RESEARCH DISCOVERY REPORT
Mapping the distinctive
assets of Winston-Salem
Winston-Salem was founded and built on the backbone of creativity and innovation, with creativity having played a foundational role for indigenous communities before the time of the Moravians, who then innovated in craft, urban planning, and education, and creativity has continued to play a role all the way to the present. Creativity has presented itself through the community’s creative thinkers, creative enterprises, innovation in business, and density of performing arts and hand-made craft, among others.
It starts with the question:
How does creativity appear in Winston-Salem?
Winston-Salem was founded and built on the backbone of creativity and innovation, with creativity having played a foundational role for indigenous communities before the time of the Moravians, who then innovated in craft, urban planning, and education, and has continued to play a role all the way to the present. Creativity has presented itself through the community’s creative thinkers, creative enterprises, innovation in business, and density of performing arts and hand-made craft, among others
Today, Winston-Salem’s moniker as a “City of Arts and Innovation” feels relevant to its stakeholders and captures the spirit of its history and the undercurrent of a robust arts scene, Innovation Quarter, and budding entrepreneurial ecosystem. All of this being said, a huge opportunity stands looming, as Winston-Salem’s creativity, one of its greatest assets, is not being leveraged to its full potential in connection with the community’s greatest goals and aspirations.
How can we better leverage creativity?
Creative Center’s asset map will serve as a tool for the Winston-Salem community. It will allow us to better understand and raise awareness around our most creative and distinctive assets, break down silos and generate connectivity between the assets, and elevate emblematic projects that contribute to social and inclusive economic growth and prosperity for all in our community.
Completed: Phase 1
THE DISCOVERY RESEARCH REPORT
The Discovery Research Report summarizes findings from Phase 1 of the asset mapping process, including:
- a detailed SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis and synthesis of feedback.
- a framework and structure for the asset mapping.
- a series of value propositions that Creative Center can contribute to, including helping elevate an authentic narrative of what the “City of Arts and Innovation” means to the community.
- creation of tools that can aid in connecting assets and help enhance outcomes, elevating and supporting emblematic projects that leverage Winston-Salem’s creativity towards social and economic goals.
The asset mapping tool will come alongside and align with other great work happening in the community.
Top takeaways from the report:
“Arts and Innovation”, when not siloed but intersected, is an authentic and differentiating moniker and narrative for Winston-Salem. What happens when arts and health intersect? What happens when businesses have creatives as employees?
The Intersection of Arts and Innovation
“Global video game revenue is expected to surge 20% to $179.7 billion in 2020, according to IDC data, making the video game industry a bigger moneymaker than the global movie and North American sports industries combined.” (Witkowski, 2020) While part of the creative sector, gaming incorporates very niche artistic skillsets like storytelling, user experience design, graphic design and modeling, illustration, and music composition, among others. The creative sector in Winston-Salem contains all of these assets and can connect to opportunities more effectively as a hub. An investment in developing the coding side of the equation would allow Winston-Salem to connect the full impact of the gaming industry to our economic development advantage.
Winston-Salem has the opportunity to define and re-value what constitutes its creative economy in connection to its GDP. The Creative Economy extends way past the performing and fine arts. Globally, more attention is being paid to the creative economy as one of the top drivers of economic development.
An Asset Mapping Benchmark
ORANGE ECONOMY (LATIN AMERICA)
Almost 1.77% of the world’s exports of creative goods originate in Latin America and the Caribbean. Measured in trillions of dollars, if the Orange Economy were a country, it would be the fourth largest economy in the World after the United States, China and Japan; the ninth largest exporter; and the fourth largest labor force with 144 million workers.
Learn more about how Latin America and the Caribbean are redefining and leveraging one of their most valuable assets, their creative economies.
Winston-Salem’s “creativity” can help recruit and retain target audiences to the community. At any given time, there are 27,000+ students at our 6 unique colleges and universities. As Winston-Salem looks to recruit companies and entrepreneurs to the area, student creativity can be leveraged to solve businesses’ biggest challenges. It can also create job pathways locally.
A Project Benchmark
In 2010, SCAD launched the university’s year-round innovation studio SCADpro. The impactful program connects talented SCAD students with industry partners to solve specific business challenges. SCADpro teams have now worked on more than 450 projects with more than 300 influential brands, including Google, NASA, Microsoft, Airbnb, and Disney. So, why are A-list companies turning to a group of students for breakthrough ideas?
Learn more about SCADpro’s unique value-add proposition that have some of the world’s biggest brands going to Savannah, GA for help on their next breakthrough project.
“Creativity”, one of Winston-Salem’s greatest assets, can be better leveraged towards its greatest goals and challenges. The Creative Center of NC’s asset map creates pathways for relevance, collaboration, and innovation; helping to connect dots.
A Community Benchmark
In addition to a story of social innovation connected to urban planning and education, Medellin, Colombia’s Christmas light display (Alumbrados Navideños) is a relevant case study for tourism and economic development that leverages a creative asset. Expanding the role of a cultural tradition, Medellin grew its Christmas light display to address some of its most critical social issues of crime and poverty by hiring local communities experiencing poverty to manage the light displays and creating a company to manufacture the displays and hiring in those same communities. The display has been named by National Geographic as one of the top 10 in the world and generates 1000’s of direct and indirect jobs that connect to tourism and economic development. It is also a huge source of pride for the community.
Learn more about how this community has harnessed a uniquely creative cultural event into a community-lead tool to address its most critical social and economic challenges
Next Step: Phase 2
Phase 2 of building the asset map includes a series of interactive processes that will help structure an asset map that the community can easily utilize to create more connectivity. Phase 2 will include a series of community interviews, surveys and 5 interactive mapping forums to be located in different places across the city. If you are interested in information about the process or would like to participate, please fill in the form below
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