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Introducing A Community-Centered Road Map Towards an Equitable and Inclusive Creative Economy in Seattle

The City envisions an equitable, inclusive creative economy in Seattle. And today we are excited to introduce a road map to help us get there.

Participants in the Focus Group hosted by Wa Na Wari in Seattle’s Central Area.
Photo credit: Vivian Phillips.

Authored by community engagement and research consultants Vivian Phillips and Aline Moch Islas, A Community-Centered Road Map Towards an Equitable and Inclusive Creative Economy in Seattle presents nine overarching goals that address the question of how the City can grow, support, and retain creatives while reducing disparities and inequities within the creative economy.

The City of Seattle in recent years has explored how our creative community and industries have been and continue to be impacted by the city’s continuing growth, as well as the ever-evolving economic realities that affect creative work. Using the most recent studies, There’s Something About Seattle: 2019 Creative Economy Report (City of Seattle, 2019), and Assessing the Creative Economy of Seattle through a Race and Equity Lens (UW Evans School of Policy and Governance, 2019), as primary springboards, the Office of Arts & Culture, together as partners with the Office of Film + Music, the Office of Economic Development, the Seattle Arts Commission and the Seattle Music Commission, engaged in a community outreach strategy to invite members of the arts and creative community to participate in focus group conversations, mixers, surveys, and interviews. Overall, our year-long process of research and community engagement has led to ARTS, OFM, and partners to reach over 850 individuals.

The Road Map report focuses on information gathered from focus groups and interviews with 151 creatives in the Seattle area, most of whom are people of color. The findings from these conversations were then synthesized to offer the following goals and accompanying action plans on how the City can work to better the conditions under which all creatives in Seattle, especially creatives of color, pursue their careers:

Summary of Goals

1. Improve Quality of Life for Artists and Creatives

2. Engage Harder to Reach Populations

3. Enhance Existing Initiatives and Create New Initiatives

4. Bridge Artists, Technology, and Creativity

5. Access to Artistic and Creative Work Space

6. Strategically Align the Work of the Commissions

7. Build More Strategic Collaborations Across City Departments

8. Stimulate Innovative Thinking

9. Integrate Existing Research and Data into Decision-making

Read about the findings and proposed action plans in the report, and please let us know your thoughts in the comments of the blog post