Economic Development & The Arts

Dennis Cuneo masksOut in upstate New York, the Regional Alliance for a Creative Economy is currently seeking “big-picture ideas” to convince the Capital Region Economic Council that the greater Albany area can win Governor Andrew Cuomo’s upstate economic competition through focusing on the connection between entrepreneurship and the arts.  The group will be holding a series of public forums to gather ideas about how culture and the arts can be used to stimulate economic growth.  Ideas are meant to center on initiatives that artists can collectively take, as opposed to individual projects.

The coalition will be weaving ideas into a presentation, that it plans on giving in the early fall to the Capital Region Economic Development Council, which itself will make the final determination on the focus of the region’s entry and what initiatives are included.

The Capital Region Economic Development Council is the governor’s appointed regional economic development panel, meaning that these ideas are all rolled into a sort of “master plan”.  The Upstate Revitalization Initiative, as the governor’s economic development contest is known, is funded from state legal settlements with the financial industry, and is a one-time initiative that will supplement New Yorks’ regular annual round of economic development funding.  Three winning regions will receive $100 million each in annual funding for five years, in addition to an estimated $30 million in the regular 2015 round of economic development funding, equalling $130 million each in 2015.  Upstate regions that don’t receive Upstate Revitalization Initiative funding would each get about $90 million in regular 2015 economic development funding, more than the average amount awarded to the top region over the past four years.