Saturday, July 29, 2006

What does NEO Look Like as a Global Leader in the Creative Industries? Put Your Two Cents In

Here's an email exchange between Y'Town Blogger John Slanina ( Shout Youngstown) and Ed Morrison. Read the exchange and join a growing community of trans-NEO people thinking and talking about how Northeast Ohio can become a global leader in the creative industries.

7/27 email from John to Ed Morrison:
Hi Ed,
Today I was thinking about the fact I know so little about the neighborhoods of Cleveland as a resident of another NEO city. I have had Ballpark mustard while watching the Browns in their stadium downtown, but never pierogies in Parma, or blintzes in Beachwood.

Maybe various institutions in addition to our economic development agencies throughout NEO can begin to network together. That is, if many more of our pieces are joined culturally, we can move together economically as a region.

The more connectivity the average NEO citizen sees, maybe the more they would support a regional agenda. But how can we build a regional culture?

For example, maybe that Cool Cleveland newsletter that lets me know what is happening in our biggest city every week can also have a small section on the "event of the weekend" in Akron, Alliance, and Warren. Maybe the Youngstown Symphony can provide the music for an event in Cleveland where wines from Ashtabula County are served. Maybe there can be one NEO website which can centralize every play and every concert in the region in a clickable, interactive calendar. Maybe we can have a "taste of NEO" contest where we have inter-regional competitions for the best pizza, best wedding soup, or best fried chicken as judged by the public.

Just brainstorming there for a moment, but perhaps connecting more of our cultural components can help NEO as a whole.

John S

7/27 Ed Morrison wrote to John:

Hello John:

Yes! You have the picture. A network of cultural institutions across our region will strengthen us economically. Just this week, Toronto published a strategy for a Creative City. You can view the report here.

Read an article here.

Canada has a lot of interesting work in this area: Click here.

Now let's get busy.

I am copying a bunch of people to explore how to make this happen. We have a great group of creative people in Cleveland, Akron, Y'town.

So, here is the challenge to all those I am copying on this e-mail.

1. Please spend three minutes and consider this question: How do we move John's idea of a regional cultural network forward? What simple steps could we take?

If you have time, you can view these web sites to get some ideas on what other regions are doing with their cultural industries...

Creative Clusters

Creative London

Creative Northern Ireland

Creative HQ

New England Foundation for the Arts

Dept. Culture/London

Creative Tampa Bay

The Creative Coast

2. Share your responses

3. Forward this e-mail to more people you know, and ask them to e-mail me (Ed Morrison at email: your responses.

We'll digest what we receive at I-Open and figure out a way forward.


Send your ideas to Ed, John and the rest of the community and look for next steps from I-Open. If you want to be included on the follow up and connect with the rest of the community, send your email to Betsey Merkel at and I'll add make sure you're on the network list.


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