We've moved!

Social Icons

twitterfacebooklinkedinrss feed

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Local Conversations about Arts and Everything Else

A couple of local conversation starters:

The Madison Area Arts Council somehow finagles space on the Lake Area Improvement Corporation website to talk about the arts as economic development. Is this a sign the LAIC is ready to open its ears to creative economic development? Or is this just more window dressing from an economic development corporation determined to maintain the status quo and tell artists (as the moneyed powers behind the ill-designed Dakota Prairie Playhouse did) that "We don't need your kind"?

Of course, the LAIC article, part of its all-new all-digital communications, doesn't include a comment section for the public. The LAIC should take a cue from the South Dakota State Extension Service, which is hosting community conversations in 80 towns around North and South Dakota throughout November.

The nearest Projects and Possibilities session will take place the Howard 4-H Building on Wednesday, November 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Three hours is a hefty conversation... and a tough block of time to schedule. Middle of the day is a tough time to catch working folks; the crowd will likely skew older. Let's hope Howard High School lets students out to participate in this conversation as a civics field trip.

Community participants will upload their notes on their meetings to the Citizing website for more public discussion. Notes from the Aberdeen and Redfield meetings are already online. If you can't make a meeting in your town, you can take the project survey online... but just as you would if you went to a meeting, you have to put your name to your words and sign in via a valid Facebook account. The Extension Service agrees with me: nymity promotes better civil discourse.


  1. Yes indeed, the arts are not only important and relevant to our commmunity, they have proven to be an incredible economic tool for us as well.

    From our historical Chautauqua roots, to the legacy of Prairie Repertory Theatre (and many other theatre groups too) to our own organization's 50 years of incredible programming, the arts have made a real and lasting imprint onto us all.

    The arts can work wonders for rural communities, and if you can go outside of your established comfort zone, just a bit, they can open doors, not only within, but economically as well.

    The arts provide a real opportunity for the Madison area, and perhaps the arts have been the 'the unexpected' all along. (and you thought that was just another slogan)

  2. It was just a slogan. Keep defying our expectations, Chris. :-)

  3. Defy I will, more like kick...thanks for the love, Cory!

    We have quite a few cool things happening around here, and there's a lot of energy and momentum working for us, not to mention those hands which keep making it happen. (and happen, and happen again)

    I was just at the state arts conference this past September, representing our fine organization, and got to talking with, well, everyone. (I'm often guilty of this)

    One of the constants I heard was how Madison is seen as a real 'artsy' place, with a lot of things working for it. So much so, I heard, and took, comparisions to how we're a lot like Hills City, especially where they were 8 yrs ago, and where we are now. Honest.

    If you take a moment and look around our community, we're packed with artsy-types. With writers from Europe, artists from Ireland and everywhere else, and not to mention our own homegrown talents. We have some really great perspectives for sure, and that only adds to the rich fabric and all-important dialogue in our tight-knit community.

    Anyhow, back to the economics, that's where we need to focus, and continue to work to promote and foster. I'm often asked how's this work, and I tend to say this: The arts have a simple route to success. First participate and promote and support all the time, then repeat. (That's easy, huh?)


Comments are closed, as this portion of the Madville Times is in archive mode. You can join the discussion of current issues at MadvilleTimes.com.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.