Creative and Cultural What?

A common question that many of our CCI students get after telling their friends and family what minor they declared is: okay, but what does that mean?

The Creative and Cultural Industries aren’t as straightforward as say a psychology or biology minor, but that’s one of the things that students love most about the program. There is so much versatility and room to personalize the minor to fit everyone’s needs. Students minoring in CCI come from over twenty different majors across the different colleges to learn more about the creative process and how it relates to their different areas of study including business, strategic and corporate communication, psychology, creative writing, and film production. Many students said that they chose this minor because instead of committing to a whole new discipline CCI enhances their understanding of their major and what they can do with the things that really interest them.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the creative and cultural industries refer to “those parts of the modern economy where culture is produced and distributed through industrial means, applying the creativity of individuals and groups to the generation of original cultural product.” CCI is prominent in industries that bring together the “arts, media, and design sectors” such as fashion, film-making, advertising, publishing, and many more, making it a minor that pairs well with most majors offered at Chapman, no matter the school.

The university’s prime location also allows our students access to explore many unique opportunities and the full range of creative industries present in Orange and Los Angeles Counties. According to the 2019 OTIS Report on the Creative Economy, in LA County alone the creative industries generate 864,958 jobs, $77.9 billion in labor income, and $207.8 billion in annual output.

Another definition proposed by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, defines CCI as including all activities that contribute to the “creation and distribution of cultural products.” While some of these creative products like films and clothing are mentioned above, cultural products could include services like preserving cultural landscapes or national heritages, or industries like architecture and archeology.

At Chapman, the Creative and Cultural Industries minor helps students learn how to work in these varied industries by providing a framework of classes that introduce students to the topics and issues surrounding CCI today as well as allowing them to explore their personalized interests with elective classes in virtual reality, journalism, museum studies, video games, and anthropology. The program also hopes to build out opportunities for students to explore these areas not only with course creations, but also through hosting such guests as Dr. Paul Burtenshaw, a specialist in cultural heritage with experience in “strategic and financial planning for cultural heritage businesses; methods for measuring and communicating economic impacts of cultural heritage; cultural economics and its application to archaeology; and heritage tourism" who will be guest lecturing in CCI 303 this spring.

The Creative and Cultural Industries continue to grow, encompassing large portions of our economy and shared cultural movements in today’s society. Learning how to work and prosper in these arenas is going to be key for our graduates, which is why the CCI program at Chapman University is dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary connections, and creative critical thinking to promote success at Chapman and beyond.

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