The Creative Economy generates $274 Billion, representing nearly 8% of California's "Gross State Product" and 1.4 million jobs. California and Californians must pay attention to this economic sector or risk serious deterioration of our competitive standing in the world. Craig Watson, the Director of the California Arts Council, will provide details on the very recent statewide, "Creative Economy" research prepared by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. He will draw connections to the state of "creative" education and how we can and must do better.
Craig Watson has held the position of Director of the California Arts Council since August 2011 when the Council chose him after a nationwide search. Previously he was the executive director of the Arts Council for Long Beach, where he oversaw the expansion of the agency into the community, including the largest local celebration for Arts and Humanities Month in the nation.
Watson started his career in the arts field at local arts agencies and arts-services organizations, and later built a career in the telecommunications industry before returning to the arts as Executive Director of the Arts Council for Long Beach. He held senior executive positions in the telecommunications field in Rhode Island, New York and California. His earlier career in the arts included positions with the Sonoma County Arts Council and Rural Arts Services in Northern California, as well as a fellowship at the National Endowment for the Arts, participation in the Coro Foundation's Arts Management program, and a co-directing position at Santa Barbara Arts Services.
The California Arts Council is the official state arts agency for California, the state with the largest number of artists and creative-industry workers in the U.S.
Invocation: Helen Baatz
Guest Introductions: Margaret Sedenquist
Song Leader: Gary Kearney
Accompanist: Ross Jutsum