- University Life
A collaboration between the Inter-American Development Bank’s Culture, Creativity, and Solidarity Affairs Division and Culture Center, and American University, the primary question for this project is: What is the relevance of Latin America’s creative and cultural industries to its overall economy? While the economic impact of the creative and cultural industries is increasing in Latin America, we still lack adequate metrics and indicators to understand the economic value of this sector, in particular, the diversity, productivity, consumption of, and growing investment in cultural goods and services. Nor do we understand how the creative sector relates to other important social and economic developments, including the growth of cities and urbanization of Latin American society, the emergence of new social media and the information economy, changing national identities, and multilateral frameworks incentivizing culture industries. Convening academics, practitioners and policy makers from both the U.S. and the region, an initial symposium, was held on November 25, 2013, to address these questions and seek to articulate an agenda for next steps and best practices for researchers and decision-makers, going forward, with the goal of promoting Latin America’s creative economy.
The Creative and Cultural Industries and the Future of Latin America’s Economy
November 25, 2013
9:00am to 12:30pm
Abramson Family Recital Hall
Katzen Arts Center, American University
Participants from across academic, policy, and practitioner communities concerned with the creative industries, as well as from the private sector, gathered for a symposium to address the relevance of Latin America’s creative and cultural industries to the region’s economy as a whole. The symposium featured two panels, the first analyzed new data and metrics available for Latin America's creative industries and the second, connected data to broader trends within the region. This was the first of a series of events that aims to generate a framework for future research.
"Investing in Creativity" - AU news article featuring panelist Ximena Varela
A notable outcome of the initial project symposium was an invitation to collaborate with the government of Broward County, Florida. As part of its Cultural and Economic Development Plan, CreativeBroward 2020, the country is seeking to capitalize on its growing diversity and cultural assets to at once generate new economic benefits, greater connection among county residents, and a distinctive community identity. Over the previous decade, the county has seen a significant increase of Latino in-migration. And Broward's Cultural Division asked CLALS to help the county envision how best to make its growing population of Latino artists and cultural producers a more vibrant part of its cultural and economic goals. To this end, on May 9th, 2014, a CLALS-led group of experts, including faculty from AU's Arts Management Program and an IDB colleague, were featured in a Creative and Cultural Industries Symposium, sponsored by Broward County's arts incubator, ArtServe. The symposium was dedicated to identifying the potential importance of Latin America's creative economy for the economic and social development of the country.
In November 2015, the Broward Cultural Division announced that it was one of 21 local arts agencies nationwide to receive an National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works grant to partner with CLALS on the next phase of this work. The award will support the convening of "A Creative and Cultural Industries Symposium: The Future of the Latin American, Caribbean & South Florida Economies," which BCD will host on May 20, 2016, together with the University of Florida and Broward College. CLALS is working with BCD to plan this event.