A recent article in the The Berkshire Eagle presents a strong case that a decade of investment in the Berkshire creative economy is beginning to pay off, with economic activity at $50M more per year than it was just five years ago.
"At the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, a cultural anchor that recently completed a $170 million expansion and renovation project, director Olivier Meslay believes the future of the creative economy in the Berkshires lies in the environment, both the cultural and physical ones.
"The nature surrounding us is a real benefit," Meslay said.
The Clark continues to attract visitors and academics thanks to its world-class collection and exhibition program, but Meslay is looking to create an experience for guests that extends beyond his buildings' walls. Partnerships like ArtCountry, a website and discount ticket program featuring five cultural venues in the northern Berkshires and southern Vermont are enabling organizations to work together to have a greater economic impact throughout the county extend the length of a cultural visitor's stay.
"ArtCountry is at the core of our philosophy: to attract not only visitors but to transform their perception of the area to encourage relocation," explained Meslay. "To attract more people to settle you need to create an identity for the area."