Traverse City News and Events

Traverse Connect Launches Creative Coast Initiative

June 30, 2020

Traverse Connect on Monday announced the launch of the Creative Coast Initiative, a collection of regional programs intended to “attract creative and innovative business, highlight existing creative and entrepreneurial culture, and attract and retain creative and cultural talent.”

In a press release, President and CEO Warren Call praised the Grand Traverse region’s “well-developed creative industry and arts sector” and expressed a desire to “lead the charge to enhance the creative community” in the region. Call sees the Creative Coast Initiative as an important way to drive growth to both the economy and the “cultural and artistic vibrancy” of the area.

The new initiative is funded by the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office – an arm of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation – through the office’s Creative Chamber Pilot Program. That program works to “address the industry segregation” between local business communities and creative communities, with the belief that bringing the two together can create jobs, drive talent retention, and build “culturally-friendly” communities where people want to “live, work, and play.” Traverse City is one of five Michigan communities participating in the pilot program, along with Detroit, Washtenaw County, Grand Rapids, and Marquette.

Creative Coast programming officially kicks off with the Creative Coast Podcast, a 12-part series that “explores the stories of creative entrepreneurs who have made Traverse City their home and who have brought with them exciting new ideas, interests, inspirations, and innovations.” The first episode of the podcast, which highlights Traverse City’s Parallel 45 theatre company, is now live.

Other Creative Coast programs will include:
 - Scholarships for five local creative professionals to participate in Traverse Connect’s Leadership Grand Traverse program

 - The development of a “creative economy directory,” which will “highlight the wealth of creative professionals growing their enterprises in the Grand Traverse region”

 - The launch of a Creative Coast website, which will seek to highlight local “lifestyle and career opportunities” in creative industries, traded industries, the tech sector, remote work, and more.

Those interested in following the Creative Coast Initiative can sign up for the newsletter here.

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