Research shows that investing in the arts has a direct result on the overall economic health of a place. Since 2017, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) has convened a diverse group of Charleston stakeholders around the economic and community development potential of creative placemaking, which led to the development of Charleston Creativity Connections and includes an overseeing Council and contract staff person Bryan Cooper, the initiative’s Managing Director.
Bryan Cooper – Charleston Creativity Connector
Bryan works with The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation as the Charleston Creativity Connector. Bryan earned a BA in Sociology at West Virginia University where he was also a member of the WVU Drumline. After attending WVU Bryan worked in the field of Information Technology for 20 years. Bryan’s experience as a web designer, support analyst, and IT director augmented his education by developing his ability to use technology in every aspect of his work. Bryan and his family moved from Beckley to Charleston in 2012, and they have been in love with Charleston ever since. Although his professional experience has been primarily in the field of technology, Bryan has always kept a foot in the arts world as a volunteer with local theaters, supporter of live music, and by assisting local artists with their work. In his current role, Bryan works with the Charleston Creative Placemaking Council to develop and identify opportunities to connect local artists with businesses and organizations. Bryan’s goal is to help grow all types of art–visual, music, literary, culinary, and performing arts–into the fabric of Charleston, making it an even more creative and vibrant city. In his free time Bryan enjoys playing board games, traveling and is an all-around lover of having fun with friends and family.