Groups seek to enhance local arts scene
Two dozen arts organizations in the Rochester area have launched an initiative to make the arts a centerpiece of the community.
"We know that a vibrant arts community creates jobs, attracts talent and stimulates our economy, as well as infuses creativity into everything we develop, including the minds of our children," said Stephen Lehmkuhle, chancellor of the University of Minnesota Rochester, and a member of the Rochester Arts Council board of directors.
Goals include attracting visitors to the community, nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship, and closing the achievement gap in education.
"In order for these goals to be achieved, we believe it's essential that the arts have a seat at the table as these activities ramp up," Lehmkuhle said.
In recent months, the Rochester Arts Council has conducted two with board members from various arts organizations, and two meetings with individual artists from the community. The organizations and artists have agreed to combine their efforts to enhance the role of arts in Rochester's economy.
The discussion will continue Sept. 14 when Anne Markusen, a professor at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs, will speak in Rochester. Markusen studies the economic impact of arts and cultural activities on local communities.