Celebrating Each Others Successes
Why is a district where there are many of the same types of businesses grouped together more economically advantageous than one where there is only a smattering of each? Why is an arts district a better magnet for creative businesses than say, an industrial park? There’s a simple explanation: business cluster economics. The gist of this strategy is the more the merrier.
Wikipedia puts it a little better: “A business cluster is a geographic concentration of interconnected businesses, suppliers, and associated institutions in a particular field. Clusters are considered to increase the productivity with which companies can compete…”
It’s not by accident that Downtown Vancouver was designated the Arts District since there are many galleries, performance arts groups, and pop up visual arts events within walking distance. It is also no coincidence there are many restaurants and bars located around the arts offerings. The success of one business helps bring up the others; prosperity can be a tide that floats all boats.
It’s for this reason that arts groups can be collaborative, generous, and even kind to each other. It’s because a cluster of healthy and thriving creative businesses works better than one solitary large business that each group can be genuinely happy for the successes of their neighbors.
As artists, we make better art when we are together in community. Our work is more inspired, our audience is larger, and our sales are improved. For many years, I have worked and volunteered in the arts communities of the places I’ve lived and I’ve seen the power of creative clustering again and again in making artistic and economic successes.
The birth, development, and sustainability of vibrant arts & culture takes decades to be fully realized. It’s great to see more arts-related or supporting businesses opening up near each other. There is power in numbers. We can celebrate each others successes, knowing that each one is for the greater good.
Gallery Committee at North Bank Artists, 2015