Tag Archives: Arts Advocacy Day

Some New Year’s Thoughts 2011

Art is life-giving.

It’s an intangible. How can you explain to someone who has never experienced the power of an original piece of work, something that has sprung from the thought of one human being, brought into existence due to that person’s trials and errors, sweat, mental anguish, trying to get it right, to make physical that which he or she sees in the mind’s eye? Art adds life – to the walls of your home, your cubicle at work, your city parks, the very roadways you travel – breath and thought and feeling and connection, a communication offered from the artist to you.

It was a difficult year, 2010. Many of us felt the negatives of an economy sliding downhill, jobs moving in not equal to the companies moving out, the broad sweep of cuts to the arts because funds are stretched to the nth degree just to cover the most basic of services. Hard decisions have had to be made. We all want to live in a community with plenty of recreational opportunities and cultural offerings. Most of us realize that in our current world we must get creative to provide those amenities when our cities are pushing to fill empty buildings, entice new enterprise, appeal to and keep our young adult residents.

This is why we need the life sustaining power of art more than ever, and it is also why it is time for those of us who live and breathe and work in the arts to do more – I know, I know, we all are always being asked to do more – but small things can truly add up to big accomplishments. There is strength in numbers, and while competition is healthy, there really is great power in collaboration.

Dayton, Ohio, where I live and work,  is remarkable in its offerings in the arts; it has more than most cities its size (a provable statistic by the way). We have more talented professional artists than most, we have fine galleries that could use more traffic and support, and we have an art institute that rivals those of many larger metropolitan areas. Dayton has been blessed by the philanthropy of past citizens who loved this city and its people; we are still enjoying the fruits of that generosity today. Moreover, we are charged with living up to that legacy. We need to, now more than ever before.

Governor’s Awards

I had a very exciting day last Wednesday, Arts Advocacy Day in Ohio. I traveled to Columbus with other arts supporters to lobby our legislators on behalf of the arts. Ohio is in a budget crisis and the arts have taken a huge hit as state government wrestles with budget shortfalls and how to allocate limited funds. Last year the budget of the Ohio Arts Council was cut 47%. I and a large contingent of artists, arts patrons, arts lovers, and arts professionals from Dayton, along with groups from all over Ohio urged our government leaders to do their utmost not to cut us further, and maybe even add back some of what we lost last year. Arts related businesses contribute to the economic health of the state; as well arts education is an integral component of a well-rounded student (more on this later).

I want to get on to the next exciting part of the day: the Governor’s Awards! This year, two awards went to Dayton folk: Marsha Hannah and Kevin Moore, the dynamic duo behind the Human Race Theatre Company, won the Governor’s Award for Arts Administration; and Jim and Enid Goubeaux, long-time arts supporters, won the Governor’s Awards for Arts Patrons. As is usual for Dayton, it seemed half the city turned out at the luncheon to cheer them on. We have great arts and great arts supporters in Dayton and we are very proud of our artists!

Sacred Ground Art Exhibit

Good morning! For those of you in the Dayton Ohio area, I want to alert you to an exhibition opening on March 27, 2010 and running through May 2nd. The exhibition is called SACRED GROUND. Hosted by the Marianist Envirionmental Education Center on the grounds of Mount St. John – many of you locals know this place as Bergamo – this year’s show explores the gift of land as a place to encounter the sacred, and the values that ground us in caring for the land. (I lifted this last part directly from their brochure).

The OPENING RECEPTION is Saturday, March 27 from 2-5 pm at Gallery St. John, which is there on the grounds. There you can meet the artists and writers involved in the exhibition and enjoy music and refreshments.

There are a number of events connected with this exhibition, so I am providing a link to MEEC’s website: http://meec.udayton.edu. If you are concerned about the viability of our natural world and our human connection to it, check it out! I hope to see you.

arts advocacy and your thoughts

I will be traveling to Columbus, Ohio on April first – no foolin”! – to call on our state legislators, lobbying them to increase, maintain, continue, build, etc. their support of the arts in our state. April 1 is Arts Advocacy Day and I will be part of a significant Dayton contingent from all the major arts groups, small and large, as well as community supporters and individual artists like myself.

Arts related businesses are a significant part of our state’s income, as well as important to quality of life. Now, I know if you are reading this that you are already somewhat interested in the arts and that in essence I am preaching to the choir. HOWEVER, what I am interested in is your comments, thoughts, statistics, and personal experiences regarding the positive impact the arts have had on you or someone you know. I want as much data as possible to take with me to Columbus.

IN ADDITION, I am working on an article or series of articles about the importance and impact of the arts, and if you contribute an anecdote, I may ask your permission to use it in writing. 

So, please, add your voice to the rest of us who love the arts. More voices raised in active support will add color, texture, and power to our songs! (here I am, a visual artist using music metaphors!)