For Immediate Release
NEW HAVEN DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS SEEKING CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURS FOR PROJECT STOREFRONTS
New Haven – The City of New Haven Department of Cultural Affairs seeks new creative talent for the next installment of its Project Storefronts program. Instituted in August 2010, the program encourages artists and “creative entrepreneurs” to test the viability of new creative and arts-related retail and other businesses by providing very low cost access to empty retail spaces. Current participants are doing business in retail spaces owned by the Related Companies on Orange Street in the Ninth Square and new proposals are being sought for both that space and an additional New Haven location yet to be determined. A revised Call for Creative Entrepreneurs is now available to the public. There is a rolling application deadline.
Project Storefronts is an initiative led by the Department of Cultural Affairs with funding from the Economic Development Corporation of New Haven (EDC) and the City of New Haven’s Office of Economic Development. The innovative program, which combines arts and creativity with economic development, was recently recognized as implementing “Giant Steps” in the arts by the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, for its efforts to partner artists, not-for-profits and creative entrepreneurs with vacant storefronts to create new businesses. "Project Storefronts has proven to be a successful and popular endeavor that has drawn significant attention in and outside of New Haven. It's great to have this wonderful showcase of talent and innovation Downtown for everyone to enjoy," says Mayor John DeStefano, Jr.
The goals of the program continue to not just be about assisting entrepreneurs who want to start new retail businesses but actually have a much broader objective in mind. Working with the Small Business managers from the City’s Office of Economic Development, as well as through the Economic Development Corporation of New Haven, this program was designed to help guide creative start-up entrepreneurs learn about business while test marketing the viability of their business ideas. “Artists, creative technology professionals and entrepreneurs that are part of what is known as the creative economy are a major driver of economic growth in our City,” stated Kelly Murphy, New Haven’s Economic Development Administrator. “Project Storefronts is an important instrument for the promotion of the creative economy in New Haven.”
Turning empty storefronts into active spaces helps drive foot traffic into underutilized areas, assisting adjacent and nearby businesses as well as marketing these formerly vacant spaces to potential long term tenants with the objective to get these spaces permanently rented and activated. “We’ve had a lot of interest on the part of new entrepreneurs as well as property owners who have vacant properties,” stated Barbara Lamb, the City’s Director of Cultural Affairs, “and are pleased that we are able to continue and expand in 2011.”
The focus on “creative” industry retail also helps to attract additional artists and other creative types to New Haven, a city already known as Connecticut’s Creative Capital, thus building that reputation further. And while the city currently has a strong number of design-related businesses, this program is seen as an opportunity to strengthen and grow that industry-. “New Haven’s creative economy continues to gain momentum,” said Anne Haynes of the Economic Development Corporation, “We’ve been thrilled to see how these small entrepreneurs have learned to establish their business and gained valuable experience. We are looking forward to seeing them grow, and graduate to become independent retail businesses!” One such example is Elm City Handmade (Connecticut’s Etsy Street Team) which began as a contributor to Upcycle Arts, one of the original storefront projects and has since developed into its own stand alone business.
Project Storefronts’ current location at 71 Orange Street is open Tuesday-Saturday from 1pm-9pm, and Sunday from 1pm-5pm.
For more information about Project Storefronts and to obtain the Call for Entrepreneurs, contact Margaret Bodell at (203) 946-2895 or visit www.projectstorefrontsnewhaven.com.
The City of New Haven's Department of Cultural Affairs is dedicated to enhancing the City's quality of life and supporting its economic development through the production of events, the commissioning of public art and assisting and promoting New Haven's many artists and cultural organizations.
Contact Name: Barbara Lamb
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Phone: (203) 946-8378