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Illusion & Macadam, a service center for cultural and creative players

Information updated on 22/07/19

Setting up in Montpellier’s Creative City was a great opportunity for Illusion & Macadam. Reaching from Lyon to Toulouse, the Montpellier based cooperative can fully assume its role regionally.

Jordi Castellano, Anne-Charlotte Eriau et Vincent Cavaroc © PHOTOBIM - Dominique Quet

Jordi Castellano, Anne-Charlotte Eriau, and Vincent Cavaroc © PHOTOBIM - Dominique Quet

Founded fifteen years ago to help players in the cultural and creative sector with their projects, Macadam & Illusion has continually expanded its range of services. Now the cooperative wants to go even further.
When Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole invited the Macadam & Illusion team to get involved with its Creative City initiative, a cluster dedicated to cultural and creative industries (CCIs), the answer was a resounding “yes”. They moved into a former mechanical facility at the site, renovated the space to meet their needs, and named it Tropisme Hall.

“We have reached a milestone with Tropisme Hall, as it enables us to create a real service center,” explains Jordi Castellano, co-director of Illusion & Macadam.

Illusion & Macadam is now taking things to a higher level. The cooperative is joined by two partners: KissKissBankBank, a crowdfunding platform; and SMart, a cooperative group specialized in helping activities in the creative sector get started. Illusion & Macadam improves efficiency by bringing together independents and companies at the same location.

“With all these organizations present on-site, we can better understand their needs and identify the challenges they face,” explains Jordi Castellano.

He states it quite clearly: “We are very careful to cover the broadest possible spectrum of CCIs, including performance and visual arts, architecture, fine foods, craft artisans, and much more!”

While the CCI sector is really starting to take off, some of its stakeholders are being forced to revisit their business model significantly. The digital transformation impacted their way of working by disrupting people’s habits and changing the way cultural products are consumed.
Illusion & Macadam is dedicated to the missions it has defined for itself: to help provide structure for the cultural and creative sector, support transition in the cultural sector, and produce and disseminate creation. The cooperative also organizes professional events and theme breakfasts. Topics vary greatly but are always related to challenges faced by those involved with the cultural and creative sector. This includes themes ranging from management to finance, as well as digital communication and other issues shared by all creators and artists. At the same time, the cooperative is expanding the training programs it offers.
Another one of its goals is to create ties within the sector. Illusion & Macadam is particularly dedicated to encouraging synergy among CCI players, as they are the ones driving creative projects and innovations:

“We are not saying that we are revolutionizing the way people work. But there will be added value because they are all together at the same location.”

Illusion & Macadam also focuses on organizing more events to welcome the general public. With its dual objective, Tropisme Hall offers a rich program of its own, but also much more than that, with exhibitions and friendly gatherings of all kinds.
The site is open several evenings during the week, as well as on weekends.
Illusion & Macadam decided to establish a dedicated cooperative, named Tropisme, to leverage the eponymous structure located at the Creative City. Several partners invested in the new organization, including Esma, soon to be a neighbor in the creative campus district; RadioAct, a holding company specialized in radio; and even Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole.
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