Building a Creative Economy in Southern Illinois

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Person talking into mic.In April 2014, the Institute conducted a day-long conference concerning the future of southern Illinois' economy by focusing on the idea of a creative economy. A creative economy is based on the principle that human creativity is the ultimate economic resource. Creative economy industries include education, advertising, architecture, art, crafts, design, fashion, film, music, performing arts, publishing, R&D, software, toys and games, and broadcasting. Traditional manufacturing and service industries also benefit by having their employees participate in these activities.

We invited experts in campus-community engagement, collaborative strategies for talent retention, and community-based regional development to present their viewpoints and recommendations to rejuvenate southern Illinois. 

Featured speakers included: 

Dr. Sean Creighton, The Creative Class Group & Executive Director, Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education
Jim Zumwalt, Former City Manager, City of Paducah, Kentucky
May Louise Zumwalt, Former Executive Director, The National Quilt Museum

Graduate student papers presented:

Expanding the Economy in Southern Illinois through Creative Placemaking - Kent Dolezal, Ph.D. Candidate, Paul Simon Graduate Research Fellow