Quality of life will revitalize economy
Lansing's mayor declared today "Lansing Symphony Orchestra Day." There was a dedication at City Hall in the morning and ensembles from the orchestra performed in locations throughout the city, including credit unions, the Capitol, the airport, the hospitals, the library, and the law school.
It's a fitting tribute to a professional orchestra that continues to thrive and is well-loved in the community. Last year, their long-time conductor and music director Gustav Meier retired and was replaced by Timothy Muffitt, who is also the music director of the Baton Rouge Symphony. I spoke with him last week about the upcoming season, a season they've dubbed "Feel the Power."
While we spent most of the conversation talking about music and the symphony, we also touched on arts and arts funding. He said something that struck a chord with me because of an earlier entry written here. A month or so ago, I questioned whether art could replace Oldsmobile as a pillar of the economy. I had my doubts--even while knowing that art was vital to the economy and that we have a strong, vibrant arts community here. What he said clarified something in my mind.
Michigan as a state tends to be a progressive group of people. Most people recognize that if we're going to jump start this economy, if we're going to revitalize the economy of Michigan, it has to start with a quality of life. Quality of life has a lot to do with how strong the arts scene is in any given community. When you look at all those lists of the places that are the most attractive life, they all have a great arts scene. I'm not just talking about the Symphony. I'm talking about Boarshead, our galleries, the things happening in the little cafes, the whole picture. For any state and any city to really revitalize itself from an economic perspective, we have to take care of the quality of life, which means a great and well-supported arts scene. Without that, there will be no revitalization of the economy. I think the people of Michigan know that. We do need to translate that support into dollars coming in the door, but I think we're moving in the right direction. I do believe this is a progressive group of people in our state and in our community.
While art isn't likely to be the income generator that Oldsmobile, state government, or education is, it can be the driving force that makes other industries profitable.
Bloggers We Love
Bridgette Redman and Lansing Theater
Drew McManus' "Neo Classical" at the Partial Observer
Marc Moss (Missoula, MT artist)
Mary Louise Schumacher's "Art City"
Other Great Sites
American Composers Orchestra
Arts & Letters Daily
Center for Arts and Culture
Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive
National Arts Journalism Program
NEA Arts Journalism Institute for Dance Criticism
NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera
NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater & Musical Theater
New Music Box: American Music Center
USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program
AJ BlogsAJBlogCentral | rss
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog