Brett Schklar is the founder and CEO of the Market Creation Group (MCG), a B2B marketing agency located at 9th and Santa Fe, right in the heart of the Art District on Santa Fe. Outside of his agency life, he leverages his talents as the chief marketer for the Art District. A couple of days ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Brett to discuss topics like the marketing industry’s connection to art, what he’s trying to do to improve the district, and his favorite parts about working here.
As a marketer, what made you come to the Art District to set up shop? Where were you before and what made you move?
We’re a creative company, whether it’s in our strategy, our tactics, or the design that we do. We’re creative, and the best place to enhance your creativity is to be in a world that’s very creative as well. Ever since I moved to Denver almost 9 years ago, I’ve loved the Art District and been involved with it, so it made sense to move here. Where we were located before…we were subleasing a basement down on Colfax. It was an interesting part of town…for different reasons. Here there is a lot of eye candy…stuff to look at…but down on Colfax it was more about how fast you could run from the stuff that was a little scary. (Laughs)
What’s your favorite part about working in the Art District?
It’s just not the norm. It’s kind of creative and kind of fun. It’s full of artists. I really love how our clients enjoy coming here. It’s different from their corporate, cubicle structure.
How do you think MCG relates and contributes to the overall vibe of the district?
I think this is a place full of entirely creative people. And that can be presented through art, performance, music, etc, and we’re no different. We’re all trying to creative and we’re all trying to be innovative. This world is not only about art. It’s about getting people to think differently, which is what we’re all about.
What made you want to join the board for the Art District?
That’s easy…I was suckered into it (laughs). But once I got in, I realized that it’s a very cool group of people on the board, it’s a great community to support, and I really love a lot of the ideas I bring to the table that we can do as an artist community.
What’s one thing you’d like to change or one improvement you’d like to see for the district?
I’d like to see us working closer together on some key projects as a single association, on things like improving the parking situation or what to do with the buildings that are vacant. But also allowing us all to use our own networks and communities to socialize about how great this environment is, so we can make sure that all these buildings that are vacant due to the tough economic situation, or whatever reason, get filled quickly.
What do you think makes the Art District on Santa Fe different from other art districts around Denver?
Well every art district has its own unique thing, but it’s really just the make up of the community. We not only have a really large and strong community, but we have a little southwest flair to the environment. You have this incredible balance with people at opposite ends of the spectrum. You’ve got very visual art, performance art, theatres, and music. You’ve got every type of art, culture, and entertainment all within a few blocks, and I don’t think any other district has that.
So MCG doesn’t throw a First Friday event every month, but when are you planning for your next one and what do you have in store?
Our next one is targeted for May. We typically have an event once a quarter. We want to make sure it’s done right and we’re not just throwing a party every month. This next one is going to be featuring the artists of MCG. In our environment, we have a lot of artistic capability, and not just in our creative environment, but everywhere. We want to highlight all of our creative talents that not only we at MCG have, but our families as well.
Very cool, but for some culture outside of the district, what are your favorite cultural places to around Denver?
You can’t beat the Denver Art Museum. Very cool stuff and a huge volume. I’m a big fan of the music scene. There’s the Ogden, the Fillmore, the Bluebird, and obviously Red Rocks Amphitheatre. There are so many venues that music is always a big thing. Third, you always see the sidewalk chalk artists downtown, in LoDo, or a bunch of different spots, and I always enjoy seeing these people who put so much energy into making a piece of art only to have it washed away in a few days. You have to appreciate people who understand and embrace the temporary nature of art.
Last question, is there anything else people should know about?
Definitely. The fun thing, even if you’re not necessarily an art enthusiast, to help you appreciate it is to not just think about the art, but try to meet the artist behind it. Once you start opening your mind to thinking about the artist behind the art, you really start to appreciate the art a little more behind the face value. Being the marketing guy, it’s all about the story. You may see a picture of trees, but if the artist says this was a journey I took, and it took me this many days to get to this tree and I stopped and painted for 4 days, that’s a story! That’s what makes the art more valuable. So, just get to know the artist behind the art.
You can find Brett at the Market Creation Group located at 910 Santa Fe Drive, Suite 11. To learn more about MCG, visit http://demandmcg.com