For Immediate Release - January 29, 2009

Creative Economy Council Holds First Meeting

Council will develop statewide strategy and help to promote key industry sector

BOSTON - January 29, 2009 - The Creative Economy Council, established by legislation signed by Governor Patrick in October 2008, held its inaugural meeting today. The Council is tasked with measuring the creative sector's contributions to the state, developing a statewide strategy, and promoting responsive public policies and innovative private sector practices.

The 25-member Council is chaired by Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Daniel O'Connell and includes Senate President Therese Murray, Senators Stan Rosenberg and Bruce Tarr, Representative Vinny DeMacedo and two additional members of the House of Representatives to be appointed by the Speaker of the House in the coming weeks. It also includes representatives from the state's travel and tourism and business development offices and leaders from academic, arts, technology, and travel and tourism organizations.

"The creative sector is a driving force in economic development," said Secretary Daniel O'Connell. "Strengthening the sector now helps to ensure that Massachusetts will emerge from the current economic situation with an even stronger overall economy. This Council will encourage the kind of collaboration that assures growth and success."

The initial meeting, hosted by the Institute of Contemporary Art, included presentations by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which has a seat on the Council, and Mt. Auburn Associates, which has been tracking and studying the Commonwealth's creative sector for over a decade.

"The Commonwealth needs a strong and coordinated Creative Economy Council even more so now than when the idea was first hatched. This council will help harness the great potential that we have in this sector of the Massachusetts economy and the council will make strides to further develop and focus all of its far reaching elements. I look forward to seeing what will be accomplished by this excellent group of highly talented specialists representing the many aspects of this economic sector," said Representative Daniel E. Bosley, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, who sponsored the legislation creating the Council.

The creative sector is broadly 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.

"Massachusetts has been a leader in the creative economy for more than a decade. The Massachusetts Cultural Council's investments in the arts and culture as an engine for economic growth have delivered dividends in every corner of the Commonwealth. The new Creative Economy Council makes this work a top priority, and a potent strategy for rebuilding our economy," said Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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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 Department of Business Development, Housing and Community Development, and Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.