Is Lafayette really a 'Cool Town'?

by Leslie Turk

Nov. 9 summit at LITE aims to answer that question.

In 2003 Southern Business & Development magazine named Lafayette one of the 10 "Coolest Cities in the South." In 2006, Entrepreneur magazine named Lafayette a "Hot City for Entrepreneurs," and in 2008, SB&D followed up by calling Lafayette one of the "Top 10 Great Innovation Markets in the South." Since then, the Hub City has also been touted as best for job growth, music, food and digital media.

All of these accolades play into Lafayette's desire to grow into a "cool town," a term coined by economist Richard Florida, and attract a "creative class" of residents. Florida defines this "creative class" as scientists, professors, poets, architects, designers, artists, musicians and educators whose function in society is to create new ideas, technology and new ways of thinking.
Some would say Lafayette has already achieved "cool town" status and can rest on its laurels, but Colin Miller isn't so sure. "Are the statistics matching up with the rhetoric?" the 27-year-old asks.

Miller is part of the founding committee presenting the Creative Economy Summit at the LITE Center Nov. 9 from 6-9 p.m. A former actor and photographer, he now works as field director for Forum for Equality to promote gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights, something he says is an integral part of being a "cool town."

Suggested donation to attend the summit is $10 and $5 for students and seniors. Click here for more information.

Read more about the summit in Wednesday's Independent.