Noelle Stevenson is vice president at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward Office of Film, Music and Entertainment’s “Film, Music, Fashion & Create” program.

What inspired the Film, Music, Fashion & Create concept?  
Before moving to South Florida in the late 90s, I worked in New York’s creative industry, including almost a decade with Diesel Jeans, and with luxury hotels. It was a compelling synergistic mix of branding, advertising, product development, hospitality and tourism experiences, which I brought to the Greater Miami CVB around 2002.

After developing an integrated program to promote Miami’s then-emerging creative scene, I came to the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB.

The concept for the division followed a deep look into Fort Lauderdale’s creative attributes, and how we could best leverage and promote those strengths. Realized as a set of distinct “Underground” brands, the initiative, entirely new for the bureau, has really taken off as Fort Lauderdale’s creative universe continues to expand at light speed.

How does the Film, Music, Fashion & Create division operate?
We position ourselves as the single source of knowledge, connections, resources and support in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County for each segment.

For film, that means attracting and supporting a wide range of projects including feature and independent films, commercials, music videos and film festivals.

Live music is a core brand. Led by rock-country, our multi-genre scene is local, organic, and driven by talented songwriters and singers.

Once non-existent, the festival scene now includes 50,000-plus capacity events. We extend the network destination-wide, from BB&T Center to our many restaurants with performance stages.

The same goes for promoting our local fashion and shopping scene, laid-back and wide-open like Fort Lauderdale itself. From vintage shops and unique boutiques selling out of an Airstream trailer, we celebrate choice and dressing your way.

Underground Create came from research that found 1,000-plus creative locations across Broward County. We mapped out this “creative scene” as its own product and attraction.

More than just art, it’s about how art and creativity connect across the destination to create a collective creative universe.

How has the Film, Music, Fashion & Create initiative benefited the destination?
Decentralized marketing efforts, such as separating a film office from a DMO, tend to lack focus and consistency. Advantages and opportunities can get lost in translation.

By organizing all of Fort Lauderdale’s and Broward’s creative strengths under one umbrella, we are able to fully realize and expand our market potential.

Authentic and locally grown, our creative industries are a major competitive differentiator for leisure and convention guests alike. Today’s planners and attendees are looking for a genuine vibe, diversity of options and lasting memories. All define Fort Lauderdale and Broward County and the heart of our marketing, promotional and economic development efforts.

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