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Build Back Creative: Sustainable Solutions by the Creative Economy

Lisa Russell

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The creative economy is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, accounting for more than 40 million jobs and over $2,250 billion in US revenue in each year. While it's true that creative and cultural industries contribute to sustainable urban development by making cities attractive and helping economic activity to develop, artists and cultural workers can also be incredible partners to post COVID-19 recovery efforts in major cities. Through partnerships with government bodies, artists and creatives can utilize their creative thinking and problem solving skills, lending their skillsets to a variety of other activities including addressing the mounting COVID-19 mental health crisis, assisting in the revitalization of tourism, promoting climate action by shifting their creative process to incorporate renewable energy, promote green concerts and film sets, and more. In addition, research has shown that the creative sector has been one of the sectors hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing job opportunities or contracts for artists and cultural workers in the post COVID-19 recovery phase will help the creative economy bounce back. It's a win-win for both government bodies and artists! The 1.5 hour Build Back Creative workshop (originally presented at the Creative Business Network's annual BRIGHT conference) is aimed at bringing together members of the creative economy together with government bodies to ideate on how artists and cultural workers can help build back creative. The workshop will produce a draft outcome document to be circulated for feedback, resulting in a final guidebook or article.