One of my favorite lines from the kids movie Madagascar is from Melman, the hypochondriac giraffe: "Nature! It's all over me!"
Well, I just felt the need to report this morning that creativity is all over West Virginia. A year ago the Creative Communities team was wrangling over the final edits of the white paper "Culture, Creativity and Innovation - West Virginia and the New Economy." (Have you read it yet? If not, please download it from createwv.com's home page, read it, let us know what you think...and please pass it along to your friends!)
Now, a year later and many, many conversations and presentations later, we feel a sense of action and excitement all over the state. People in West Virginia are beginning to embrace how great we have it here. We're inviting others to join us, and former residents to return. We're charting new creative visions for our towns, cities and counties. And it's happening!
- Tomorrow in Beckley, the 4C Economic Development Association is holding their first "Create WV Summit" at Tamarack - and over 65 local leaders and citizens are signed up to learn and share their creative visions. (Want to attend? Call 304-254-8115 or email email@example.com.
- Today in Sutton at Cafe Cimino, over 20 artists and cultural advocates are meeting to determine how Create WV can support their community and include them in charting West Virginia's creative course. (Sorry, this one is a sellout! But if there is interest, we can hold more in other regions.)
- We see big dreams and tangible plans being developed in Glenville, St. Mary's, Ripley, Elkins, Buchannon, Huntington, and other great WV communities.
- Bucks for Brains has passed the legislature, and we will have a major new infusion of research investments available through our two major universities to spark new economy job growth. (Smaller colleges and universities are on the move as well...see Concord University's new high-tech small business incubator building, the Rahall Technology Center).
- Come Home to WV has launched and will get stronger over time, inviting many talented ex-pats who have gained valuable experience to bring their talents home to invest.
- We see entrepreneurs purchasing historic old downtown buildings in Oak Hill and other communities, turning them into LEED-certified, green-friendly business incubators.
- We see Generation WV launching a new community for young professionals, and the YES Network providing new support for young entrepeneurs. We see the Leadership WV folks scheduled to learn about the New Econony in their May 15-16 session, and about Create WV in their October session at White Sulphur Springs.
This is an exciting time to be in West Virginia. If you're as excited as we are, please continue to spread the word. Get more people plugged in via createwv.com. We're over 1,200 strong so far...but we need to double that this spring and summer.
Schedule a Create WV Summit in your community (just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org). Get trained to build a Create WV New Economy Growth Plan (that's available too, just contact us!).
West Virginia - A Great Place to Create! Pass it on...