Thursday, April 5, 2012

North Shore’s Creative Culture Benefits Local Economy

Downtown Beverly is attracting more artists, and business. 
By Kate Goodale 
Gordon College News Service
April 5, 2012

(This story appeared April 9, 2012, in the Boston Globe, Beverly, Salem, Peabody and Danvers, sites, and April, 16, 2012, in the print and online editions of The Salem News.)

After moving from Seattle to take a position at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Lucas Spivey soon discovered something was missing for local artists: working exhibition space. So he created 17 COX.

“There is no shortage of artists or audience in Beverly,” said Spivey. “I saw a need for a private gallery space and there was a market for it. In a sense I found a niche within the community.”

Spivey is not the only one who has noticed the North Shore’s creative culture and opportunities. Despite the national economic downturn, the region’s creativity is on the rise, helping the local economy and enriching the quality of life. According to a recent study from the Enterprise Center at Salem State University, there are over 2,200 creative economy businesses on the North Shore bringing in over $3 billion dollars in revenue.

Spivey, 27, of Beverly, founded 17 COX in October 2010 with the intention of highlighting the experimental or underrepresented ideas of the struggling or established artist. Based in the warehouse of a former taxi dispatch on 17 Cox Court in Beverly, the gallery got its start with the help of numerous local volunteers, including Spivey’s landlord who provided rental credit for renovation supplies.

“It’s not a traditional gallery,” said Spivey. “I don’t even want to call it a gallery; it’s more a laboratory workshop, a mixing pot for local, regional, and national artists.”

But the creative economy is not constrained to the arts. It also includes any business using creativity to produce wealth and generate revenue for the community, according to Christine Sullivan of Salem, CEO of the Enterprise Center at Salem State University.

Local Cooking Store Helps North Shore Companies Spice It Up

Executive chef Liz Walkowicz (left) and chef instructor Alexandra Riccuiti (right)
 in the kitchen at Eurostoves
By Katie Thompson
Gordon College News Service
April 5, 2012

(This story appeared April 18, 2012, in the print and online editions of The Salem News.)

BEVERLY—Are things about to boil over at the office? Try taking it to the stove.

Eurostoves, a gourmet cooking store in Beverly, has a unique recipe for bringing the community into the store while helping businesses build better office dynamics at the same time. Through the sometimes difficult art of cooking and preparing a meal, the store offers corporate cooking events in their kitchen for team building and group exercises.

“In the office, people are not always collaborating as much as they should,” said Eurostoves’ chef instructor Alexandra Ricciuti, 37, of Beverly. “[Cooking classes] are a nice chance to work together and it’s fun to create something everyone enjoys.”

In early March, Linda McGrath, assistant to the head of controlling at EMD Millipore Corporation, a biomanufacturing company in Bellerica, took a team of 42 employees to Eurostoves for a chance to get out of the office and into the kitchen.

“I was looking for a fun, interactive team building event,” she said. “It was an all around great night.”

For many of her employees, it was the first time they met face to face.

“Even though they’ve emailed and talked on phone, they had an opportunity to talk to each other in a more informal atmosphere,” McGrath said. “They got to know people on a personal side that you don’t always get to do at work.”

Ricciuti said that a few times a month different companies bring a group in, ranging from 10 to 50 employees, for a night of cooking. An event typically lasts for three hours, which gives teams time to prepare a meal and a dessert with a chef instructor and present their plate before a panel of judges.