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  Culture Corner - Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance Blog
Guest Blog by Marion Chamber of Commerce President Jill Ackerman
posted: Friday, February 24, 2012  Post Comment

Our regional brand moving forward will be known as “Iowa’s Creative Corridor”. As UI President Mason noted in last months blog, the roots of this region were seeded by the creative’s. They have created the things that Iowa has become famous for- right here in the corridor. It’s no secret that we’ve had a hard time telling our story in the past, maybe it’s because we’re humble or maybe it’s because we just didn’t know how. This new brand is something we can all adopt and share.

This led me to think about how Marion can help deliver on the brand, “Iowa’s Creative Corridor”. In my line of work I have the pleasure of hearing about various projects happening throughout the region. Its exciting how quickly the area is growing and evolving. The Corridor branding project made me think about how every new project is an opportunity to create something that will leave a lasting impression. It teaches those around us about who we are and what is important to us.

Thinking about what draws people to our community- many people say, “Marion is quaint”. Dig deeper into that- how did Marion get to be quaint or “old fashioned”? Marion wasn’t built new. Many buildings date back to the late 1800’s. Marion has 100+ year old brick streets. Why is this important? It teaches a lesson about quality, the importance of aesthetics and it speaks volumes about the people of that time. They were entrepreneurs and innovators. The buildings tell the story of the days when the railroads blazed through town and business was bustling. Those two-story brick buildings have stood the test of time- much like a Grant Wood painting or the stories of the Cherry Sister’s performances.

We should think about what this region will look like 100 years from now. What will be torn down and replaced by something else? What will the future leaders of this region value? My guess is that those leaders will continue to place value on quality. Whether it’s a public or a private project, are we really doing our best and pushing ourselves to the point of excellence? Are we tweaking plans and making sure that every detail is right?

We have labeled ourselves Iowa’s Creative Corridor. We need to be creative and have a vision that goes beyond twenty, fifty even one hundred years. We all have wonderful projects underway in our communities. Let’s focus on putting our best work forward!

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