Provo: The New Seattle

Oct 7, 2013

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Jake Wixom

Provo is to Indie as Seattle was to Grunge

Provo . . what the artistic world has come to call an explosive, creative hotspot, and one we call home. Maybe you’ve heard that Provo was recently chosen as one of just a handful of cities to receive Google Fiber, or that Imagine Dragons, a band that is being called the next Coldplay, found its start in this vibrant, little town. Many are saying that Provo is doing for the versatile, indie music industry what Seattle did for grunge. What is it about this city that produces great art and even earns it recognition in Forbes Magazine as the 2nd Best Place for Business and Careers?

Provo is known for having a very close-knit community in part because of the overwhelming percentage of people that belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a religion known for its emphasis on community. Another major focus of the church is the development of talents at an early age. Now, this isn’t to say that all or even most of the creativity here can be traced back to religious roots, but there is something to be said for the influence that a talent-focused community will have on anyone living in the area.

Brigham Young University, with its town-sized campus of 14,000 students and its own zip code, has also had a great impact on the growth of the city’s creative industries. BYU not only boasts some of the best art programs in the nation, but also has a heavy emphasis on making and strengthening international connections. Many of BYU’s students have spent extensive amounts of time abroad and bring back a with them a wealth of cross-cultural creativity that quickly bleeds into the surrounding community. Evidence of this is seen in the booming music scene as well as the number of successful, small-business startups. It would seem that many of the traditional limitations on what can and cannot be successfully marketed to a community just don’t apply in this city.

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