creative economy

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

The new normal is here. Florida began a full phase one reopening with restaurant dining rooms, shopping malls and hotels reopening with limitations on Monday.


It’s a calculated effort balancing the need to protect public health and the demand for economic activity. How long and lasting will this new normal be? It may be a balance between infection rates and unemployment rates -- between epidemiology and economics.

Courtesy of Cameron Cunningham / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale city commissioners hope to attract more street performers and artists — “buskers” — to the city. 

However, instead of voting on changes to its ordinance at the last city commission meeting of the decade Tuesday night,  commissioners asked for reworked changes and deferred the matter until the new year for more discussion.

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Tomas Esson's giant paintings will not be at Art Basel Miami Beach this year, yet he's hopeful this could be his break out year. "I have been close to that breaking point, but I never have made that crossover yet. So maybe this is my time. I am ready," he said.

Matias J. Ocner / Miami Herald

Florida's economy is booming by most economic metrics. The unemployment rate is near a record low. Over 125 million tourists will visit the state this year. And property values are still growing, even though the pace has slowed.


creative economy
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Arts and culture translate into big business  that can bring a region millions - or even billions - of dollars in economic impact. 

Experts call it an area's creative economy, or as a 2013 book from the Latin American Bank IDB calls it, the Orange Economy. The color orange has historically been connected to creativity, leadership and culture.

Courtesy of Cameron Cunningham / WLRN

The City of Fort Lauderdale is working to attract more buskers - or street performers - to the downtown area. 

The City and its nighttime economy program have started hosting Busker Fairs on the Laura Ward Riverwalk Plaza. The city's second-ever Busker Fair is from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. 


Zero Empty Spaces
Gerard Albert III / WLRN

Cities don't like empty storefronts. They aren't good for business, and tourists notice when there's a dark shop in a row of otherwise bright stores and restaurants. 

A new initiative in Fort Lauderdale called Zero Empty Spaces is inviting artists to move in to some of those empty stores, acting as an intermediary between artists and property owners.

Fort Lauderdale arts
Courtesy of Evan Snow / WLRN

Broward County's arts scene has been growing over the past several years with special events like the  Fort Lauderdale Art & Design week and 'The Art Fair On The Water,' in addition to regular art walking tours and new studio space initiatives.