After winning a free ticket, Protozoa Design attended the kick off event on June 23rd. As well intentioned as it was, the true test remains to be seen in the coming three years. With backing from the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, i.e.* is a three year initiative to promote the creative and innovative endeavors of the city’s citizens. With a diverse mix of Richmond’s movers, shakers and curious creatives, attendees filled LaDifference to hear tales of vulnerability and cult-like chants from a group of pre-schoolers.
Stories from business owners who started with $700 to their name and a desperate need for change provided inspiration. Start up companies thriving in this economy after only a year in operation added even further fuel. The City of Richmond is filled with talented and motivated individuals. However, only a small handful of them were actually present. With a standard admission price of $125, most creatives are not going to take a day off and spend that kind of money on an event that no one really knew exactly what it was about.
Yet to the organizers credit, they have put forth a great deal of effort into culminating a resource for documenting, promoting and spreading the message. And what is the message exactly?
Well, Austin, Texas decided that they were the live music capital. Then they set forth a game plan, pulled people together and made sure everyone else in the country knew it too. “i.e.* strives to connect Richmond’s existing creative resources in order to synthesize and focus multiple perspectives towards a common goal: Richmond’s legacy of creative innovation.”
Leveraging the talent and the resources that are already firmly established in the City is paramount. They must be utilized so that Richmond can finally, at long last, work diligently and unified towards its potential.
As involved as we are in the professional creative community, we applaud what i.e.* is striving to accomplish. Now lets get our act together and get to it.