Regional ‘ACE’ touts ‘creative economy’
From the Glens Fall Chronicle: May 2, 2017 – By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor
With millions of dollars flowing through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s competitive economic development initiatives, folks who make their living in the Capital Region through creative means decided they wanted to get a stab at those funds, too.
How does such a far-flung region make its case? With a common message, suggests Maureen Sager. She’s the project director of Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy — also known as ACE.
About 31,000 people are employed in so-called creative industries in the Capital Region, Ms. Sager said. “It’s traditional artists, which people understand, but also those that may not be considered arts, if you are only talking cultural activity.”
As Arts Face Steep Federal Cuts, Local Stakeholders Highlight Their Economic Importance
March 22, 2017 – From Spectrum News: In the 42 years since Tom Lloyd and his business partner founded Adirondack Studios, the company has grown from a modest building in Warrensburg to a sprawling space in Argyle.
“I came here starting a scenery shop in 1975 thinking this is where I want to live my life,” Lloyd said on Wednesday. “We like to think the people that came here and are working for us on a regular basis came here because they wanted to be here and wanted to be part of something really creative.” Adirondack Studios’ 130 employees represent just a fraction of the Capital Region’s 30,000-person workforce in the creative industries and arts. That figure comes from a 2014 study released by the Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy (ACE), which was formed to promote the industry’s economic importance and attract new talent. Click here to continue this story on the Spectrum News website.
Group focuses on the business side of arts
March 21, 2017 – From the Post Star: Maureen Sager is mesmerized every time she visits Adirondack Studios.
“I’ve often said it’s like getting the golden ticket to Wonka land. When you go inside, it feels like magic,” said Sager, project director of Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy.
What We’ve Accomplished
The Upstate Alliance for a Creative Economy (ACE) first met in 2013 to engage stakeholders in strengthening the creative and cultural assets of the greater Capital Region, with the goal of driving economic growth that benefits all residents.
Now in our fourth year, ACE has accomplished a number of exciting projects, and has created many initiatives to help and promote creative individuals, groups and institutions. Here are some highlights of what we have accomplished:
- Partnership with the Freelancers Union: As part of ACE’s commitment to workforce development for creative freelancers, ACE will co-present monthly Spark Freelancer networking events with the national Freelancers Union. These events will be held the first Wednesday of each month at locations throughout the greater Capital Region. To attend an upcoming Spark Freelancer event, visit our Events page.
- Grant Win for Breathing Lights: In June 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies awarded a major grant to Breathing Lights, a temporary public art project in the cities of Albany, Schenectady and Troy. In October and November 2016, Breathing Lights illuminated the street-facing windows of hundreds of abandoned buildings in Albany, Schenectady and Troy. Concentrated in high vacancy, economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, these installations will transform vacant structures from pockets of shadows into places of vitality and warmth. Breathing Lights also offered extensive Neighborhood Engagement programs, including abandoned building clinics, public arts presentations, youth media workshops and neighborhood ambassadors.
- Formation of Film Upstate: This alliance brings together film commissions from Albany, Schenectady and Saratoga to attract film makers to the region through NYS tax credits and promotion of regional attractions.
- Formation of the Creative Industries Council: Formed to develop solutions to shared issues affecting businesses within the creative economy with 100+ employees.
- Pathways to Dance Grant Win: ACE helped create the environment that led to the successful submission for grant funding from the NYS Council on the Arts for a dance residency for the legendary Twyla Tharpe Company at the Catskill Mountain Foundation.
- Free Educational/Inspirational Events for Regional Creatives: ACE has hosted numerous free events since 2015 to spur discussion and share best practices with people and organizations involved in the creative industries. More than a thousand people have attended ACE events, with at-capacity crowds for Creative Freelancer Networking Events.