Roger mentioned “a seat at the table” earlier this week, a concept of upmost importance not just to the message development process but to the content of the message itself. What are we telling a diverse, creative community about access and opportunity in New Albany? What should we be telling them and how do we go about sending the message?
…Artists and cultural institutions have a unique ability to kick-start local economies, create jobs, and attract new businesses. We now know that more inclusive communities – urban and rural, places that welcome a diversity of ideas and people – grow faster than cities that do not. We now know that places with thriving arts communities and facilities grow faster than those that don’t have promising cultural assets. Art is not a luxury; art is a precondition to success in a world increasingly driven by creativity and innovation.
Arts spaces are economic anchors around which communities can build. Think about it: Communities will lobby to locate a small manufacturing plant that can be moved off shore at any point, but how many communities will fight to attract the diverse, creative people and art spaces that can create just as many jobs and become a permanent asset that nourishes not just the pocketbook but also the soul?
Indeed, investing in arts and cultural institutions that are strong, powerful economic catalysts within their local communities can be the economic equivalent of bringing a manufacturing plant to a neighborhood and – from a cultural and quality-of-life standpoint – more than surpass it…