The Creative Class

Creative ClassThe creative class enriches the community. It adds vibrancy, colour and sound while it stimulates the senses and challenges the mind. To attract the creatives, invest in them.

The purpose statement of the MarketTown is:

When several villages come together, forming a MarketTown, so they may become economically self-supporting, the purpose of their continuance is to enable their people to enjoy a good life understood as the social pursuits of:

  • Conviviality
  • Citizenship
  • Artistic, Intellectual and Spiritual growth.

Cultural enrichment requires capital commitment and a sound economic base of support. In indigenous cultures, the artists, the masters of craft and creativity were honoured and supported by the tribe. They were fed, clothed, sheltered and protected, even when their eyes failed them, their hands no longer could create the wonderful expressions that enriched the culture as a whole. But in modern society, our artists, our cultural creatives often struggle to survive unless they happen to have a commercial attraction. For the few who make millions, there are millions who barely get by.

Yet numerous studies show that culturally-enriched communities thrive. Indeed, the concept of gentrification begins when the creative class moves into a poor, neglected area because the rent is cheap. Suddenly, it becomes a happening place, and that continues until the creativity is loved to death. More affluent appreciators move in, attracted by the culture, but they then begin to drive up the prices. Eventually, the creative class moves away - can't afford it anymore - and the place becomes bland.

In order to make the MarketTown culturally enriched at the onset, and then keep it so in perpetuity, the artists must be provided for in a way similar to that successful model of indigenous peoples. They must be supported, honored and protected. This can be done in a monetized society, provided it is inherent in the plan.

Use some of the cost savings to build on each village plaza an artist guild hall. Figure a budget of $1-2 million, but then seek out patrons to make it even better. What focus of art is a dialogue facilitated by the MarketTown between the villagers and the artists... film makers, painters, musicians, actors, writers, inventors, designers; whatever emerges and feels right to the people who will live with the results. Design the hall so that it generates passive income to pay operating costs. For example, include visitor accommodations, so that visitors can experience living among the artists while their money pays for the lights and heat.

Because the streets will curve, yet the buildings are attached, there will be points where either their is wasted space (a triangle of sorts), or trapezoidal rooms. Build the latter as joiner buildings, and then provide a floor on each as freebase accommodations for the guild hall members. The member does not need to live there if they prefer the capital appreciation of unrestricted home ownership, but the unit is there's to rent as long as they are an active member of the guild. In this way, their work space and living space is provided at no cost.

If each guild has 25 members - some young, some mid-career, some senior and honoured, that will ensure 5% of the MarketTown is permanently of the creative class. The MarketTown plan will provide for retired members of the guild so that there is not a bottleneck over the years; it is critical that the guild institution follow the biological process to keep it fresh and creative.