Connecting Creators
Re: "Dangerous Liasons: When art and commerce hook up" by Susan F. Edwards (Sept. 17-23)

Susan Edwards voices several concerns which are valid but which fail to capture the intent of the organization. She characterizes CreativeTampaBay as a marriage of commerce and art, but that is not the central theme of the movement. Furthermore, we do not see ourselves as spreading the gospel of Richard Florida but as creating a structure to express economic development ideas that have been articulated by multiple thinkers, including Dr. Florida: Places that strongly attract creative workers (anyone whose livelihood stems directly from their ideas, creativity or thinking) tend to thrive economically as companies follow their most prized potential asset, talent.

Creative economies exist in places that are diverse, tolerant, rich in varieties of culture and unique. They tend to have amenities that appeal to wide variations in taste, age and orientation — including transportation, education, open spaces, urban centers, accessible suburbs and a wide variety of places to meet, walk and gather. CreativeTampaBay is simply one vehicle for impacting these quality of life issues. Our perspective is, however, specific:

1. We will connect people who share the belief in cultivating our attractiveness to creative workers in order to drive economic growth.

2. We will perform and fund research, systematically measuring, tracking and developing our success in building our "creative economy."

3. We will facilitate cross-pollination of ideas.

As a catalyst and connector of wide-ranging groups of people, we expect that those connections will lead to some specific preservation projects like those that Susan Edwards mentions. But the onus rests upon all of us as citizens to heed the call to cultivate our uniqueness and distinguish ourselves and our region in novel and authentic ways — without imitating anyone or anything and without seizing upon this moment in time to promote any one agenda or project. CreativeTampaBay is a clearinghouse that is available to those with missions as lofty as the creation of regional governance, and as local as opposing the demolition of a specific building.

To that end, we have a website that acts as archive and matchmaker for projects and participants, that will promote a variety of events and that will grant access to new thinking. But like all vital communities, the success of this movement in Tampa Bay will arise from the community itself, and will be indelibly branded by the actual priorities, actions, values and vision of the people themselves.

—Amie Devero
CreativeTampaBay Inc.

Penis Envy
Re: "Searching and Waiting" a letter from Sarah Davis, and "Who's Gutless Now" a letter from Ali Sugerman (Sept. 17-23)

Perhaps if you stop looking for your knight in an SUV you will have better success for at least two reasons:

1. If he doesn't already have a large family [for which] he needs that SUV, then he is a waster of the environment and thus, by implication, probably a waster of your time and emotional investment.

2. If you care about such things, my limited experience indicates that, for men who can afford to buy whatever vehicle they want, vehicle size and flash is inversely proportional to penis size.

And "right on!" to Ali Sugarman for the great "Gutless" letter in the same issue.

—Kim L. Ground

Thank you, Planet. From reading your Letters section, I have learned a new definition for "hysterical asininity": the mind of Ali Sugerman.

—ray Zacek

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