Blog Posts for culture and communities

Using the Arts to Revitalize Downtown Miami

Posted by Ms. Laura Bruney, Apr 09, 2015 0 comments

This piece by Laura Bruney of the Arts & Business Council of Miami was originally published on their blog,

Alyce Robertson is Executive Director of Miami’s Downtown Development Authority. The Great Recession wreaked havoc on downtown Miami, with empty condos and a surplus of office space that even the most bullish economists thought would take a decade to absorb. But the turn-around has been quicker and better than imagined. A 24-7 community has emerged as thousands of new residents and business professionals flood the district seeking a more urban lifestyle. Today, Miami has reversed course and emerged as a true metropolis and international destination for commerce, tourism, and arts & culture. Alyce shares her views with us on the value of the arts to downtown Miami.

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Art is History of People

Posted by Anna Huntington, Mar 18, 2015 0 comments

Confession #1: I had to Google “cognitive development” before I started writing this. I’m an arts administrator, after all, not an educator.

Confession #2: From my perspective, it seems clear that art makes kids smart. To the body of research demonstrating art education’s score-boosting, transferrable-skills, and college-readiness cognitive development superpowers, I say, “Yup.”

Confession #3. I live in Rapid City, South Dakota (not far from Mount Rushmore). Our community, which encompasses nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, has long, deep, painful struggles with racism.

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What’s Measured, Matters . . .

Posted by Mr. 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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Arts Ed in Museum Spaces: The Rebirth of the Fitchburg Art Museum

Posted by Meg Salocks, Feb 13, 2015 0 comments

The Fitchburg Art Museum (FAM), located in Central Massachusetts, is an interesting example of a small community museum founded for a very different local population than the one in which it finds itself today. This has led to an even more interesting fold of arts education within their walls, as you’re about to find out!

The FAM was originally founded by Fitchburg native and painter, Eleanor Norcross, in 1929 to share her collections of European, Egyptian, and ancient art with local middle class families. Today, the local population is approximately 40% Hispanic, as well as Laotian, Mung, and Cambodian. The Fitchburg Art Museum must not only appeal to this varied population that is so different from its founding environment, but also to a significantly different base of older families and private schools that also consider the greater Central Massachusetts area home; a tricky task for any small institution.

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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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Search and You Shall Find... a Cultural Destination

Posted by Ms. Victoria L. Hamilton, Feb 05, 2015 0 comments

Since the inception of our work at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation (JCNI), arts and culture taken form in the development of an emerging cultural district, bringing together community members, organizations, and artists to shape both its look and character.

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