Oct 8, 2009

Collaboration at the Top

Unsurprisingly, it's Ian David Moss at Createquity with his forward-looking advice for the NEA. A sampling that jumped out at me:
...It strikes me that the NEA and most of its followers have focused quite narrowly on the concerns of nonprofit arts organizations in the United States. In a perfect world, I would like to see the arts field work much more collaboratively and proactively with other fields. There are a myriad of ways in which the arts intersect with broader federal and societal priorities. As Chairman Landesman has recognized, the arts potentially have a gigantic role to play in the economic revitalization of neighborhoods and downtowns, particularly outside of major metropolitan areas where small investments can make a big difference. So why isn’t there more interaction with Housing and Urban Development? The arts are widely regarded as the linchpin of a broader creative economy, due to the space they provide for innovation for its own sake. So why are the arts so rarely a part of the discussion of the White House’s new Office of Social Innovation? Our world is rapidly becoming more integrated even as it becomes more complex. If the recent political brouhahas involving the NEA teach us anything, it should be that we can’t afford to stay in our silos for much longer.

Shrewd stuff, and an advised use of the economic-impact argument where it might make the most difference (as opposed to where it probably can't).

1 comment:

RLewis said...

"...the arts potentially have a gigantic role to play in the economic revitalization of neighborhoods..."

Great in theory, but do we use our powers for good or evil, grasshopper?

I know that Melanie J and the Foundry have explored this issue more than I, but it is a deeper concern than, I think, the CE blog considers.

Because, often when the arts move into a neighborhood and "revitalizes" it, the result is that Mom & Pop shops get forced out, and low income residents get priced out... only to have the artists get moved along soon enough by big business and retail.

So, what do we accomplish except pushing out those in need for the Man's ultimate residency?

I think the arts can have a positive role to play in this issue, but it's more complex than just pleasing Rocco.