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Friday, September 27, 2013

The Creative Enterprise Zone

Submitted by Councilmember Stark, Ward 4

The Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ) is the brainchild of a diverse group of stakeholders working to ensure that the area around Raymond and University is widely recognized as a center of creativity and enterprise where people make a living by their creative capacity. The CEZ extends from the western city limits to Prior Avenue, and from I-94 to the railroad near Energy Park Drive. 
The genesis of the CEZ occurred several years ago when a large artists building full of studios and creative entrepreneurs on University Avenue was sold for redevelopment. The light rail is increasing pressure on traditionally low-rent spaces and threatening emerging start-ups and “makers” like videographers, architects, and others. The CEZ team set out to connect existing creative enterprises and draw in new ones, and finding ways to leverage light rail’s opportunity. Simultaneously, they are making the case to existing and new developers in the area about why maintaining the neighborhood’s creative vibe is good for business.

Photo credit: Zoe Prinds-Flash

One of the Creative Enterprise Zone’s ways of connecting people has been to host events called “Give and Take,” where speakers share information about their creative ventures, but there is also audience interaction so you get a better idea of the talent and possibility gathered in the room.

Learn more about the Creative Enterprise Zone here and track them on Facebook to learn about upcoming events where they highlight and connect local creative enterprises.

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