EDC Hosts Creative Arts & Design Industry Roundtable

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.– (February 28, 2018)- The St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation (EDC) hosted its first Creative Arts & Design roundtable to better understand the industry and identify areas where the EDC and its community partners can provide support. The forum provided the opportunity for members of the creative community to voice the needs of their respective organizations and establish action items to strengthen the arts community in St. Petersburg.

EDC President, J.P. DuBuque gives opening remarks and introduces Warehouse Arts District Executive Director, Diane Morton

“It is energizing to see arts at the economic development table and to see how many arts businesses that when added together are an economic engine for St. Pete,” John Collins, Executive Director of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance said.
Collins was involved in the planning of the lunch event held at the Arts Xchange February 27. Warehouse Arts District Executive Director, Diane Morton kicked off the lunch event by welcoming attendees followed by a facilitated discussion led by Bill Carlson, President, Tucker Hall.
Duncan McClellan, MGA Sculpture, Wide Sky, and American Stage Theatre were among the variety of creative businesses represented at the event.
Along with identifying challenges, the group reviewed creative assets unique to St. Petersburg and reasoning behind their decision to operate their businesses in the area.
“St. Petersburg offers a smorgasbord of creatively diverse people and businesses,” Esteban Valdez, Founder of Echo Bridge said. “I’ve worked everywhere from Manhattan to Montreal, but the combination of culture, community, affordability, and quality of life make St. Pete special.”
To continue the momentum, the St. Petersburg EDC is organizing follow up events focused on single action items that resulted from the conversation.
The Creative Arts & Design Industry sector has been identified by the city’s Grow Smarter Strategy as one of five target industry clusters primed for growth in St. Petersburg. The industry-specific roundtable discussions are a critical component to the EDC’s mission not only in attracting outside organizations but supporting and growing St. Pete’s existing businesses.

About the St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation

The St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation, a private-public partnership between over 40 investors and the City of St. Petersburg, is a partner in the Grow Smarter Strategy to create awareness of the business climate in St. Petersburg and to invigorate the growth of jobs in the target sectors of marine and life sciences, data analytics, financial and business services, specialized manufacturing and creative arts and design.