Blog Posts for advancing arts locally

What’s Measured, Matters . . .

Posted by Randy I. Cohen, Mar 11, 2015 0 comments

BEA’s Arts in the GDP Study: What Next?

In January 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released its revised Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA)—a set of measures of arts and culture in the economy, including its share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Much has been written about the truly mind-bending sum of $698.7 billion in industry expenditures—a substantial contributor to the economy that supported 4.7 million jobs in 2012 and represented 4.32 percent of GDP.

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Cultural Districts and Communities: Catalysts for Change

Posted by Theresa Cameron, Feb 06, 2015 0 comments

This week’s blog salon on Cultural Districts and Communities: Catalysts for Change explored how cultural districts are improving, engaging, and sometimes changing their communities. Kicking off the salon, I introduced our new tool - the National Cultural Districts Exchange, which is a suite of online tools and resources to provide research and information about cultural districts. This new resource is meant to be an exchange of ideas, information, and resources - and this blog salon supplemented this new tool with great viewpoints and unique perspectives on cultural districts.

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Hôtel du Nord: You Can Check Out, But It Will Never Leave You

Posted by Tom Borrup, Feb 06, 2015 1 comment

I’ve had many great opportunities to witness how different communities organize themselves through, around, or into arts and cultural districts. In September, 2014, I had the pleasure of visiting a community in Marseille (800,000 population) in the south of France, a cluster of 8 small neighborhoods that formed a fascinating and alluring heritage and creative district with an approach I hadn’t seen in the United States.

Marseille was motivated by the opportunity to serve as European Capital of Culture for 2013, an effort that brought together players across government, creative, and business sectors to build working relationships like they never had before. The now 30-year-old Capital of Culture program rotates through the nations of the EU selecting cities to show off their distinctive creative and cultural assets. A total of 75 municipal entities in the Provence region (1.8 million population) – an area with no history of regional planning and little cooperation – demonstrated unprecedented unity and cultural vitality for their year in the European spotlight. It was branded Marseille-Provence 2013 or MP2013.

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NEA weighs in on Cultural Districts and the new Cultural Districts Exchange

Posted by Michael Killoren, Feb 06, 2015 0 comments

There are two questions that I frequently hear when asked about arts and cultural districts: what exactly does it mean to be a cultural district, and how does my community go about designating one?

These are big, complicated questions because there are so many variables! Finding meaningful and helpful answers, analysis, and insight to these questions just got easier, thanks to the National Cultural Districts Exchange, a free online resource. Now, you can find comprehensive information on the formation of cultural districts -- including DIY templates, with sample legislation, and guidelines covering all aspects of district designation - all in one place.

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In Rhode Island, Size Often Matters… Even When It Comes to Cultural Districts

Posted by Randall Rosenbaum, Feb 06, 2015 0 comments

Size drives a lot of policy discussions in Rhode Island. We are, after all, a unit of measure. “That iceberg off the coast of Nova Scotia is about the size of Rhode Island.” But for Rhode Islanders we take pride in how our small state is an intimate place, and we discuss ways we can use that intimacy to our advantage.

Twenty-plus years ago we were one of the first states in the nation to establish cultural districts in select communities. These districts had two distinct but complimentary goals: the first was to attract an art-buying (and money-spending) public, and the second was to encourage artists to live and work in areas that would benefit greatly from their presence.

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The Cultural District: The Key to a City’s Heart

Posted by Gayle Kaler, Feb 05, 2015 0 comments

Cultural districts are the heartbeat of a city. They are the distinctive part that makes your city unique and reveals the character and spirit of your town. They are vital to the sustainability and creativeness of a city, but so often these districts are forgotten and underutilized as a tool for economic growth and viable livability.

As Mayor of Paducah, Kentucky, a city of approximately 25,000, I have seen first-hand how the rejuvenation of a cultural district can have a significant impact on the economic stability and viable livability of an area. Our local government and concerned citizens have invested in, nurtured and supported the growth of our local arts district for many years and we are reaping great rewards from that investment. Paducah has used artist relocation programs, district rejuvenation projects, fiber art attractions, and cultural organization partnerships to create an arts district that is having an impact on both the local economy and the international playing field.

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