Can we talk?

California Arts Advocates, of which I'm VP, begins a statewide visioning initiative with a first convening in Sacramento this week. We describe our goal this way:
This convening is not so much about finding new language to better describe or market what we do in the arts; this is about launching an unprecedented inquiry into what is needed for the arts to become an indispensable part of life to the diverse people and communities of California.
In California we are past the shock of having our state arts agency budget cut by 95%. This may be a new experience for you but it happened here years ago. We know the late 20th century days of multi-million dollar state general fund allocations to the arts are past. And I'm not convinced that the non-profit model is the only (or always the best) vehicle for investing in people's access to the arts.

We don't know where this visioning initiative will go. It is 100% dependent upon the willingness of participants this week and in the months ahead to imagine what the arts can be and can achieve in the lives, neighborhoods, and communities of our state. I'm convinced we have to transform our understanding of the relationship between art, people, and policy so we can add more models to the arts play book. One reference point we're using is the concept of Expressive Lives Bill Ivey introduces in this Demos publication.

We'll let you know how it goes. But don't wait to find out what happens here before you start having these same conversations in your state. Change is here and we have to keep pace with it or be left behind.
January 10, 2010 2:18 PM | | Comments (2)

2 Comments

Christina, thanks for your comment. It's been a busy month since the convening but I'll get a little update posted soon. So glad you see our work in CA being of value to communities across the country. - Dalouge

Many people are watching.

I believe that a paradigm shift must happen. Government, the business community and society in general must view the arts as an EQUAL partner of the economy, as in the financial sector, the housing sector, the retail sector, the arts sector.

Leadership in the arts needs to consist of a diverse blending of talents. The pendulum swings between "artist only" run institutions and "strictly business" types for whom the financial metrics represent the only ones that matter.

"...this is about launching an unprecedented inquiry into what is needed for the arts to become an indispensable part of life to the diverse people and communities..." Your goal applies to every state and every community. Thank you.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dog Days published on January 10, 2010 2:18 PM.

Hillary Clinton Sings Our Song was the previous entry in this blog.

Full STEAM Ahead - Arts and the Innovation Gap is the next entry in this blog.

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