What's Your Hope for the Arts in Your Community for 2009?
Happy New Year from Americans for the Arts. As we look forward, we'd like to share some of our hopes with you and encourage you to share your hopes with us and others.
My hope is that the private sector—businesses, foundations, and individuals—will understand that investing in the arts in troubled times stimulates the economy; creates jobs; benefits overall community development; and creates a better environment in which our communities, our youth, and our people can thrive.
My hope is that the new Obama administration will truly see the arts as part of the solution to America's problems and invest appropriately in the arts and arts jobs in any stimulus plans that are undertaken.
My hope is that our education leaders, our legislators, and all those decision-makers who determine the budgets of America's schools will finally understand that increasing investment in the arts increases the creativity of America's students and increases their future ability to advance as creative competative 21st century workers and citizens.
Read more hopes from our bloggers and post your own!
From Scarlett Swerdlow
I wish the arts and cultural community prosperity and success in the New Year. I hope we are able to leverage the downturn in the economy as an opportunity to (re)position the arts as central to reviving the economy, creating local jobs, and sharpening our competitive edge and international reputation. I hope we use the uncertainty in America as an opening to strengthen and unite our neighborhoods and schools as well as the arts community itself. I hope we don't just seek short-term endurance through these tough times, but also long-term growth.
From Mark Baratelli
I hope that Orlando maintains its roster of arts production companies and heralds in new ones during this down economy. I hope what we consider "arts and culture" to expand to include crafting, clothing design, and product design. I hope the arts community and the tech community start working together. I hope Orlando doesn't lose it's arts coverage: the parent company (Tribune) of the local newspaper (Orlando Sentinel) has filed for bankruptcy. I hope the construction of the multimillion dollar Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center continues safely, with no injuries. And I hope sources of funding continue to support new artists.
From Silagh White
..that citizens of my local community—no matter how "community" is defined—can come to know the value of the arts for themselves and everyone else. For all, patience for change, energy to move, and courage to act... and wisdom from our elected officials to do the right thing.
From Diane Ruggiero
My first hope is that people will appreciate what art and culture can offer during difficult times and then take advantage of them—the music of a street performer (OK, maybe in less cold weather), the enthusiasm of a stage performance, the artistry and athleticism of a dance performance, the serenity of a museum or gallery. Go and see and listen. The arts are not a luxury to be enjoyed only when times are good. They will be missed if they are lost. I hope that artists and arts organizations will grow and thrive and use these time to learn about what they do best and continue doing that. Collaborate with each other, support each other, and learn from each other.
From Shane Hudson
My hope for the arts community in 2009 is that it survives. 2009 will be a challenging year. A year for creative thinking and aggressive action. We, the arts community, will suffer, but I hope that we survive by becoming leaner, stronger organizations with clear missions, engaged audiences, and unwavering community support. I hope that the arts prove their worth to their communities by focusing on deepening relationships and building trust. I also hope that our communities respond by providing real support not just during these trying times, but every day. I hope that the arts community of North Carolina rises to the challenge of pushing forward legislation to make the arts a requirement in our schools and I hope that the new administration in Washington will encourage the arts and view them as essential. Additionally, I hope that arts organizations will lead the way in the use of social media to connect and communicate with our communities. Social media and the arts are wonderful partners and I hope the industry embraces and encourages these new technologies. Most of all, I hope that the arts will inspire, move, educate, celebrate, engage, and enrage. I hope that the arts not just survive, but thrive.
From Adam Thurman
"Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful." - Warren Buffett
My hope for 2009 is that we in the arts become greedy. Greedy in our need to produce better, more impactful work. Greedy in our desire to use every tool in the arsenal to connect that work to the public. For many of us in the arts, this crazy, chaotic, time is the moment we have been waiting for. It's a chance to reassert ourselves in the hearts and minds of a public looking for something a bit more meaningful. Of course you'll have many smart people telling you that 2009 is the year you should hunker down and wait for the storm to pass. They will tell you to cut your already bare bones expenses and not to take too many artistic risks. Their advice will make a lot of sense. You should ignore pretty much all of it. Now is the time for you and your colleagues to make the strongest, smartest choices possible. So my hope is that we declare 2009, "The Year of Artistic Greed" and battle to make our dreams a reality.
From Matt Lehrman
May the art strike a chord,
and applause ever swell.
May the artists inspire,
and the shows all go well.
May the tickets sell early,
and the word of mouth spread.
May the walk-up be strong,
and may good times be ahead.