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September 23, 2015 @ 9:00 am - 7:00 pm

Creative Economy Policy Summit: Growth Opportunities for Michigan

For Videos and Photos from the Summit

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
College for Creative Studies
A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, 11th Floor GM Auditorium
485 W. Milwaukee Street, Detroit, MI 48202



Can’t make it to the event?
You can livestream it here September 23 starting at 10am



The creative and design industries are an important driver of innovation, social impact and the economy in the 21st Century. With a mixture of national, regional, and local presenters, this one-day policy summit facilitates an exchange of ideas designed to build economic and social opportunity in the creative sector for a competitive Michigan.


Taking place during the 2015 Detroit Design Festival Industry Days, join us on this day to learn, be informed and share your thoughts with other creative, cultural, government, industry and business leaders on the role and importance of the creative economy.


9:00 am Registration and Networking

10:00 am Welcoming Remarks

John Willems, Board Chair, Creative Many Michigan

Richard Rogers, President, College for Creative Studies

Jennifer H. Goulet, President and CEO, Creative Many Michigan


10:15 am Strategic Growth Opportunities for Michigan’s Creative Economy 

Since 2012, Creative Many’s Creative State MI research has affirmed the growing economic and social contributions of Michigan’s creative economy – the arts, culture and creative and design industries. Phase 2 of this research, the new Creative and Design Industries study, will share the latest data/analysis and define leading opportunities to cultivate increased growth through these industries statewide. This session sets the framework for Summit dialogue and shares advance highlights of this groundbreaking new research, considers external forces that influence creative sector growth and explores the fundamental role of the creative economy in Michigan.


Helen Kerr, President, Kerr Smith Design

Jennifer H. Goulet, President and CEO, Creative Many Michigan, Introduction


11:00 am Research + Policy for Growth

Why is research into the creative economy important?  Does research contribute to better policymaking, advocacy and strategies for support and growth in the creative economy?  This session invites national, international, regional and industry thought leaders to address these questions with an emphasis on turning research into actionable policies, practices and programs that stimulate growth.


Sunil Iyengar, Director Office of Research & Analysis, National Endowment for the Arts

Trinidad Zaldivar, Chief, Division of Cultural Affairs, Solidarity and Creativity, Inter-American Development Bank

Dennis Cheek, PhD., Executive Director, National Creativity Network

Cézanne Charles, Director of Creative Industries, Creative Many Michigan

Ellie Schneider, Interim Executive Director, Detroit Creative Corridor Center

Helen Kerr, President, Kerr Smith Design, Moderator

Kenneth Krayer, Executive Director, Design West Michigan, Introduction


12:30 pm Lunch Break and Networking

12:50 pm Remarks from the Governor’s Office

Michael A. Finney, Special Advisor for Economic Growth, Governor’s Office

Ara Topouzian, President and CEO, Troy Chamber of Commerce,


1:00 pm The Power of Creativity in Place

It is increasingly understood that the economy is only one of the factors at play in creating a vibrant, prosperous and inclusive community.  In addition to understanding the economic development roles and contributions of the creative sector, it is also necessary to understand the other ways that artists, institutions, designers and creative businesses open new opportunities for communities to directly engage in defining their own futures, shape and connect to vibrant places and establish new possibilities for economic growth. This conversation between two leaders in national philanthropy will explore how the creative ecosystem can and must be leveraged for greater influence and impact in the development of resilient, equitable and distinctive places.  How must we cultivate and invest in our creative assets as leaders engaging the diversity of community voices to influence economic growth, and where might the for-profit, nonprofit and public sectors work more collaboratively?


Rip Rapson, President and CEO, The Kresge Foundation
Jamie Bennett, Executive Director, ArtPlace America
Katy Locker, Program Director/Detroit, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Introduction


2:00 pm Investing in the Creative Sector

This panel features regional and national thought-leaders discussing investments, collaborations and partnerships in the creative sector that lead to positive social, civic and economic transformations. Specifically, the panel will focus on new models for strategic investments and public/private partnerships and the importance of leveraging creative works to revitalize communities, expand access and opportunity and develop 21st century talent and skills.


Dave Egner, President and CEO, New Economy Initiative

Helen Davis Johnson, Program Officer, The Kresge Foundation

Kristopher Larson, Director, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.

Helen Leung, Co-Executive Director, LA-Más

Jennifer M. Acree, Associate Program Officer, C.S. Mott Foundation, Moderator

Debra Polich, President and CEO, The Arts Alliance & Artrain, Introduction


3:00 pm Cultivating Creativity through Creative Education

Michigan’s creative and design industries are sustaining and opening doors to economic growth across the state – through entrepreneurial start-ups, small business development, job creation, the industrial supply chain and competitive export opportunities. This continued growth is reliant on the ability to develop, retain and attract creative talent as the business sector places increasing value on creativity for a competitive advantage. This panel will discuss the imperative of providing all students with a creative education to develop critical thinking, collaborative and creative skills in preparation for an ever-changing, diverse global economy.


Curt Bailey, President, Sundberg Ferar

Brian Cloyd, VP Global Corporation & Community Relations, Steelcase

Cindy Todd, PhD, Program Chair- Arts Education, Kendall College of Art & Design at Ferris State University

Patricia Wayne, Program Director, CREATE CA

Deborah Parizek, Executive Director, Henry Ford Learning Institute, Moderator

Sarah Gonzales Triplett, Director of Public Policy, Creative Many Michigan, Introduction



Expect to participate in an engaging session that addresses how the creative sector is generating societal and economic value that contributes to resilient future-making for Michigan and beyond.


Cezanne Charles, Director of Creative Industries, Creative Many Michigan

Helen Kerr, President, Kerr Smith Design


4:55 pm Closing Remarks

Jennifer H. Goulet, President and CEO, Creative Many Michigan


5:00 – 7:00 pm Post-Summit Reception
Sponsored by Vitamin T and Creative Many Michigan
Valade Gallery – 1st Floor
College for Creative Studies A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education


The Summit is part of Creative Many’s Phase 2 Creative and Design Industries Research Study initiative slated for release in late fall 2015 and made possible by generous funding and support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, The Kresge Foundation, Masco Corporation Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Detroit Creative Corridor Center and Prima Civitas.





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U.S. Economic Development Administration

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Creative Many Michigan


College for Creative Studies A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education
460 W. Baltimore Ave
Detroit, 48202 United States
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