Officials look to improve cultural offerings in Springfield - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Officials look to improve cultural offerings in Springfield

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

The city of Springfield launched 'Future City Massachusetts' on Friday.  It's a project that will be designed to improve the culture of the city in areas ready for development and job growth.

"The thing to do is to get them to look differently at the way the city operates," said Mark Davy of Future City.

Davy and his London-based Future City wants to make an impact in Massachusetts.  Springfield, along with Boston and Worcester, is the company's first U.S. Project. 

The idea: don't keep culture confined to just certain areas of the city.

"What we want to do is to say the whole city is cultural. By nature, you're all part of a cultural club," Davy added.

Davy said that this goes beyond museums and historical locations.  They look to private businesses to take part by providing an example from an overseas project.

"We've persuaded them that the energy center is actually a giant kinetic artwork that shows the energy, so we flipped the budget.  We're thinking creatively about things that wouldn't normally be cultural," Davy explained.

Local officials said that culture has a good return on investment, providing $7 for every $1 spent.

"You show these businesses that their bottom lines will make profits too. That is very intriguing and very enticing and an easier pitch for me and my administration to make," said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

Having just stepped foot in Springfield, Davy said he saw plenty of potential in the city.

"The Dr. Seuss trail, then someone said Monopoly was done here, then I was thinking about the whole city as a Monopoly board. We have a reputation for doing very big, bold projects, but also persuading organizations that wouldn't normally be involved to be part of it," Davy said.

Davy noted that businesses would choose two items off a ten item list to help make a change in Springfield. He said that just those two items alone would help make an impact on the culture of the city. 

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