The creative economy is more about ideas than stuff. In many cases it's about ideas about stuff. Whatever the case, one of the main factories for the creative idea is conversation. And coming up in the next week, Portland will be filled with the kind of discussions and disputations that fuel our creative industry. Unsurprisingly, most of this talking happens at SPACE Gallery and some just down the block at the ICA, and all the events but one are free. Tonight, Thursday, March 10, at SPACE is the sixth annual Slow Food Portland Writers Night. Timed to coincide with Maine Restaurant Week "to further the Maine culinary experience. Writers Night is an evening filled with delicious local foods and engaging readings from authors near and far." (Doors open at 6:00 pm, starts at 6:30 pm, $25, $20 for Slow Food members, All Ages) Tomorrow night, Friday, March 11, MECA Visiting Artist Ellen Driscoll will give a free pubic lecture at 6pm in the ICA at MECA. "Driscoll's sculptures, drawings, and installations explore resource consumption and material lineage. Her latest multi-part, multi-year project, FASTFORWARDFOSSIL highlights the relationship between water and oil consumption" She is currently the head of the sculpture department at Rhode Island School of Design. Next week, on Tuesday, March 15, at SPACE, will be the first Creative Conversation of the Spring season. Sponsored by Portland Arts & Cultural Alliance and SPACE, Creative Conversations are "mediated discussions about the Arts from a personal, local, and regional perspective." Part 1 - Rethinking the Gallery in the Digital Age, asks the questions, "Are galleries still relevant in the age of Etsy, Facebook, and other digital ways to connect artists with collectors? Does the experience of art have the same impact when mediated by a screen? And what about galleries as an intermediary between private studios and large institutions like museums? This discussion will examine the changing nature of the white cube as well as the commodofication of art." Panelists will include Dan Kany, Bridget McAlonan and Andy Verzosa. (doors open at 6:30 PM, starts at 7:00 PM, Free, All Ages). And two days later at SPACE, on Thursday, March 17, there will be "A Conversation in Writing" between Portland writers Susan Conley and Lily King. "Portland-based writer Susan Conley celebrates the publication of her new memoir, The Foremost Good Fortune, in conversation with award-winning Maine novelist Lily King. The authors will trace their writing process as they share notes on their new books and their friendship and the things they can’t stop writing about. Join us and The Telling Room and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance as we fete these two talented members of our local creative community." (Doors open at 7:00 pm, starts at 7:30 pm, free, All Ages) My head is bursting just thinking about it all.