Monday, February 12, 2007

Arts Congress II Sat, Feb 24, LSUS, 8:30 am to 1 pm

"As a result of a one-year study through the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the arts were identified as one of the strong resources / assets upon which to build the Shreveport-Bossier area as a more unified regional destination," says Pam Atchison.

Thus she and a steering wheel committee have been working to implement. "A follow-up arts Planning Retreat is scheduled for Sat, Feb 24, from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm, at Bronson Hall on the LSUS campus. Director for the LDA, Veronique LeMelle, will join Dr. Norm Dolch of LSUS and Paula Hickman, director for The Community Foundation of Shreveport-Bossier to lead the discussion. We will serve a snack lunch and work quickly to accomplish much!

Here’s a recap of our progress through our first planning meeting, held last November:

Paula Hickman, Executive Director for the Community Foundation of Shreveport-Bossier, volunteered to lead the effort to initiate the ULI recommendations. A handful of volunteers agreed to meet with Paula on a monthly basis to discuss ways to strengthen and unify the arts; and remembered that Arts Planning Retreats that involve the community of Artists and Arts Organizations have been successful vehicles for dialogue and goal setting.

In November more than 100 artists and arts administrators met at LSUS to discuss the four ULI recommendations:

1. Increase the Visibility of the ARTS in Shreveport-Bossier City
2. Strengthen the Perception of the ARTS as integral in all areas of Civic Life
3. Strengthen Administrative Operations through Collaboration
4. Strengthen Relationships within the family of Arts Organizations
Interestingly, much of the conversation focused on the need to promote the Arts resources in the region, and suggested Outcomes were initially project oriented."

At the November meeting I found optimism, a variety of people and ideas and a sense of cooperation. My favorite idea of the session came from seasoned leader Major Brock (city government, Southern Univ, etc). He said that the arts community needs a political base so as to get recognition. He believes that leverage by the city can enhance art sales. "Having an arts advocate at the table of city politics - it's a part of a city government's development plan."

Of course, nothing trumps personal entrepreneurship and high achievement in artistic production.


Anonymous said...

Politicize art? Didn't Stalin and Hitler try that? Or was that nationalizing. I get confused.

I thought art was all creativity, all the time. If it isn't, is it art to start with?

It's distressing to think it's really all about the money...

Debbie Buchanan Engle said...

Mayor Glover, just prior to his election, asked some local artists & art organization administrators to be a part of his transition team. He has been continually supportive of the local arts community, and hopes to help elevate it to the status of a true economic entity and vital part of Shreveport's cultural backbone. He fully recognizes the need for art in a community - in a very non-Hitler way. He has chosen leaders who are entrenched in the arts community - not fundraising, not party-throwing, not exploiting the rich for the sake of paying bills. While I'm no fan of government-funded art, Mayor Glover is an important friend to the local arts community. After all, it's not all about how much money one can squeeze from the taxpayers.

Btw, Hitler's "Degenerate Art" exhibit made the careers of many artists in Europe, despite his ulterior motives. Any true artist knows that a bit of controversy is a beautiful thing.

Anonymous said...

A "steering wheel committee"?! That's a new one to me.

trudeau said...

Thanks, Debbie.