLA Gallery 51 in North Adams, MA. Like other economic sectors, it's essential that proper workforce development and training is provided for creative economy practitioners, whether they are artists, arts managers, creative businesses or solo practitioners.  Four local providers of creative economy training and education talk about the field and where it is going. This time around, moderator Lisa Donovan, Author and MCLA Arts Administration Professor is joined by Blair Benjamin from Assets for Artists and MASS MoCA, Hope Sullivan Director of IS183, Diane Pearlman of the Berkshire Film & Media Collaboration, and Dr. Christine Condaris, MCLA Music Professor, and Chair of the FPA Department.

Come on down and join Tricks of the Trade this month, as we delve into the issues that have become so increasingly important to such a major part of the population.

The Tricks of the Trade series runs from September until May, with all sessions starting at 6 p.m.

For more information about this year's Tricks of the Trade series, go to www.mcla.edu/About_MCLA/Community/bcrc/tricksofthetrade0809/tricksofthetradeabout/, or call the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, (413) 664 8718.

Tricks of the Trade is a program produced by the BCRC, in collaboration with the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts and IS183 Art School. The series is sponsored by Appelbaum-Kahn and funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

In its eighth year of serving the creative community of the Berkshires, Tricks of the Trade is a professional development seminar series for artists and other creative workers that gives them the tools and skills they need to grow and sustain their businesses, be that of a independent artist or musician, a non-profit arts institution, or a fast-growing business that depends on creative minds