Jul 13, 2010

Michael Kaiser's Arts in Crisis Tour Hits Colorado Springs

The Colorado Council on the Arts, Imagination Celebration, and COPPeR honored the FAC by bringing Michael Kaiser here as his only stop in Colorado during the national Arts In Crisis tour. Arts and culture organizations from all over the state joined in a conversation about how to strengthen communities and economies through building strong arts organizations.

Michael Kaiser, CEO of the Kenendy Center, expressed his optimism about the future of arts organizations around the country. This, despite so many museums, dance companies, theatre companies, symphonies, operas, and arts education groups struggle with same issues across the country. On the other hand, Kaiser made the point that organizations can be as innovative, creative, and good as they want to be, regardless of where they are, citing the example of Grand Rapids, MI with its hugely successful collaborative arts event, Art Prize. In short, regardless of where we are geographically, we all can and should do "exciting, important work."

Kaiser emphasized the need for "coordinated arts education" for students that prevents the kind of situation that leaves huge gaps in elementary and middle school education--the kind of gap that currently means "we have a lot of remedial arts education work it do." The Kennedy Center offers up one online resource for coordinated arts education based on standards at http://www.artsed.org/.

Matthew Schniper adds much more on the Indy blog, including Kaiser's take on a regional challenge:
Kaiser, answering a question from interviewer Elaine Mariner of Colorado Creative Industries, says he believes Colorado organizations "don't have the level of esteem they probably deserve — the art is better than the reputation." To fix that, he points to the importance of the aforementioned institutional marketing to build community around projects.
If you missed the presentation, the FAC will upload video as soon as we can. For shorter sound bites, the FAC's New Media Manager, Becca live tweeted some of her favorite points (see below).