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June 4, 2018

Creative Portland hosts city's first arts and culture summit

Courtesy / Creative Portland
Courtesy / Creative Portland
Creative Portland, the city's official nonprofit arts agency, hosted an inaugural arts and culture summit last week attended by more than 70 arts and cultural leaders at One Longfellow Square. Dinah Minot, executive director of Creative Portland, went over the first two phases of a cultural planning process the organization launched in 2016.

Creative Portland, the city's official nonprofit arts agency, hosted more than 70 arts and cultural leaders last week for its first-ever arts and culture summit the organization aims to turn into an annual gathering.

"As a collective force, I think we're beginning to make progress as an arts and culture sector in validating and accentuating the arts community as a powerful economic driver and vital force of the creative economy," Dinah Minot, Creative Portland's executive director, told Mainebiz.

"Community partnerships and momentum are building, as the arts community stands up together to fight for financial support and recognition."

At the summit, participants discussed Portland's growing creative economy, as highlighted in two recent studies, and how to move forward on a cultural planning process launched in 2016.

Minot said that the process has informed Creative Portland's strategic direction to provide priority resources, advocacy and branding of the city's artistic talents and cultural assets.

She also underscored that getting support from the greater Portland business community is "long overdue," adding that "now is the time to leverage our collective impact and to accentuate the value of our creative economy."

Besides presentations on Portland's creative economy, the city's 2017 comprehensive plan and a one-minute promotional video on Portland's cultural life produced by Creative Portland and edited by P3, the event spotlighted three ongoing initiatives led by community-driven work groups. They include a planned arts and innovation center for artists and makers.

Creative Portland will publish a summary of the cultural plan in its annual report due out this fall.

Asked what's next after last week's summit, Minot pointed to holding a summit every year to continue collaboration and reinforce the community's strength and commitment to sustainability, and opening the door to new business investors, "who also benefit from the collective economic impact of the arts community."

In the shorter term, Creative Portland will team up with the Portland Sea Dogs minor-league baseball team to celebrate the city's cultural life in a June 29 event at Hadlock Field called "Art Outta the Park."

The Sea Dogs are scheduled to host the Binghamton (N.Y.) Rumble Ponies that evening in a game starting at 7 p.m.

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