Creative Industries and the ECOC projects

Tom Fleming

In recent years cities which hold the title European Capital of Culture have started to integrate a creative industries strategy into their programme. They see that it is not just about some events, people going to see and consume things. They recognize that to have a real impact, to have something that is still resonating in years to come, they need to build their own creative production. They thus need to help the creative businesses play a role in developing the programme and cultural activities. The people who are engaged in creating and making are the ones who can be supported to drive the change the way European Capitals of Culture are operating.  

We are for example working in a small city in northern Portugal called Guimarães. Guimarães is going to be the European Capital of Culture in 2012. In this historical city they could have very easily said to themselves: „Ok, let’s just have a nice cultutal programme with a few festivals, some music and a few big name artists coming in.“ But they recognized that this would just be a party for a year. So supporting the creative industries became a core part of their programme. They support people working in various parts of the economy to work together, for example people in tourism to work with people in design. in order to have a different kind of integrated creative economy developing. I think that this is perhaps a way for other European Capitals of Culture. You can either do something that is temporary, or do something that sticks and developes in the future. No matter how big the city, creative industries can play a really big role, economically, for the city during the year. 

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Tom Fleming

Tom Fleming

Director of Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy in East London, United Kingdom

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