Wyoming Innovation Partnership



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Sheridan College logo
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The Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP) exists to support growth with across multiple sectors, including through public investment that can yield private investment. One such sector that ties greatly into the innovation component of the WIP is creative entrepreneurship in regards to the arts and culture.

Wyoming’s creative economy is a critical, but often overlooked, portion of the state’s economy. The arts and cultural sector account for 10,640 full time jobs, making up 3.8% of state employment and 4.3% of state compensation (Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2020). Examples of creative economy opportunities include art galleries, music venues, museums, film festivals, libraries, publishers, cultural centers, retail vendors in the arts, and many others ventures.

Creative economies not only contribute to a community’s cultural identity, but they also encourage people to stay and live in a community, attract and create jobs, aid in new business recruitment and retention, and contribute to hospitality and tourism. Data shows that cultural tourists stay longer in a location and spend 36% more at their destination than other kinds of travelers (Mandala Research, Travel Industry Association of America, CVI). The creative economy is an essential driver for new business recruitment and retention in Wyoming Communities.

The WIP has several key initiatives including:

The workshops will bring together artists, performers, arts professionals, and other creative thinkers and makers to support career development and networking within the the state. Participants will be incentivized by the startup competition to use the information and skills they acquired to start a business or develop an idea right here in the state. The overall goal is to foster the creative economy in a Wyoming community.

This work is being led by UW’s Neltje Center for Excellence in Creativity and the Arts in collaboration with Sheridan College and Northwest College, with workshops expected in Laramie, Sheridan, Riverton, Powell, and Rock Springs in Fall 2023 and Spring 2024.