A Gathering of People Building Creative Community in Baltimore
What: CreateBaltimore is a participant-created conference for artists, cultural workers, entrepreneurs, and technologists interested in building a creative community in Baltimore.
Where: MICA - Maryland Institute College of Art - Falvey Hall - The Brown Center - 1301 W. Mount Royal Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland.
Who: CreateBaltimore is for artists, coders, crafters, curators, designers, entrepreneurs, hackers, connectors, activists, makers, educators, museum staff, performers, tinkerers, writers, and others who want to work together to enrich life in Baltimore.
Organized by Scott Burkholder, Andrew Hazlett, J. Buck Jabaily, and Dave Troy, Create Baltimore is an opportunity to find unexpected connections between Baltimore’s dynamic arts and tech communities.
Format: Inspired by the participatory “unconference” model of barcamps.
All participants will have the opportunity to shape and run the event. The program will be set by the attendees at a pre-conference session. There will be room for concrete, practical projects as well as broader, long-term discussions.
Though we will limit the attendance, we hope that this event will be just the first step in an ongoing and inclusive dialogue. We encourage everyone attending to carry the conversation beyond the conference walls via blog, podcast, tweet, etc. [using the hashtag #CreateBmore].
10:00 Welcome; introductions; session scheduling
11-12:00 Session I
1-2:00 Session II
2-3:00 Session III
Attending: CreateBaltimore is intended for artists and “techies” with a serious interest in collaboration and making positive change in Baltimore. To cover event expenses, we are asking participants to pay $10 for a “ticket.” We eagerly welcome sponsors, but the event will not be an opportunity to sell products or services.
Themes and values: Innovation and change… creativity and improvisation… networked culture… audiences and communities… building a better city... discovering shared values and common goals...
Rationale: In recent years, Baltimore has witnessed a surprising renaissance in two important areas: the arts and technology. Even in the midst of a Great Recession, an increasing number of technology entrepreneurs have emerged to build a buzzing hive of innovation, events, and idea-sharing. At the same time, alongside Baltimore’s established cultural institutions, a remarkable variety of innovative artists, performers, and arts organizations have taken root in Baltimore.
These communities, largely working in parallel, have more in common than they realize. Their differences may also be sources of some really interesting cross-pollination.
* More than ever, entrepreneurs need creative methods, design thinking, and oblique strategies. Businesses are rediscovering the importance of “high touch” concepts like story, empathy, play, and meaning.
* Artists and cultural workers are already using technology to shape their work and share their vision. But they could benefit from technologists’ deep knowledge of digital tools and networks (not to mention entrepreneurs’ practical business and marketing savvy).
Ultimately, both communities depend on one another to help make Baltimore a lively, thriving, sustainable, and fun place. Baltimore has immense unrealized potential as a place to live, to work, and to experiment with new forms of social, economic, and cultural organization.
Though the arts and tech crowds already overlap (as seen at events like Ignite Baltimore), there has not been a conscious effort to combine the creative energies and common interests of these two communities.
CreateBaltimore is an event to draw out the surprising similarities and productive contrasts between these two dynamic communities. We believe there will be concrete, practical benefits and profound, creative consequences for both “sides.”
Baltimore’s creative communities are already driving significant social, cultural, and economic change in the city. But the potential exists to do much, much more.
What are some possible session ideas?
* How artists and organizations can use (and be used via) social media tools
* How Baltimore's cultural scene could be integrated with the apps, check-ins, the location-based web, and mobile internet.
* Artists and entrepreneurs: sharing methods, insights, and values... Much more in common than they realize
* What is "design thinking"?
* Why institutions and business need "edge perspectives" and vice versa
* An Etsy-driven economic development policy for Baltimore? Hand-made, vertically-integrated manufacturing.
* Distributed patronage: kickstarting artistic endeavors via the web
When & Where
Create Baltimore is a volunteer-driven effort to connect our city's cultural, tech, artistic, and entrepreneurial communities. We promote both talk and action – making introductions, sharing experiences, finding collaborators, and doing something.