Maine is undeniably a great place to live and raise a family.
But that’s become more challenging as globalization and other factors exert tremendous pressure on the traditional mainstays of the state’s economy – manufacturing, forest products, and the fisheries industries.
Nurturing new pillars of growth is imperative. Maine’s emerging creative economy is one of the most promising. It provides high-paying jobs – but also a powerful multiplier effect that broadly benefits other business and service sectors. And it directly enhances Maine’s overall quality of life.
The creative industries generate “nearly half of all wage and salary income in the United States… as much as the manufacturing and service sectors combined,” says Richard Florida, author and Carnegie Mellon regional economic development professor. “Human creativity is the ultimate economic resource.”
And it’s a powerful growth engine in Maine. More than 63,000 Maine residents were employed in the state’s creative economy in 2002 – only slightly trailing the state’s manufacturing sector. And it’s growing while traditional industries are declining. The state’s arts and culture sub-sector grew 24 percent from 1997 to 2002 – and continues to expand.
The foundation of Maine’s creative industries is creative capital – an intangible asset of unconstrained value. Expertise, knowledge and talent drive innovation and creativity. They are the fertile ground from which ideas sprout into new products, businesses and services. A state with projects and programs that nurture creativity and innovation attracts new people and businesses – feeding a cycle that becomes self-regenerative, self-sustaining.
Fostering such an eco-system is the Maine Center for Creativity’s main charter. Our goal is to build Maine’s reputation for creativity and innovation in regional, national and international markets.