Executive Director’s Letter
August 13, 2013
In cities and regions around the country, municipalities, business leaders, and elected officials are engaged in cultural planning as a way to create an integrated and strategic approach to the arts and culture sector. By integrated, I mean that as part of regional or city planning, arts and cultural strategies are now being viewed as integral to plans that strengthen the overall health and well-being of communities.
Craig Dreeszen, Ph.D., who recently moderated a panel on this topic at the 2013 Americans for the Arts conference, writes: “Cultural planning is a public process in which representatives of a community undertake a comprehensive community assessment and planning process that focuses on arts and cultural resources, needs, and opportunities. Sometimes the planning is narrowly focused on the needs of artists, arts organizations and audiences. Increasingly, cultural planning considers the role of culture in resolving broader community needs.”
Many of the issues that the cultural sector needs to address would be well-served by a comprehensive approach that engages key stakeholders. Although a daunting task given that those of us in the sector find ourselves approaching issues one-by-one, a cultural plan sure seems like a good idea.
In member news, congratulations to the Strand Theatre Company and welcome to their new artistic director, Elissa Goetschius. We look forward to her first season. Howard Community College’s Rep Stage is also welcoming new leadership as Suzanne E. Beal and Joseph W. Ritsch were recently named co-producing Artistic Directors. Finally, Gigi McKendric called to let us know that A Day In The Life Of A Firefighter Before September 11. . . And A Day After, a video collaboration between her and UMBC’s Visual Arts Department Chair, Vin Grabill, has been added to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum’s permanent collection. The video honors NYC firefighter Keithroy Maynard who perished in the attacks on September 11, 2001. You can learn more about the video here.
All the best,