14 March 2008

Creative Energy Campaign Kicks Off (From Bali With Love)

Please see the following article in the paper online HERE.

Also, please check out my pictures from the event HERE.

By Lynne P. Shackleford
Published: Friday, March 14, 2008

Complete with it's own Creatini drink, an interpretive dance and Web site, Spartanburg officially kicked off its Creative Energy campaign Thursday.

The invitation-only event held at Beaumont Mill was light and bright with hors d'oeuvres and images of orange, green, purple and blue, the colors that comprise the Spartanburg Creative Energy logo, as business and government leaders mingled among booths designed to get creative juices flowing.

During an 18-month campaign, Spartanburg will attempt to do what cities like San Francisco, Charlotte, Seattle, Austin and Washington, D.C., have already done - attract new people and industries by promoting its creative class of artists, musicians, architects, professionals and scientists. Those cities have given their residents access to different cultures, restaurants and nightlife.

Spartanburg has all of those things that make a creative culture; it just needs to tell the world about them, said Jennifer Evins, chairwoman of the Creative Energy committee.

Thanks to its arts and culture, history, schools and colleges, the city is bound together by a creative energy. To encourage students to return to Spartanburg after they graduate college and to attract newcomers, Spartanburg must tout its creativity and to engage the creativity of its residents, Mayor Bill Barnet said.

During "Creativity Lives Here," a 6-minute promotional video, the various aspects of Spartanburg were shown. The Hub City Connector, Preservation Trust, Barnet Park, the Hub-Bub showroom, the Noble Tree Foundation, Partners for Active Living, the Chapman Cultural Center and Ballet Spartanburg are just some of those organizations that have creative energy, Evins said.

At the end of the campaign, organizers hope to see an increase in usage of city venues and facilities, more participation in city events and

programs, higher retail sales, a population increase, more available housing, a decrease in crime and fewer high school dropouts.

"I think this is a spectacular opportunity for us to showcase what is Spartanburg," said City Councilwoman Renee Cariveau.

Councilman Joe Spigner said he's seen what Spartanburg has to offer increase over the last decade through he and his wife's association with Converse College.

"There's so much talent in this community that at one time was hidden, and now it's coming to the surface; it's rising," he said.

"It's exciting, really, to think that more people will have an opportunity to see what we have for some time."

Partners are asked to sign on, at no cost, and use the Creative Energy logo on anything they consider creative. Also on Thursday, the group unveiled its new Web site, www.spartanburgcreativeenergy.com.

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