Archive for October, 2011

New CraftNet Sketches for October 2011

Monday, October 31st, 2011

We just released the October 2011 issue of CraftNet Sketches.

In this issue
Community College News: Kentucky School of Crafts at Hazard Community & Technical College, Haywood Community College, Montana Arts Council, Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College, Western Piedmont Community College
Research, Events, and News: Mississippi Creative Economy Summit, South Arts Reports, Creative Economy Assets in Rural Communities, Culinary Improvisation, the Science of Guitar Building, EU Capitals of Culture Evaluation
CraftNet Member Profile: Western Piedmont Community College

About CraftNet:
CraftNet is an international alliance of community colleges in North America, Europe, and Africa that work together to enhance their own arts and crafts-based teaching programs and to develop local and regional artisan-based economies. It was conceived and is managed by Regional Technology Strategies.


Interesting website on developing Charleston’s creative economy

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Parliament is an interesting collection of, as they call themselves, “Working Class Creatives” helping to build a stronger and more interesting creative milieu in the Charleston, SC metro area. They certainly seem to sponsor some really interesting events! To keep up check out their blog.

And we say all this not just because they partially funded and devote a page to the work we did on the creative economy in Charleston.

New report documents the increasing importance of STEM jobs

Friday, October 21st, 2011

STEM PuzzleThe Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce just released a report on the role of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in the future workforce. They find that STEM jobs will be the second fastest growing occupational category after health care. The reports, state-level data and a webinar are available at their website.

While the report focuses mostly on the 4-year and graduate degrees our research and discussions with companies also finds that STEM skills are increasingly needed for those in manufacturing production occupations that do not require a 4-year degree. Manufacturers consistently describe the need for STEM backgrounds in the increasingly high-tech environment of modern manufacturing, whether in reading blueprints, working in production teams or solving problems within the production process.

A proposed policy response is to push the STEM focus further down into the k-12 system with geometry and algebra introduced in general middle school classes.

Blueprint Mississippi: Capitalizing on the Creative Economy

Friday, October 14th, 2011

The Mississippi Economic Council in cooperation with the state’s citizens and private sector is building a collaborative vision for moving the state’s economy and community forward.  The process, known as Blueprint Mississippi 2011, has led to the development of a series of goals and recommendations on education, the economy, diversity, financial resources, health, infrastructure and other key areas.

A top focus is the creative economy.  The following creative economy strategies are based in large part on the study we completed with the Mississippi Development Authority and the Mississippi Arts Commission Development. The reports are available here and more on the effort is on the Mississippi Creative economy website.


  • Support the goals in the report, Mississippi’s Creative Economy, released by the Mississippi Arts Commission with the Mississippi Development Authority:
    • Facilitate efforts that make communities throughout the state more creative and vibrant.
    • Promote entrepreneurship and small business growth among creative firms.
    • Help communities preserve and generate added value from cultural and historic heritage.
    • Enhance the competitiveness of the state’s businesses and industries through increased use of art and design.
    • Enhance the support and networking infrastructure for creative talent across the state.
    • Build capacity to grow and retain creative talent living and working in Mississippi.
  • Develop tools and strategies to support growth throughout the tourism industry.

An interesting article on our Mississippi creative economy work

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger has an interesting article on the work we recently completed for the State of Mississippi.  We are presently preparing additional vignettes and updating the data in a follow-on contract with the state.