Innovative Sustainable Strategies for Small-Town Rural Economic Development


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  • This definition comes from Mt. Auburn Associates… “ The enterprises and people involved in the production and distribution of goods and services in which the aesthetic, intellectual, and emotional engagement of the consumer gives the product value in the marketplace.”
  • Employment and Payroll data from 2000 the New England Council’s Creative Economy Initiative Report NEFA released new Nonprofit Sector Report – other reports help quantify CE Economic Impact across NE States
  • Bellows Falls, VT. Has experienced a revival following several historic preservation efforts including a renovated opera house and new theatre company. The Bellows Falls Opera House is located on the first floor of Rockingham Town Hall in the center of downtown Bellows Falls, Vermont.  Town Hall was constructed in 1926 in the Classical Revival Style and has a distinctive six-story clock tower. The building is a Bellows Falls landmark and serves as the cultural and civic heart of the community.    The Rockingham Town Hall underwent a $3.7 million renovation from 2004~2006 that restored the Bellows Falls Opera House to accommodate both movies and live performances A 2 nd project is the Exner Block Building project. The $1.2 million restoration of the historic Exner Block at 7 Canal Street in Bellows Falls, Vermont was completed in August 2000, which has created 10 affordable live/work spaces, with preference given to artists, and 6 retail storefronts. Rockingham Arts and Museum Project (RAMP)
  • Pittsfield – Colonial Theater restoration project: “The Colonial is an appropriate symbol of the re-emergence of Pittsfield as the economic and cultural center of the Berkshires. A restored and active Colonial Theatre, together with Pittsfield’s other cultural attractions and businesses, is creating jobs, attracting and inspiring audiences, contributing to rising real estate values and adding vitality back to a city that has been recreating itself as a people-center from its earlier days as a manufacturing center.” from colonial theater website Storefront Artists Project – Pittsfield, MA. The Storefront Art Project was an important early step in connecting creative people with the City of Pittsfield. The idea was developed when Maggie Mailer, a painter from Brooklyn, NY (and daughter of the Pulitzer Price-winning author Normal Mailer), arrived in Pittsfield in 2002. Mailer, who grew up in the Berkshires, had the idea to persuade landlords to let artists use the empty spaces as studios. For more information visit
  • North Adams, MA – MassMoca! Which took over the former Sprague Electronics factory complex. North Adams had become economically devastated since the factory close in early 80s. Community has since turned things around since opening of MassMoca in 1999…
  • Walpole, NH small town in SW NH bordering VT. The Town’s Planning Board is working to incorporate Creative Economy elements within their Economic Development chapter to the Master Plan Agricultural: Alyson’s Orchard (Agritourism)+ Dairy Farming element to community. Farmer’s Market + Arts/Culture
  • Americans for the Arts has tools to assist with documenting of economic impact. For example ArtsAlive!, a regional arts & culture organization serving the Monadnock Region of NH, worked with American for the Arts, on the Monadnock Regional Economic Impact Analysis Study – $5-6K You can get the study at SWOT – Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats
  • Ashburnham part of the 22 community MRPC…. The Town applied to MRPC in 2010 for DLTA (funded by Comm of Mass) to have MRPC develop a Cultural/Creative-Economy Plan for the community.
  • Second bullet - 20 Lakes located within the Town of Ashburnham… 6-8 larger lakes with “summer camps” most now converted into year-round homes Third bullet – Mt. Watatic identified as of one of Mass 1,000 Places to Visit Cushing Academy prestigious private prep school in/adjacent to the Village Center The impetus for the development of the cultural/creative economy plan goes back to the “ Ashburnham Industrial Land Suitability Study” prepared by UMass Amherst Graduate Students in the Fall of 2006 and finalized in December 2007. The Study revealed that both existing market conditions and lack of infrastructure placed the Town in a situation where the residential tax burden would not be corrected through the development of a large scale Industrial Park in the short to mid-term
  • Online database maintained by the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA). A good tool to start working with.
  • Piano Study Center attendance the past couple of fiscal years has been consistent: both FY 2008-'09 and 2009-'10 saw about 275 people per year. Within SML - Malcolm Stewart Room, Preservation Room
  • The Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area includes communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire that share unique historical, natural, and cultural resources. The region is home to a series of historic events that influenced democratic forms of governance and intellectual traditions that underpin concepts of American freedom, democracy, conservation, and social justice. These 45 cities and towns share common themes that have contributed toward this special landscape of American History. 17 of MRPC’s 22 communities are within the FWHA.
  • Ashburnham Concerts on the Green - Held at the Winchester Park – does anyone know more details of organizers of this concert series? Rebecca Rice Dance is based on the vision of Artistic Director Rebecca Rice (also Chairperson of ACC) through the creation, research, teaching and presentation of original dance compositions. RUSSES SUITE (2009) 20 minutes . five movements Music: Stravinsky, Shostakovitch, Provokiev, Khachaturian Premiere: Symphony Hall, Boston, MA . guest of Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops . May 19, 2009. Performance part of the "Boston Ballets Russes Festival 2009 - 100th Anniversary Celebration"Peter Rand and Anna Winestein, driectors.
  • Ashburnham Residents listed on GALA: Steve Hjelm, Watercolor Ed Schneeflock, Photography & Painting Ellen Schneeflock, Painting Julie Tremblay, Photographer Filmmaker and Sculptor We want to find more local individual artists out there in the community.
  • See report for Greg Berry’s detailed inventory of Oakmont’s Visual Arts and Summer Art Studio Programs
  • Analysis and Discussion of Ashburnham’s Cultural/Creative Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (“SWOT Analysis”) See print out and highlight a few from each category
  • Cultural Districts – Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill into law over the summer that allows communities to create “state sponsored cultural districts” to stimulate new arts and cultural activity and attract creative businesses. The law directs the Mass. Cultural Council to create a new program that designates local cultural districts to “attract artists and cultural enterprises to a community, encourage businesses and job development, establish tourist destinations, preserve and reuse historic buildings, enhance property values and foster local cultural development.” Cultural districts can help local arts, humanities, and science organizations improve the quality and range of their public programs so that more local families can benefit from them. They can enhance the experience for visitors and thus attract more tourist dollars and tax revenue. And they can attract artists, cultural organizations and entrepreneurs of all kinds - enhancing property values and making communities more attractive. Legislation offers no new funds for MCC, so the Cultural District program will offer no grants or other financial rewards to communities, at least in the first year. It directs MCC to work with other State governmental agencies, to “ID State incentives and resources to enhance cultural districts.” The MCC is to work over the coming months to create guidelines for the program with input from those agencies, the cultural community, and the broader public.
  • MRPC was able to leaverage some of our DLTA funding for the Ash Plan by hiring Berkshire Creative and Mt. Auburn Associates, with their previous experience to assist in the Goals and Recommendations phase of the Project. Mt. Auburn Associates (a leading national consulting firm in the field of creative economy-based economic development) and BerkshireCreative (a nationally recognized creative economy support and development organization in western Massachusetts )
  • the following recommendations were suggested to achieve the goals above
  • Talk more about the latter bullet in a few minutes
  • Michael Kane
  • Last bullet then segue into next slide…incorporating a Regional Cultural/Creative Economy element within MRPC’s HUD Sustainable Regional Planning Grant Application
  • Innovative Sustainable Strategies for Small-Town Rural Economic Development

    1. 1. Innovative Sustainable Strategies for Small-Town Rural Economic Development Jennifer Siciliano, City Planner of Woonsocket, RI Eric Smith, Principal Planner, Montachusett Regional Planning Commission
    2. 2. Ashby Sustainable Economic Development Plan Ashby, MA Jennifer Siciliano City Planner City of Woonsocket, RI
    3. 3. <ul><li>Located in North Central Massachusetts, Borders New Hampshire and Directly North of Fitchburg, MA </li></ul><ul><li>Population 3,074 </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional New England Town Center </li></ul><ul><li>Many Equine Facilities and Farms </li></ul><ul><li>No Public Water or Sewer </li></ul><ul><li>No Public Transportation </li></ul>Ashby, MA
    4. 4. <ul><li>District local Technical Assistance (DLTA) Funding </li></ul><ul><li>Champions </li></ul><ul><li>Establishing Economic Development Committee </li></ul>Getting the Plan off the Ground
    5. 5. <ul><li>Large Percentage of Children </li></ul><ul><li>Low Percentage of 19 to 45 Year-Olds </li></ul><ul><li>Many Home-Based Businesses/Worked from Home </li></ul><ul><li>Small Amount of Employees per Business </li></ul>Demographics and Inventory
    6. 6. <ul><li>Kick-off Meeting </li></ul><ul><li>SWOT/ Visioning Workshop </li></ul><ul><li>Survey </li></ul>Public Participation
    7. 7. <ul><li>Keep Rural Flavor </li></ul><ul><li>Problems with Board of Health </li></ul><ul><li>High Utility Costs </li></ul><ul><li>Places to Eat and Gather </li></ul><ul><li>Banking </li></ul><ul><li>Newspaper or Newsletter </li></ul><ul><li>Weekend Tourists on Route 118 </li></ul><ul><li>Great Cultural Events </li></ul>Feedback from Public
    8. 8. <ul><li>Develop a Public Water Feasibility Study </li></ul><ul><li>Consider Partnership with Ashburnham Power and Light </li></ul><ul><li>Turn Grange Building into a Community Center </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a Commercial Kitchen </li></ul><ul><li>Build an Information Kiosk </li></ul><ul><li>Identify Artisanal Industries to Support them/ Develop a Cultural/Creative Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Investigate Needs of Equine and Farm Businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Connections to Tourism Programs </li></ul>Recommendations
    9. 9. <ul><li>Create a Arts/Food Festival that Showcases Local Artists </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a Unique One-of-a-Kind Festival to bring people from all parts of the region to Town </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a Village Center Zoning </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Form-Based Code for Village Center </li></ul><ul><li>Decrease Off-Street Parking Setbacks in Town Center </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a Market Brochure for Town </li></ul><ul><li>Create a Newspaper or Magazine </li></ul>Recommendations
    10. 10. Cultural/Creative Economy Plan Town of Ashburnham, MA Eric R. Smith, AICP Principal Planner Montachusett Regional Planning Commission
    11. 11. <ul><li>Introduction to the Creative Economy </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to the Cultural/Creative Economy Planning Process </li></ul><ul><li>The Ashburnham Cultural/Creative Economy Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>Outline of Presentation
    12. 12. <ul><li>What is the Creative Economy? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative workers by traditional notions have included artists, musicians, writers and teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recently this worker group has expanded to include computer programmers, publishers, web designers, architects and other idea-driven professions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This group and their transactions collectively are now referred to as the “ Creative Economy” </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><ul><li>Creative Economy Definition: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ The enterprises and people involved in the production and distribution of goods and services in which the aesthetic, intellectual, and emotional engagement of the consumer gives the product value in the marketplace.” </li></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 14. <ul><ul><li>The Creative Economy is important to communities because new ideas are at the foundation of economic growth. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Within New England this industry: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Employs a workforce of 250K </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contributes annual payroll of $4.3B </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Books that have led to greater understand and promotion of “The Creative Economy” include: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>John Howkins, “The Creative Economy” 2001 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Richard Florida, “Rise of the Creative Class” 2002 </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li>Creative Economy is used as a tool for local and regional economic development – including small towns. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples in New England </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bellows Falls, VT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pittsfield, MA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>North Adams, MA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Walpole, NH </li></ul></ul>Creative-Based Economic Development Examples
    16. 16. Creative Economy Examples <ul><li>Bellows Falls, VT </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Renovated Opera House </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exner Block Building </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For more info visit: </li></ul></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Creative Economy Examples <ul><li>Pittsfield, MA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Colonial Theater restoration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Storefront Artists Project </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Creative Economy Examples <ul><ul><li>North Adams, MA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MassMoca </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Creative Economy Examples <ul><li>Walpole, NH </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative Economy in their Economic Development Plans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural Assets: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Walpole Artisans Cooperative </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LA Burdick’s </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ken Burns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Agricultural Heritage </li></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>Cultural Planning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Process that takes stock of existing cultural resources and asks how they can be maintained, enhanced or developed to improve the lives and success of the community. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Goals of the Cultural Planning Process: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Living document that paves the way for immediate development in arts and cultural landscape </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foster Creative Economy -based Economic Development </li></ul></ul>Intro to Cultural Planning
    21. 21. <ul><li>Development of Cultural Plan includes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inventory and Mapping of Cultural Assets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Documenting the Economic Impact of idea-based enterprises </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand communities “SWOT” to provide framework to assess current and future conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment can be created using available data sources or implementing a survey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop strategies to implement a shared vision </li></ul></ul>What does Cultural Planning entail?
    22. 22. Ashburnham and the Montachusett Region
    23. 23. <ul><li>Located in Northern Worcester County along NH border </li></ul><ul><li>Population 6,081 as of the 2010 Census </li></ul><ul><li>“ Land of Lakes” </li></ul><ul><li>Mt. Watatic – where Mid-State Trail meets Wapack Trail </li></ul><ul><li>Quaint New England Village Center </li></ul><ul><li>Cushing Academy </li></ul><ul><li>Residential tax base – burden on taxpayers </li></ul><ul><li>UMass Amherst Graduate Students 2006 Report </li></ul>Intro to Town of Ashburnham
    24. 24. <ul><li>Town and Region: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attractions - Cultural and Heritage Sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performing Arts Companies & Venues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual Arts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative Education </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to collect info? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CultureCount, New England's Cultural Database tool, maintained by NEFA: </li></ul></ul>Inventory of Cultural Assets
    25. 25. <ul><li>Frederick Historic Piano Collection </li></ul><ul><li>Stevens Memorial Library </li></ul><ul><li>Ashburnham Meeting House </li></ul><ul><li>School Boy Statue </li></ul><ul><li>Mt. Watatic (One of “1000 Great Places in MA”) </li></ul><ul><li>Cambridge Grant Historic District </li></ul>Attractions: Cultural & Heritage Sites
    26. 26. <ul><li>Regional: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shaker Sites: Shirley, Harvard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mt. Wachusett </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fruitlands Museum(s), Harvard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fisher Museum @ Harvard Forest, Petersham </li></ul></ul>Attractions: Cultural & Heritage Sites
    27. 27. <ul><li>Frederick Historic Piano Collection Concerts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Held at the Ashburnham Community Church </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capacity at about 150 persons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attendance been steady: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FY 2009-2010: Fall concerts, avg. 97 per concert; Spring concerts, avg. 102 per concert; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FY 2008-2009 Avg. attendance, 82 per concert </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FY 2007-2008 Avg. attendance, 85 per concert </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FY 2006-2007 Avg. attendance, 86 per concert </li></ul></ul></ul>Performing Arts Companies & Venues
    28. 28. <ul><li>Oakmont Regional High School Auditorium </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Capacity at just under 500 people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>School Performances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Host site for “ACT” Benefit Concerts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Livingston Taylor, Tom Rush in past </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Aztec Two Step – October 2010. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Ashburnham Concerts on the Green” </li></ul><ul><li>Rebecca Rice Dance </li></ul>Performing Arts Companies & Venues
    29. 29. <ul><li>Regional: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stratton Players (Fitchburg) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cornerstone Performing Arts (Fitchburg) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thayer Symphony (based in Leominster) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Theatre at the Mount (Mount Wachusett CC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FSU Center Stage Performing Arts </li></ul></ul>Performing Arts Companies & Venues
    30. 30. <ul><li>Individual Artists in Ashburnham </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Four members of “GALA” – Gardner Area League of Artists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art/Crafts sold at Ashburnham Country Store, Creative Connections </li></ul><ul><li>Arts on display at Cushing Academy and Oakmont (See Creative Education) </li></ul>Visual Arts
    31. 31. <ul><li>Regionally: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gardner Area League of Artists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fitchburg Art Museum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rollstone Gallery, the Boulder Art Gallery (Fitchburg) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton </li></ul></ul>Visual Arts
    32. 32. <ul><li>Cushing Academy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual Arts and Performing Arts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cushing Academy Visual Arts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One of the most highly respected visual arts programs in secondary education, offering college-level instruction and facilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>architectural design </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>glass work (stained glass, fused glass, molded glass, and more) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>painting and drawing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>photography </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>pottery and sculpture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>silversmithing and jewelry fabrication </li></ul></ul></ul>Creative Education
    33. 33. <ul><li>Cushing Academy Visual Arts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Their Emily Fisher Landau Center for Visual Arts offers state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, including: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pottery & Sculpture Studio with nine Brent wheels, slab roller, extruder, electric and raku kilns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Photography Studio with 12 enlargers and a large film dryer, plus a professional digital color photo lab featuring an Epson large format printer and Epson 4000 printer and multi CD/DVD burner. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Art Studio (40’ x 80’) for painting and drawing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Silversmithing Studio for making jewelry, flatware, and hollowware—complete with an impressive collection of historic metalsmithing tools, some from the 1880s </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Glass Studio for cutting glass, working with lead cane, soldering, working with copper foil, painting on glass, and making glass jewelry </li></ul></ul></ul>Creative Education
    34. 34. <ul><li>Cushing Academy Performing Arts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cushing offer academic classes as well as afternoon workshops for students working on a performance piece. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Drama enthusiasts pursue acting, writing, directing, and choreographing, and may participate in productions ranging from modern comedies and classical work to the annual winter musical. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dancers work closely with instructors to stretch their capabilities and perfect their line—and they create two recital concerts each year, one in the fall and one in the spring. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Musicians can work ensemble (in choral, jazz, or chamber music groups, for example) and/or may pursue an individual course of advanced study relating to their instrument. Their music theory and history courses are also popular. </li></ul></ul></ul>Creative Education
    35. 35. <ul><li>Cushing Academy Performing Arts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>students and faculty work side by side in the exceptional practice and rehearsal spaces of the Joseph R. Curry Academic Center. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These state-of-the-art spaces include: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>an elegant dance studio, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>individual practice rooms, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a theater studio, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a multi-track recording studio and multimedia lab </li></ul></ul></ul>Creative Education
    36. 36. <ul><li>Oakmont Regional High School </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual Arts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performing Arts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Music </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summer Art Studios </li></ul></ul>Creative Education
    37. 37. <ul><li>Regionally – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fitchburg State University (Performance, Art, Film) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MWCC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monty Tech </li></ul></ul>Creative Education
    38. 38. Map of Cultural Assets
    39. 39. <ul><li>What are the core Creative Economy assets in the Town/Region, and their competitive strengths? </li></ul><ul><li>Who/what are the principal cultural organizations and creative businesses of the Town/Region? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the competitive advantages of being in the town/region? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the education assets in the Towns/Region, and what role do they play in the development and sustainability of the region’s Creative Economy? </li></ul>“ SWOT” Analysis: Strengths
    40. 40. <ul><li>What are the disadvantages of being in the Town/region? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there any support services and resources that you wish were available in the Town/region? </li></ul>“ SWOT” Analysis: Weaknesses
    41. 41. <ul><li>What opportunities are there for furthering the economic potential of the Town’s/Region’s Creative Economy, cultural organizations and artists? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural Districts – new tool available to Massachusetts Municipalities: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What kind of assistance would be most helpful to capitalize on those opportunities? </li></ul>“ SWOT” Analysis: Opportunities
    42. 42. <ul><li>Are there new and/or emerging assets in the town/region that have potential for growth and further development? If so, please explain. </li></ul>“ SWOT” Analysis: Opportunities
    43. 43. <ul><li>What are some of the barriers and challenges that organizations, businesses and individual artists within the Town/Region face in their work and ability to grow or capture new markets? </li></ul>“ SWOT” Analysis: Threats
    44. 44. <ul><li>The following goals were developed for the Town of Ashburnham ’ s Creative and Cultural Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clearly-defined picture of the Town ’ s creative assets </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Better educate the community about the assets </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Build the capacity to help grow the Creative Economy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Leverage the creative assets in a more productive fashion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Build greater linkages between creative assets </li></ul></ul></ul>Creative Economy Planning Goals
    45. 45. <ul><ul><ul><li>Nurture Creative Assets </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Partnerships and Collaborations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Education Connections </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Space Creation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Importance of Regionalism </li></ul></ul></ul>Recommendations
    46. 46. <ul><li>Create greater capacity for nurturing and expanding the town’s creative assets </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Promote and distribute creative assets database </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop a leadership team </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Build greater organizational capacity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pursue funding to bring on part-time staff for the Ashburnham Cultural Council </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use an existing organization in the town or region to provide staff capacity </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Create a new regional arts organization </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>1. Nurture Creative Assets
    47. 47. <ul><li>Organize more opportunities for Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communications Structure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities to get together for networking, meet and greets, or roundtable discussions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitate strategic collaborations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Between Non-profit and For-profit </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Between For-profit and Artists </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Among non-profit organizations </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship between creative community and the region’s economic and business development organizations </li></ul></ul></ul>2. Partnerships and Collaborations
    48. 48. <ul><li>Develop a mechanism for taking better advantage of the creative assets of the town’s and region’s educational institutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Facilities, faculty, and programs for artist residency programs, enhancing the artistic skills of artists, and complementing the performing arts organizations in the region: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cushing Academy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fitchburg State College </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mt Wachusett Community College </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Oakmont High School </li></ul></ul></ul>3. Education Connection
    49. 49. <ul><li>Develop more spaces that allow creatives to produce, network and exhibit work, and help the town make productive use of existing buildings and space </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reuse of vacant building and under-utilized spaces </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Work space, gathering places and networking for creatives in the town and region. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Artists make existing buildings more visible, attractive and functional. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>North County Sustainability Center (NCSC) Project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> / </li></ul></ul></ul>4. Space Creation
    50. 50. <ul><li>Take better advantage of the region’s creative assets </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Database of the region’s creative assets </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Promote and distribute the database to interested parties </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Begin to build institutional connections among the towns in the region and the creative organizations and enterprise in the region </li></ul></ul></ul>5. Importance of Regionalism
    51. 51. <ul><li>Lessons Learned:- </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Takes a Champion at the Local Level: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of Planning Staff in Ashburnham at this time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>NCSC stepping in – pursuing development of “Sustainability Center” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ashburnham resident has become President of GALA </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional Approach is Key: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>MRPC has included funding of Regional Creative Economy-based Plan as part of HUD Regional Sustainable Development Plan Grant Application </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Explore Creation of Regional Arts/Cultural-based Entity </li></ul></ul></ul>Lessons Learned
    52. 52. <ul><li>Questions and Answers </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Info: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eric R. Smith, AICP, Principal Planner, Montachusett Regional Planning Commission (MRPC), [email_address] </li></ul></ul>Conclusion