Mayor James Fiorentini hopes Haverhill will go viral on the Web.
The Haverhill Cultural Council and Fiorentini, with members of Haverhill Community Television, have created a 3-minute Internet video to promote Haverhill's artistic community for the first Mayors' Arts Challenge, hosted by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
This video joins 15 others, all featuring Massachusetts mayors and their communities, on the MCC's official Youtube channel in the hopes of becoming the MCC's choice community video.
Currently the video leads the pack with more than 1,000 views. However, the winning video is the one with the largest number of votes, accomplished by hitting a "thumbs-up" icon that appears when the video is shown when you log into Youtube.com.
The winning video will be shown at the Statehouse in February as part of the state's Commonwealth Awards, which celebrate art throughout Massachusetts, and will have a screening at the U.S. Conference of Mayors next summer.
State Cultural Council spokesman Greg Liakos said all registered Youtube users are encouraged to visit the page and "like" their communities' respective videos. The three with the most "likes" by Oct. 29 will be sent to a panel of MCC judges who will determine the overall winner.
Liakos said the contest, held purely for prestige, is a way to draw the frequently hidden artistic communities of Massachusetts back into the limelight via the voices of community leaders.
"We've long recognized mayors are our best spokespersons," he said. "We hope the mayors will be able to use this as a way to re-engage citizens."
The video features Fiorentini walking the downtown's streets, interviewing Haverhill artisans and showing off some of Haverhill's recent cultural endeavors, such as the decorated shoes from Team Haverhill's "Shoe-la-bration" and remodeled lofts that offer artist residences.
According to Fiorentini, the video was created in less than six hours. It stresses his key city-building principle of the "creative economy".
"If you attract artists and musicians then you get a better city. People bring business."
Haverhill Community Television Operations Manager Matt Belfiore and Production Assistant Chris Bowden filmed and edited the video.