The Co-Creative Center is excited to announce its partnership with the New Bedford Economic Development Council and the unveiling of New Bedford SourceLink, an invaluable new resource for small businesses and local entrepreneurs. New Bedford SourceLink is a supportive platform, connecting maritime, arts and culture, and main street entrepreneurs to a network of local, regional, and national resource partners to foster innovation, growth, and prosperity.
Looking back to my first visit to New Bedford as an undergraduate student, I was instantly inspired, and knew this place felt like home. The art, business and creative scene in the city exuded authenticity, passion, uniqueness and collective support like I had not experienced in any other city. That was 20 years ago when I was painting in my studio as a student at UMass Dartmouth, and before I understood that being an artist entailed many tasks and priorities other than applying paint to my canvas. As an artist, I quickly learned the importance of building a community of creatives, participating in the community I lived in and most importantly, that being an artist meant being a business woman.
This realization has led me down the path of helping to foster the art and business community in New Bedford. I currently serve as the Director of the Co-Creative Center downtown, a dynamic collaborative working space home to artists, creative entrepreneurs, and engaged community members. The center is diverse as it is vibrant. We are home to painters, photographers, designers, and small businesses ranging from digital design companies to solar sales. We see connecting with our community and peers as a vital component to ensuring our long-term goal of building a sustainable ecosystem of creatives.
Each person’s success is a collective success. The collaborative nature of our members creates a versatile and dynamic community of ideas, resources, and support at the leading edge of innovation and art.
This is how I see the new initiative New Bedford SourceLink working for our community. Not necessarily in the physical sense, but rather, a virtual tool for artists, entrepreneurs and businesses in the local community to access the resources, tools, and connections they need for success and growth.
With the capability of SourceLink, our members and the NewBedford community will have a free resource at their fingertips to access the steps they need to enhance and grow their business. With a simple survey offered, users will be pointed in the right direction for their unique needs.
As an entrepreneur and artist, I understand firsthand the amount of research and time that goes into launching your business off of the ground, figuring out logistics and finances while at the same time honing a craft. All of this can be very difficult and with these challenges, your passion can quickly fade. But with SourceLink, all of the leg work is already done for you, and will make running a business that much simpler.
SourceLink will provide artists and creative entrepreneurs not only the resources needed to start your business and monetize your creative endeavor, but it will also give you immediate access to your neighbors working in the same type of creative work, building community at the onset. In similar ways that the Co-Creative Center and its members find value in shared resources, the tools of SourceLink provide similar opportunities, not only connecting the individual to resources but to a community of business owners and entrepreneurs.
I look forward to watching New Bedford SourceLink provide our community with the resources needed to strengthen and build our creative economy and individual art practices. In doing so, we create a sustainable model; empowering the artists of our city to remain vital, authentic, and prosperous for future generations to come.