Creating More Job opportunities in arts, design, architecture locally to prevent talent drain

Submitted by More Better on Thu, 11/03/2005 - 16:51.

Post comments regarding ways to create new jobs in arts, design, and architecture to retain and attract talent in Northeast Ohio

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Local jobs in arts and design

This topic was inspired by a vociferous group of CIA students who voiced their dismay at the lack of quality job opportunities for artists and designers in Northeast Ohio - a problem which has led to a talent drain from NEO to other places with plentiful job opportunities like NYC or Chicago. This has been a problem for our region for quite some time - and thoughts which come to mind regarding potential solutions include the following:

1. Raise awareness of the great talent produced at centers like CIA to potential funders who can set up gallery showings for local talent. Another possibility could be Arts schools creating partnerships with organizations which support entrepreneurs and provide the skills and resources needed for an artist to think and act entrepreneurially to show their own work in their own gallery (or shared gallery space co-owned by other artists). Still, there has to be a market demand for this - so raising awareness and appreciation of the arts talent in the region throughout the NEO community is a critical activity to run in parallel with the above efforts.

2. Communicating to existing employers in Northeast Ohio the terrific value arts and design talent can bring to organizations that may not currently hire these terrifically creative individuals. Corporations could become enlightened to value added to the organization in the form of new positions in commercial design, graphic art, even product design. Artists might not be clearly aware of all the opportunities that really do exist in the region so it is critical to identify and promote all of these to talented artists and students. Creating internships for artists and designers with local firms can demonstrate the value of their talent firsthand and provide critical experience to the student.

3. Wooing major design firms to NEO can be accomplished if the benefits of moving here - affordable housing and property, low cost of living, fantastic cultural assets, diversity of seasons, and non-gridlocked traffic infrastructure - not to mention a growing regional competency in sustainable practices - can be effectively communicated to the firms hiring as well as individuals being hired. This requires a tremendous marketing effort that could position the region as a place to remain in as well as a place to move to. Solace can be taken in the Economist recently ranking Cleveland as the most livable city in the U.S.

4. Improving School systems to be attractive to family starters -encouraging them to settle down here to create and work and innovate.

These are just a few strategies that can help with this issue:
I'd love to hear what others have to say!