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By Patrick Cavanaugh

Testify! BRINK Talks Creative Economy at DC City Council Hearing

Yesterday, Chairman Vincent Orange of the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs in the City Council of Washington DC held a Public Hearing on the following legislation:

  • B21-137, the “Workforce Job Development Grant-Making Reauthorization Act of 2015”
  • B21-206, the “Film DC Economic Incentive Amendment Act of 2015”

Director Angie Gates, of the newly formed OCTFME, was the chief speaker, introducing her office’s vision while presenting the proposed changes to the Film DC Incentives; the MPAA‘s Vans Stevenson was also in attendance, granting his support for the necessary revisions while asking for additional funds, to the tune of $20 Million per year.


I provided additional testimony on how we should further expand our view of how the convergence of multimedia arts requires both investment and support, to harness and focus the existing resources while continuing to expand the scope of our growing creative economy. Our new initiative Creative Tucson is just one example of how civil governments are utilizing innovative approaches to community media and public access television, providing outreach to their creatives and further preparing their citizens for the modern workforce.

You may read my remarks in full below. Got additional ideas for how these types of initiatives can work? Hit me with them, @pajamma

Good Afternoon DC Council Members, my fellow District of Columbia community leaders, neighbors, and friends; it is an honor and a privilege to come before you today.

My name is Patrick James Cavanaugh. I am proud to both live and work in Washington DC, as a Senior Strategist at BRINK, a creative digital agency located on U Street, and as a member of the Board of Directors for Day Eight, a non-profit arts advocacy organization dedicated to empowering individuals and communities to participate in the arts through the production, publication, and promotion of creative projects.

I consider myself a contributor to both our DC Tech and Arts Communities – one project you may be familiar with is Funk Parade, a unique celebration of our vibrant culture, local pride, and the birthday of our fair city’s incorporation, looking forward to our third annual event on Black Broadway in May 2016.

I stand here encouraged by the actions of the Council in pushing forward the Film Incentives and Workforce Development bills. It is important that we invest in our community to create both progress and opportunity for an evolving future, and these are excellent first steps in continuing to grow our creative economy by attracting the necessary skills and talent. However, we can, and should, do more.

OCT and MPTD merge into OCTFME; Entertain DC

With the merger of the DC Office of Cable Television and the Office of Motion Picture & Television Development to officially become The DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music & Entertainment, we are only beginning to recognize and prepare for the convergence taking place in the multimedia arts industry. As that department works to brand DC as a preeminent place for filmmakers, we must be mindful to include digital media artists, technologists, innovators and producers, building a home for the range of talent across creative industries.

This includes a renewed focus aimed at attracting businesses that create content across all media channels including mobile, CGI, animation, digital, gaming and social media, in addition to the experiential, interactive, and wearables technologies that are driving the market in new and broader directions. By that, I mean we expand the grants, incentives and investment in the media arts.

We must see this as a chance to not just invigorate our city, but also put DC on the map for high-tech art. Please note that we are not alone in seeing this opportunity. The Wynwood District in Miami, Florida, and the Fremont East District in downtown Las Vegas, are both being promoted as urban arts destinations, attracting not just tourism but also business investment in revitalized communities; the two-pronged value story of the creative economy.

Another example is Tucson, Arizona, home to the BRINK Production Studio and BRINKvision, our film distribution arm. There, in partnership with KXCI and Wavelab, we were recently awarded a contract for the creation of a Community Media Center, an evolution of public access television committed to incorporate both workforce development and marketing for the city with a new approach to streaming media. This project, branded as Creative Tucson, is an excellent example of utilizing an ecosystem of resources to realize a new vision for community-driven creative economies.

There are many wonderful things happening right now in the District. We have an amazing amount of energy, resources, and existing infrastructure for building a brighter future. Let’s continue to expand the vision of that future to ensure we do not limit ourselves or lessen our impact — I thank you for your time.



By Patrick Cavanaugh