Our pilot project focuses on a small rural area of Western New York State. Livingston County has a rich and varied history of new and unique businesses that changed local economies and, some cases, changed the world. On the north end of the county, the town of York now boasts the first commercial winery in the State. The 19th century vines of Samuel Warren dug their roots deep to produce one of the most important agricultural industries in the state. New York Wines are now competing at the highest levels with California wines, and it all started in York! At the southern end of Livingston County, a visionary nurse named Clara Barton founded the first chapter Red Cross. This organization is at the front lines of medical disasters in the USA as well as around the world.

There is much to explore in our local economic history. It is a story too big to tell in only words, so we have teams of students, teachers, community leaders, and artists working together to tell this story with music, visual arts, theater, media arts and more! This pilot project is leveraging the time, talent, and creativity of Livingston County citizens to explore their past and to inspire a new generation of visionaries who will build new jobs in our area and continue to link this rural county to the world.

We invite you take a look at the creative work of students (grades 4-12), teachers, business owners, and teaching artists designed to explore local economic history and promote local products, services, and tourism.  How does it work? Our theme song says it well…

“Buy Local, Build a Future,”
Local businesses support families and lay the ground work for future innovations and opportunities.

“Pride in the Place You Know,”
Even if we travel elsewhere, we take pride in all the ways in which local folks have built new local opportunities and, sometimes, even changed the world!

“Dream Big and Do the Work,”
The Creative Economy requires big dreams and fresh ideas.  But we can’t stop there.  It takes persistence and teamwork to make dreams come to reality!

“Lean Back and Watch it Grow!”
The most successful businesses grow with the combined efforts and creativity of many people.  They take on a life of their own that depends on no single person.  We are ready to watch Buy Local/Build a Future take off with the creativity of local teams everywhere!