For Immediate Release - June 14, 2008

PATRICK ADMINISTRATION HIGHLIGHTS CREATIVE SECTOR

Creative Economy Industry Director Position Created, Spotlight on Sector Planned for June

BOSTON - June 9, 2008 - Recognizing the creative sector as a driving force in economic development, the Patrick Administration has established a new Creative Economy Industry Director position and announced that it will dedicate the month of June to highlighting the Commonwealth's creative businesses and organizations.

The creative sector is loosely defined as the many interlocking industry sectors that center on creating and promoting intellectual property products, such as visual and performing arts, film, digital media, design, advertising, architecture and tourism. The creative sector strengthens traditional economic sectors, creates new jobs in the technical, service and management areas, and helps to revitalize downtowns and attract new businesses and residents.

According to a 2007 New England Foundation for the Arts report, Massachusetts has over 14,600 arts and culture-related businesses, 7,600 cultural non-profits, and 109,000 jobs in the cultural workforce, representing 3.3 percent of the state's overall workforce.

"A strong creative sector translates directly to a strong economy," said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Dan O'Connell. "Here in Massachusetts, we have the arts, culture, technology, talented workers and a vibrant tourism industry. The Administration, Legislature and non-profit and business communities can work together to position us a leader in the creative economy."

Legislation establishing a Creative Economy Council has been filed by Rep. Daniel Bosley, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. The Creative Economy Council would be tasked with measuring the sector's contributions to the state, developing a statewide strategy, and promoting responsive public policies and innovative private sector practices. The new Creative Economy Industry Director will work closely with the Council.

"Massachusetts has a long history as the epicenter for innovation. It is crucial that we continue to encourage and grow our creative economy throughout the Commonwealth," said Chairman Bosley. "The Creative Economy Council is designed to reflect the depth and breadth of experience and intelligence that we have here in the state. By appointing a new Creative Economy Industry Director, it's clear that Secretary O'Connell and the Patrick Administration understand the importance of this sector to our economy and I applaud that fact."

"As former Chair of the Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development Committee, I know the crucial role the creative economy plays in our society. Not only does the creative sector preserve our heritage, enliven our communities, and educate our children, it generates tremendous economic activity, including jobs and tax revenue. Investment by the Commonwealth is both appropriate and important," said Senator Jack Hart, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.

Creative Economy Expert Jason Schupbach Tapped for Industry Director Position

Jason Schupbach began this month as the Massachusetts Office of Business Development's (MOBD) new Creative Economy Industry Director, making MOBD the first state-level economic development agency in the nation to embrace such a position.

As the Industry Director, Schupbach will coordinate the state's overall economic development efforts in the creative industries and ensure that companies and groups in the creative sector are able to take advantage of the full range of economic incentives and resources that the state has to offer. MOBD already has industry directors dedicated to defense and energy, life sciences, information technology and manufacturing. Schupbach will bring similar resources and attention to the creative sector, helping businesses to locate and expand in Massachusetts and create and maintain jobs throughout the Commonwealth.

Schupbach, who holds a Masters in City Planning from M.I.T., has extensive experience working at the nexus of economic and cultural development. Most recently, he served as the Director of ArtistLink, a Ford Foundation-based technical assistance program to build space for creative businesses in Massachusetts. Schupbach also served as an urban planner for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and consulted for the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

"I'm very excited to collaborate with the creative community of Massachusetts to help grow the Creative Economy," said Schupbach. "Massachusetts has been a leader in innovative Creative Economy efforts for years, and I'm looking forward to touring the state and talking and listening to local leaders to learn more about how we can help build off this momentum to make Massachusetts an even more appealing place for creative businesses and individuals."

Patrick Administration to Highlight Creative Economy in June

During the month of June, the Patrick-Murray Administration will work with regional partners to conduct several roundtables to hear directly from businesses, non-profit leaders, local cultural economic development partners, and creative individuals about ways the state can continue to create the conditions for growth in the creative sector. Administration and key legislative leaders will also be invited to tour companies that highlight the already thriving creative sector. Activities are intended to strengthen relationships with this important sector and heighten awareness about the geographic and industry diversity within the sector. Following the month-long spotlight, Schupbach will continue to work with businesses, non-profit organizations and artists to ensure that Massachusetts is a place where people involved in all aspects of the creative sector want to be.

Previous months' activities have focused on the information technology, communications, manufacturing and defense industries. The Patrick-Murray Administration's monthly focus on key industry sectors is part of its continued efforts to highlight the diversified strength of the state's economy.

Throughout the month, updated activities for the creative sector will be posted on the state's website at: www.mass.gov/eohed.

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The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development is one of seven Secretariats that make up the Governor's Cabinet. Under the leadership of Secretary Dan O'Connell, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development oversees the following undersecretariates: Department of Business Development, Housing and Community Development, and Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.