Sunday, April 27, 2003

'Creative' recommendations from Cincinnati Tomorrow

In February, Cincinnati Tomorrow issued "The Creative City," an action plan with recommendations on how to aggressively attract young creative people. Some of the recommendations are already in play:

Two months after "Creative City" suggested bringing in Artspace Projects, the Minneapolis developer specializing in artist live/work space in rehabilitated buildings, a visit was co-hosted by City Council's Arts and Culture Committee.

Cincinnati Tomorrow also hit upon the idea of a citywide Fringe Festival at about the same time as Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival. (Cincinnati Shakespeare will debut a fringe fest in May 2004.)

Among many other bright ideas:

• In tourism and media campaigns, focus on activities, attractions and places like MidPoint Music Festival, Final Fridays and extreme sports.

• Embrace the Flying Pig as city mascot.

• Explore the creation of a Fringe Arts Fund to meet the needs of emerging artists.

• Launch a Web site that streams recordings of local music concerts for people to sample.

• Replace elevator music with Cincinnati sounds. Play local music in the airport, office lobbies and shopping complexes.

• Create an initiative to help young African-American musicians gain access to recording technology and performance venues.

• Establish a weekend, 24-hour bus transit program that connects cultural institutions, nightlife venues and energetic neighborhoods.

• Commission artists to paint select Metro buses, especially in conjunction with the proposed weekend "culture and nightlife" transit line.

• Create "evening out" packages.

• Make artists a part of the city's Facade Improvement Program.

• Spotlight the work of DAAP design students by offering them free downtown retail space.

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