Creative Industries Cluster
Hamden and the surrounding area offer a vibrant culture for the arts and a growing opportunity for business growth. Within the city limits there are multiple museums such as The Eli Whitney Museum & Workshop and the Hamden Historical Society, the Squarefoot Theatre (a 250-seating performing arts center), Paier College of Art, and the Highwood Square Artist Housing Complex.
The Town of Hamden is committed to developing an artistic community for artists and visitors alike, as the creative arts cluster has been shown to be one of the most interactive and collaborative of all the clusters. Many small businesses are dependent on the talents of the creative arts cluster; employees interact with all the other clusters by contributing marketing materials, providing designs, and acting as performers.
Businesses involving the creative arts cluster normally collaborate and generate increased revenue with those in the restaurant, retail, personal services and real estate businesses. In a study done by the U.S. Department of Commerce looking at the arts economy in Pawtucket, R.I., it was found that for every $100 an artists earns, another $75 is generated for the statewide economy. By having a strong creative arts industry in Hamden, it encourages other businesses to relocate here, knowing that there is a strong residential and tourist base.
Not only does a strong creative arts cluster help stimulate the local economy, but it has also been shown to have a positive impact on the community. Many artists have a sense of social responsibility and community awareness. This helps create a safer and more attractive area for residents, workers and other companies, increasing the quality of life in the area. Thus the creative arts cluster is an important component to generating revenue for the Town of Hamden and revitalizing the community.
Major Creative Industries in Hamden Include:
Paier College of Art
Established in 1946, Paier College of Art is devoted to teaching skills in the visual arts, as well as providing groundwork in academics such as mathematics, history and humanities. Receiving accreditation as a 4-year, degree granting institution in 1982, they offer both bachelors and associates degrees in fine arts, graphic design, illustration, interior design, and photography.
Address: 20 Gorham Avenue, Hamden, CT 06514
Phone: (203) 287-3022
This complex boasts 27 residential units for artists with accompanying studio space, as well as 14,000 square feet of commercial space to foster a greater creative community.
Selia Mosquera, Executive Director, NeighborWorks New Horizons
Address: 235 Grand Avenue, 2nd Floor, Hamden, CT 06513
Phone: (203) 562-4514 ext. 13
The Space / Outer Space
The Space is a listening room venue that’s purpose is to promote a safe, positive community for people of all ages through music and the arts. The Space has a large stage that houses musical acts during the week and on the weekends, as well as a vintage boutique, 80s arcade, cafe, and a fully equipped Pro Tools HD recording arts studio. The Outer Space is located in the same parking lot as the Space but serves the 21 + crowd with a cafe, listening room, and lounge. Every week the Outer Space hosts Honky Tonk Tuesdays, Open Mic on Wednesdays, and a Sunday Jazz series.
Quinnipiac University, Bachelor of Arts in Theater
Quinnipiac University offers a BA in Theater that helps prepare students for careers in educational and applied theater, professional theater performance, production and administration. The guiding principle of the program is Theater for the Community; meaning students are encouraged to use their profession to make a real difference in the world. The program has partnered with many other theaters in the area, including Long Wharf Theater in New Haven.
Crystal Brian, Director & Professor of Theater
Address: 275 Mount Carmel Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518
Phone: (203) 582-8394
Southern Connecticut State College, Bachelor of Arts in Theater
SCSU offers a B.A. in theater with courses specializing in acting, directing, dance, design, stagecraft, playwriting, criticism and the history and literature of theater. Performances are staged in the John Lyman Center where there is the Lyman main stage, over 1500 seating theatre and Kendall Drama Lab, a black box theater. There is also a scene and costume shop, a light lab and dressing rooms. Students put on four productions a year.
John Carver Sullivan, Chairman of the Department
Address: 501 Crescent Street, New Haven, CT 06515
Phone: (203) 392-6100
For further information on the creative industries cluster or the Hamden Business Incentive Program: