For Immediate Release - July 26, 2012

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY HIGHLIGHTS CREATIVE ECONOMY IN WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS

SPRINGFIELD – Thursday, July 26, 2012 – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today visited local creative economy businesses Indian Orchard Mills in Springfield and Interprint, Inc. in Pittsfield. The visits were part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's CreativeNEXT tour, a statewide opportunity for the Massachusetts Creative Economy Council to hear from creative economy businesses, organizations and individuals.

“Our Administration is committed to cultivating and strengthening the state’s creative economy, and today’s visits were a great opportunity to learn first-hand of examples of innovation underway in Western Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “My visits to Indian Orchard Mills and Interprint, Inc. as well as the CreativeNEXT tour further promote partnerships with businesses and organizations within the industry and will hopefully foster opportunities to strengthen the industry’s economic future.”

In addition to today’s company visits, the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Creative Economy Industry Director Helena Fruscio and Creative Economy Council are meeting with businesses, organizations and individuals working in design, film, media, publishing, visual and performing art, music, architecture and video games to discuss the creative economy and its future in Massachusetts.

“There is a tremendous amount of knowledge to be gained and untapped opportunities to explore for the creative economy businesses and organization from around the Commonwealth,” said Fruscio. “We hope to give voice to this industry in every part of the state. I am interested to see where we are, but also what is next for the creative economy.”

The CreativeNEXT tour launched in July 2012with 21 scheduled events and roundtables in July and August to connect to the $1 billion creative economy industry, which currently employs over 100,000 Massachusetts workers, according to a New England Foundation for the Arts study. The tour will help the Council gain valuable insight concerning the growth and sustainability of creative economy business and organizations within Massachusetts.

"Again, I must commend the Patrick-Murray Administration for its proactive approach in dealing with the Commonwealth Gateway Communities pertaining to creative economy,” said Representative Benjamin Swan. “The listening tour which brings Lieutenant Governor Murray to the Indian Orchard Mill offers an excellent example. I am pleased to witness this type of attention directed toward this part of the City of Springfield.”

“At the crossroads of modern manufacturing and the creative economy, Interprint is proud to welcome the Lieutenant Governor,” said Interprint, Inc. spokesman Peter Stasiowski. “We are grateful for the Administration's continued support of Berkshire Creative as an engine for economic development in Western Massachusetts.” 

The Massachusetts Creative Economy Council advises the Legislature and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and is designed to develop a statewide strategy for the enhancement, encouragement and growth of the creative economy in Massachusetts. Working with Fruscio, the CreativeNEXT listening tour will help guide the future priorities of the Council. Once all the events are completed the finding will be generated into a report that will help guide the Council’s priorities.

During the forums, participants will be asked a number of questions relating to the size and scope of their businesses with a focus on opportunities for growth and development. Focus areas will include identifying what sets a creative economy business or organization apart from others, where there are opportunities to grow and what support is needed for that growth, and how can the Council help facilitate what is next for the creative economy in Massachusetts.

For a complete schedule of the CreativeNEXT series, visit www.mass.gov/hed/createma.


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