[Discussion 1] Questions on Tom Borrup’s 「Arteconomy creates and cultivates an innovative spirit that generates process - product innovation and artworks」

, ,
Discussion 1
Questions on Tom Borrup’s 「Arteconomy creates and cultivates an innovative spirit that generates process - product innovation and artworks」
Choi Tae Man, Professor of Kookmin University, Art Critic
I, an Art Critic, do not know much about economics, but I do acknowledge the fact that cultural development and economic development are correlated. Although being under the impact of global economic crisis, Korea’s artistic activities are as dynamic as the speed of its economic development. I believe that the purpose of today’s conference is to raise awareness for the societal roles of arts, as well as to revitalize the local economy and to rejuvenate local communities. In this respect, Mr. Borrup’s presentation would inspire many people working to find the means of rejuvenating communities and developing local culture, and ultimately, creating economic values. Thank you for great presentation and I’d like to ask a few questions.
Sharing your experiences in a few successful cases, you viewed the objectives and strategies of culture-led regeneration in terms of:
1) Creative economic development;
2) The reuse of empty or neglected old spaces as creative clusters;
3) The utilization of public spaces;
4) Securing human resources; and
5) Raising global awareness for cities and communities and nations.
I totally agree with your view that culture-led regeneration, based on creativity, contributes to local economic development.
We all understand that it is essential for administrative agencies and local residents, as well as artists, to communicate extensively and to develop consensus among them, in order to rejuvenate and create the economic values for local communities.
While I was reading your paper, I had a few questions. First, who are the principals of culture-led regeneration. Undoubtedly, artists will play a major role, but they may not be all. Then, who are the other players? Administrative officers who make and implement policies? Capitalists or enterprisers who exercisebig influences over the local economy? Activists who lead cultural movements, or anonymous local residents? If you can think of some cases suggesting how the roles of principals led to different effects, please let us know. Second, could you give us some examples of revitalizing the local economy by utilizing neglected old spaces as creative ones? I would like to hear your view on such cases as artists moved into a deserted area and improved the economic value of the area, but then eventually were forced to leave there because of high leases. Probably, Soho in Manhattan, where many artists lived from 1940s to 1960s, is a good example for that. At that time, many artists lived around Soho, leading American post-war contemporary art. However, in these days, Soho is occupied mostly by many boutiques, not by artists.
You explain the synergy of culture-led regeneration with:
1) Building horizontal social networks;
2) Creating social capital and collective efficacy;
3) Expanding embracing attitudes towards diversity and creativity;
4) Being proud of spaces;
5) Enhancing education and critical thinking; and
6) Fostering local leaders.
At this point, the "Harlem Renaissance" crossed my mind. This is my third question to Mr. Borrup. I don’t know much about Harlem just as Soho, since I’ve never lived in Manhattan. I heard that Harlem was infamous for crime for a while, but the Harlem Renaissance began as a cultural movement and then bloomed into a social movement based on human rights, as minority residents in this area expressed their own cultural identities. I would like to hear your opinions on how those local residents’ voluntary cultural activities affected the rejuvenation of local communities, and what are the meanings of the Harlem Renaissance in culture-led regeneration we are now discussing.