The following is courtesy of Creative Salem.
March 29 marked the official launch of Creative Salem, a local initiative with a mission to promote Salem as a hub of creativity, and to facilitate networking, growth, and innovation among the businesses and individuals that form the creative economy.
Businessman Darek Barcikowski and local entrepreneur and entertainment producer Kevin Letourneau are behind the Creative Salem project. “Salem truly is a hub of creativity that is perfectly positioned for growth due to the abundance of affordable office space, proximity to a major city and most importantly, access to a huge pool of local talent,” said Barcikowski.
Creative Salem's mission involves the launch of a new web page, industry events and a creative incubator. CreativeSalem.com will feature a comprehensive directory of businesses and individuals who make up the local creative economy as well as other resources including announcements and industry specific classifieds. Creative Salem also promises to deliver an exciting lineup of events including speaker series, networking opportunities and discussion forums. “We want to motivate people to go out and do dynamic things,” said Letourneau.
Yet Barcikowski’s and Letourneau’s biggest aspiration was the establishment of a creative incubator in downtown Salem. Located above the Salem Chamber of Commerce at 265 Essex Street, the incubator not only offers affordable office space and access to shared resources, but provides the opportunity to be a part of a creative environment, which facilitates innovation, creativity and growth. All six of the available office suites have already been filled. Some of the industries represented in the Creative Salem space include entertainment production, creative writing, digital publishing, music and advertising.
The launch consisted of an open house at the Creative Salem offices followed by a reception at Café Polonia. The two consecutive events attracted 150 community leaders, business owners and members of the local creative economy. In attendance were Mayor Kimberly Driscoll, State Representative John Keenan and Helena Fruscio, Creative Economy Industry Director for the State of Massachusetts. “We always knew there was creativity on the North Shore but did not know how to connect,” said Fruscio in her remarks during which she offered praise and support for the new project.