Back in the mid 1980’s writer and urban planner Charles Landry was the first to describe how creativity and specifically those involved in creative professions could transform a city – something he called the Creative Cities movement.
Later in the early 2000’s writers like Richard Florida went on to detail a theory about how a new “creative class” of designers, artists, and entrepreneurs wield a profound positive economic impact on the culture of their cities. The implication was clear – those cities that embrace the culture and values of those in this new “creative class” will thrive, and those that don’t will see their economies stagnate and decline.
With those thoughts in mind, as well as the valley’s high unemployment and "brain drain" a group of local individuals came together in 2004 to form something called Creative Fresno. The organization has helped sponsor events ranging from mixers to music festivals, and has led a successful push to bring murals to downtown Fresno's Cultural Arts District. The group has also issued periodic report cards on the City of Fresno's progress in implementing the vision of former mayor Alan Autry's Creative Economy Council Report.
Creative Fresno is now celebrating its 10th anniversary with an event looking back at the progress and pitfalls of the last decade on April 22nd called “The Meeting of the Minds." The event will feature a talks by Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin and Fresno State professor Dr. Tim Stearns at Frank's Place in downtown Fresno.
Recently two of Creative Fresno’s board members – Suzanne Bertz Rosa and Andy Hansen Smith joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the last ten years and to look ahead to the future of the organization.