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Local artists form a key component of the city’s economy, but their growth must still be nurtured, according to “Creative New York,” a new report by The Center for an Urban Future (CUF), the sister organization of City Limits. If the city wants to harness the economic power of its “creative core,” it should implement sweeping new strategies to keep the arts thriving in New York. The report examines nine seemingly disparate industries—design, publishing, music, advertising, visual arts, broadcasting, performing arts, architecture, and film and video—and makes a case for seeing them as one economic engine. “Nonprofit arts organizations think of themselves as being in the nonprofit arts world and advertising agencies think they are in the advertising industry,” said Robin Keegan, lead researcher on the report. “There is no framework for the creative sector, so they don’t collectively self-identify with this part of the economy.” The high cost of rental space and health care, and a lack of coordinated support services hinder success, notes the study, which will be the subject of a conference in March 2006. Unlike cities like London, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Berlin, New York has yet to devise a plan for the creative sector in its overall economic development strategies. Yet, as the report outlines, the Bloomberg administration has been actively promoting discrete projects such as tax credits for film production companies and capital grants for nonprofit cultural institutions. “There are lots of models to build off of in New York City,” said Keegan. “It’s just a matter of expanding upon them to the creative economy as a whole.” [12/19/05]

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