Design Policy
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Design Policy

on

  • 1,303 views

 

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,303
Views on SlideShare
1,282
Embed Views
21

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
2
Comments
0

2 Embeds 21

http://mike-denman.com 17
https://mike-denman-n81x.squarespace.com 4

Accessibility

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

Design Policy Design Policy Presentation Transcript

  • POLICY RAS REPORT 1
  • Table of Contents INTRODUCTION Team Scope/ Research Questions Project Matrix RESEARCH Secondary System Maps 2x2 Maps War Wall Shadowing Participation Video Ethnography Card Sorting POEMS/ 5 Human Factors Interviews ANALYSIS Insights Opportunity Map Appendix Charisse Bennett Transcript Tamara Friedrich Transcript Marquice Williams Transcript Eileen Baker Transcript Matt Habermehl Transcript Jay Self Transcript 01 02 03 04–05 06–07 08–09 10–12 13–17 18–23 24–25 26–27 28–29 30–31 32–60 61 63–67 68–70 71–77 78–81 82–84 85–90 2
  • Introduction Team Mike Denman Virginia Honig Zelong Meng Design Management Service Design Industrial Design Texas, USA South Carolina, USA Hebei, China Bengjie Qiu Nathan Hollrith Industrial Design Industrial Design Zhejiang, China Somewhere, USA 01
  • Introduction Scope - To create a thriving creative class in Savannah, we will examine policy through the lens of both government and non-government actors in order to make a positive change. Research Questions 1. Who is the creative class? 2. How does the government work in Savannah? 3. What are the current policies (official), infrastructures (physical places), and laws in place that affect the savannah creative class? 4. What does it take for a non-government actor to create or modify a policy? 5. What are current priorities of Savannah’s government when considering policy? 02
  • Introduction Project Matrix The project matrix was our guideline throughout the design process and was a useful tool in mapping out the project in its entirety. We based the matrix on our research questions and came up with our research plan to answer those questions. By mapping out this process early on, we made sure every data point collected was relevant to our research questions. While we identified specific methods that we would use to collect data, some were more relevant than others. 03
  • Research Secondary We conducted secondary research by looking through contemporary articles from newspapers and magazines to see what was being written about Savannah’s Government and Creative Class. This is how we learned about the Mural Policy that was in the midst of being reviewed by the City Council. This data helped us find who to look for within the city, as well as what was being said about Savannah from various perspectives. fastcompany.com May 16, 2012 Jacksonville.com March13, 2012 Savannahnow.com Feb.15, 2012 artsatl.com Oct.17, 2011 Georgiatrend.com April 11, 2011 04
  • Research Secondary After identifying some key players based on our first round of secondary research, we explored specific websites of organizations such as the Creative Coast and the City of Savannah to understand their offerings more in depth. Through this method, we were able to pinpoint people, places, and events that would be the targets of our primary research. Savannahga.gov Savannah Film Commission 2011 Annual Report Savannah Film Commission 2011 Report thecreativecoast.org thempc.org savannahfilm.org 05
  • Research Systems Map Policy One of the first things we did as a group was to create a system map of policy, in terms of the creative class, as we saw it. We created an open forum for us to discuss and write down our ideas and how they related to each other. From this exercise, our policy system map was born. This map was designed to give an overview of Savannah’s creative class and its connections to policy. We wanted to see what kinds of infrastructures and organizations were already in place in Savannah in order see where opportunity may exist. Schools, museums, small businesses, events, and grants were all looked at through the lens of the creative community. Profit Businesses Admission Free Public Non-Profit Groups/ Clubs Private Museums Galleries Govt Existing organizations Events Current infrastructures Schools Public Private Grants & loans What policies & Infrastructures does Savannah have that affect the creative class? Current policies Process of opening a business How important is the creative class to Savannah? How does Savannah’s city govt view the creative class? Through the lens of Savannah’s city govt? Who is the “creative class” in the eyes of the govt? Through the lens of the creative community What role does the govt play? How important is the govt to the creative community? What role does the creative class play in the community? The other goal of the map was to understand how the government viewed the creative class and how the creative class viewed the government. This was important in deriving questions that would seek to answer through our research from there on out. Creating a map of this system early on in our process allowed us to focus our future research efforts in a productive direction. With this road map in front of us, we were ready to begin our in depth ethnographic research. 06
  • Research Systems Map Government This system map was designed to show the relationships between various government entities. We especially wanted to explore these relationship as they impact policy. This map allows us to see, at a glance, how each part of government interacts so that we may understand how one would either navigate an existing policy or create a new one. Specifically it shows how the Savannah Mayor and Aldermen are on essentially equal footing as voting representatives of their constituents. Their role in policy is that of approving it through voting on it. Their other main role is in appointing the City Manager. Mayor 8 Aldermen Advises Appoints Carries Out Policies City Manager Appoints Bureau and Departments MPC City of Savannah Film Office Department of Cultural Affairs The City Manager is the one that carries out policies and recommends new ones to the Mayor and Aldermen. He or she is also the person that runs the entire government from an operational standpoint. This includes appointing department heads and preparing budgets. The individual departments are where most of the citizenry come in direct contact with policy and its ramifications. However to propose and enact a new policy, the people must come full circle and present proposals to the City Council, consisting of the Mayor and Aldermen, to vote on. 07
  • Research 2x2 Map Phase #1 We decided to create an initial 2x2 map to determine our relevant users and how they related to one another. We set our X axis as a spectrum from “government” to “indie” so that we could determine our various entities reliance on (or existence as)government or its services. Our Y axis was set as “attributes to creative class” to “ doesn’t attribute to creative class”. This way we could see how much each entity contributed to the creative class in terms of helping it grow or succeed. From there we started to place all of the organizations or individuals that we had researched on the map in the form of a post-it to determine their role in the creative class. We also pinned string from our primary research to the post-its so that we could easily reference the data that led us to its placement in the first place. This matrix allowed us to analyze any holes in Savannah’s community of creative class focused organizations as well as to define the user groups that we were designing towards. It also allowed us to see opportunities for us to further research in order for us to gain greater insight into our scope. 08
  • Research 2x2 Map Phase #2 Using our phase #1 2x2 map as a starting point, we were then able to streamline and clarify it for our client presentation. We started by redefining our X and Y axises to more clearly get at our desired users. The X axis became “Government” and “Non-Government,” while the Y axis became “Creative” and “Non-Creative”. This change allowed us to easily understand our organizations and how they fit in to the matrix. Next, we reduced the number of post-it notes to those that we had conducted ethnographic research on and were therefor certain of their placement. We also knew that these organization were especially important to Savannah’s creative class compared to some of the semi-irrelevant ones that were included in the original map. We were basically focusing our scope to understand the system as a whole without the distractions. By focusing the map to eleven organizations and events we were able to give a focused presentation to our client that made real sense of the groups and policies affecting Savannah’s creative class. 09
  • Research War Wall Phase #1 Once we started collected our data, we displayed it visually on our War Wall. The War Wall allows for data to be omnipresent and provides a platform for seeing patterns, creating connections, and moving around the data as needed. In the beginning, we wrote our secondary research findings on note-cards identifying them as either Actors, Actions, Events or Artifacts. This was a useful method because it allowed us to see how much we had in each category. 10
  • Research War Wall Phase #2 After we moved into the primary research phase, our data began to tell much more of a story. We used the 2x2 map to indicate the key players involved in our scope and used string to connect them with the data we had collected through contextual research methods. Each observational research method was visualized through photos and quotes from the various locations. We also created a government section of the wall in order to map out the connections within city council and the Departments within the City of Savannah. This section of the war wall was helpful as a reference and kept us centered on the scope of our project. 11
  • Research War Wall Phase #3 Once we were done collecting our primary research, we created a storyline depicting how our user-participation, shadowing, immersion, and expert interviews related to our project scope. Our information collected from the six expert interviews formed the core of the story that is visualized on the War Wall. The 2x2 matrix remained the centerpiece of the wall throughout the data collection process. 12
  • Research Shadowing Spitfire Saturday Location: Muse Art Warehouse Time: 8:00pm We decided to shadow a Spitfire Poetry Group event, Spitfire Saturday, in order to see how local creative organizations are interacting with the public. This particular event was a chance for many local artist of different disciplines to show their talents to the local community. The event was an open mic format that was open for anyone to sign up and perform. While most of the performers were local, the organization hosted a featured artist from another city. The event was held at Muse Art Warehouse, which features a stage area with stadium style seating. The seats were filled quickly and standing room soon followed. There were even people sitting on a couch on the stage enjoying the performances. The tone of the event was extremely upbeat and welcoming to any and all that had appreciation for the arts. The co-directors created a definite mood for the event and encouraged audience members to get involved and show their appreciation for the artist. They also made sure that everyone knew this was a community and we were all there to support one another. From this experience it was clear that there were organizations within Savannah trying to foster a collaborative creative community that interacted with the public. 13
  • Research Shadowing Elisabeth Papadopoulos, Docent, SCAD MOA Place: SCAD Museum of Art Time: 2:00pm We chose to shadow a docent at the SCAD Museum of Art in order to witness the public’s interaction with art. This particular docent was working the Little Black Dress exhibit between the hours of 11am to 12am, which is when we shadowed her. The exhibit has been extremely popular with non-traditional museum going crowds according to the docent. This exhibit was house in the second gallery space of the museum. Comprised of one single large room with a wall separating the space to the north end of the room. During the hour we were there the exhibit saw roughly fifty visitors come and go. The docent we were shadowing had some level interaction with most of them and had thirty one total interactions. Many of these interaction were simple greetings and orientations. However some of them were much longer, lasting several minutes. Many of the guests that participated in a short interaction when they first arrived, later had long, deep interactions later on as they became more comfortable with the space and the work. Ultimately we learned a good deal about the public’s feelings and interactions with art from this shadowing experience. Map of Little Black Dress Exhibit Initial Interaction Starting Point 1 31 12 24 30 5 27 2 4 8 21 6 29 23 13 10 11 22 9 28 3 W S N 17 18 20 19 26 14 E 15 25 16 14
  • Research Shadowing SCAD Furniture Exhibition Location: Desotorow Gallery Time: 8:00pm I went to the Desotorow Gallery in Savannah. There was a furniture exhibition hosted by three SCAD furniture students. The gallery is a nonprofit organization that provide artists space to run exhibitions and display their works to public. Usually the gallery focuses on providing space for those professional and talented artist to help them broadcast their works to public and start their career, So the gallery just charges a little that most artist can afford to keep the gallery running. Also, to provide artists space for exhibition also gives the public a chance to appreciate high quality artworks, cause people don’t have to buy ticket. The gallery is just a small room, when I got their, some people are waiting outside cause the space is limited. Inside the room there are just three pieces of works, one for one student. People just stand there and talk with each other in groups, because the seats are limited. At the door, they serve food and drinks. I talked with the artists, they told me that the artworks are from their class project, which represent their own design philosophy. One of the artists told me that this was her first exhibition that she was so excited because her work is appreciated by people from everywhere, which gave her confidence for future. For me, the exhibition is really excellent, the only problem is the space is too small so it’s better if larger space is provided. 15
  • Research Shadowing Street Performer Location: Desotorow Gallery Time: 8:00pm I went to the Wright square near York St to shadowing a street artist. There are a large amount of Street artists in Savannah, especially in downtown such as river street or the squares in downtown. They are always ignored or considered as out of the main stream of the art. However in my opinion they still have a deep influence on public’s attitude of art. Because usually they play everywhere in the city so people will be wide impacted although some people are not interested in art. Also we don’t have to buy ticket for that only if we want to donate, so everyone is afford for that and they could even participate in the performance if they want. The artist I shadowed was a violin player, but he could also play guitar and piano. During the 2 hours, he kept playing some sad music, having a break every 15 minutes then continue. Most people will stop for a while and listened to the music, some of them donated cash, I also gave him $1 which is all I had. Although he just played on square and most time there’s few people passed by, he still kept playing as in a opera and lost himself. He said he enjoy playing the music and he wish he could participate in a big performance someday. 16
  • Research Shadowing ThincSavannah Community Space Place: ThincSavannah, 35 Barnard St. Time: 3:00pm ThincSavannah is Savannah’s first collaborative workspace. I chose to shadow the community room inside Thinc to observe the activity that happens between the various people that work there. The room has six communal tables open to anyone for work. During the hours of 9-11am, there was a total of four people working. Each individual has a different business ranging from graphic design to life skills coaching. Although they spent the majority of their time on individual computers, they often got up to ask each other questions. ThincSavannah’s goal is to bring diverse businesses together to encourage collaboration and information exchange, as well as provide affordable and diverse working spaces that cater to a range of business sizes. During the two hour shadowing exercise I observed 8 different conversations taking place between co-workers, 17
  • Research Participation SCAD ISSO Office Place: SCAD ISSO Office Time: 2:30pm I went to the SCAD ISSO Office at Habersham hall and talked with the officers Jeff Jones and Stephanie Li. The ISSO is an organization that provides service for SCAD international students to help them get used to school life and to build a bridge between students and the US government. The office is a small room at the first floor. When I entered I saw a large table with tons of documents on it, Stephanie was sitting behind the table. I talked with her for a while, she told me that there are always students came in consult about how their parents could get VISA if they wish to visit US. Also, during the session, some students came in to buy the tickets of the CSA Spring Festival Party Tickets. Then, I went to Jeff’s Office and he told me that sometimes students come in to apply for the letter which used for applying the SSN. 18
  • Research Participation Telfair Museum Tour Place: Telfair Museum Time: 12:30pm I had a visit to the Owen Thomas House. It is one of the branch museums under the Telfair Museum. The tour guide told me that there were several rounds of tour everyday. This is a house with a long history which is a typical representation of Savannah. The Telfair Museum as well as Owen Thomas House is under the support of Savannah Government and runs as a nonprofit organization. 19
  • Research Participation Pulse Art and Technology Festival Place: Jepson Center Time: 12:30pm The Pulse Art and Technology festival was sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs and held in the Jepson Center at the Telfair Museum. The event that I participated in was Family day: 3d Printing and Music Technology. The event was free and open to the public. I participated in the laser-cute sculpture building that took place on the steps of the atrium. At one point there were 6 groups of families and friends building the sculptures together for a total of 32 people. The other event I participated in was the ‘Games as Social Space’ room which had 6 different game stations. Every station was for 2-4 players and had people at each one for a solid hour. The age range was from 4 years old to 65 years old. This event had a big turn out of families, teenagers, and young adults. There were 173 people in one hour walking back and forth from the sculpture building to the game space. 20
  • Research Participation River Street Tour Place: River Street Time: 5:30pm River Street is a popular tour zone in Savannah which attracts tourists as well as local people all the year round, because there are lots of historical constructions, cultural gift shops and artists which is a typical representation of the culture and history of Savannah. I went there in the evening from 6pm to 7:30pm, there aren’t a lot of visitors because it’s evening I think. When I came into the street, I saw some street artists playing guitar and singing, some people stood around them watching their performance. I kept go ahead and there’s some gift shops, I went into two of them, noticed that the things they sell are all about Savannah culture, such as they have T-shirts that has logos and local scenery images printed on; accessories that represent Savannah history and also books that introduce the city. After that I saw a street artist drawing portrait for her customer. She told me that she is also a SCAD student and she loves drawing and painting, so she came here just for hobby. She also told me there’ll be more drawers during day time so the art atmosphere here is really good. During the tour, I also saw some other cultural things such as the city map, the ship museum and the public sculptures. There were people stopped everywhere enjoying their tour so I think the river street plays an important role advertising the city. 21
  • Research Participation SCAD Museum Place: SCAD Museum Time: 6:00pm The SCAD Museum is free open to SCAD students and professors but they charge for public because they need money to run the museum. Every month they have a few new exhibitions, some exhibitions just keep a few days but some will last for several months. When I went there, there are four exhibitions at the same time. However there’s only a few visitors so I just talked with the tour guide and the manager. One tour guide told me that there will be more visitors during Monday to Friday, and they collect artworks from artists all over the world, in this way they help the artist to broadcast their works and also impact the public in Savannah. After visit, I talked with the manager Mr. McGee, he told me that the majority of the visitors is the tourists, not SCAD students, which really made me surprised. He said that there are tourists come in all the year round especially during the tour season. They come from all over the world and SCAD Museum is one of their visit choices in Savannah. In this way the museum and SCAD got broader known and the Museum also influent a wide group of people about their interest in art. 22
  • Research Participation Grease Sing-a-long Place: Arnold Hall Time: 8:00pm We chose to participate in a SCAD Performing Arts event,Grease Sing-a-long, in order to see how the local community view the creative class. This particular event was a chance for many community members to see an event organized by SCAD. The free event was an open to the public and encouraged participation in the way of costumes and singing along on large musical numbers. While most of those in attendance were students or others with ties to SCAD, there were a handful of locals in attendance to see the event. The event was held at a SCAD building, Arnold Hall, in their auditorium. The seats were filled at a steady pace with a few stragglers entering throughout the performance. Those in attendance were asked to turn off all electronics during the performance in order to not cause any disruptions. The tone of the event was extremely upbeat and was very focused on getting those in attendance to participate in the large sing-a-long numbers. While many were hesitant, most of the crowd ended up participating. From this experience it was apparent that SCAD tries to involve the local community through events such as the sing-a-long, and many of the community members are grateful for the performances 23
  • Research Video Ethnography Savannah Irish Festival Place: Savannah Civic Center Time: 1:00pm We decided to go to the Savannah Civic Center to record video the Savannah Irish Festival. We came for the second day of the festival, Saturday, and filmed for about an hour and fifteen minutes at around 2pm. The camera was set in the upper seating area of the center which was otherwise mostly empty. The entire festival area was within the camera’s frame from here. The festival itself was divided in to four main section. On the north and south sections of the arena are the retail areas with specialty goods as well as generic “Irish” goods. In the middle of the floor are two stages and a seating area for music and dance performances. To the East side of the theater are the food booths where “Irish” food like fish and chips as well as nachos and hot dogs can be bought. From the video that we recorded we were able to analyze traffic patterns and flow to see how the crowds perceived and interacted with the space and the arts, in the form of dance and music, as well as more traditional fine arts for sale in the various retail booths. 24
  • Research Video Ethnography City Council Workshop Meeting Place: City Hall (remotely) Time: 3:00pm I observed the City Council Workshop via Online live broadcast. Although I was watching it virtually, I used the POEMS Framework to collect data. The main topic up for discussion was the Coastal Workforce Series, and how to improve Savannah’s job market and training services. The mayor made many recommendations including suggesting they focus on training people to work in the warehouses. Other observations was the distracting noises like the constant shuffling of paper and people having side conversations. This made it hard to pay attention to the person presenting. During the break, council members got up and talked to various people around the room. The Mayor is very opinionated and offers suggestions for everything. Other council members would chime in as well, but the Mayor was the primary speaker. 25
  • Research Card Sorting Macro Economic Drivers Card sorting is a method we used in the research process to help us to understand how people associate and participate in the topic of the relationship between government and the creative class and to understand their attitude in both macro and micro fields. For the process we created Macro card categories representing economic drivers: 1.Hospitality/Tourism 2.Shipping 3.Military 4.Education 5.Art and Culture 6.Manufacturing 7.Standard Commerce. manufacturing Art+Culture Education Port Commerce Micro Art Communities Military Tourism And the micro categories represent the various sectors of the art culture: 1.Local based food providers 2.Film 3.Performance Arts (theater and dance) 4.Music 5.Graphic/Web Design 6.Industrial Design/Furniture Design 7.Fine Arts, (Painting Sculpture, Glass art) 8.Museums 9.Galleries 10.Fashion industry 11.Public Art (Murals and Installations) 12. Bike Culture Public Art DIY Graphic Design Local Food Galleries Bike Culture Music Museum Fashion Fine Arts Film Performance 26
  • Research Card Sorting After created these physical cards, we bring them to the interviews and let the interviewees to sort them in the way we introduced. For each interview we did four rounds of card sorting with the participants. First round is let the participants to rank macro categories cards based on how they think the government contributes to each category from the most to the least currently. Second round is to let them rank the macro categories cards in the way that they hope the government could deal with each one from the most important to the least. Third and fourth rounds are just about art in a micro scope. So for third round participants need to sort the cards of micro categories in the way that they think how the government deals with art industries from the most important to the least. Last round is to sort those cards by what is the rank they think the government should work on each one. 27
  • Research POEMS “POEMS” is a method to help us to understand and analyze the elements in a specific context. The “POEMS” represent People, Environment, Objects, Message and Service. During each interview, we observed these five elements in that setting and listed them in the form. In this way we could understand how these elements interact with each other and work as a whole system. When we went to a interview, for People, we wrote down the name of the interviewees and the interviewers, also if there’s someone else interact with the interview; for Environment, we described the settings where the interview happened, sometimes we drew a map to show the environment in a obvious view; for Objects, we wrote down the things we believe which is helpful for us to understand the interview topic, so if Environment is a scope of the whole system, the Objects is more detailed. For example in the film office interview we noticed that there were several film advertising posters pinned on the wall so this help us to keep in mind that we were doing an interview about film office. Message, is the key information we got from the interviewers or any objects, such as their answers to our questions or the text we could read from a screen. The Service is about people’s activities and how they provide information. All these five elements support our analysis of how were the information we got from the interview related to our policy topic. 28
  • Research 5 Human Factors The five human factors is about physical, cognitive, social, cultural and emotional elements of a person and how they influent his or her experience. By analyzing these data we could have a deep and comprehensive understanding of our interviewees so that we could know how their answers are related to our Government policy topic. As we did for POEMS, in each interview, we wrote down the five factors. For physical, we wrote down their behaviors and physical activities, this helped us to understand their emotions. For cognitive, it’s about their opinions of our interview questions, this let us know how they view the relationship between government and art directly. The social is about whom they interact with and how they interact with each other during daily life, in this way we’ll understand their background and why they had such opinions from a more comprehensive perspective. Cultural, is about the interviewers’ cultural background, some of them may have multiple cultural backgrounds and some may be simple; the cultural background has a deep influence on how they view the position of art in a society and what policies they believe the government should include for art industry. Last one is emotion, it’s about the interviewees’ inner feelings during the interview, which could reflect their attitude towards our questions. All of these five human factors work as a whole system to help us understand how were people involved in a system and how their attitudes were established under the influence of these elements. 29
  • Research Interviews Charisse Bennett Program Director, Creative Coast Eileen Baker Director, Department of Cultural Affairs Marquice Williams Co-Director, Spitfire Poetry Group The Creative Coast is a non-profit organization funded by the City of Savannah and SEDA. Creative Coast’s mission is to help innovative and creative individuals or businesses become successful in Savannah. They do this by offer consulting services, workshops, and various events. We chose Charisse Bennett as one of our expert interviewees because she has a pulse on both the community as well as the government. The Department of Cultural Affairs is part of Savannah’s City Government. The DCA’s goal is to enhance Savannah’s community through exposure to the arts. They host events throughout the year such as Pulse Art and Technology Festival, Black Heritage Festival, and the Savannah Music Festival. We chose to interview Eileen Baker who is the Director of the DCA because she is a government employee that is a strong advocate for the arts. We felt she could offer insight from the perspective of the government. Spitfire Poetry Group is a local organization that focuses on the performing arts, mainly spoken word poetry. They want to create a strong creative community in Savannah and hope to bring the respect that their artist deserve to their events. Spitfire creates a welcoming community through events like open mic nights, poetry workshops and the future Spoken Word Festival. Marquice Williams is the co-director of Spitfire Poetry Group and is a true creative. He lives and breathes the arts and uses Spitfire as a way to share that with the local community. *See appendix page 62 for transcript. *See appendix page 77 for transcript. *See appendix page 70 for transcript. 30
  • Research Interviews Tamara Friedrich Co-Founder/ Co-Director, A.C.E. Center Matt Habermehl Co-Founder, SeeSaw Jay Self Film Commissioner, Savannah Film Office Tamara co-founded the Center for the Advancement of Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ACE) about a year and half ago as part of SSU. She currently is a co-directer and is in charge of the center’s administration. The center focuses on three main missions: education programs for students and the community, research by the staff to further understand creativity and entrepreneurship, and practical help for students to start and build their own creative businesses. We interviewed Tamara in order to get insights into Savannah’s creative and business environment. We also wanted to understand what the city was lacking in order to grow and sustain the creative community. See Savannah Art Wall (SeeSaw) was founded in 2011 by Matt Hebermehl and Dr.Z. SeeSaw’s goal is to bring more murals and public art events to the City of Savannah. They have recently been working with the City to create the official mural policy. We chose to interview Matt because of his hands-on experience with policy in the City of Savannah, and especially because he is an independent artist that is part of the culture we are looking at. The city of Savannah Film Office was established in 1995, it provides a one- stop-shop for producers interested in filming in Savannah area. It includes permitting, location assistance and coordination. Moreover, the office is also trying very hard to connect producers with local talent people to provide as many opportunities as possible to help them showcase their talent. Also, through marketing, film office is attracting more and more film projects come to Savannah. Jay self is the Film Commissioner in Film Office. We chose to interview him because of his experience with film industry in Savannah, and the position he is in, which we consider will be very helpful for us to find our answer about creative class’s situation in Savannah and how existing policies influence them. *See appendix page 67 for transcript. *See appendix page 81 for transcript. *See appendix page 84 for transcript. 31
  • Analysis Insight #1 Connect The Dots There is a disconnect between the government and the creative community. The communication between the creative community and the government at this point needs to be improved so that they can see where one another is coming from. Opportunity There is an opportunity to: Develop a better system of communication that facilitates an open discourse between the government and the creative class. How might we: Create an online platform for both sides to exchange ideas or share the resources that they have. Plan an annual event for both parties to get together and exchange ideas and get to know each other Create an “AA” style recursive meet up group for government and creative’s. Create a position that acts as a liaison between the indie class and the government. Design Ideas • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Create a forum. Facebook ( Existing Platforms, Google Plus, Tumblr, Twitter, Blogs: Wordpress,). Creative Coast manages a Facebook group that exchange events, ideas, and latest happenings solely based on creative class issues, government related topics. Creative community oriented city council meeting. Government officials get to plan a gallery event. Activity Days. Open Fun House Gala/ Annual Ball Meet up monthly/ bi-monthly Informal–> Government sparked movie nights Cork and canvas Attend all art meet up groups. Attend all city council meetings. Keep a pulse on creative class. Keep pulse on the government. Spokesman, advocate for creative class sponsored by different creative organizations. 32
  • Analysis Insight #1 There is a disconnect between the government and the creative community. I think Savannah needs a facilitator to help the creative class. “The city needs an ombudsmen that would act as a liaison between the community and the city. [Someone] that understands both sides of the picture.” Charisse Bennett, Creative Coast “We really like to see our role as being the facilitators of those sorts of things.” Eileen Baker, “I want to see more facilitation for the creative within the city.” Marquice Williams, Photo of Eileen Baker from her interview. Photo of Marquice Williams from open mic night. Spitfire Poetry Group Department of Cultural Affairs Photo of our interviewee, Charisse Bennett. 33
  • Analysis Insight #1 There is a disconnect between the government and the creative community. I facilitate the relationships between the community and the government. “We have to treat everyone the same.” Jay Self, Savannah Film office Photo from an interview with Jay Self. 34
  • Analysis Insight #1 There is a disconnect between the government and the creative community. I do philanthropic things based on what the community wants. “We provide public area not only for big produce companies but also for student films, short movies, photographers and advertising makers.” Jay Self, “We try not to compete with our non-profits.” Eileen Baker, Department of Cultural Affairs Savannah Film office This is a shot from the set of “CBGB” that was filmed in the streets of Savannah. 35
  • Analysis Insight #2 Bridge The Gap There needs to be a stronger relationship between the community and the arts. It’s not just about government and creative class but also there is a need for the general community to be involved in the arts. Opportunity There is an opportunity to: Develop specific programs that allow the community to interact directly with the local artist. How might we: Bring artwork to the public space. Create a program that gets kids involved. Create free events that are dispersed throughout the community and are relevant to those people. Design Ideas • Pop up art truck. • Drives to difficult parts of the community. • Interactive art projects on wheels. • Gallery on wheels. • Local artist is paired with a student. • Workshop in art class that comes in and teaches class. • Traveling mural. • Community involved in painting mural on truck and truck drives around. • Individual panels that can then be hung on buildings. Two children enjoying an interactive art installation at the Telfair Museum during the Pulse Art Festival. 36
  • Analysis Insight #2 There needs to be a stronger relationship between the community and the arts. I believe creative events are a great way to support the community. We also produce programs like classes, workshops, that sort of thing.” Eileen Baker, Department of Cultural Affairs Pulse Art Technology was hosted funded by the Department of Cultural Affairs, free to the public, and had a huge turnout. 37
  • Analysis Insight #2 There needs to be a stronger relationship between the community and the arts. I want to expose people to the benefits of the creative community. “The mural policy that we have been working on since 2011 finally got approved last month.” Matt Hebermehl, SeeSaw Photo of Matt Hebermehl and Dr. Z, who founded See Savannah Art Wall(SeeSAW), whose goal is to bring more murals to the landscape of Savannah. 38
  • Analysis Insight #2 There needs to be a stronger relationship between the community and the arts. I want everyone to become part of the creative community. “We’re just trying to pull more and more people into our community.” Marquice Williams, Spitfire Poetry Group Marquice Williams is the co-director of the Spitfire Poetry Group and host events open to the public in order to expose the arts to the local community. 39
  • Analysis Insight #3 Build For Everyone Savannah needs more physical space for the arts that everyone has equal access to. There is a lack of venues that are available to the artists and accessible to the community. Opportunity There is an opportunity to: Design Ideas • Create a design workshop between the creative class and the DCA that’s centered on the venue’s facilities/ events. • Creative community provides teachers to lead programs at the venue. • Opening private spaces (Schools, churches, hotels, etc…) to host events. Have the creative class collaborate with the DCA in designing of the community arts center. • Use empty lots to provide space for events. • Incorporate the port as a space for festivals. Use existing spaces during off hours for the arts. • Use spaces to promote both the arts and celebrate the people hosting the event. (Festival at the port that celebrates the economic driver that is the shipping industry in Savannah.) • Create new space specifically designated to the arts. • Pop up art venues (Possibly mobile). • Block parties that are hosted by the creative class to encourage the arts in families. Create venues that are accessible to all ages and all mediums of art. Creative venues that can handle technology, or specific requirements–> flexible venues. How might we: Facilitate the creation of new venues throughout Savannah. 40
  • Analysis Insight #3 Savannah needs more physical space for the arts that everyone has equal access to. I want to build a space where the community can participate and view creative events. “We have put an RFP out to build a cultural center so it’s going to happen so I think that is great. We have concentrated in fine crafts and a new building will be wonderful for that.” Eileen Baker, “One of our main projects.... is developing out a bigger community space to get more people together on more projects. Community kitchen and stuff like that really focusing as much energy as possible into one location to get groups working together. But we will see.” Charisse Bennett, Creative Coast Department of Cultural Affairs This is a map of where the Cultural Center will be built within downtown Savannah. The pink star represents the build site. 41
  • Analysis Insight #3 Savannah needs more physical space for the arts that everyone has equal access to. I think people should have easy access to information. “A lot of times people think the city doesn’t do anything about a problem but they may not know they are working on it or that it has already been reported. So that information is important to be available to the community important to make that positive connection between the city and the citizens.” Charisse Bennett, “There are certain things you could do to show our city is open.” Jay Self, Savannah Film Office Creative Coast The Creative Coast is working with the city on providing open source data for the community as well as expanding its Wifi offerings. 42
  • Analysis Insight #3 Savannah needs more physical space for the arts that everyone has equal access to. I want the arts to be accessible to everyone. “We want to make sure that access to the arts is available to everyone regardless of socio-economic condition [or] educational attainment.” Eileen Baker, Department of Cultural Affairs The Pulse Art and Technology Festival and the Savannah Book Festival are two example of events hosted by the city of Savannah that are free to the public. 43
  • Analysis Insight #3 Savannah needs more physical space for the arts that everyone has equal access to. I see a need for more creative venues in Savannah. “Spitfire offers poetry workshops and open mics throughout the year.” Marquice Williams, Spitfire Poetry Group Muse Warehouse is an example of a space that artist can rent out for events. Spitfire host many of their open mic nights there. 44
  • Analysis Insight #4 Recognize Creative Value The Government doesn’t understand the value of the creative class as the economic driver they are. The creative community feels that the government underestimates their ability to contribute to the local economy. Opportunity There is an opportunity to: Educate the government about the economic contributions that the creative class can offer. How might we: Create a better discourse between the creative class and the government. Better educate the government about the arts. Design Ideas • Creative spokesperson holds a position on city council. • Create informal events (Bar hop, gallery hop) that the creative class and government can do together. • Require government employees to take a creative class training session every year. • Create a small yearly allowance for government employees to take art enrichment classes every year. • Mayor is required to submit an original work of art for the front of city hall every year. 45
  • Analysis Insight #4 The Government doesn’t understand the value of the creative class as the economic driver they are. I don’t believe the government values creativity. “I think people in the government, have a really difficult time understanding the creative culture or the indie culture or any of that stuff they haven’t has enough experience with it to understand it a lot of times they see it as a waste of times. But then the people that are a part of that culture obviously really get it and value it and try so hard to get people to understand it to but they are not sure how to get the message across. It is a miscommunication.” Charisse Bennett, The Creative Coast Alliance This street performer struggles between doing what he loves and making a good living. There are not many venues or job opportunities for his style of music. 46
  • Analysis Insight #4 The Government doesn’t understand the value of the creative class as the economic driver they are. I believe Savannah doesn’t recognize the value of non-traditional art forms. “ We painted for three days and did this piece and then three days later it got painted over. We found out it was the city that painted it over” Matt Habermehl, “ If you want a lot of types of artist to come, you have to have something that goes for every artist, and that’s not right that you can sing about but not write a poem about it.” Marquice Williams, Spitfire Poetry Group SeeSaw This is the “Before I Die” mural that was on Waters Ave., but was removed because of conflicting view within the neighborhood on what’s appropriate. Because of this mural the city council decided to closely examine mural policy. 47
  • Analysis Insight #4 The Government doesn’t understand the value of the creative class as the economic driver they are. To get a measure passed I have to get approval from city council. 1/26/2011 “ I was trying to “ We don’t make avoid telling them the the final decision reality of the situation on this, our maybecause it was going to take a while to get or and city council does.” approved because it was all based on Eileen Baker, [government] meetDepartment of ings.” Cultural Affairs Matt Habermehl, Savannah- Chatham County Historic Site and Monument Commission PART II: Final Design and Funding- Monument and Public Art Application Guidelines and Criteria for Evaluation The Savannah-Chatham County Historic Site and Monument Commission reviews all monuments and public art on public property, and all monuments and public art on private property, if visible from a public right-of-way in any local historic district. Refer to the Markers, Monuments, and Public Art Master Plan and Guidelines for the City of Savannah available at www.thempc.org or the Metropolitan Planning Commission (110 East State Street) for a more information. Design:                    Monuments should not be fabricated prior to approval. Monuments should be considered permanent and designed accordingly. Public art should generally be considered permanent and be designed accordingly, except in special situations which will be evaluated on an individual basis. Murals should not be installed on historic buildings without historical precedent. Monuments and public art should be designed and constructed of materials suitable for outdoor display. All proposed materials should have performed satisfactorily in the local climate for a period of time long enough to assure permanence. Future maintenance and conservation requirements should be considered. Monuments and public art should be designed to be reasonably resistant to vandalism. Monuments and public art should be designed so as not to pose a danger to the curious public, such as the use of sharp objects or loose parts. Monument and public art design should include landscaping, paving, seating, drainage, lighting, fencing, or other protective measures which may be considered necessary. Monuments and public art should be of superior quality and craftsmanship. Monuments should not resemble gravestones. A monument should be of original design, and public art should be an original work of art (one of a kind) or reproduced in editions of less than 200. Monuments and public art should not replicate an original monument or work of art. Monuments and public art should be designed to complement and enhance the site in which it is located. It should not compete with, dominate or encroach upon existing monuments, public art, or buildings. Monuments and public art should be respectful of the architectural, historical, geographical, and social/cultural context of the site. Monuments and public art should be compatible in scale, materials, and form with its context. Context includes the buildings, monuments, public art, landscaping and open space to which the monument or public art is visually related. The format of the monument should effectively convey the message of the monument to the public. Donor names and monument sponsors may be incorporated into the design (such as inscribed on bricks or on a separate plaque) but should be discreet and not detract from or dominate the monument or artwork. The artist’s name may be incorporated into the design but should be in a discreet location on the work of art The designer and/or fabricator (for a monument) and the artist (for public art) should have 110 EAST STATE STREET, P.O. BOX 8246, SAVANNAH GEORGIA 31412-8246 PHONE 912-651-1440 SeeSaw The current mural policy requires you to go meet a number of requirements and standards before you can gain approval, pictured left is a FACSIMILE 912-651-1480 small piece of mural policy. 48
  • Analysis Insight #5 Doing The Best They Can The government views itself as a neutral entity that is doing its part in helping the creative class. There are existing departments in the government that recognize the arts as being important to the community and feel like they are doing their part to help, however they believe as the government they must treat all parties fairly and not put undue emphasis on one particular group. Opportunity There is an opportunity to: Expand their knowledge and understanding of the creative class to make sure that they continuously fund programs or events that are reflective of the creative community. How might we: Develop an online platform to keep the government informed of the latest trends in the arts. Utilize the Creative Coast as an information exchange. Create more departments that target more specific categories of the arts. Design Ideas • Create a Facebook/ Pinterest page that shows current trends in the arts in Savannah. • Have a person designated to oversee online activity (make sure people are using it) • Redesign the government website so it displays key information in a user friendly way. • Pull out key information from government meetings to display to the creative class. • The creative class has a way to show city council what they are currently working on. • Design a survey or questionnaire that goes out to the community and provides insights to what arts need more support. • DCA and creative coast host a workshop with specific members from the arts community to brainstorm potential room for improvement. 49
  • Analysis Insight #5 The government views itself as a neutral entity that is doing its part in helping the creative class. I think the government is trying to recognize the importance of the creative class. “ I think they are in growth point. And I think they are at a changing point. I have been in this position for 17 years so when I came art was considered the impressionism, the classical music, and those standard things. But I think as younger people move into the community, new ideas are coming and they are becoming more in the mainstream. And that’s how I see it is changing. I think it is the acceptance of the broader definition of the arts. I’m not saying we are there 100 percent but I do see strides.” Eileen Baker, Department of Cultural Affairs The recent Pulse Technology and Art Festival was centered around community oriented games, which included a 3d Pacman room and a games and social media room. This is reflective of a growing interest in gaming and social media within young people. 50
  • Analysis Insight #5 The government views itself as a neutral entity that is doing its part in helping the creative class. I see the government as a neutral facilitator. “ They decide based on the merits of does it follow the standards of what a mural should or shouldn’t do and they have been pretty fair.” Matt Habermehl, SeeSaw Once the mural design has been accepted by a neighborhood and has gone through the proper channels it gets a certificate of authorization, pictured left is an approval letter on a wall that host a mural. 51
  • Analysis Insight #5 The government views itself as a neutral entity that is doing its part in helping the creative class. I believe there are a lot of events happening in Savannah. “The department of cultural affairs is sponsor 1200 events in 2013” Eileen Baker, Department of Cultural Affairs The Irish Festival that occurred in February showcased traditional Irish dancing and food. This is one of the many example of cultural events that the city puts on. The Department of Cultural Affairs has a gallery in their office which host a variety of shows. This is just one example of their many sponsored projects “ Sometimes I am overwhelmed with how many things are going on in the city, just this weekend there is a Irish Festival. There is the Book Festival, there is some lecture happening at the convention center with some guru guy…” Charrise Bennett, Creative Coast 52
  • Analysis Insight #5 The government views itself as a neutral entity that is doing its part in helping the creative class. I have departments that support the creative class. “ We try to make “ Early on I came into this group and a harmonious relationship be- got the sense that creativity and entween th protrepreneurship were ducers, film makers and the something that’s very publics and try important to the leadto balance their ers of the town, that Savannah was sort benefits.” Jay self, of on the upswing of Savannah Film Office being more creative.” Tamara Friedrich, This is a shot from a Savannah magazine article covering the local film industry and shows how these people make a living within this industry while living in Savannah ACE Center 53
  • Analysis Insight #6 Bring Better Business Professional Creative jobs will help to bring more creative people to Savannah and keep them here. There are not many professional jobs for the creative class in Savannah, therefore SCAD students leave after graduation, professionals don’t move here because there are no jobs, and companies don’t move here because there are no professionals. Opportunity Design Ideas There is an opportunity to: Create scenarios or incentives that attract more creative professionals to Savannah and encourage them to stay. • Develop a campaign to bring more attention to the arts in order to gain funding for local business. • Pair the DCA with the Savannah Tourism Department to bring more people to Savannah that’s geared around the arts. How might we: • Lower tuition to local students. • SCAD gives students compensation for staying in Savannah a minimum of three years after graduation and contributing to the professional creative class. • Create a competition between different schools nationally to draw people’s attention to Savannah, hosted by the DCA, SCAD, IDSA. • Offer school credits or academic credits by going to workshops hosted by the DCA. Encourage the government to provide incentives to companies. Get schools to provide incentives to students who stay in Savannah after graduation. Encourage locals to develop a creative trade. 54
  • Analysis Insight #6 The government views itself as a neutral entity that is doing its part in helping the creative class. There are not a lot of job opportunities for me in Savannah. “There are not professional level jobs in Savannah. There are lawyers and doctors but no creative professional jobs. So everybody leaves.” Charrise Bennett, Creative Coast The art, media, and design job offerings are few and far between as demonstrated by Craigslist postings in Savannah. SCAD Graduation 2012 “Things that SCAD, trains your for, Savannah may not have what’s true for you to stay.” Eileen Baker, Department of Cultural Affairs “I don’t know if we can consider ourselves a creative town if we have this creative pipeline that heads out of town.” Tamara Friedrich, ACE Center 55
  • Analysis Insight #6 The government views itself as a neutral entity that is doing its part in helping the creative class. I see a lot of potential for a local business to grow in Savannah. “SCAD has a great opportunity to tap into local business.” Fast Company How Savannah has transformed into the business bell of the south 2012 Places like ThincSavannah, which is a co-working facility located downtown, offer new platforms for small local businesses to grow and collaborate. 56
  • Analysis Insight #6 The government views itself as a neutral entity that is doing its part in helping the creative class. I believe we need better work force training. Mayor recommends some improvements to programs, “ We are a community with a lot of warehousing. There are jobs within warehousing ..are we asking them to train for some jobs in that?” Mayor Edna Jackson City Council Meeting During a recent city council meeting, workforce training was a major focus, as well as how to develop better training programs in Savannah. 57
  • Analysis Insight #7 History As A Hindrance The historic nature of Savannah’s downtown has an adverse impact on the creative class. There are factors at play that make it hard for the creative community to find space, throw events, or display their work in the historic neighborhoods of downtown Savannah. Opportunity There is an opportunity to: Work with the local government and tourism board to design the creative community into the downtown area. How might we: Shift the focus of tourism to incorporate the arts into its repertoire. Work with the historical preservation committee to aid in developing spaces that are retrofitted to host artistic events Design Ideas • Create a workshop that brings the tourism board together with galleries and shop owners in order to brainstorm how they can create a tour that incorporates the local art scene. • Have a tourist shop that shows local art. • Have a habitat for humanity group composed of both construction workers and local creatives that works to renovate buildings within the historic district. • Develop a mobile gallery kit that can fit into any kind of building, whether they are renovated or not. 58
  • Analysis Insight #7 How the historic nature of Savannah’s downtown has an adverse impact on the creative class. I recognize tourisms large role in Savannah. “Savannah focuses a lot of resources on the Port and Tourism.” Tamara, ACE Center River street is a prime example of how strong the tourism industry is in Savannah. The local shops geared towards tourism fail to represent the local community crafts. “One of our weaknesses is our dependence on tourism. You see that everywhere you go downtown. The city relies way too much on tourism and it actually makes it hard for people to live here. And the other weakness is the workforce. We don’t have the skilled workforce for the area.” Charisse Bennett, Creative Coast 59
  • Analysis Insight #7 How the historic nature of Savannah’s downtown has an adverse impact on the creative class. I believe the historic nature of Savannah’s downtown hinders artistic freedom. “There are challenges with going into a historic building and having the right set up.” Eileen Baker, Department of Cultural Affairs “It’s hard with the landmark district. You have to stay in line with how they do things already.” Matt Hebernal, SeeSaw While one of Savannah’s main draws is it’s history, maintaining this image brings many restrictions to locals who wish to utilize the historic spaces. 60
  • Analysis Opportunity Map The Opportunity Map showcases seven of our main design ideas that we came up with based on our opportunities. We chose to use tangrams to symbolize the various pieces that make up the bigger picture. The seven design ideas that we highlighted are: 1. Plan an annual event that will connect the government with the creative class, such as an activity day. 2. Create free event that will bridge the gap between the creative class with the rest of the community, such as a traveling mural painting event using a shipping crate that can go to different parts of the city. 3. Facilitate new venues that are accessible to all members of the community such as a pop up block parties that will be rooted in teaching creative activities families can do together. 4. Educate the government to help them recognize creative value in the creative class by incorporating creative-based training or workshops into their job requirements. 5. Develop an online platform that will expand the knowledge of the government like a facebook or pinterest page highlighting current events. 6. Encourage the government to bring better businesses to the city by pairing the DCA with the Savannah Tourism Department to craft a series of tours that emphasize the local creative contributers. 7. The creative culture works with the Historical Preservation Committee to form a Habitat for Humanity like program that pairs artists with construction works to retrofit historical buildings. Policy group SCOPE: To create a thriving creative class in Savannah, we will examine policy through the lens of both government and non-government actors in order to make a positive change. Description: The communication between the creative community and the government at this point needs to be improved so that they can see where one another is coming from. Develop a better system of Communication that facilitates an open discourse between the government and the creative class. Design Ideas: Description: It’s not just about government and creative class but also there is a need for the general community to be involved in the arts. Develop specific programs that allow the community to Interact directly with the local artist. Design Ideas: Plan an annual event: CONNECT THE DOTS Creative community oriented city council meeting | Government officials get to plan a gallery event Day of activities. | Activity Days Open Fun House | Gala/ Annual Ball Create free events: Community involved in painting a mural on the side of a truck, and the truck drives around the communtiy. Individual panels that can then be hung on buildings. BRIDGE THE GAP Traveling mural. Description: There is a lack of venues that are available to the artists and accessible to the community. Create venues that are Accessible to all ages and all mediums of art. Creative venues that can handle technology, or specific requirements flexible venues. Design Ideas: Facilitate New Venues: Description: The creative community feels that the government underestimates their ability to contribute to the local economy. Educate the government about the economic contributions that the creative class can offer. Design Ideas: Create new space specifically designated to the arts. Pop up art venues that could possibly be mobile. BUILD FOR EVERYONE Block parties that are hosted by the creative class to encourage the arts in families. Educate the government: Require government employees to take a creative class training session every year. Create a small yearly allowance for government employees to take art enrichment classes every year. The mayor is required to submit an original work of art for the front of city hall every year. Description: There are existing departments in the government that recognize the arts as being important to the community and feel like they are doing their part to help, however they believe as the government they must treat all parties fairly and not put undue emphasis on one particular group. RECOGNIZE CREATIVE VALUE Expand the Government’s knowledge and understanding of the creative class to make sure that they continuously fund programs or events that are reflective of the creative community. Design Ideas: Develop an online platform: Create a facebook/ pintrest page that shows current trends in the arts in Savannah. DOING THE BEST THEY CAN Have a person designated to oversee online activity (make sure people are using it) Description: There are not many professional jobs for the creative class in Savannah, therefore SCAD students leave after graduation, professionals don’t move here because there are no jobs, and companies don’t move here because there are no professionals. Create scenarios or Incentives that attract more creative professionals to Savannah and encourage them to stay. Design Ideas: Encourage the government: Develop a campaign to bring more attention to the arts in order to gain funding for local business. Description: There are factors at play that make it hard for the creative community to find space, throw events, or display their work in the historic neighborhoods of downtown Savannah. BRING BETTER BUSINESSES Pair the DCA with the Savannah Tourism Department to bring more people to Savannah that’s geared around the arts. Work with the local government and tourism board to Design the creative community into the downtown area. Design Ideas: Work with HPC: Have a habitat for humanity like group composed of both construction workers specialized in historical preservation and local creatives that works to renovate buildings within the historic district. Develop mobile gallery kit that can fit into any kind of building, whether they are renovated or not. HISTORY AS A HINDRANCE Methods of Contextual Research | Professor Sara Jo Johnson | Policy Group: Virginia Honig | Mike Denman | Nathan Hollrith | Zelong Meng | Bingjie Qiu 61
  • Thank You 62
  • Appendix Transcript; Charisse Bennett, Program Director, Creative Coast Date: February 15, 2013 Time: 10:00 AM Interviewer(s): Virginia & Zelong Q: What does the Creative Coast do and when did it start? A: It started as something which was c-beta or coastal beta in Atlanta then some people in Savannah so they wanted to start it here. I think in 1994 it became the creative coast alliance and eventual it was run by SEDA in SEDA as the cc and then in 2010 is when Jake came on board and helped them transition it out of SEDA to be its free standing and in this physical location. We also scaled down. There were 7-8 employees and they did a lot of events, so breaking free of that the cc focusing mostly on 1-1 consulting and trying to network and help people make those connections with people in the city to who they need to connect with whatever business they are doing we also do programs and events that focus on that. Our biggest event now coming up is Fast Pitch competition. Applications are due on Monday so then we will sort through those and select 25-30 people to compete in that. And that in itself is a really good experience and it gives people an opportunity to show their great ideas or business to local investors at least to get some really good feedback. Might not get a whole lot of money but you will make those connections to help you in the future. So we focus on that. Understanding how to connect the people. An individual can’t do everything themselves. Learning how to leverage the resources from the city we really focus on that Q: What is Fast Pitch looking for? A: Not all tech ideas we like to keep a broad variety as far as the possibilities of the ideas because that makes it more interesting as a whole. As long as language is compelling and idea is compelling and you can tell the passion is there..Those are the ones we are looking for. That could be anything. We have had everything from advertising food related products to mobile food carts. You just have to have that passion. Q: What is your role and what are your responsibilities? A: My normal role is program director meaning I organize and manage all the events we have going on which include website, communications, and scheduling meetings. With Jake gone I am acting as interim director but thankfully the board is stepping up and i don;t have to take on all of that responsibility. I like to focus on the programs and events and less on the publicity and all of that..The politic part. That is a important part of any public organization. Q: What is Creative Coast’s connection with the City of Savannah? A: The city of Savannah is one of our partial funders and we get money from SEDA and thats our main relationship, but we do partner with them on projects and we are trying to partner with them on an IT project now to help them start an open data program for the city. We are just starting that process but we hope its really good connection back to the city. We are not just taking their money and not giving them anything back. We want to be a very mutual partnership that see benefit directly to them as well. We have one main person we communicate with he is kind of our liaison. We also have a board member who is part of the city so i feel like we have really good connections to the city. We are defiantly influential on the creative community that is here. I feel like we are strongly connected that way. 63
  • Appendix Transcript; Charisse Bennett, Program Director, Creative Coast There is a whole other group of people that know our website and use our website and that is all they really know and they don’t even we have a physical office it seems. So it is kind of weird of who actually knows of us and who values our services. Q: Explain a little about those services and how it works. Can anyone walk it or is it by appointments? A: Pretty much open door policy as long as we are not meeting with somebody feel free to walk in, ask a question people do that all the time. We also try to maintain Wednesday which is open office ours. Stop in chit chat. Anyone can stop by ask random questions. Some people just really need to chit chat. Just work through whatever it is they are contemplating. Sometimes we feel like therapist but it works. The main service we have on the website are the jobs board and people defiantly use that and a lot of people just know us as that so they assume we can find people jobs. We can’t really just find pp jobs. If you know where you want to work we can try to see if we know p there and make connection that way but we can’t just find people jobs. Q: What are some of the creative industries you see come in here a lot? A: Definitely graphic design and illustration. Those people not sure how to get a job or where to get a job, or like if they should try to do it on their own. Also we have had a lot more people of the sustainability focus they are interested in sustainability consulting anything along those lines, which is really touch now in Savannah. I don’t’ think a lot of companies understand the need or benefit of having someone along those lines and there is not a lot of jobs in that area here. We see a lot of that. Sometimes we see older people that aren’t quite sure how to…they are without a job for whatever reason and they are not sure how to navigate it because everything is so different from the last time they were looking for a job. Getting people to understand that most applications are Online and its digital so most times we help people figure out how to use the computer even. Google your name and see what comes up because it might not be what you want people to see. Be aware of that. Q: How do you feel the Savannah government views the Creative community, i.e. the indie culture? A: I think people in the govt. have a really difficult time understanding the creative culture or the indie culture or any of that stuff. They haven’t has enough experience with it to understand it a lot of times they see it as a waste of time, but then the people that are a part of that culture obviously really get it and value it and try so hard to get people to understand it to but they are not sure how to get the message across. It is a miscommunication. Q: Do you feel that is related to monetary reasons or cultural biases? A: Personally I think it is a cultural and educational lack that we have in our education system. If you go to some European countries where arts and culture are important they are taught at an early age that it is important. Its not taught in our county in general. Q: What are some events that happen in Savannah that you think are great and important? A: Savannah bicycle campaign that does the midnight garden ride. Last year we had 600 pp on bicycles through the street all downtown through Daffin park and back. Its an amazing experience. Its also amazing we stop traffic. Also any of the music events there are so many music events. 64
  • Appendix Transcript; Charisse Bennett, Program Director, Creative Coast Some are more expensive and less appealing to younger generations because they are expensive. And any thing in Forsyth park. Anything that happens there I love. And there is the Savannah music festival, and that is a lot of old white people cause the tickets are expensive and the music is geared towards the older crowd too. Q: Where do you feel Savannah is as a cultural hub? A: I think compared to the size that we are, we have a lot of cultural activities. A lot. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with how many things are going on in the city. Just this weekend there is the Irish Festival, there is the book festival, there is some lecture happening at the convention center with some guru guy. The farmers market is on Saturday, and all the music festivals you have film. There are 3 film festivals or more. There are tons. I would say compared to others, there is a lot of culture here. You have to be interested in doing it. Q: What are Savannah’s strengths and What are the weaknesses? A: I asked Jake about this one and his opinion is that the port itself and the logistics involved with the port and other businesses related to that are def. One of our strengths as well as the aviation that is going on like Gulfstream. And i don’t’ know if people in Savannah know this but we have a ton of warehouses, so like home depots primary warehouse is here. JC Penny and Ikea’s major warehouses are here. Items come in they are warehoused here and then dispersed to the Southeast. It’s all out by the port and the airport so you wouldn’t run in to it. One of our weakness is our dependence on tourism. You see that everywhere you go downtown. The city relies way to much on tourism and it actually makes it hard for people to live here. And the other weakness is the workforce. We don’t have the skilled workforce for the area like Gulfstream has to bring in those jobs. Q: Do you feel like they cover a wide variety? Do they bring in a lot of different kinds of people or the same crowd? A: I would say sometime the diversity is lacking. But it is also a diverse mix of events available, but the crowd that attends isn’t always diverse. Here is the black heritage going on and I am pretty sure there are not a lot of white people going, and that is just the tradition in Savannah, Q: How many people that come in here are from Savannah? A: I don’t know that many people from Savannah come in here. Most people you see that are trying to start a business are not from here. They move here because it is beautiful. A lot of times it is had for people to stay. You have a lot of retirees here retiring to a beautiful place. Q: Why do you think scad students leave? A: There are not professional level jobs in Savannah. There are lawyers and doctors but no creative professional jobs. So everybody leaves. I have a job here and that worked out because of my involvement in the community. I got super involved. But if I were to go out right now looking for a job there might be like three I could look at. Not a lot of options. My boyfriend got a masters in architecture and there are no architecture jobs. He has to do something else. Q: Are there any policies in place that affect the Creative Coast good or bad? A: Not so much policy, but the systems in place can be cumbersome. Depending on what business you are starting. If you have alcohol involved its a nightmare. It stresses people out. So a successful coffee shop would like to open a second one but knowing how much a nightmare it is so they don’t do it. 65
  • Appendix Transcript; Charisse Bennett, Program Director, Creative Coast That is our big issue in encouraging people to start a business is that the process is so hard. And sometimes the customer service from the city employ es that have to help with that process are not very positive of helpful. They don’t care, they just shuffle you through they don’t even look at you or answer your questions. We hear a lot of that too. We are a 501c6 which is not 501c3. We are in the process of switching over so when people make donations to us it can be tax deductible. We have sent in all t but it takes the IRS a year to get to it. So we are waiting. At Christmas time people make donations but they can’t because it is not a tax deduction. So we are hoping to change that. It would help. Q: Do you generate money in other ways? A: We get sponsorships for events. Thankfully we have good relationships with sponsors and they will do the same each year. Georgia Power is always a main sponsor for Tedx each year and we get a lot of Inkind people that help with the filming and a lot of local businesses help too. The Jepson Center used to but they don’t do that anymore. Q: What is the relationship between Creative Coast and SCAD? A: I asked Jake about this one and his opinion is that the port itself and the logistics involved with the port and other businesses related to that are def. One of our strengths as well as the aviation that is going on like Gulfstream. And i don’t’ know if people in Savannah know this but we have a ton of warehouses, so like home depots primary warehouse is here. JC Penny and Ikea’s major warehouses are here. Items come in they are warehoused here and then dispersed to the Southeast. It’s all out by the port and the airport so you wouldn’t run in to it. One of our weakness is our dependence on tourism. You see that everywhere you go downtown. The city relies way to much on tourism and it actually makes it hard for people to live here. And the other weakness is the workforce. We don’t have the skilled workforce for the area like Gulfstream has to bring in those jobs. Q: How many people that come in here are from Savannah? A: We have board members that are involved with SCAD, deans and stuff, but the administrative level is not super involved. We have a good relationship with a lot of professors that send students here. But higher up not really. Q: Can you think of any policies that could help indie culture that could be added or changed? A: Yeah we’ve been talking the city needs an ombudsmen that would act as a liaison between the community and the city. That understand both sides of the picture and I think technically they are supposed to have one in place so we have been having conversations with them on how the Creative Coast can be a part of that or help with that. So thats something that could be very good. Also just exploring more wifi throughout the city is something we support and of course open data. Q: Can you talk about open data? A: All data that the city collects is free for the public to look at and all you have to do is fill out a form and of course know a little of what you are looking for, but you can get the info. Its just not readily available like other cities have. A lot cities have streamlined the whole thing so all of their data bases are digital and available for anyone who can create a web app to categorize the data in anyway that they want. So there are apps that can track 311 calls so that way you know if what you see has been addresses. 66
  • Appendix Transcript; Charisse Bennett, Program Director, Creative Coast A lot of times people think the city doesn’t do anything about a problem, but they may not know they are working on it or that it has already been reported. So that information is important to be available to the community. Its important to make that positive connection between the city and the citizens. Q: Does the city agree with this? A: Yes its just they do not have the resources. Their it department is overwhelmed and its not in their budget. We are trying to help do a small project with them to see how that goes. Q: Where do you see the creative coast going in the future? A: Well once when we get a new executive director we can layout some new goals. One of our main projects we are interested in is developing out a bigger community space to get more people together on more projects. Community kitchen and stuff like that. Really focusing as much energy as possible into one location to get groups working together. But we will see. Q: Who do you talk to present these ideas? A: It depends. Jake had a really good relationship between the past city managers, so they would talk to us or we would go to them. The cities job is to be there for the community so we can technically ask anyone in the city a question but we have our main person we go through so sometimes that makes the connection easier or go faster. So knowing what you want ahead of time. 67
  • Appendix Transcript; Tamara Friedrich, Co-Founder And Co-Director A.C.E. Center Date: February 18, 2013 Time: 7:00 PM Interviewer(s): Nathan Q: Can you explain what your organization does? And how long have they been around? A: The ACE was founded in Oct. of 2011. Our main goals are to promote creativity and entrepreneurship on the Savannah State campus through academic, so we create classes, we try to add things to the curriculum that will promote creativity and entrepreneurship. So we started an entrepreneurship minor, we added several new classes including creativity in entr, social entr, we are added another new one for family business management, that sort of thing. So we promote creativity and entr through academic programs, that’s one leg of the organization. The other one is through research, so the faculty of the center engage in research on creativity and entr and we submit to conferences and journals and standard academic engagement activities. And the third leg of the organization is to promote actual entr through, with the students, faculty and staff. So we have resources in the center to help those people who want to start a business or have started a business improve it, so we have a library of materials, we have different programs on the computer that they can use, we have opportunities for them to showcase their business on campus, we try to convince them to participate in competitions like fast pitch and we support them in preparing their business plans and that sort of thing. So those are the three main initiatives, academic initiatives, business initiatives, and research initiatives. Q: What are your responsibilities in this organization ACE Center? A: As the director I am mostly responsible for a lot of the administrative duties, so preparing budgets, submitting grants, being the person that goes and makes contact with other organizations. I do a lot of the major planning of our big events, coordinating the subprojects of the big events, for instance, our creativity slam. You know, I do the high level planning and budgeting and then the associate directors do their components, fundraising, getting students, all the different sub projects. I’m sort of the administrative person. I have to submit reports, all of that good stuff, all the fun stuff. Q: In what way does your organization influence Savannah’s community? A: It’s through the students. A lot of them are local students, so we hope to give them the tools to be entr and hopefully keep them as you know investments of our time here in the community. So one problem that Sav has is that the great students that graduate from Sav State, SCAD, and Armstrong leave to go to Atlanta or other cities, so you know we hope to develop there entr and keep them here and develop the Sav community. But we offer our resources and plan to have workshops for people outside of Sav State so it’s not just our small community, we would like to help promote creativity in the broader community. We are also involved in community organizations like the creative coast, the SBA, score (?), we’ve done a little bit with them and the help us. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Mostly it’s through our students is our impact. Q: How do you think Savannah (government vs. people) views its creative community? A: I’ve always felt that Sav appreciates the unique contribution of the creative class, or the creative community makes. … I think the people value creativity and entr, they might not know exactly what they are valuing but 68
  • Appendix Transcript; Tamara Friedrich, Co-Founder And Co-Director A.C.E. Center they value the contributions of small business owners and that sort of thing… sometimes they can be very traditional and hesitant to change policies and laws in the area. Q: What are some of your favorite events that happen in Savannah? Why? A: There are there so many. I do really enjoy Fast Pitch. I was coach last year so as a coach I had three or four competitors do there pitch and I gave them feedback. On the day of I was there for all of the presentations. It was interesting to see all of the very very very very different ideas and at different level of implementation… It was really exciting to see a lot of creative and entr momentum in Sav, I think sometimes we don’t have the opportunity to see what’s bubbling under the surface. So that was interesting. Non creativity related, St. Patty’s is always fun. The concerts in Forsyth, I think anything that brings the community out and mixes them up is fun event. Q: If you could throw an event to be held in Savannah, what would it be? A: I would really like to scale up our creativity slam. It was so interesting to see just with three schools that participated, it would be so neat to bring like people from all different areas, and students, and people that were already practicing in different areas and have them solve a creative problem. I don’t know, I think that would be really inspiring and fun. But we could always use more concerts. Q: Compared to other cities how do you see Savannah as a cultural hub? A: I would put Sav above average. I wouldn’t say it’s up there with you know Austin, or Boston, or Portland, you know like the traditional creative towns, the creative hubs. I think, especially having SCAD makes it a sort of creative hub. You can’t say that Sav isn’t creative, we’ve got one of the best art schools. I think maybe outside of that, outside of the SCAD bubble we might not compete as much with the other creative cities. Especially because we have a hard time holding on to the SCAD students. You know they come here and leave so I don’t know if we can consider ourselves a creative town if we have this creative pipeline that heads out of town you know. I think that was one of the main goals of the creative coast. Sort of the creative brain drain. Q: What are Savannah’s economic strengths? What are Savannah’s economic weaknesses? A: It seems Sav has a strong a culture where they want to buy local and support their local businesses and their local community members and their local artists. As you walk around downtown there is definitely an appreciation for people that are on their own. They are the local mom and pop shops. It might just be a function of Sav being so small that there are not a lot of big box stores you know. The smaller stores are sometimes easier access, but I think there is a culture of local businesses that I think are helpful to entr here. Economic weaknesses might be, there’s obviously income disparities in major sections of the local demographic that are not doing so well. So that’s a disadvantage to any city. But entr can be a way to raise them up. Q: What do you think is the most developed industry in Savannah? A: Probably anything with the ports, logistics. Or port. I shouldn’t say ports. Tourism. A lot of big companies have their distribution centers here. Anything along the hubs of a logistics chain. And the tourism for sure. Q: What do you think attracts people to live in Savannah? 69
  • Appendix Transcript; Tamara Friedrich, Co-Founder And Co-Director A.C.E. Center A: I think the history and the culture. The friendliness of the town. I mean it’s definitely a welcoming community. I think there are a lot of transplants here so people are just used to the idea of locals and non-locals. I think it’s a very rich city in heritage and ideas and things to do. It’s a good place to live. And there is a diversity of things to do. Regardless of what you’re interested in there is the beach community, there’s sporting events, there is things to do. Q: Why do you think so many SCAD students leave Savannah after graduating? A: I think because there’s not a lot of big companies and there’s not a lot of, like we have a lot of small business but not a lot of businesses that are big enough that need you know someone with a specialized artistic skill. If you’re a business of 5 to 10 people you don’t need a designer you know, you would hire that out, or contract that out. So I think that there’s not as many jobs available. Q: Are there any policies that impact your organization? Good or bad? A: It’s not really Sav gov but its state gov. Our funding comes from the state and theres so many restrictions on what we can use the money for. When we do these events we can’t use it for prizes for the events, we can’t use it for food for the events, we can’t use it to transfer students. In order to pay for any of that we have to get donations from the community, from sponsors. So we have plenty of money in our grant but we can’t use it. And I understand some of the reasoning but it’s just, it can be a hindrance sometimes. Q: Are there any policies that you think need to be developed or changed? A: Anything that makes it easier for small business owners to get loans. Some banks and some groups will come up with unique ways to let them use different things as collateral or whatever, anything that can remove that huge hurdle of starting a business. You don’t want to remove it completely because there should be risk and people should be aware of the major losses that can happen if they don’t bust their rear ends once they start it but anything that can make it just a little bit less daunting. A: Go to the beach on Tybee. Well I guess that’s not technically Sav or downtown, I like wandering around downtown. Q: Is there anything that we missed or you would like to add? A: I feel like the other stakeholders in town like the director of the entr center GA southern and the director at GA tech Sav and the former director of creative coast they are all very, very supportive of us starting our center and have been great to work with in helping us getting up and running. So I think there is definitely a collection of people who have a vested interest in Sav of promoting the creative class or keeping here or however you want to put that. So I think that early on I came into this group and got the sense that creativity and entr were something that’s very important to the leaders of this town, that Sav was sort of on the upswing of being more creative. Q: What is your favorite thing to do in Savannah? 70
  • Appendix Transcript; Marquice Williams, Co-Director Spitfire Poetry Group Date: February 15, 2013 Time: 2:00 PM Interviewer(s): Mike & Nathan Q: How long have you been in Savannah? A: Spitfire as a whole has been in the area for thirteen years now, it started in 2000, the co-founders were Clinton B. Powell and also Ralph Renaissance Dillard. Ralph is currently in Atlanta and Clint passed away, so for the last two years, going on three years I have actually been the one taking charge since Clintons passing. Q: So were you involved before that? A: Ya I was the president over the junior Spitfire portion. Q: So what exactly does Spitfire do? Do you have a mission statement or goal? A: We have a very wordy mission statement. We have to make it sound all poetic. To create an atmosphere that encourages individuals to use creativity as a means of empowerment and togetherness. So no matter if it’s singing, dancing, spoken word, all of that is a type of poetry. So overall we just want to give the community a platform to where the creative artist can get their respect and network and perform and have fun while doing it and also bringing in the younger artist and showing them a positive way to do it. We also have poetry workshops and open mics all over the city of Savannah and the spoken word festival that we do. This is all not only to bring awareness to the spoken word community but also to help support all the other local creative artist that’s out there. Q: So what exactly are your responsibilities within Spitfire? A: I do just about everything. From conducting the poetry workshops to putting things together like right now I’m super busy from putting together the spoken word festival that’s going to be April 22 to April 28th which is also national poetry month. Just about everything that would have to do with, Marketing, running the facebook, twitter, instagram page. Booking shows, financial, everything right now. Q: How many other people are a part of Spitfire? A: In total we have about ten artists. That’s including my other co-director Joshua Davis who is co-hosting the event with us, and then we have two-three singers, which Maquisha is one of them. The other two singers attend Armstrong Atlantic State University, one singer is also a poet and the other singer is practicing to become a performing poet. And then we have the rest are strictly poets. We actually have a student her names Veron, she is in SCAD, she is studying fashion management I think, so about ten artists in total. We also have Blakely, she also attends SCAD, she is an art major, she does all of the artwork for the group. This is the art family. Q: How do you think Spitfire is influencing the Savannah community? A: I think if anything it’s exposing those who don’t get the respect that they deserve. I know for a while the spoken word community was booming in Savannah, but after Clintons passing everything kind of died down and a lot of spoken word artist, because there’s a difference between a poet and a text poet, a poet who just gets up and reads something and a poem spoken word artist, it’s more interment, it’s more passion put into it, it’s more expression, it’s a show, so it’s your job to put on a performance. It’s really giving the spoken word artist the opportunity to get out there and practice and show that their 71
  • Appendix Transcript; Marquice Williams, Co-Director Spitfire Poetry Group words have worth and then to bring the community into it is just to say ok their coming to support these artist so that builds up the ego of the artist to say you know well I have my community backing behind me so that when they are ready to venture out into the world and do their spoken word there they’ll know that back home they nurtured us and loved us and so on, so when I go out there it will be just like home. Q: What do you think as far as the creative community within Savannah specifically influencing that? So not only the community as a whole, but specifically the creative aspect? A: Savannah I must say, I love Savannahs creative community, especially with SCAD being here. You have so many talented artists, the bar is always being set higher and higher every day, so it keeps you on your toes trying to figure out ok… so what can I do to push the bar even further. Just making sure that were continuing to push the bar and continuing to...I can’t think of the word… Q: Q: Would you say there is a little bit of competitiveness? A: Yes I would say that, yes, and I think that it’s very good, it’s a good kind of competitiveness, it’s good. Q: How do you think the government kind of views the creative class versus how the community views it? A: Well from being in the schools, they particularly don’t push more towards the creative side. I mean the government kind of has a hand in the school system and in the school system they are teaching you to go out and get a job instead of teaching you to go out and be yourself. I don’t think they take it as serious as it needs to be taken because in all creativity is what made America what it is. So for them to take music out of school or them to take budgeting out for the chorus teacher or art teacher and all of these other things I believe is a path to self destruction, because that’s what America is, a melting pot of creativity, different cultures coming together and giving what they give. So if we take that creativity and individualism out of it, then what are we going to have? Q: So did you yourself grow up Savannah and go through the school system? A: Yes, I grew up in Savannah, I was born in California, I have a weird life. I was born in California and moved down to Savannah and my mom she got me into St. Pius center, which is on Anderson street, they shut it down. There they had theater programs, they had Sam Colfer theater program, which is also a dance company. They no longer exist. We used to do a lot of theater plays and different things like that, and that’s how I met Clinton Powell, who was the founder of the Spitfire poetry group. Also my mom made sure to put me in that art, she put me in a place where I could express myself, and the good thing about it, I moved out of Savannah for two years and went to Hinesville and a whole bunch of messed up stuff started happening and we ended up moving back to Savannah. When I moved back to Savannah I really didn’t remember everything, but Clinton, he found me through a workshop he was doing after school. So it’s like ever since I have been in Savannah I have been put into something creative, I have been forced, not forced, but pushed to show my creativity. That’s my reason for continuing the workshops in the school now so that kids can see that there are other things out there than just reading you know, just your regular text work that you’re getting in here or the regular life within the boundary of the city. There is a whole world out there to experience. So I was always exposed to that, so to expose everybody else would be pretty nice. 72
  • Appendix Transcript; Marquice Williams, Co-Director Spitfire Poetry Group Q: So as far as Spitfire goes, have you ever had any experiences with the government, maybe hindering your creativity? A: Well we had the opportunity, we were going to do the full on 501c3, but with the 501c3 you cant have any say in politics or anything else like that, and I felt as though with being a 501c3, that takes away somewhat of your freedom of speech. If you are getting federal money, money from the state, they are basically saying we are giving you this money you’re going to do what we tell you to do. That was our whole reason for not doing the 501c3 and doing it as a small business and just doing the best we could, because all of the artist we bring in, we want to make sure that they have a full on opinion about everything and they’re not shut down by anything, and that their voices need to be heard. Q: What are some of your favorite events that go on in Savannah that you love? A: Events. I’m going to say the spoken word festival of course, especially this will be the first spoken word festival since our co-founder passed away. This is very…It hits home, trying to make sure everything is going to be right, because I remember what it was like when I was growing up to have the spoken word festival. Also I like to open mic here (gestures to Beans stage), because here this happens every second and fourth Tuesday. I really like coming here, they get a lot of artist that come out and the crowd that comes out is so supportive, and they make people want to come, the artist didn’t perform the first time, they’re going to perform the second time because they saw how much love was shown at the event. I would maybe say that’s probably it. I also love seersucker, seersucker literary organization; Zach Powers is over there, he’s a pretty awesome dude. He also runs an open mic. I also love what Pete Kids is doin they also have workshops with the kids, and after every semester with the kids they hold this humongous event, where the kids they publish, they become published poets and they get their books, poems published and they recite their poetry in front of the entire Savannah community. So I also think that is pretty cool. Q: So you touched a lot on getting the younger generation involved, is that important to you or is that something you want to put more into Spitfire or an underlying theme? A: It’s kind of a background thing. One thing I noticed, all of these organizations are like webs. So you have one web, it starts off with Sam Colfer, from Sam Colfer came A-wall, from Sam Colfer cam Abenie cultural arts, from Sam Colfer came Spitfire poetry group. So from A-Wall all of these other organizations have spawned out and from Spitfire all of these organizations have spawned out. So all, every single person that touches this organization or touches any other organization eventually their going to go off and create their own web or create their own nest, so I think its very important to give them the correct tools to begin to build their web. That’s pretty much that. Q: If you could throw an event, anything you wanted within Savannah, what would you do? A: Probably poetry slams. It’s a competitive event where you get up to twelve poets, there’s three rounds and up to twelve poets who are competing. The judges are picked randomly from the audience, you pick five judges, and they’re going to judge each artist on a score from zero to ten. The lowest score would get dropped and the highest score would be dropped, which leaves the poet an opportunity to make a total of thirty points. I really love those events because it pushes the bar for poets. By pushing the bar that allows them to get more creative and it pushes them to try a little harder next time if they 73
  • Appendix Transcript; Marquice Williams, Co-Director Spitfire Poetry Group didn’t win this slam, so its like that healthy competition and the only way that people are really going to continue to work is if they have something to work towards. So if they have to work towards beating another poet, its just like well I’m going to make sure my stuff is even doper than this person so I can smash it out. Q: So have these ever happened in Savannah? A: They haven’t happened in a long time, but during the spoken word festival we are going to bring them back. Q: Compared to other cities, how do you see Savannah as a cultural hub? Compared to anything or your experience? A: Literary wise, I don’t feel like it get the respect that it deserves. I have been, there is a poetry competition called southern fry, where poets come from all around the nation to represent their city, last one I went to was in Knoxville. When I went there that was the greatest experience I ever experienced. It was literally; you walked outside the cafes or restaurants, groups of twenty or thirty people outside having a cipher. Do you know what a cipher is? It’s basically poets coming together, you have singers, somebody is beat boxing, and you have poets, and they’re just saying, its just free styling, they’re just doing it all in the middle of the streets and the positive energy just flowing from it, it’s amazing. So to really get that down here to Savannah, to where people are so comfortable with being themselves that they would just forget everything that is around them and just go into this comatose state of just positive energy and allowing different people to just come together and just experience that would be amazing. Q: So do you feel like the government has a hand in that? When you were in Knoxville were there things enabling that to happen? A: I don’t know if it’s ok to do things like that in Savannah. I know on River street they have this weird law where if you’re on River street you can sing about religion but you cannot do a spoken word piece about religion, or you can sing about politics but you cant do a spoken word piece about politics, so I feel as though that has somewhat something to do with it, because we have freedom of speech but their telling us where we can and cannot do it. Why not River street, there are so many people out there, you have this, if you can sing about it, why cant you just speak out you know? It just doesn’t make sense to me. Q: Looking at Savannah as a whole, what do you think Savannah’s economic strengths are? A: Tourism. Ya, that’s the biggest one; I feel as though anything that can draw people in, Savannah is going to support. If you know, that’s just like the whole thing with St. Patrick’s day, there have been times when St. Patrick’s day, people have gotten shot or people have gotten stabbed or they have left the whole downtown Savannah area trashed. But they made so much money that it’s just like ehh, its ok you know, they brush it over if they’re making profits from it, if they’re bringing people in and people are actually buying things. Q: So do you think there’s a way to incorporate our creative community into the tourist section? A: Yes, and I think that’s the purpose of the festivals. If we begin to, the festivals I feel would really bring people down. Just like St. Patrick’s Day that’s a holiday, people bring that down, if we could make these festivals somewhat like a holiday and we could have the whole city backing this festival. Or any festival that is supporting the local artist just like Squarefest, Squarefest brought a lot of people down. The Savannah music festival, 74
  • Appendix Transcript; Marquice Williams, Co-Director Spitfire Poetry Group that brings a lot of people down and all of these different things, I feel as though creating the festivals, turning, making those into the Mardi Gras. People drive from all over just to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. So it’s just making a stamp with that festival and continuing to push the bar with all the creative groups that are here. Q: What would you say are the weakest points of the economy here? A: I would say… Q: Don’t feel the need to have a definite answer A: I wouldn’t know. I would want to say some of the small businesses. Because you see some of the small businesses going out but then again we have all of these different organizations that are helping the smaller businesses now, so I wouldn’t know what to say. Q: What do you think is the most developed industry within Savannah? A: Music. Music and also SCAD. I can honestly say that without SCAD I don’t know if Savannah would be all of this. SCAD they really contribute to the historics of Savannah. Giving back to the community by restoring the buildings and everything else like that, but other than that the music scene. The music scene is very very big here and is very popular and is very supported by the Savannah community. of Savannah, but its not a great place to, if your looking to start moving, this is not the place to be. Q: Why do you think so many students don’t stick around after graduating from SCAD? A: The history, the architecture, there’s no place like Savannah in the world. It’s a lot of positive energy here; especially in the downtown Savannah area you get to meet a lot of different people. That’s pretty much it, its different here. Why did you all come here? A: Well personally from living here, this is, Savannah is either a start off place or a finishing place. Don’t get me wrong, Savannah is a very beautiful place, but its not some place where you would want to, when you’re fresh out of college, you don’t want to stay here, there is not as many job opportunities, there is not as much as much of the experience to get out and travel and see the world and really mature as a person because when you stay in one place for too long, you get stuck in that mentality, so its good to go out and experience different places and how they react towards things, because that’s how you really learn. I would say this is a good place to start off because Savannah is very slow in my opinion. It’s very easy to get things done here and then it’s a good place to settle down because its just so much, its so beautiful out here and you can come out to the park and don’t have to be worried about being bothered, of course there’s certain parts Q: So what do you think attracts people to come to Savannah? A (Mike): I graduated from Texas A&M and was looking to come to graduate school somewhere, and like you said Savannah is beautiful and SCAD had a program for me to come and do exactly what I wanted to do. SCAD was a huge factor. A (Nathan): Me and my girlfriend wanted to go back to grad school, I am a good deal older so I had been working. This was one of the few schools that had programs we could both do and be able to finish up shorter than usual because of the quarter system. When you’re my age you want to get the experience but you don’t have two, three, or four years to spend getting your degree. 75
  • Appendix Transcript; Marquice Williams, Co-Director Spitfire Poetry Group Q: Are there any policies that spitfire has had to deal with? A: Not necessarily, we do everything first Saturday, every first Saturday they have an event on river street, and we get asked to come out to that a lot, but because we cant talk about everything it kind of puts a damper on the situation. I understand there’s families and different things out there, and of course we wouldn’t get out there and f this and f this. Those are the only things we have had to deal with. Trade names, but that’s a given, that has to be done. So far we haven’t had any run in s with any problems or policies. There’s certain things we wanted to do, like putting stickers everywhere but of course that would be defacing or all of that. Q: So what policies would you want to see developed more in Savannah? A: Because its such a creative city and with this being a main campus for SCAD, allowing a lot more of what it takes to be creative, allow that to happen. I mean that will be pretty much it, I’m really just stuck on that freedom of speech thing. That’s one of my biggest things right there. If you’re going to allow, if you want a lot of types of artist to come, you have to have something that goes for every artist, and that’s not right that you can sing about but not write a poem about it. When you look at it, everything is poetry. Q: What do you like to do in Savannah when you’re not doing Spitfire, or just favorite thing to do? A: Well I love going to Forsyth Park, I went through this meditation phase for a while and that was the perfect place to do it. I like hanging out with my baby (motions to girlfriend). Otherwise she’ll tell you my life revolves around poetry. So if I can hit every open mic that is happening in Savannah, I have had a pretty good ass day. If I miss an open mic, I’m pretty upset about it. I missed two open mics last night, and I was complaining and whining about it all night. I just love performing, and I love just expressing myself. Q: Well that’s what we have as far as our questions go, but if there is anything you would like to add that would be great. A: Also the Spitfire poetry group is a part of a larger organization by the name of the performing arts collective of Savannah. The performing arts collective of Savannah consist of four different groups. This goes back to creating a community, first one is Abenie cultural arts, Abenie cultural arts is a dance organization, they specialize in just about every type of dance you can think of. African, jazz, hip-hop, ballet, contemporary, she also dances with them. We also have the East Side Players which started out as a theater program but has scaled back to just vocal training, piano lessons, guitar lessons, so anything that has to do with the music aspect, music theory, all of those different things. We also have Spitfire Poetry Group. We specialize in spoken word poetry and or singing and writing, getting that down. Also monologues and things like that. Also Torn Pages. They consist of videography and also photography, they do recording as far as producing and mixing and mixdowns and all of that. At least three times a year we come together and put together a big production. This consist of, we put together plays like next week we will be having Spitfire Saturday, instead of Spitfire Saturday we will be sponsoring visions odyssey of black. This will be the story of the African American people told through monologues and acting and singing, through dancing, and its going to be video’d and all of that. We come together every once in a while to put on these productions where all types of art forms are being used at the same time. Just so yall can know. 76
  • Appendix Transcript; Marquice Williams, Co-Director Spitfire Poetry Group Q: Besides coming together to put on bigger productions, do you ever meet to discuss the community or if someone’s having problems with something that others may have dealt with? A: Our office is located on 8400 Abercorn Street right across from the Best Buy next to where the new Party City is. We are right in that shopping center and we’re there everyday, everybody is there everyday. Even though we are always on separate things, we have meetings twice a month, we are always there. So if anything comes up, were in tune. Then were constantly helping each other with, even though it’s just the Spitfire event we still have people from you know, for instance, Daryll, he is the artistic director over at Abenie, but he also does the flyers and all of that. Its basically, we created a community to where we wont have to go outside and we can keep everything in house. Were just trying to pull more and more people into our community. 77
  • Appendix Transcript; Eileen Baker, Director Department of Cultural Affairs Date: February 20, 2013 Time: 1:00 PM Interviewer(s): Virginia & Bengjie Q: So tell me about yourself? A: Started in 1979 and Savannah was a totally different city in 1979 as it is today. The idea was the city government as well as the community wanted to build the arts as a revitalization effort and in the city we had beautiful historic buildings many were in disrepair and so bringing in architecture, design, arts, all of those sorts of things brings a creative class to your community and as we all know that’s what makes a community unique and wonderful. Q: How did you grow your budget? A: The budget grew and the staff grew and so ill jump up to the present in 1996 it had grown and the allocations they gave to agencies was about 500.000 dollars so they decided to make the office into a Department of cultural affairs so with that there was the addition of a full staff. Q: So what exactly does your department do? A: We do marketing services for the community strictly arts. We provide technical assistance to non-profits or individual artist or people that really have no idea how to write a grant where there are grants or how to collaborate with one another. We do a lot of networking because we know all the groups in Savannah so we do a lot of networking so this person would be a great match for another group. We still invest in services with our commission and that is a large part of that. And the city really sees the arts as being an important part of infrastructure just as fire, police, you know those sources. So that’s why I think people sometimes ask ‘why do cities invest spend money on the arts’ my answer to that is that they are investing in the arts as part of a development of the arts as part of an educated calm community. We also started producing programs like classes, workshops, and those sorts of things. It’s a two way street the community influences the organization and vice versa. Governments are reflections (or should be) a reflection of their population. Q: Have you seen things shift since you’ve been here? A: Yeah I have tremendously. I think one time it was about funding the arts and people were just to expect that ‘they need it’ let’s give it to them. But the way that tax dollars work and governments work, I like to look at it as an investment because we spend an inordinate amount of time analyzing what the outcomes are for each of the agencies that we fund. And so we don’t see it as ‘we are just giving them grants’ we are actually buying a service that is a benefit for the entire community. And the shifts I’ve seen I think in the beginning it was a little more of that granting and I mean other groups when people saw the economic benefits in the arts, when they saw the educational benefits, communication expansion through the arts, building design in the arts, they realize we are not just throwing money away. Q: Has that shifting that focus from fund to invest has shifted the kid of programs you invest in? A: Definitely and that will shift through trends and through who is in office our mayor because we don’t make the final decision on this, our mayor and city council does. But you know just living here education of our youth is paramount so we look for applications that have a strong youth component in it. We love to see the highest quality. That’s where it gets a little odd because a lot of 78
  • Appendix Transcript; Eileen Baker, Director Department of Cultural Affairs people feel like they are not a part of the arts because they don’t understand it. So one of the biggest barriers I try to overcome is that ‘well no you are living with it everyday whether or not you understand it.’ You may not know all of Jackson Pollack’s paintings but really that doesn’t matter. We want to make sure that access to the arts is available to everyone regardless of socio economic condition, educational attainment. Q: How do you think the government view the creative class in Savannah? A: I’ve never heard anything negative about it but you’ve got to remember I am on that side. So you know I’m not sure I would be the one to answer that. I do think that even the celebrating of SCAD. Look at all these communities. You know the creative coast and these are all about finding connections through creativity. I think they are lacking in enough performing art venues, enough studio venues because there are challenges with going into a historic building and having the right set up and things. It’s a double edge sword. We used to create all the events but the one role we don’t want to become is the presenter. Because once we become the presenter, that knocks out all of your non-profits who are presenters. We do present a couple of festivals simply because we have not found an agency who cannot take them on and there is a community expectation. We really like to see our role as being the facilitators of those sorts of things. Q: What are some you would present? A: The picnic in the park. When the symphony went bankrupt the community was so amendment about the event we just started running it. I want to say since 98. But I have a very small staff. This is a staff of 8 people. Whereas a symphony orchestra has a staff of 45 people. The unusual thing about this department too is that we are not limited in one discipline at all. We touch history, we touch literature, and the rules of what is art are real wide in this department. theater, technological programs, learning. People could look at Savannah and say why don’t we have this like in Santé Fe or here… but that’s an easy things to say but you have to go back to geography, road systems all of the above. I think it’s really hard to compare. I think people compare Charleston to Savannah all the time, but I think Savannah does a better job at having more affordable and free actually access to the arts for the entire community. Because Savannah has a very high poverty rate and when you design things you can’t leave out a big potion of your population. That’s just not how you do it. We do about 1200 events a year but when I say events I don’t mean 1200 festivals I mean events within festivals. It’s a lot. And we have something going on pretty much every month. Q: Are there restrictions? Q: How many of those are recurring or how many new ones are there? A: A county fair would not fall under this. A watermark jamboree. That would not. They need to have some sort of educational, cultural base to them. But within that cultural base it wouldn’t necessarily be drawing painting music ballet…it’s much wider than that. We have one group AWOL that they are multimedia. They are involved in music and all forms of music, theater, and all forms of A: We have our investments in three categories. One category is festivals and those are pretty much recurring. And then we have a program called access and education. That ones changes a lot because we have just added the group DEEP its a literacy program that goes in after school and its an amazing group they teach kids that have lower reading and writing skills to do creative writing. 79
  • Appendix Transcript; Eileen Baker, Director Department of Cultural Affairs That s pretty new one. We’ve added west broad street yucca has only been around for a few years and I believe it’s a scads graduate that runs that, Loop it up. I think they have 500 programs. That changes. Then the third category is cultural tourism and that there are only two applicants in that category and that is SCAD for the film festival and the savanna music festival. Q: What are the strengths and the weaknesses? A: Economy? Oof. I think the port. It is the number one. That’s another thing we do in this department. I do a lot of studies on the exact question you ask, but in order to know what I’m taking about it takes years to collect the data on this. I did this study with a partnership with Americans for the arts and the kresky foundation and it’s a lot to wade through but they look at what the real assets of the arts are in Chatham County. I think they are in growth point. And I think they are at a changing point. I’ve been in this position for 17 years so when I came art was considered the impressionism, the classical music, and those standard things. But I think as younger people move into the community, new ideas are coming and they are becoming more in the mainstream. And that’s how I see it is changing. I think it is the acceptance of the broader definition of the arts. I’m not saying we are there 100 percent but I do see strides. Q: What attracts pp to live here? A: Well definitely the weather. And I think the relatively affordable compared to other cities and I think the proximity to the beach the marches all the natural flora and fauna of Savannah pp like that a lot. It could be a good walking city. It could. If you don’t get hit. I do think some people like that it’s a little bit slower than some larger communities Q: Thoughts on scad students and why they leave? A: I thought hm. There’s many of them that stay though. I was thinking the opposite. But really you’ve got the fashion designer, Johnson, April Johnson. She designs clothes, she still is here. She was a scad graduate. The woman at west Broad Street. I think there are several scad students who stayed in architectural firms are here. The sound stage, nick, at median studios, I think he was scad. I see more. Because I’m not looking at the ones that leave. I’m just looking at oh they are here. Plus I think some of the things that scad trains you for; Savannah may not have what’s there for you to stay. The job isn’t’ there. I get that too. Q: In terms of policy are there any that impact the DCA or that you guys have a part in creating. How does it fit in? A: We do have policies on who is eligible to receive funding from the city. So we create those policies based on the overarching goals of city council. So yes. The city wants things that are educational, economic development, community development, and healthy lifestyles. Q: Do you think there is any that need to be developed or tweaked to fit with the current way things are going? A: Traffic is always bad. I’m not the one to tell you. I don’t know if it’s a policy or a mindset change. Then you are talking about two different things. We’ve got this walkable city and we put the bike lanes in to encourage that but you can’t ban the car. Q: Where do you see the dca in the future? A: We have put an rcp out to build a cultural center so it’s going to happen so I think that is great. We still soliciting for design but we do own the land and it is at Oglethorpe and 80
  • Appendix Transcript; Eileen Baker, Director Department of Cultural Affairs Montgomery so it’s not far from the scad museum of art. The idea is it would be a performing venue. It will be a blackbox. This is a grocery store we redid. It’s falling a part but anyway we are finally getting the cultural center. It will be a community used center. would like to have rooms with the right flooring. Q: Is there any creative discipline you would like to see more of? A: I see a lot of dance I think dance is something that has been pretty neglected in Savannah for years and I would like to see dance reemerge. All types of dance. So there will be a practice room, music room, and a theater. We try to not compete with our non-profits. One of those is drawing and painting because there are plenty of studios that have that. We have concentrated in is fine crafts and a new building will be wonderful for that. Clay and metals are messy they put out a lot of fumes; you have to have big old pipes. You can retrofit only so far. So by building new we will be able to put the venting systems in. We will be able to have a real workable studio. Not everyone understands. It’s not a museum. It’s the furthest thing. It is an actual working studio built to the specs of a working studio. There are so many aspiring dance companies, but where so they go so I 81
  • Appendix Transcript; Matt Hebermehl, Co-Founder SeeSaw Date: February 17, 2013 Time: 11:00 AM Interviewer(s): Virginia Q: Tell me a little bit about the background of SeeSaw. A: o SeeSaw started with me and my friend James and he goes by the moniker Dr.Z. so he and i were doing these outdoor animated video collaborations and south mag wanted to do a story about us doing projections outside and they wanted to do a photo of us in front of something we had painted but we hadn’t painted anything because it was light based. So for the article we decided to paint something and um we did a mural at Medin studios and that was the first one we did together, but before that we had David Ellis, the artist David Ellis had just visited Savannah, and I had worked with something with him on West Bay Street and then a month later. All of this was happening at once the video projections, Ellis, then we went to Miami for Art Basel and this was 2009. And we went down there, Well not missing but a whole new world of creative opportunity so then we came back and did the Medin mural and the South Mag shoot, and then we just started doing more outside stuff. Two years later, AWAL for the Swath Festival they asked if we wanted to do something for Swoth and we had just gone to Basel again so we thought we would do a series of murals around town and do a video, and we will do that presentation for Swoth, so we set out to do that and found four locations private property outside the landmark district and we didn’t want to deal with that. So I had already painted 34th and Habersham before that so we asked the property owner if we could do that again so it was cool so we painted for 3 days and did this piece and then 3 days later it got painted over and we found out it was the city that painted it over, and we were like okay what did we do wrong and at what point did we not do what we were supposed to do. So we called Sara Ward she works for the historical review board and she directed us to Ellen Harris cause Ellen Harris oversees the site monument markers withand it was like this is what has been missing. art for the MPC. So there wasn’t anything more we could have done because there was nothing that could say that one city department could or couldn’t paint over anything. There was nothing to say that it could stay or it couldn’t stay. It was like a void. She realized, we realized there should be something in place if someone wanted to do something, and they wanted it to stay there should be a formal process in place then it would be permitted So that process was in 2011. The mural policy that we have been working on since 2011 finally got final approval last month. January of 2013, but last year there was a working policy so it wasn’t official so it was fluid basically a test policy so every time we applied or did something last year they tweaked the policy after the project. So when we did the first wall at 34th and Habersham or the first mural last year everything was fine and then we did the ‘before i die’ project and then that became kind of hairy and that became the controversial so then that brought the policy under the microscope a little more. We talked to her and told her what happened, and she said she couldn’t answer our questions because there was not mural policy in place. 82
  • Appendix Transcript; Matt Hebermehl, Co-Founder SeeSaw Date: February 17, 2013 Time: 11:00 AM Interviewer(s): Virginia It wasn’t that they didn’t want it, it was more about identifying people more and increasing people’s awareness of the project so that was what as being worked out in late 2012 and early 2013. The City Council offered suggestions to the policy as it stood last year and then the MPC met in September of 2012 to review those suggestions and make adjustments as they saw fit and they finalized what they thought it should be. Then passed it up to city council as what they thought should be voted into policy. And then there was a workshop in early this year so revisiting the policy as it stood to city council then they made suggestions, and MPC made adjustments to that then they re-presented formally on the city council agenda a few weeks ago and City Council approved it and now it is set. For now Q: Who is in charge of writing the policy? A: Ellen Harris had an intern. Julio’s. She did research for Ellen on other mural policies throughout the country like Philadelphia and Charleston. Charleston is similar historically, so Charleston has a city sanctioned mural program called CHART. Ellen did research and Julio’s did research, and we had meetings with the technical advisory committee and there were diff members of historic Savannah foundation on there and people from the Telfair. So a lot of people were involved in shaping the policy and Ellen presented it each time. I think she oversaw the writing of the policy but there were a lot of people involved. Everybody was…minus a few bumps..everyone wants to do the right thing. It’s hard with the Landmark district you have to stay in line with how they do things already. There is already a policy in place for monuments and markers, so its based on that a little bit but then its like ‘how many can you have on a block’ and how close can they be to each other’. Q: What are some restrictions? A: Different parts of the city have different zoning limitations and guidelines, so you get into this grey area of things. That was part of the snafu of ‘Before I Die’ because technically the MPC didn’t have oversight of making a judgment on that neighborhood, but once it became an official policy they could. That was the weird thing. Now the policy requires direct certified mail to the neighborhood association, and then whether they support it or not they have the opportunity to go to the public hearing and voice their comments and take those to the council that approves or not approves a project. And they are very fair. I mean obviously if a lot of people show up and say they don’t want it, they will sway a decision. They decide based on the merits of ‘does it follow the standards of what a mural should or shouldn’t do’, and then they have been pretty fair. Q: what are your feelings now? A: One less thing we have to worry about. Seesaw got a grant, so using that money to get Seesaw stronger as a business, so we can get that set up, and then I’ve identified West Broad YMCA as a partner for our next mural project. They’ve got a big wall, and then Converse Sneaker and Juxtaposed magazine are doing a project called ‘Wall to Wall’ and they are doing a project in different cities of murals inspired by converse sneakers. They want to do one here. What they do is they take the art and turn it into a full color ad on the back of the magazine with the artist and the wall. The art is supposed to be inspired by converse, but not literally about converse. And they contacted me and seesaw came up so then they picked me so I’m working on that. 83
  • Appendix Transcript; Matt Hebermehl, Co-Founder SeeSaw Date: February 17, 2013 Time: 11:00 AM Interviewer(s): Virginia They basically contacted me in November, but I was trying to avoid telling them the reality of the situation because it is was going to take a while to get approved because it was all based on meetings and it was like up in the air. So now I have to turn in the application in tomorrow and go through the Historic Review Board and Site Monument Commission because I want to do one downtown…its going to be tough because it is in the Landmark district. Anything that goes through the Landmark district has to go through the Historic Review Board. As far as the art and the technical side of things, I had a meeting with Ellen and Sara Ward on Thursday but I have to go through two rounds of approval. One path was Historic Review Board first and then MPC, but the meeting are finite. Converse can’t wait, so they slotted it for March. The other path is Site Monument Commission first, and then the Historic Review Board which isn’t the suggested path, but my life isn’t the suggested path. I have to have my application for the MPC turned in tomorrow and Historical Review Board on Thursday. But I met with both of them to tell them the deal, tell me what you think, lets talk about it. They said they like the art here are concerns blahblah blah They were projecting what other people might say and I was just shooting it down because basically it is a pro Savannah ad. The art is going to be there, but the benefits are it is a promotion for the city. I’ve got a meeting with downtown business association on Wednesday, get them behind it, talk to ‘vision’ Savannah about it. Cause its the media kit from Juxtapose is 115,00 print mags and web promo. Your getting a lot of exposure. I think its a no brainer but I am biased. 84
  • Appendix Transcript; Jay Self, Film Commissioner of the Savannah Film Office Date: February 19, 2013 Time: 2:00 PM Interviewer(s): Zelong & Bingjie Q: Can you explain what your organization does? A: The film office, I will give you a copy of our 2011 annual report, which spells a lot of this out. Mainly, our main job is to assist and coordinate media projects that coming to our office and … let get this report when we go through it, it will help you and give you referees in it. All right, this is kind help. En .. first we deal with location based media production. So a movie, it’s goanna film among location, television show, commercial, student film, web media, anything it’s goanna use public spaces or affect public spaces. So even the activity is happening in privet property and it’s effect on public property we need a permit. So .. I guess coordinating; permitting those projects is a very important aspect what we do. And we do that, the reasons are outline here. Public safety, and quality of life. Q: How long have Film Office been around? A: The office started in 1995, and it was created as response to people whom upset how the movie force to go and had taking over neighborhood without warning without any coordination. Q: In what way does your organization influence Savannah’s community? A: So people was told they couldn’t stay in front their homes, go do their business because filming was occurring nobody warmed neighborhood this is coming, and you can imagine put a movie in the places … en so coordinating activity in a way that the production company can get what they need to produce the project. But in a way that doesn’t cost unneeded problems with the neighbors and the business. You can imagine if you have a existing business, somebody is making a movie in your street they closed down the street and your customer couldn’t get into your business. That would not very good. Or you wake up one morning, your entire neighborhood shunted down. It’s just,.. it’s not a good way to do business. So the office’s job is to balance those needs. On the producer side, think about the creative, the creative thing here, it’s making this film, this video here, it’s goanna be the same to a company come into savannah to shoot and hiring locals in their project or local project trying to get produce. That system is helping the company understand how to get what they need in the way routing it’s own cooperation of the neighbors is very valuable to the production company as well. Because it only takes one angry with long more or lease more to really cause what a trouble. So the other side, this is, this coordination, permitting isn’t a burden on the production it actually enables. It’s the manganese to give them permutation to use the public property. Which otherwise is ageist the law to use the public property for commercial.. So the permitting process allows us to allow filming on the street. So, some would think it is, you know, might looks at is go through a permitting process takes time and effort but without that process you will never get guarantee you be able to use this space. And if you goanna put all those money to this project, you want make sure those things you need are available and you have permutation to use that. The permitting process opens to everyone and we do not charge the limits. That’s a big. Q: How do you think about the existing policy that impact your organization? Compared to other cities how do you see Savannah as a cultural hub? A: You see what we do policy.. I will say that is a large indicator how the local government 85
  • Appendix Transcript; Jay Self, Film Commissioner of the Savannah Film Office views film productions. And .so we provide the permitting and the coordinating service for free many other places charge money for the permits. Lets use Frosty Park as an example. If you wants to have a weeding in Frosty Park, it’s goanna cost you money. You have to rent, you have to pay to use this space. Is this because this is a private actively it needed to be charged? While, it’s not just private, imagine that Frosty park is a public space, so to use a public space for a it is smaller than our public to take that space away from the public there is , you have to have a cost to have that, otherwise, it will happens all the time. And the cost of that would includes the time it takes to schedule it and to do the permitting and to warm that up in the city side for you goanna use the park for a while. It also with that fee includes the cost a policemen. If you goanna rent a park they need to put police there. So film permit, we think while, the benefit our community sees for a film coming into the town. Is they goanna spend money, they goanna hire local people, they are going to generate a benefit for our community it’s equal to or greater than what we will charge for use a Frosty Park. So we don’t charge for film permit, the same person can go and get the permit to access a private property not film anything need might cost them couple thousands dollars and it’s all over, but with film process, TV projects or media production the benefit their come to our city. I putted it, we invited them to come into here we recruit them to come here, we want them here, we help them, we won’t charge them little bit here and little bit there. While we doing it. Use the film industry, but this also can be magazine or cataloged shoots, still photography, (even like the fashion show?) ye. Cos’s department store just shoot a huge show just before Christmas in Savannah. We had express brought the sidewalk then. So it’s not just movies, its all kinds of things advantaging, short films, student films. And our arguments here are we what those things happen in Savannah. So we are not goanna invited you here and send you a bill when you done. So the city’s policy on production, media production projects are. Frizz I will use is neutral. Other than the services of our office to help them to coordinate the projects and marketing and recruitment. If they need a police offers they pay for that police offer. It doesn’t cost us anything to let them use the park for free but it would cost us money to give them free office offers because we need to pay that police offers to be there. o if it goanna be a cost of city then they pay that. And almost all of that is police. Sometime we have something done that only the city can do it would charge them what it cost us to do it but the city doesn’t make profit or loss money. Because we cannot subsidies a private project. Let’s say you came and we like you and we like your project we realize this is good for the city and city give you resources and you come with a project we don’t believed in we have to treat everyone the same. So it’s a very neutral policy. Now the effect of this office is, can be very labor intensive we can bring the value to the project but other then our budget it’s neutral. And that’s actually very strong. It’s a very helpful way to deal with the companies. Because there is no cities gives them this. To being neutral is like the best you can be. Many cities are charge for the permit you need to pay to use a park, sometimes you need to pay just apply a permit. New york and some other places, but our permits are free. Q: How long usually takes a team to get the permits? A: It depends on the size of the project. We will say like an average project takes at lease a week. Brought a project they have to plan it farther ahead. So there want to get their permit in place couple weeks before. But the larger projects usually are.. it’s runs mainly on 86
  • Appendix Transcript; Jay Self, Film Commissioner of the Savannah Film Office their schedule. We can’t guarantee we can write a permit in the last minutes. But we have it before, if it’s needed. The flexibility.. if you goanna be in Frosty park and it looks like it’s goanna rain and you need to change your dates in the last minutes, we can help facilitate that and there no goanna charge, but the Initial permit, I goanna say about a week. And the larger projects, if you want any other thing we offer, the most places don’t, is let me draw a picture (..a picture ), a company coming into the town and they want to do a shooting. They might have to contact traffic engineer, they might need to reserve some parking spaces they need to contact parking services, they may need parks they need to connect to park department and they may have to … So in most places they may need contact at least four different offices, so they have four different contacts, while that’s a lot of work, and those people they need to cooperate among themselves. And you know, this, this many cost, back and forth take a lot of time. With us, they call us, and they tell us what they want to do, we already know all the policies and procedures, traffic, parking, all those different people. o we coordinate that we write a permit and give back to them. They can spent their time and energy to be creative and let us handle and .. , it help them with every two phone calls with us, with a larger project it could be many more. This also lets us know what’s going on. This guys might find ok might cause problem for this guys. So the production companies need to facilitate this conversation inside the city. That can be very difficult to get those conversations done. So we called it one-stop-ship with they can come to this office, and go through all their needs by giving then this. It reduce the amount of energy they need to spent, but they also don’t need to finger out whose role it is, you know who do I talk to and find who this people are because many cities … we already their. If we want to shoot on Bay street. we know everyone we need to deal with, they might assume they have three entities they need to deal with. What if they miss this one and forget it until they coming in those three permissions checked of right? But this one haven’t contacted yet, they could have made major problem on the day of production stops everything and the money they cost to set idea for a day for a big movie this may cost $ 21500 a day. ill it’s important they have all the things ready. We do the same service outside of the city, because we have two projects recently want the cerement, mainly in other county, most actives happened in different counties. We help them got the permissions so we help company navigate. When they coming in they also need the recourses of our creative classes. So one of the tool we have is production directorial which people who work on media production can list what they do and their contact information, so the producer was looking at Savannah can understand local talent they can find here and how many they need to bring into here. That’s a cost issue for them. Once they choice Savannah it will help them find as many local recourses as possible. So the people here can have as much chance as possible get those chances, or get those opportunities. Q: Do we have a database here? How those producer and find those local recourses? A: Yes. If you go to Savannah film. Org there is a crew and directorial, and those recourses may be things you will think are creative by themselves, they using creative ways but most of it are people. Painters, construe people build sits people bring cameras people bring sounds. 300s about those are all in Savannah film.org. it’s successfully about public, we also do our sit in facebook, I don’t like facebook but it works well for this propose. We are able to get information from producers and also the community here. 87
  • Appendix Transcript; Jay Self, Film Commissioner of the Savannah Film Office So someone have a need put the need there some one who can fill that need can contact them. Q: So they contact them directly not through the film office? A: The film office doesn’t, we do not represent anyone we provide information, if you coming as a producer, you need a art director, you not gonna find a art director in phone book, I don’t know if we have phone books anymore. But you can come to our website you can see there are 8 art directors in town. Then you can contact them and find out which one you want to hire. And you be able find the recourse here. We give you list who they are. but who you hire, and how you hire is between…. Our information is just information, it’s like a map. If you want to go out and find out those people we will do this job if will take a lot of afrert for you and again having those information together is a good marking tool for us because it shows producer they can coming and use local assets which is cheaper an bring those them with them because it cost a lot fright someone here keep them being away from their home so I think it is important for gov’t or agencies if they can, I guess, part of our job is for this actives happened in our community and process whit that physical using space if you have a gun battle make sure you done it safe, because it’s bad for the production company too but also one of the process of media production are planning. And giving ready to shoot because before you shoot in this location, you done everything get ready for it so I think as a gov’t agency, gov’t agencies, if they do it right have the ability to present nurture information not it’s goanna benefit you or you or anybody specificity. A person coming in and hire you that’s good, but for us is the same if they hire you or hire you. So with the private company there usually some notation to push certain people or certain products or certain things because they have relationship. If you put those stuff together or do something, you will say then you have to do something for me give me % you make. The gov’t provides those information without those because our benefit is those actives will happen here and that goanna generate tax hours, those dollars goanna come back to the gov’t you know the gov’t pays for our office, our office generate those to the city get’s more tax avenue then cost for our office, we provide those things for free we still make money. Because what we provide generals our business and people buy food and rent hotel or they rent a car. You know they hire you and you pay your tax. That impact and generates more than enough for operate our office so we don’t have to take money form those guys. But gov’t can help is by providing that kind of neutral trusted information because we have no reason to excluded any information until there is someone come in and have that information already existed and this is easily to help them doing business here. There are numbers steps they don’t have to go through. And then also getting information out having people know if company certain kind of cool person and actor something they can got to out facebook page. This also is a good opportunity for public side. Any one can access the information, and in our facebook page everybody can post on it. so if you a producer, if you need certain kind of old car and those people in town who supply those things might see that because they know the film needs that, you might have that car and make that kind of connection. Connective, no money. We don’t have any money come through us it’s just connecting people with resources. And that makes here more attractive because it’s a bit different some other kind of creative thing might happen in computer, in media they need really asset, they need really places to shoot or those tactile thing, there is some creative job don’t require those tactile thing. We can seat and come out an idea, that could be a great idea comi88
  • Appendix Transcript; Jay Self, Film Commissioner of the Savannah Film Office -ng to market make a lot of money but do not require the use of any physical options, not even the use of computer, and so many of the creative things is not producing in hand, which you have to have the practice, you have to have ink supplier, you have a lot of things to creative a world don’t indept with the ideas or the process something and now you can even say if would make a film will you actually at home there is a copy out of there and it almost digital you can not even touch the film. Because all in the disk, you can email it. You know, it’s the physical things need to complete. It’s an important thing to do it. In marketing and recruitment they maybe looking at 3 different cities, areas. They will look at many different things because different projects have different needs. So they will send us script, we read it and show them options, see if they need a Victoria’ house, we wouldn’t send them one house, we would send them the 3000 victoria houses we have here. A sample of this is the type of house we will find you. They will start to narrow it down until they find the location they comfortable with. If all 3 cities can work visually they could look economics which of those will be cheaper. And that’s where state offers tax or film, TV offers the media, our cooperation, local recourses there are, what you have to bring in all those things goanna make they decided where is cheaper. Then there is local cooperation, that’s what permitting cooperation, one-stop-shop and how you goanna treated in the community. Because Forsyth Park may be the perfect place for you but if it too difficult to film there because rules are to strict or we will never allow anyone there after dark. Or cost too much or whatever, then the location is too difficult to use translate too much money and time which is important. In Savannah if you need close a road you come to us we talk about how to make it done. In another city you have to go to traffic engineer. Traffic engineer’s job is keep the roads open not close them. So he is judged on that not on how many projects did you bring in. So local cooperation is important, and they take all their things as a consideration then they make a decision. It can take days, and take years in other places to go through all the processes. Q: What are your responsibilities in this organization? A: We market and recluse in this area. Bring projects to the area. Main point is cooperate with the project help them find the recourses they need help them come up with the plan. And make their actives possible and product- -tive. Make sure what they are doing is compatible to the neighborhood and our goal is make sure, they come to savanna, they get what they need on time, in the budget and they leave they are happy, people they interactive with happy as well. Because the first person they call is the last person shoot here. So sending people away with positive experience is the most effective marketing you can do. Because there are small group of people, It’s not a check out line. Bet it’s also important to make local people, make local people have positive experience till the next production comes. They will be ready for it, and not say no, we don’t want they here. Our role here rally make savanna as attractive as possible to keep people shooting here. And keep our community film friendly. Q: Are there any policies that you think need to be developed or changed? A: It’s interesting that our policy is about how to we achieve our goal increasing production without harming quality life, our citizens, so it’s very difficult to writ a policy specific, because every project is different. Example, If you would say not film after 10 clock at night that can cause a problem, you can say we don’t have any noise in the neighborhoods, keep people awake, so no film after 10. For on project that might be good. If you came 89
  • Appendix Transcript; Jay Self, Film Commissioner of the Savannah Film Office to ask us if you could shoot in this neighborhoods at midnight in 3 am. We’d ask you why you do you need to be there at this time, we need to be there when it start, can you shoot from 7:00 to 10:00 we don’t want to have a unneeded impact at neighborhood. But If there is another project they need to shoot there all night, can they couldn’t get what they need. What they doing is……….if you draw a line for policy then you tie your hands on that. The state offers really good tax, for large project. And I think the policy in place now comes to filming are very dynamic, basic policy, project need to be managed, we cannot let someone come and say do what you want, it’s not good for them, it’s not for citizens, and it’s not good for us, and it certainly not sustainable. We are not goanna charge them for the thing which not cost us money, we are not letting the public rescuers being used for privet adventure. 90