Good morning Xplorers!

This week’s readings for my International Cultural Management Class discussed Richard Florida’s, Rise of the Creative Class (2002). In case you would like to learn more about Florida, I have listed a few of our readings here:

  • Mackenzie Baris’ Book Review of Richard Florida The Rise of the Creative Class
  • Cool, funky and creative? The creative class and preferences for leisure and culture by Trine Bille (p467-496)
  • The Helen Clark Years: Cultural Policy in New Zealand (1999-2008) by Michael Volkerling (p96-104)

My class post this below discusses the European Capital of Culture. Enjoy!

Marseille’s France was recently featured in a New York Times article titled, Known for Crime and Poverty but Working on its Image. Marseille is Europe’s Capital of Culture for 2013. In order to fulfill this role, Marseille repurposed 10 old abandoned buildings as cultural sites, built some brand new buildings, and planned exceptional programming for its existing museums.

This video explains the title of Capital of Culture and the expectations for the capital. States must propose a year of exceptional cultural programming that imports European culture to their city and exports their culture to the rest of Europe. “The idea is to ensure long-term development of the city” through the enhancement of the city’s cultural offerings.

Steven Erlanger writes, “Gaining the title, designated by the European Union annually since 1985, is something like winning the Olympics. It gives Marseille, France’s second-largest city, a chance to remake itself, reclaim its gorgeous port for ordinary citizens and to reshape its image.” Gaining the title of Capital of Culture is a way for a city to expand upon their creative industries. New Zealand’s former Prime Minister, Helen Clark, said “a nation a can be rich in every material sense, but if it fails to provide for and nurture expression, it is impoverished in many ways. Our arts, our culture and our heritage define and strengthen us as a country, communities, and as individuals” (Volkerling102).

The development of a community’s cultural industries is not just a cultural policy, it is an economic policy. Richard Florida, author of Rise of the Creative Class, would claim that the new institutions, programming, and activities developed by the capital of culture, make the city more attractive to the “creative class.” If more members of the creative class moves to Marseille, the city will experience further growth as this class of people create new jobs or bring new companies to the area. In the short term, Marseille’s designation as the capital of culture will attract more tourists. But in the long term, Marseille will be the home to more members of the creative class therefore greatly strengthening the economy and changing the dynamic of the city.