Akima A. Brown and Sadé Trueitt are community leaders serving Delaware from the capital city. They each desire to see Kent County and the city of Dover acknowledged as standard-bearing contributors to the state’s overall appeal as “somewhere to live, work and play.”
In 2022, Gov. John Carney and the Delaware Division of Small Business unveiled a game-changing initiative, allocating over $7.7 million in funding from the Economic Development Administration’s American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program. As part of this monumental effort, the Delaware Arts Alliance received a significant $1 million grant for its Creative Economy and Cultural Tourism Recovery and Growth Plan.
The plan proposes immense promise for Dover and the entire state, aiming to map Delaware’s creative economy, conduct a comprehensive economic impact study, develop statewide recovery plans and select Opportunity Zones. In short, it will empower the travel and tourism sector to recover and grow, thereby paving the way for a stronger and more resilient creative community.
Amid this groundbreaking endeavor, two Dover residents were chosen to serve as community engagement captains: Akima A. Brown and Sadé Truiett. Their individual and collective experiences have been tantamount to driving positive change within Dover’s creative ecosystem for several years.
Akima A. Brown, an international speaker, award-winning filmmaker and family support advocate, is renowned for her commitment to equity and work-life integration in the screen industry. As the founder of Reel Families for Change, she has been a trailblazer in advocating for sustainable production practices and promoting the value of caregiver support. RFC’s local initiative, the Delaware Collective for Creative Economy, has been instrumental in championing statewide film production incentives and elevating Dover’s creative community.
Sadé Truiett, a passionate public relations specialist, has made a lasting impact on education and civic engagement in Dover. Her mentoring organization, G.I.R.L. (Gifted, Intelligent and Royal Leader) Talk, has been a catalyst for empowering over 200 teenage girls to become influential leaders. Sadé has also played crucial roles in political campaigns, community development projects and data-based analyses, positioning her as a true advocate for Dover’s growth and connectivity.
As community engagement captains, the two have spearheaded efforts to engage Dover’s creative community and collect vital insights for the Creative Economy and Cultural Tourism Recovery and Growth Plan. With collaborative feedback from diverse stakeholders, the two aim to leverage the plan to create an ecosystem where creativity thrives and all stakeholder voices are heard.
The plan’s intended outcomes hold great promise. By understanding Delaware’s creative economy comprehensively, future policies can be developed to bolster the arts, culture and creative industries post-pandemic. Empowering the travel and tourism sector will undoubtedly drive economic growth and revitalization, making Dover a thriving hub for creativity and innovation. The final phase of the plan includes recommending potential policies and best practices to Delaware’s various decision-making bodies to see these goals actualized.
With the combined efforts of the Delaware Arts Alliance and its community engagement captains, including Akima and Sadé, the Creative Economy and Cultural Tourism Recovery and Growth Plan intends to drive Dover’s creative resurgence and set the stage for a bright and prosperous future for Delaware’s creative industries.
Are you an artist or creative entrepreneur living in Dover or Kent County? Let’s keep in touch. Visit the alliance’s dedicated webpage for the plan or contact your local community engagement captains at email@example.com. Your invaluable insights can help shape the future of Dover’s arts, culture and tourism sectors. We look forward to hearing from you.
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