LT. GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES CULTURAL ECONOMY SUMMIT III -- 01/18/2007
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2007
LT. GOV. LANDRIEU ANNOUNCES CULTURAL ECONOMY SUMMIT III
Features Clinic on How To Apply for Small Business Grants
Baton Rouge, LA - The third annual Cultural Economy Summit will be held on Friday, February 2, 2007 in New Orleans, Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu said today. This summit will bring citizens from across the state together to grow the state's cultural industries - namely our food, music, film, art, architecture, literature and historic preservation.
"Our cultural small businesses that rely on tourists are facing real challenges," said Lt. Governor Landrieu. "This summit will feature a clinic on how to apply for funds from the state's Business Recovery Grant and Loan Program."
Michelle Ebanks, President of Essence Communications, and Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden will be keynote speakers at the event.
Cultural Attachès representing Japan, the Netherlands, and Trinidad and Tobago among other countries will take part in the launch of the World Cultural Economic Forum - a statewide event that will coincide with the 2007 anniversaries of Katrina and Rita. The World Cultural Economic Forum is designed to bring tourists to Louisiana to experience our unique culture and to show our cultural connections to the nations of the world.
"Our culture is our strength and our future - creating clean jobs, attracting tourists and enhancing our quality of life," Landrieu said. "I'm encouraging people to take part in this summit. Together we can build on our greatest strength. I want to live in a Louisiana where our native talent won't have to move out of state to 'make it,' and we can sell our cultural products all over the world with a big stamp on them that says 'Made in Louisiana.'"
The event is open to the public and registration costs $55 per person. To register, log onto www.crtregistration.com or call 504-888-7608.
"Louisiana has an economic asset other states can only dream of: a deeply rooted, authentic culture," said Angèle Davis, Secretary, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. "Louisiana's Cultural Economy accounts for 144,000 jobs or 7.6% of our employment base, and the cultural industries are the fastest growing in the state's economy."
About the Cultural Economy Summit III
Afternoon Break Out Action Sessions:
After taking office in 2003, Lt. Governor Landrieu launched the Cultural Economy Initiative to grow jobs through Louisiana's cultural industries.
The Cultural Economy Initiative's first public expression was a conference held in December 2004 in New Orleans, where more than 1,100 cultural leaders from across the state gathered. The conference was vibrant - filled with artists, chefs, musicians, designers, architects, preservationists, academics, entrepreneurs, and government leaders. At this historic two-day event, attendees broke into work group sessions, outlining the opportunities and challenges associated with developing a business infrastructure in specific cultural industries.
As the next milestone, the National Endowment for the Arts helped fund a study of Louisiana's potential to develop its cultural economy. Over a ten-month period, expert economists at Mt. Auburn Associates researched the groundbreaking report, Louisiana: Where Culture Mean Business. (http://www.crt.state.la.us/CulturalEconomy/MtAuburn/culturaleconomyreport.htm)
This landmark study was unveiled at the Cultural Economy Summit II, in August of 2005, just four days before Hurricane Katrina made landfall.
Attendees of this summit learned from researchers that they were taking the national lead in cultural economic development. Researchers explained that, "While many cities and states are looking at arts and culture or creating incentives, few states are approaching the cultural economy in as comprehensive a way as Louisiana."
Immediately after the storm, Landrieu brought together stakeholders to develop a strategic plan to guide the recovery of Louisiana's tourism and cultural industries. The group married the ambitions of a vibrant Louisiana cultural economy with the realities of recent events to design "Louisiana Rebirth: Restoring the Soul of America." Over the course of the past sixteen months, the industry has been hitting the marks established in this plan.
For example, an integral part of the Louisiana Rebirth plan was to provide critical financial assistance to cultural workers devastated by the storms. Landrieu's team did not wait for government assistance, but rather got to work. The independent Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation quickly funded and administered a relief grant program. To date more than $700,000 has been awarded to individual artists, small businesses and nonprofits.
As Louisiana rebuilds post hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Cultural Economy Initiative is more relevant and important than it has ever been. Louisianans have an unprecedented opportunity to rebuild, and the Cultural Economy Initiative will help drive Louisiana's economic and social rebirth.