Another vocal segment of the business sector are those concerned about the findings of economist Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class. To summarize, Florida says that the quality of a community's cultural opportunities and night life increase the capacity of companies located in those communities to attract talented, educated young workers—including workers in shortage areas, such as engineering. So communities and regions—with businesses taking the lead—are working together on projects like arts districts, public art, new exhibition and performance spaces, events that celebrate creativity, and other attempts to "brand" their cities as friendly to creatives.
Florida proposes a different view of what it means to be a creative worker. While businesses typically refer to those who strengthen their brands or create innovative content as "creatives," Florida includes many other jobs—from engineers and software developers to hairdressers to accountants—as creative. He estimates that the "creative class" comprises about a third of our workforce.
Florida does not call for schools to teach creativity and I have not seen any urgent call for schools to teach this from the so-called "creative industries." I think perhaps the talent pool for architects, designers of all kinds, commercial artists, and others whose main value added comes from their ideas is large enough at this point. Similarly, the civic and business groups at the local and regional level that are advocating for the arts as a way to attract talented young workers and the companies that recruit them seem mainly focused on the short term. I believe that initiatives to strengthen the cultural environment of an area should always advocate for arts in the schools, as well as participate in arts education. What kind of an arts community will you have if the local people do not learn to appreciate the arts and if the schools do not produce new artists?
1 day ago