World Cafes: Conversations with Your Creative Neighbours

The Creative Convergence Project (I’m the Project Manager) is conducting four World Cafe events to engage a broad cross-section of creative people into conversations about themselves, their creative practice and their neighbourhoods. These events allow us to gather fascinating qualitative data for our research study (take the survey) and are also experiments in new ways of engaging the so-called Creative Class into a conversation that has been stuck inside policy circles for too long.

What do an artist and a software developer have in common? What are our shared dreams for our neighbourhoods and our city? We invite you to join a unique conversation, meet the creative people in your neighbourhood and hope that you will leave with new perspective and new opportunities for your own work.

Download the invitation. Join the Facebook Group.

3 thoughts on “World Cafes: Conversations with Your Creative Neighbours”

  1. Hey Mark,

    While I think this is an awesome idea, I was a little disappointed to see the geographic bias in this project. There are other neighbourhoods in the city that could have participated. Instead of having all 4 down in the southern core of the city, would it not have been a stronger sample to have one or two locations north of queen street or even outside the main core? There are lots of comparable ‘hoods in the city that would have offered interesting insight and participation in the project…

    -jesse ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Jesse, I agree – it would be great to do these events in many more neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, time and budget constraints mean that we can only do four as part of the current research project.

    The four districts (West Queen West, Liberty Village, King-Spadina and Queen East) were selected because of the high concentrations of arts, cultural industries and creative services organizations and individuals in those neighbourhoods.

    If you check out the maps on the Facebook group, you’ll see the rationale pretty clearly. There is no doubt that creative people are located in many neighbourhoods across the city. It is also very clear that these four neighbourhoods have by far the highest concentrations of these diverse creative activities. Part of the objective of the project is to better understand the reasons why.

    If there were to be similar events in the future, what other neighbourhoods would you like to see added to the list?

  3. Hey Mark, I totally understand the constraints you have to work within, hopefully this initial project will be so successful you’ll get tons more funding to expand it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    So with that in mind, some ‘hoods I think would be worth doing similar events would be in random order: The Junction, Dig/Big (Dupont/Bloor improvement groups), Annex, Riverdale, Yorkville, College/Little Italy, Kensington, Cabbagetown, Weston, East York, Jane-Finch, Rexdale, Lawrence Heights, Scarborough, Etobicoke (south to the north), etc.

    Not all of these areas are equal, but growing up in this city I’ve come to know these neighbourhoods as having the type of creative people you describe.

    However, while I also recognize the need to target areas that have high levels of activity and dense creativity concentration, I think the process on some levels is self-reinforcing. It’s important that culture extends across the city, and thus important to cultivate creative communities outside the core where they already exist, so the benefits of said community are promoted and shared widely.

    -j ๐Ÿ™‚

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