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THE ARTS: essential building blocks for healthy communities

A panel discussion exploring examples of how the arts have been a major catalyst for community and economic development around the country.

Presented by the Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island
In cooperation with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

September 30th, 3:30-5:30 PM
Location: Trinity Repertory Company
               Dowling Theatre
               201 Washington Street, Providence

Six program directors from the National Endowment for the Arts  shared  their unique perspectives on the role the arts play throughout the country in building partnerships with business and civic leaders to address the public good.

The panel offered examples from their program/content areas that have helped cities and states meet educational, economic and social challenges while helping to build vital communities with a high quality of life.

The forum provided local arts, business and civic leaders an opportunity to assess the feasibility of developing a comprehensive cultural plan for Rhode Island as a way to strategically integrate the assets in our community with the State's economic, education and other policy goals.

Cliff Becker, Director of Literature
Gigi Bolt, Director of Musical Theatre and Theatre
Robert Frankel, Director of Museums and Visual Arts
Doug Herbert, Director of Arts Learning
Douglas Sonntag, Director of Dance
Vanessa Whang, Director of Multidisciplinary & Presenting Arts

This program is part of the Arts & Business Council's MetLife Foundation National Arts Forum Series

Date: May 21, 2002
Time: 12:30 – 2:00 pm
Location: Rhode Island Convention Center
Attendees: 198

Title/Topic: What Builds Cultural Capital: Profiles of Support for Arts & Culture in Rhode Island

Description: The Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island brought together renowned researchers to present a sneak-preview to the official fall release of the findings from the National and Local Profiles of Cultural Support project. This was a nation-wide study profiling support for arts and culture in ten American cities including Providence sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Americans for the Arts. The panelists used the findings to frame a discussion of the trends for financial support for art and culture in Rhode Island, highlighting our strengths and weaknesses. They also outlined the implications of the findings on state and local government, business, and community leaders and called for focus on developing comprehensive and coordinated cultural policies and programs for the city and state. The panel drew from other recent efforts to show why a healthy and diverse cross-section of support is vital to building a vibrant community that is attractive to business investment, tourists, and new residents.

Because of the community-wide implications of this study, the attendees reflected a number of different sectors outside the arts and cultural community including local and state government officials, business leaders, representatives from the funding community, and scholars.


Dr. Margaret Wyszomirski, Professor of Public Policy and Art Education and Director, Arts Policy and Administration Program, Ohio State University; Research Committee Chair, Center for Arts and Culture, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Ann Galligan, Co-Director, Cultural and Arts Policy Research Institute, Northeastern University, Boston, MA.

Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

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