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North Shore Arts Alliance starts partnership for arts incubator
Monday, August 15, 2011

North Shore Arts Alliance

Art Trail logo

Initiative to Focus On Economic Development

SUNY Fredonia and the North Shore Arts Alliance have joined forces to establish an “incubator for the arts” in Chautauqua County. The chief goal of the project, titled, The Chautauqua Partnership for the Arts and a Creative Economy (C-PACE), is to facilitate the development of a regional approach and economy within the arts and cultural community. C-PACE will provide artists and organizations throughout the county with favorable conditions for growth. The effort was initiated by local artist and former Fredonia Village Trustee Susan Forrester-Mackay.

“This initiative is aimed at developing the arts-based economy and cultural tourism sector of our county’s economy,” said Lesley Williamson, director of the North Shore Arts Alliance which produces the popular Chautauqua-Lake Erie Art Trail. “By strengthening existing arts-based businesses and providing professional development services to individual artists, I believe we can have a major impact on the local economy.”

“SUNY Fredonia is widely known — well beyond our region — for its visual and performing arts programs,” added Chuck Cornell, director of the Center for Regional Advancement at SUNY Fredonia. “By engaging the community and bringing together university and community experts and resources, we will enhance the arts-based economy in Western New York through additional business start-ups.”

The C-PACE goals include creating and developing entrepreneurs in the arts, providing opportunities for SUNY Fredonia students, graduates, faculty and staff, develop a stronger cultural community, and impacting economic development in the region. The principal objective is to advance creative growth by equipping nonprofit cultural groups and arts entrepreneurs with the skills, tools and business environment necessary to meet short- and long-range objectives through an integrated facility and organizational development services.

In addition, C-PACE will provide a valuable potential resource for the technology start-ups currently housed in SUNY Fredonia’s Technology Incubator in Dunkirk. “Many technology start-ups rely heavily on video and graphical content,” said Technology Incubator Director Robert Fritzinger. “Where technology and the arts intersect lies new and exciting opportunities to grow businesses and create new, high-paying jobs in Western New York.”

C-PACE will be an art-based business incubator that will provide services, such as access to resources, workshops, workspace and mentoring in a supportive environment to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs in the creative industries, fine and applied arts. By fostering innovators in the creative sectors of the economy, it can help grow new, sustainable, dynamic and visionary businesses. C-PACE, for example, could assist new and existing creative enterprises with business, technical and creative workshops, and work and exhibition space, giving them the skills they need to know and operate within the early critical stages of their development. Together with SUNY Fredonia, faculty members may provide workshops, discussions, case studies, and basic strategic management concepts.

Since its founding in 1997, the Center for Regional Advancement (CRA) has been a major catalyst for regional collaboration, governance innovations, community outreach, and economic development. The mission of the CRA is to engage the intellectual and analytical human resources of SUNY Fredonia to enhance the region's governance and economic development capacity.

The North Shore Arts Alliance is a New York not-for-profit organization seeking to foster an environment where art strengthens the community’s image, economic vitality and quality of life. It is a cooperative marketing, promotional and membership organization working on behalf of artists in Chautauqua County. NSAA has also worked with the art galleries, arts organizations, local festivals and events to help promote and enhance a variety of art-related events.

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