Creative Counties: Reinventing a Regional Economy with the Creative Class

Jun. 6, 2019 , 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm

Join us on June 6th to learn how Friends of Southwest Virginia and partners have coordinated the creation of a regional creative economy within a 19-county, 4-city and 53 town region that borders 4 states and is located 6 hours from their state capitol. Representatives from the organization will discuss the complex history of the region and the collapse of an economy, and how the region is in the midst of stabilization through investment in the creative economy. The body of work of the organization spans from research and planning and project development to implementation and marketing; from the development front, the organization currently has over $300,000 of planning projects and $7 million of tourism and outdoor recreation projects under construction through federal state and private grants. Special attention is also given to their strategies for uniting such a large geography through a mass regional brand and long-term tourism marketing program. Initiatives of the organization include the #SWVA Brand (http://visitswva.org/), 'Round the Mountain: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Network (https://roundthemountain.org/), the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace (https://swvaculturalcenter.com/), the Southwest Virginia Mountain Brew Trail (https://mountainbrewtrail.com/), and The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail (https://www.myswva.org/tcr). More information on these initiatives and the work behind them can be found at the SWVA Partner website: http://friendsofswva.org/ 


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