Arts and Culture / Creative Economy

WDI was instrumental in launching a sector-based workforce development initiative aimed at bolstering/supporting the Creative Economy in the Capital Region. We continue to support training of individuals for employment within the arts and culture sector and creative economies across the state through our regional efforts. Examples of some of our initiatives in this sector are below.

Creative Lives

Edited by Ed Murphy

An anthology of essays about working in the creative economy. These personal stories written by reflective practitioners inspire us to identity our own creativity, to value how we express our values and to become more engaged in cultural activities. Each writer learned from their personal journey, faced unexpected challenges and discovered joys that gave their lives new meaning. They discuss their experiences and the lessons they learned.

The full version of Creative Lives is available here and individual stories are available below:

Ian Bearce | Kevin Christoffersen | Vinny Ciulla | Esther Cohen | Jim Crabtree Michael Kamber | Victoria Kereszi | Annmarie Lanesey | D. Thomas Lloyd | Zigi Lowenberg | Marianela Medrano, PhD | Ed Murphy | Moses Nagel | Justin K. Rivers | Donna Schaper | Patch Schwadron | Barbara Taylor

Color My Future! A Career Exploration Coloring Book

WDI partnered with the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Career Action Center, housed in Poughkeepsie High School, to address the issue of educating children about careers. Color My Future! A Career Exploration Coloring Book was designed to help educate, inspire, and engage children and adults by increasing knowledge of 1) educational requirements, 2) projected growth, and 3) average salaries for an assortment of occupations. It is our hope that this tool, so wonderfully created by teen artists, will help children dream of a colorful future filled with opportunity while linking the future workforce to jobs in growing industries across the great state of New York.

The coloring book is available to download here.

Creative Every Day

Creative Every Day- Tales of Art + Life Colliding is a comic book created by Troy, NY comic book artist and educator Ira Marcks. It includes a variety of Capital Region creative professionals telling the stories of their career choices in language and pictures appealing to young people. The Creative Every Day project is a creative collaboration between WDI, Proctors, Adirondack Studios, Greane Tree Technology, SAVI, ACE, and local creative advocates. Additional efforts are currently underway by these and other stakeholders to further grow the creative sector.

To download Creative Every Day- Tales of Art + Life Collidingclick here or visit to access the online version.

Piece of the Dream

Piece of the Dream project has been a collaboration between WDI, local filmmakers from Youth FX, and worker rights organizations across New York State. The project has featured the production of nearly a dozen short documentary films and an interactive theater performance at the Albany Barn. The culmination of the project is this immersive web experience.


The website is a collection of dynamic short documentary films, along with supplemental information, statistics, and photographs of workers across the state. Piece of the Dream is meant to engage and provoke audiences to bear witness to the impacts of earning a low-wage and to confront the way that this economic marginalization systematically oppresses millions of people in this country, and in turn affects us all. The producers of Piece of the Dream offer a glimpse into the lives and struggles of low-wage workers across New York State, raising awareness of an issue that has become a topic of much discussion.

Photo Galleries

WDI’s Unseenamerica program and Art of Labor programs provided opportunities for working people to express themselves and aspects of their lives through photography, writing, and theater. This program ran from our inception through 2017. Click on a gallery below to view the images associated with it.