Creative state?

To the editor:

Maybe Lawrence’s officially defunct moniker of “City of the Arts” should now be regurgitated and revamped to be more inclusive, as the “City of Creativity?”

In a recent Journal-World editorial, it was noted that “A recent $500,000 gift to Kansas University’s School of Engineering is more than just a nice boost to the university’s fundraising efforts,” and that “several state leaders are pushing hard to make the attraction and retention of engineering firms a cornerstone of the state’s economic development strategy.”

In response, the Journal-World suggests that “Lawrence leaders now need to position the city to capitalize on this movement” and attract “creative business professionals of all types: architects, publishers, designers, programmers and others.” The editorial concludes with a challenge: that “Lawrence ought to set a goal of becoming the Creative Capital of the Great Plains.”

While this sounds admirable, and not beyond the realm of possibility with the right kind of visionaries taking the reins, let’s include all of the creative arts — including the visual, literary and performing arts — under the banner of “Creative Capital!” But wait a minute, isn’t this what Gov. Brownback is proposing at a state level with the proposed Kansas Creative Industries Commission?

Becoming a state known for its creativity — and not the creationism kind — might ultimately put us back in the forefront of national debate as a shining example of what’s good with Kansas and reverse the seemingly incessant trend of being the butt of embarrassing jokes.