“I am Executive Director of the Workforce Development Institute (WDI) based in Albany, New York. We focus on job creation and retention and are part of a coalition focused on the creative economy. There are 30,000 people earning their living through their creativity in our region. WDI wants to strengthen their skills, help them find jobs and encourage students to enter the field. We have produced a comic book that tells the stories of regional creative professionals by occupation and distributed 40,000 copies through schools, libraries and cultural institutions. We produced a coloring book for younger kids hoping to inspire students and their parents, to let them know the kinds of jobs available now and to encourage them to prepare themselves to create new ones.
“In 2017, I invited seventeen creative individuals to write an essay about a pivotal experience or insight into their work life. They deepened their understanding of the career choices they made and shared their creativity with family, friends and co-workers. WDI is distributing the book for free and hosting presentations by the authors. Our goal is to present the complex pathways creatives found to express their ideas and gifts. Reading their stories you may identify where your creativity resides, whether it is your full-time profession or a personal passion you offer to family, friends and community. I hope the book will encourage you to value yourselves and share your gifts. You can read it here or download these essays for free at the WDI website.”
– Ed Murphy