Developing Holyoke’s Creative Side

In the 2012 CreativeNEXT Listen Tour Summary Report, Massachusetts Creative Economy Director, Helena Fuscio, identified business development as a top need among creative enterprises.  Starting in February of 2013, Fuscio began holding Creative Resource Panels and Open Office Hours for professionals working in creative industry sectors across the State.    Sessions, open to any Western Mass Artists and/or Creative Businesses, are being held in Holyoke  at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) on Appleton Street – and Fuscio is joined by Ann Burke of the Western Mass Economic Development Council, and Jeffrey C. Bianchine, Creative Economy Coordinator for the City.

During the Creative Resources Panels, creative companies are invited to give a short presentation on their business and the difficulties they face to a room full of professional development experts in fields like financing, marketing, human recourses, law an so on.  For the rest of the hour, the group discusses mitigating those barriers to growth and linking participants to other professionals and business development recourses to which they haven’t yet been exposed.

The Open Office Hours workshops are available to both business as well as individual artists and involve a 30 minute face-to-face meeting with Fuscio, Burke and Bianchine.  Participants have an opportunity to talk about their current situation, challenges and next steps; and learn of possible resources that could help.  Everything discussed is confidential.

Local artists, Julian Halpern, presented his custom metal fabrication company Steelhead Studios to the Creative Resource Panel in April, saying, ”I really appreciate what they are doing here.  Often we (artists) don’t have an innate business sense or the formal education that informs us of that reality – and this is a great way to make those connections”.

The next sessions scheduled in Holyoke are on Thursday, July 11th at the MGHPCC.

If you’d like to present to the Creative Resource Panel, please email or call 413 755-1374

To sign up for an appointment during Open Office Hours, please visit



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