Virginia Hoffman wrote (actually continues to write) impassioned pleas regarding support for the arts that is on par with other efforts. In the June 16thedition of SRQ Daily (subscribe here) she introduces the concept of the Cultural Stadium – hoping to elevate the arts among the power and money brokers in town by talking in sports metaphors. Bingo Card from Bike Jax (dot org)
Linking arts to sports is one way to go about it, but there is another game, so to speak, where art is taking center field. To whit:
- The Project for Public Spaces has a new effort called “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” in response to planning fatigue where the patience with endless planning runs out, but money for implementation is scarce. Opportunistic, short term projects are now popping up all over; think pop-up festivals, food trucks, yarnbombing and tactical urbanism.
- Artspace is a POWERFUL partnership of funders and arts agencies that just gave away over $15 million in 47 cities and rural areas. Some of the examples: in Boston, money to fund “random acts of culture” and ventures to engage artists to creatively combat urban vacancy in several cities.
- There seems to already be quite a bit community initiated arts here already. sARTq, launched by the HuB is a good example, and the Chalk Festival began as a bootstrap event. Several local artists have successfully used the crowdsourcing website Kickstarterto raise funds. Ballet practice takes place downtown in an empty storefront. Flashmob dances show up on Siesta Key.
There are a couple of themes worth noting.
- To borrow words from a Bruce Katz tweet, “The new era in (art) will be crowd sourced vs. close sourced, entrepreneurial vs. bureaucratic, networked vs. hierarchical.” He was talking about metropolitan areas, but the same applies to the arts.
- Arts have to help solve something, fill a gap, and be related to placemaking.
- Art projects in the age of austerity, if publicly funded, will need to perform double and triple duty.
- If placemaking and the arts are not hierarchical, a new kind of leadership needs to combine the best of the established art community with these new spontaneous random acts.
In Sarasota, what are the opportunities?
- Arts and Transit – SCAT’s transit maps, bus stops and other information are pitiful. Other cities are using information graphics, technology, and better sign posts to help patrons navigate the system. Asheville, NC transformed its buses into art and performance spaces.
- Arts and Stormwater –Much of our public space is dominated by palm trees and high input (water and fertilizer) landscaping. We can turn that around as other places have with installations that actually clean water before it enters the Bay.
- Arts and Health – Columbus Ohio’s Department of Public Health sponsors Columbus Art Walks in nine different neighborhoods. Yes, the Health Department and Public Arts got together.
- Arts and Economic Development – Sarasota has tons of video production talent, but it seems scattered. Imagine a consortium making a video like this, but instead of “Made in Brooklyn” it’s “Made in Sarasota.” By the way, like Brooklyn’s Makerbot company, have a growing 3-D printing industry growing here. Call me if interested because it looks like the early applications are jewelry, art and 3D printing for food. No kidding.
- Art and Underused space - Imagine all the places in Sarasota where a dusty lot or even cracks in the sidewalk might be transformed.
Let’s cut to the chase here. Placemaking+arts immerses people in art on a daily – even hourly – basis. Linking arts to other passions ensure wider support, so someone who loves the idea of a healthier community will be all over arts and walking. We know who does art - who does place?