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Seattle Office of Economic Development names James Miles as new Creative Economy Manager

The Seattle Office of Economic Development is incredibly excited to welcome James Miles to the team as our new Creative Economy Manager, focused on one of the important cross-cutting sectors we have in this city.  James will also play a key role in the revitalization of downtown as we celebrate Downtown Seattle’s arts, culture, sports, and entertainment, you can learn more at  

Our creative economy, which includes creative jobs across all industries, is a deeply embedded part of what makes Seattle such a dynamic place to live. Seattle’s creative economy employs nearly 70,000 creative workers and contributed 18 percent of Seattle’s gross regional product, as compared to four percent of U.S. GDP.  More than ever, it is important for the City to demonstrate leadership in sustaining this important sector, especially aspects like workforce development, and to partner with arts, culture and the creative sector—in building a strong and thriving creative economy for years to come. We’re excited to continue the investment in the growth of this key sector.   

photo of James Miles standing

“As artist, yasiin bey, said, ‘the arts are something we forget we need, until we need them.’ I’m proud to be part of an amazing team supporting the efforts to uplift and empower Seattle’s creative economy, so that we never forget the contributions of artists, designers, programmers, musicians, museums, theatres, events, and more, all of whom make up the cultural fabric of our region,” shares James Miles, Creative Economy Manager, Seattle Office of Economic Development. 

In his new role, James will work closely with three of our advisors who’ve developed strong relationships with industries key to the creative economy: Anisa Khoshbakhtian, our Technology Advisor, Chris Swenson, our Film Program Manager, and Scott Plusquellec, our Nightlife Business Advocate. In addition, we will continue to work closely with the Office of Arts & Culture and the arts and culture communities, as he takes on this body of work.   

James brings terrific experience to OED, including his most recent role as executive director of Third Stone which, in collaboration with New Rising Sun, produced a fantastic, refreshed Bumbershoot Festival this year. James also has experience managing cultural organizations, performing as an actor and comedian, and teaching.    

James’ first day is September 20, and a big part of his first few months will be reconnecting with folks in his new capacity here at the City as he builds out programs and works on some exciting initiatives including career pathways for the creative economy. So, please keep an eye out for opportunities to engage with us as we support and invest in our creative economy.