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San Jose Artists and Creative Entrepreneurs contribute to Silicon Valley’s economy.

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Osvaldo Castillo
El Observador
Silicon Valley is home to many high tech companies, which play an important role in the local economy.
Many of those employed by these companies have skills in engineering and other related fields. But there are some in Silicon Valley that believe the economy can be driven by creative skills as well. These individuals are artists and creative entrepreneurs.
On Friday, the San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs hosted an event called ‘Platform: Building Networks to Catalyze Creative Urban Culture’. The event brought artists, creative entrepreneurs, civic leaders and funders together to discuss national and local successes in creative placemaking and creative entrepreneurship.
“Artists and creative entrepreneurs are important to any economy and we must not let them slip through the cracks,” said Cora Mirikitani, President and CEO for the Center for Cultural Innovation. “We need to introduce these artists and their ideas to the public. Many of these artists also help out the community by working with non- profits.”
The Center for Cultural Innovation and the San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs have been working together since 2008 to find ways to bring artists to work with the community and stimulate the economy.
“We are committed to building San Jose’s artistic economy in San Jose,” Mirikitani said.
Kerry Adams Hapner, Director of the San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, was also present at the event. “Art reflects the soul of a community and we are all better human beings because we have it in our lives,” Hapner said. “We are making grants so that these artists can get their businesses going.”
The event featured a PowerPoint presentation by artists and creative entrepreneurs who are succeeding in Silicon Valley. The presenters included Jonathan Nelson of Hackers & Founders – SV, Adam Mayberry of Mayberry Workshop, Gretchen Baisa of NextSpace, Marie Millares of SJMADE, Amie Frisch of Veggielution, and Daniel Garcia of Content Magazine.
“Our magazine is not a hard news, digging up a story, kind of magazine,” Garcia said. “We focus on the revolutionaries that shape San Jose. They are artists, musicians, bloggers, fashionists. We share their stories because we believe everyone has a story to tell.”
The Office of Cultural Affairs is the champion of San Jose’s artistic and cultural vibrancy, resources, and vision. It fulfills this mission through public art, special events and arts industry services. The Office of Cultural Affairs is a division of the San Jose Office of Economic Development. Visit the Office of Cultural Affairs website, www.sanjoseculture.org.

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