Wow, it's been quiet around here this week!
I was simultaneously pleased and annoyed to learn about "Culture Shock," an effort to promote local arts and artists.
"We want to make this a grass-roots movement to create a more symbiotic relationship between business and the arts," said Jon Wilner, director of Carrboro's ArtsCenter.
"Culture Shock" is a push to brand what many already know: the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area is replete with nightlife, music, museums, book readings, performances and all things artistic.
At a public meeting Tuesday night, roughly 100 people met in the ArtsCenter to figure out how to make "Culture Shock" work.
-newsobserver.com | Area wants to cash in on arts assets, 1/10/07
I believe in the idea that Culture Shock apparently subscribes to, which is that promoting creativity supports thriving artists which leads to a rich community culture both socially and economically. This idea was popularized Richard Florida's book, The Creative Class.
I am also a strong believer in promoting local arts, mainly because it makes this community an awesome place to live for me and my friends and family. I have had a connection to the music scene ever since I was a toddler watching my dad play with the Blazers at the Cats Cradle in the 1970's. This instilled in me a great love of music, as well as an appreciation for art made by people you know, ie: Local Art. The Chapel Hill area's reputation for great music isn't due to any particular smash hits, but to a community that values making things they love over making money.
But I do have a concern reading this N&O article, and it's not just why didn't I hear about this meeting before the fact. The headline says it all: "Area wants to cash in on arts assets." If all this amounts to is a PR effort for local tourism, it will fail at both fostering creativity and at enhancing the economy. You have to really mean it or the art just isn't that compelling.