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What is a “creative community?” Webster’s dictionary defines it as “a group of people with shared characteristics unified by a common idea or problem to solve, who come together to act, create and share.” What sets a creative community apart from other communities is their need to “act, create and share.”

As we take stock of the current social and cultural values, the evidence points to a “war on art” or rather a war on sustaining and supporting creativity in communities. Creative voices are strong voices for powerful change, speaking truth to power through every art form — from the written word to the stroke of a paintbrush. Creativity has the power to change the world, so why aren’t communities more supportive of the arts? Larger cities with diverse populations tend to have more resources to support the arts, but not all creative people are located in cities of plenty. As Richard Florida mentions, “Beneath the surface, unnoticed by many, an even deeper force is at work—the rise of creativity as a fundamental economic driver, and the rise of a new social class, the Creative Class.”

The creative class is composed of scientists, engineers, university professors, poets, architects and also includes people in design, education, arts, music and entertainment, whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology and creative content.

The creative class is a key driving force for the economic development of post-industrial cities in the United States. We need to understand and support the creative class in our communities for they are critical to humanity’s continued growth.

The creative voice will never be silenced. It is a force that unites across all religions, cultures, races and languages. It gives voice to communities and shares their stories. Creatives can cut to the core of any issue, and express it in many forms that generate varied perspectives and create space for understanding. We welcome all forms of creative expression into our community, for through the creative story comes the ability to connect, heal and grow. Join us at Arete Gallery as we approach our first year of showcasing the creative class. Stop by, join the conversation, share your story and really hear the art.