Arts Council
Local government, business leaders will benefit from Creative Industry Summit

Press Release Date:  Thursday, October 29, 2015  
Contact Information:  Tom Musgrave
Communications Director
502-564-3757, ext. 489

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Creative Industry Summit, Nov. 12-13 at the Owensboro Convention Center, will present in-depth learning opportunities for elected officials, community leaders, businesses, tourism directors and economic development officials interested in maximizing their creative industry to diversify their local economies.

In addition to the presenting sponsors, Berea College Crafts and the Kentucky Arts Council Board of Directors, the city of Owensboro, Daviess County Fiscal Court and the Kentucky Small Business Development Center have signed on as sponsors for the two-day summit.

Officials with those government agencies are emphatic that the summit’s workshops and presentations will address all aspects of municipal government. In fact, Owensboro and Daviess County governments exemplify public commitment to the arts.

“This community probably puts more, per person, into the arts than any other community in Kentucky,” said Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly. He, along with Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne, will be part of a panel discussion on public support of the arts on the Nov. 13 summit agenda.

“One of the things visiting city and county leaders will notice when they come to Owensboro and Daviess County is that the community has a true appreciation for the arts,” Mattingly said. “It should make it easier when they go back to their own communities to spend their public dollars, because they’ll know there is a segment of their population that has an appreciation for the arts. Wouldn’t it be terrible if they had a Mozart or Rembrandt living anonymously in their communities, but they had no access to the arts?”

Payne echoed Mattingly’s remarks about Owensboro’s commitment to the arts and his own support of the summit.

“The Creative Industry Summit is an opportunity for community leaders to share their ideas as to how they can become champions of integrating the arts into their culture,” Payne said. “Arts have been and are an important part of Owensboro’s renaissance, and as a community leader, I want to be an active part of this discussion.”

Mattingly said he hopes business leaders across the state will attend the summit as well.

“I think it would be nice to get the business community involved,” he said. “One of the things we like to talk about here is that one of big reasons people move here and open up shop here is because we have an excellent arts community. Hopefully by attending the summit, it will cause some businesses to loosen their purse strings in support of the arts.”

One overarching message from the arts council’s Kentucky Creative Industry Report as well as the summit is that artists are small businesses themselves and contribute to their communities as local economic drivers.

“The arts and artists are important to Kentucky’s economy,” said Becky Naugle, state director of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center. Naugle will be part of a panel discussion titled “Funding Opportunities and Resources for the Creative Industry” on Nov. 13. “The Small Business Development Center is committed to helping artists grow and prosper. By investing in the talent of Kentucky and growing successful businesses, the Small Business Development Center and Kentucky realize impressive returns on that investment.”

The need for a thriving creative industry should be obvious to those who keep a close eye on the economy, Naugle said.

“The recent recession highlighted the importance of a diverse economy,” Naugle said. “The creative industry builds on assets that offer great opportunity for communities.”

Other Creative Industry Summit sponsors include the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau, Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts and Kentucky Innovation Network-Owensboro.

For information about the Creative Industry Summit, contact Emily B. Moses, arts council creative industry manager, at 502-564-3757, ext. 472, or at Registration is available online or at the door during the summit.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. The arts council, along with the NEA, is celebrating 50 years of service in 2015, which the arts council is recognizing as the Year of the Arts in Kentucky.

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