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Museum praised as Creative Industry

SPENCER ó It was announced recently that the Creative Industry in North Carolina adds $41 billion to the state’s economy and employs nearly 300,000.
N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation President Roy Johnson attended the announcement at the McColl Center in Charlotte and received mention from N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Linda A. Carlisle.
The new study, “Creativity Means Business: Economic Contributions of North Carolina’s Creative Industry,” was prepared by the Policy, Research and Strategic Planning Division of the N.C. Department of Commerce.
It includes 109 job classifications, including not only painters, potters and musicians, but also architects, designers, writers for new and traditional media, art teachers, software engineers and workers in the film industry.
Johnson received credit during Carlisle’s speech for meeting two aspects of the creative industry, as an architect and as president of the N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation.
Johnson said the creative industry and the N.C. Transportation Museum have a significant and positive effect on Rowan County and the surrounding region. “Between employment and museum visitation, all that has an impact on the economy of this region, and we’re a big part of it,” he said.
Johnson estimates that impact at $6 million to $10 million. “It’s a new day and a new beginning for the museum in the last several years, and what we are presenting is a new type of contribution to the region,” he said.
N.C. Secretary of Commerce J. Keith Crisco also spoke during the event, touching on aspects beyond the economic figures.
“Secretary Crisco said the number one reason that people come to North Carolina is still ‘quality of life,’ ” Johnson said, “and I’d like to think that our museum can play a meaningful part of that.”
Johnson’s hope is that relationships can be created with other museums and organizations to mutual benefit, increasing the N.C. Transportation Museum’s impact even further.
The N.C. Transportation Museum, located in historic Spencer Shops, the former Southern Railway repair facility, is part of the Division of State Historic Sites, Department of Cultural Resources.
Visit www.nctrans.org for more information.
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources is celebrating the 2009 theme of “Treasure N.C. Culture.” For information on the Department of Cultural Resources, call (919) 807-7385 or visit www.ncculture.com.

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