Creating the State you Want
If you are reading this and remember the time before Internet communication, you may remember the event that my mom called the back fence discussion. Neighbors used to just stand and chat, remember that?
Now we sometimes don’t even know the person who shares a common wall in an apartment complex or the people who moved into the house down the street 2 or 3 years ago. Something has changed in the way our communities are and we are at fault just as much as the other person.
When I moved to Huntington five years ago I started hearing about Create Huntington and I noticed that a group of friendly people met each Thursday afternoon in the lobby of my office building, usually with a beverage of choice from the restaurant on the premises. Sometimes with toddlers in tow. Sometimes hobbling in with a walker.
What all these diverse people had in common was the desire to see changes in Huntington. They had ideas, They had energy. And they decided the time was now, not when some government program was considered worthy by City Hall. In the years since I started participating we have a dog park, bicycle lanes, an exercise trail, a local food market, a monthly art walk, to name just a few projects….all because local people decided to talk to each other and share ideas.
Create West Virginia operates on the same theme but on a statewide basis and helps local groups emerge.
Create WV is an independent grass roots organization launched by Vision Shared (www.visionshared.com) whose vision is to empower West Virginians at a local level to place themselves among the most innovative, dynamic, prosperous, creative communities in the world.
Our mission is to build creative communities for the new economy. Our strategies to achieve this include:
- Empowering communities at a local level to build their own “create” team and build a new economy growth plan through training and consulting support
- Developing and launching commercial and social entreprenuership projects, businesses and initiatives that improve WV
- Supporting and initiating statewide policies for building creative community pillars: quality of place, diversity, technology, education and entrepreneurship
- Promoting West Virginia as a great place to create today to encourage artists, entrepreneurs and other creatives to live and create here!
Concepts are explored in a vast array of fields including
- Quality of Place-what will make West Virginia better not only for its residents but also the perception outside the state,
- Technology-how to bring modern industry to the state, and tied to that
- Education and Talent-how to make sure West Virginia offers a challenging educational system that helps our children excel,
- Diversity and Inclusion-helping us recognize that West Virginia has been attracting people from across the globe for decades and they help to enrich our society,
- Arts and Culture-how encouraging development of art, theater, music and similar programs can help to not only make our state more enriched, but also helps tourism, and
- Entrepreneurship-how to recognize trends and grab opportunities
Create WV is holding its annual conference in Charleston’s Convention Center October 26-27. The Create WV Conference is a statewide training conference and celebration of creative, entrepreneurial communities and individuals that develop innovative economic opportunities for all West Virginia citizens. At Create WV you can
- Get INSPIRED to pursue your own ideas
- DEVELOP your ideas with the help of mentors and training
- Find RESOURCES to help turn your ideas into reality
This is the place to come if you have ideas and need to know how to implement them, to share your ideas with other people around the state and join a network of like minded people who want to help West Virginia be all it can be.