GROVE - An informational conference on the economic benefits of creative industries for small towns is set for March 3, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Grove Community Center, located at 104 W 3rd St, in Grove, OK. The Grove Springs Cultural District is the sponsor of the conference with assistance from the Oklahoma Arts Council.

The Featured Speaker at the Grove Conference will be Aaron Bolzle, Executive Director of Tulsa Remote, a unique talent recruitment initiative of the George Kaiser Family Foundation which saw 10,000 + applications from over 150 countries and all 50 states in its inaugural year. He will give practical advice on how to attract individuals to towns of any size in his talk, “Attracting Talent Through Developing Creative Communities”.

Lying at the crossroads between the arts, business and technology, creative industries can be defined as “those industries that have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property.”

These “industries” can include artists, designers, and other creative individuals such as visual artists and entertainers who have built a self-owned business around their talents, as well as traditional designers such as architects and interior designers and even new web-based technology designers within businesses, manufacturing, and corporate entities.

A 2010 survey by I.B.M. asked 1,500 chief executives what they valued in their employees. “Although ‘execution’ and ‘engagement’ continue to be highly valued...the CEOs had a new number-one priority: creativity. This was seen as “the key to successful leadership in an increasingly complex world.” More information on the types of creative industries will be available at the conference.

The emphasis on the economic benefits of the arts and creative businesses is a result of many years of building the concept of Creative Placemaking through partnerships that led to private and public investments by many large foundations, such as the Ford Foundation, the Kresge Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Most investments have been in cities and large “creative cluster” but in the last decade, funding for the creation of cultural districts have brought both an understanding of the concept and potential funding to small towns and rural areas. Grove has been fortunate to receive funding from the Oklahoma Arts Council for the development of the Grove Springs Cultural District for the past three years.

The deadline for registration at the conference is Tuesday, February 25. The fee, which includes lunch is only $30. Registration forms can be acquired at the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, located at 9630 US Hwy 59 in Grove and completed forms may also be returned at the Chamber. Checks must be made payable to The Grove Springs Cultural District.

For more information about the conference schedule, please call the Chamber at 918-786-9079.

Anyone who would like to volunteer with the Groves Springs Cultural District may leave a message with Suzanne Boles, coordinator at The Playmakers, 918-786-8950.