Is there an urban creative crisis? / by Tom Oliver Payne


"Pure artists are, in any case, today everywhere subordinated to the market in pursuit of private profits. Today's creativity crisis is unfolding in the shadow of the financial meltdown and an economic climate where Chicago and Stockon, where persistent recession undercuts private job growth, and where unpaid internships and other inequities hostile to the development of a creative class proliferate. The persistence of economic segregation walls off too many from the advantages of urban generatively.

Cities are not merely creative but capable of generating and nurturing hope, innovation and sense of possibility and hence of breaking the vicious circle in which segregation, poverty and inequality feed off one another."

-Benjamin Barber (If Mayors Ruled the World)

Feature image: An artist sketches a woman's picture while others watch at the 1st annual MUND art show. Courtesy ubarchives.