Thursday, March 15, 2012

Culture Wars

Art is not a luxury; art is a precondition to success in a world increasingly driven by creativity and innovation … Investing in arts and cultural institutions … can be the economic equivalent of bringing a manufacturing plant to a neighborhood and — from a cultural and quality-of-life standpoint — more than surpass it.
-- Luis Ubiñas, president of the Ford Foundation on the philosophy of creative placemaking. See info here.

Times are tough, there's no question about that. Listen in on conversations with peers, colleagues, and others both on and off campus.

It may seem easier to cut back funding entirely rather than invoke austerity measures that would enable programs (in this case, the arts) to continue.

But, those of us in the arts, and others who benefit from them, see the greater good in sustaining such programs. This is a topic that we've engaged recently in my New Museum Theory course.

Take our gallery programs and exhibition schedule. The current exhibition "A Passionate Pursuit: The Milward Collection" has brought in folks from the region who have never visited our gallery or our campus. I met a few such ladies this afternoon when I popped in during Spring Break briefly. I am thrilled that this exhibition offers something of interest for these individuals. And, I hope it offers something for you, also.

Next month, we'll usher in the senior projects from five graduating art majors and one student who is pursuing an area major in Cultural Studies. These six students will fill both galleries with work that is new, fresh, and (hopefully) pushing themselves toward excellence.

But, we have myriad events tied to both courses and galleries. As evidenced by the photos above, taken from events over the past two years. These give visual witness to coursework, site visits from area middle schools, gallery openings and receptions, and artists' talks.

It's interesting to think of the arts as an incubator in much the same that an industrial plant fuels a city. Imagine the capacity for power if we could collaborate more, reach broader audiences, and cross-pollinate both on campus and with those in our community?

Read the full article from where the quote was taken here. Thanks to KLev for pointing me to this article:) Yep, she's another art history major who's MAKING ART WORK, as in MAKING (that) ART (degree) WORK (for her)!!

1 comment:

Klev said...

Thanks for the shout out! Great article. Great blog.