Today marks the beginning of The Robert E. Gard Foundation’s gathering at the The Johnson Center at Wingspread’s conference center outside Milwaukee. Announced here earlier this year, Our Communities: A Symposium on the Arts is a reflection on the state of arts/community connections on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Robert Gard’s The Arts in the Small Community.
Since this is a by-invitation-only event, I have been tasked with keeping the outside world apprised of at least some of the discussions that take place there. Clearly, it will be impossible to do so thoroughly, but I’ll do the best I can.
Today will begin with a welcome from Jane Chu, Chairman of the NEA, a keynote address by Maryo Gard Ewell (Robert Gard’s daughter and herself a lifelong advocate for the arts in communities), and presentation of the Robert E. Gard Leadership Awards.
Thursday and Friday will feature looks back at the history of community-based arts work, the current state of affairs, and a consideration of what the future of arts/community collaboration can look like.