Seriously Now: Who Needs Creativity?

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Promoting the Arts as a Viable & Essential Industry

med_Pamelas_Mug_copy55We all need some level of creativity. We all need the stimulating impact art and culture have in every aspects of our lives.   Here in Central Oregon we have a diverse arts community enhancing cultural tourism, creating jobs, bringing enjoyment and expansion to our lives. It’s our role as community and business leaders to embrace the arts community as a viable economic contributor…….it deserves that level of reverence and certainly has earned our respect.

Enter Arts Central. The regional arts and culture council for Central Oregon recently launched the Cultural Advocacy Partnership, which is slated to build a more vibrant, rich and sustainable cultural community through civic engagement, cultural planning, tourism, economic development and creative industries.

Cate O’Hagan, executive director, and John Negrau, development and marketing manager of Arts Central, spearheaded the creation of this new collaboration of (so far) twenty non-profit and for-profit cultural organizations unified to create a cultural destination, creative economy and vibrant community.

Collecting economic data from these organizations Arts Central reported approximately $18 million in expense budgets for the partners contributing to the economic vitality of the region.  These organizations include Atelier 6000, Bend Experimental Art Theater, BendFilm, Cascade Arts & Entertainment, Cascades Theatrical Company, The Des Chutes Historical Museum, Deschutes Public Library, High Desert Journal, Les Schwab Amphitheater, The Lubbesmeyer Studio and Gallery, The Nature of Words, Redmond Chamber of Commerce, Sisters Folk Festival, Sunriver Music Festival, Terpsichorean Dance Studio and Tower Theatre Foundation.

We applaud these organizations that have jumped on the inaugural launch of this very important collaboration and encourage others to do the same.

The partners plan to increase the public’s personal interest and investment in culture, collaborate on marketing efforts and address changing trends in arts and cultural attendance and consumption. “With one collaborative and cohesive voice,” says O’Hagan, “we work to positively influence public opinion, leverage financial support and advocate for business and government leadership in arts and culture.”

The arts and cultural groups (including theatre, music, dance, museums, visual artists and galleries, festivals and literary venues) along with the creative entities (such as architects, graphic artists, writers, ad agencies) of our community are multi-faceted, income generating and life enhancing.

That said, this seems a great opportunity to talk about art and culture as a catalyst for growth…..a growing segment of our region that seems to stem the tide of economic decline.

The fact of the matter is that art, culture and commerce nurture and enhance each other. There just cannot be a workable economic environment without the participation of creativity, without arts education, without the expansion of young brains…………..as business people you wouldn’t have branded your company, marketed your products and services without creativity and some use of art. Your own creativity set the stage for building a successful company.

We shouldn’t undersell the power of this vibrant economic force in our region. Art through cultural tourism, economic investment and educational achievement needs to be seen as a primary resource and asset in Central Oregon.

We look forward to the Cultural Advocacy Partnership engaging us in its mission and taking a leadership role in enlightening our art and cultural direction. PHA

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