We're No. 6! -- Remember that big cover story we ran last August on the Creative Class? Based on the principles set forth by Richard Florida in The Rise of the Creative Class (Basic Books, 2001), this elusive demographic includes not only the usual suspects -- your artists, writers and performers -- but also folks who use their creativity to "engage in complex problem-solving that involves a great deal of independent judgment." In this latter category, you can count scientists, information technology professionals, architects, educators, engineers and more. While Spokane still has some challenges in the Creative Class department, you'll be happy to know that the recently released State Creativity Index ranks Washington State at No. 6. Pretty damn decent, no? The Index is based on four key factors, including Creative Class concentration, the High Technology Index, the Innovation Index (based on patents per capita) and the Diversity Index. Okay, so the West Side of the state has a lot to do with Washington's rank, but there's some good news from our eastern border as well. Idaho was ranked No. 1 in the Innovation category, ahead of Massachusetts (home of MIT), California and New York. The No. 1 state in the overall State Creativity Index ranking is Massachusetts. The worst states are Wyoming, Mississippi and (no surprise here) South Dakota. To see the results yourself, go to http://www.catalytix.biz/newsletter.htm
Marvelous Mardi -- The last of the Mardi Gras-at-the-Davenport reports are in, and the overwhelming consensus is "whoa, mama!" The official festivities were preceded -- for some -- by an invitation-only singles party in the Presidential Suite, which we hear comes with a bathtub that could hold "about 30 people" and its own bar and bartender. The Mardi Gras itself was kicked off by a rowdy parade of Krewes, running around in fabulous headdresses, henna tattoos and royalty costumes. In addition to the dancing, drinking and carousing, the night was capped off by an astonishing spread at 11 pm. Some say there were more than 60 dishes to choose from, including gumbo, fruit, fried catfish, bacon, scrambled eggs and more. Best of all, how cool to be able to pick which charity your ticket proceeds would benefit. Our advice (if you're perpetually cash-strapped like we are) is to start saving now for next year!
Native Cinema -- Just arrived in our press release department is this item from the University of Idaho, which hosts the American Indian Film Series starting next Tuesday. What sets this festival apart is the fact that it runs four nights and only includes one Sherman Alexie film (The Business of Fancydancing). It's also an event to honor UI Nez Perce Theatre Arts student Wil Hendrick, who was killed in 1999. For more information visit www.uidaho.edu/~rfrey/FilmSeries. n