In February, The Mad Ave Collective in downtown Toledo opened its doors to local freelance, strategic creatives. They created a workspace and events where photographers, videographers, graphic designers, writers and many others can collaborate, network and bid on projects.
The Collective has since grown in membership and is joining the city-wide movement to keep creatives here in Toledo: Keep Toledo Creative. And creatives from the Collective are working on its fundraising campaign, as they designed the logo and appeared in a video to potential backers.
"Toledo is a great city, with wonderfully talented people . . . let’s keep them here and working," said Nikki Kellers, manager of The Mad Ave Collective.
Keep Toledo Creative aims to be a hub for creativity, cultivating local talent and attracting out-of-market talent. Its partners include:
The Mad Ave Collective
American Advertising Federation
Toledo Chamber of Commerce
City of Toledo
“Having a base of creatives working in Toledo, from an economic standpoint, is important to the city,” said Toledo City Council member Sandy Spang at a recent panel discussion hosted by The Mad Ave Collective.
Much like its mission, Keep Toledo Creative is keeping their ongoing fundraising campaign local. They are applying to grants via the City of Toledo and Lucas County and asking for contributions from area colleges, universities, businesses and other community partners. In addition, the movement is crowdfunding through Indiegogo.
“We need people who care about Toledo to get behind this idea . . . so it can take hold and grow,” said Scott Greggory, vice president of Creative Services at Madison Avenue Marketing Group, parent company of The Mad Ave Collective.
This year’s goal is to raise $30,000, which goes toward the Keep Toledo Creative Scholarship Program. The money will provide funding for ten local creatives, offering them mentorship from area creative directors and business leaders. According to Jerry Brown, founder and CEO of Madison Avenue Marketing Group, this is important because some strategic creatives are so focused on their craft that they sometimes forget to market themselves and may miss opportunities.
Scholarship recipients will also receive one-year memberships to The Mad Ave Collective, American Advertising Federation of Toledo and EPIC Toledo. These memberships include all the perks of joining these vital networks.
“Toledo has a lot going for it. We’ve got a colorful history, strong cultural communities, and a lower cost-of-living than any other Top 100 market,” said Brown. “But our region lacks the unique distinction that draws people to make a life here. That’s what Keep Toledo Creative hopes to achieve.”
Scholarship applications will begin December 12. See more information on Keep Toledo Creative. To donate to the scholarship, visit the campaign website here. To learn more about how to join the Mad Ave Collective, visit their website.