Thursday, November 6, 2008
Now, more than ever, art is becoming a dominant force in our lives. It inspires us in our world. Art brings a fresh outlook to the individual and affirms the goodness in our lives and communities. I believe that art not only contributes significantly to the beauty and vitality
“America’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity every year.*”
of a community but its economy as well. Public arts programs bring a community together, provide a tourist destination and is an engine to economic development.
My experience as an artist, community leader and business woman places me in a unique position to assist you in your efforts to develop and maintain a public arts program.
In 2005 I founded LAFTA, the Lampasas Association for the Arts of which I’m president. My vision of a sculpture garden for the city was realized then and I continue to work with the city and county to provide public arts programs to assist in the economic development of our region.
I’ll assist you with your goal of creating a community that arts visitors want to come back to over and again because of its vitality, making your city a magnet for a more “creative class” of workers and the corporations that employ them. Studies show that communities that take this new and bold approach to repositioning arts and culture as an economic engine are successful.
*Information courtesy of Arts & Economic Prosperity III,
by Americans for the Arts Foundation
A powerful new movement is going on in America's cities as we redefine our personal and spiritual values and the communities in which we live. In today's business, political, social and creative environment a quantum change is occurring. Forward-thinking communities realize the importance of public art and culture's contributions to not only its citizens but its economic well-being too.
1) Unites communities
Public art programs engage people of all ages and abilities to foster dialogue within communities and present art in innovative ways. These programs promote partnerships within the community and build bridges between people.
2) Enhances civic pride
Public art represents many things to many people but the bottom line is; how does it reflect the quality of life? In towns and cities where public art is established citizens feel pride in their community because it makes a statement about their unique heritage and identity.
3) Helps provide educational experiences
Public arts and cultural programs can be utilized to help fill the gap in cuts to educational funding. Student tours, art and performance art projects and student interaction in the process of creating art enriches the community at large.
4) Creates a tourist destination
The arts and culture industry leverages a significant amount of event-related spending by its audiences. Attendance at arts events generates related commerce for local businesses such as restaurants, parking garages, hotels and retail stores. By creating cultural hubs, nonprofit arts businesses help cities define themselves, draw tourists and attract investment.
5) Attracts businesses that employ the “creative class”
Creative workers and the industries that employ them locate in creative hubs, which become economically supercharged. These hubs become magnets for visitors, and the ripple effect of this builds vitality across all economic sectors.
6) Involve disenfranchised ethnic groups
Public art can also reflect the character of ethnic groups in your community. Programs that celebrate cultural heritage can bring all citizens together, building better understanding and a more culturally rich community.
7) Creates a fundraising source within the community
Public art and culture programs can be effectively used as fundraising tools that can unite the community, provide media coverage and help fund educational programs, art grants and new programs.
8) Provides an engine for economic development
Once struggling communities throughout the country are reinventing and rebuilding themselves by investing in art and culture - a proven catalyst for growth and economic prosperity.