The Bloomberg administration announced two major proposals last week at Creative New York, a conference held April 4 at MoMA, both aimed at helping boost New York's creative sector. The mayor himself detailed the first: The establishment of a new nonprofit-focused office, with a special emphasis on arts groups, at the city's Economic Development Corporation, was detailed by the mayor himself. In a separate development, Housing Commissioner Shaun Donovan also unveiled a plan to develop a fund to assist artists in purchasing their residential and workspace. “The creative sector gives our city its strategic advantage and competitive edge in succeeding in a global economy,” Bloomberg said. Yet, he added, other cities are actively challenging the city's prominence. The conference, co-sponsored by the Center for an Urban Future, (sister organization of City Limits), the City of New York, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Partnership for New York City, convened a standing-room only crowd of more than 200 government and creative sector leaders. It was inspired by Creative New York, a study by the Center for an Urban Future and Mt. Auburn Associates, the Massachusetts-based consulting firm that focuses on economic development, analysis and strategy. Released in December 2005, the study presents the first comprehensive definition of the New York’s creative sector, which includes over 11,000 businesses and employs over 300,000 workers in nine industries, such as advertising, architecture, film, broadcasting and design. The administration’s latest proposals are major strides toward the Center’s recommendations to incorporate creative industries into the city’s overall economic development and to address key issues of affordability threatening the sector. (R. Keegan) [4/10/06]