Here’s What Art Centers Do for Communities (Beyond Art)

Photo Credit: The Lone Tree Arts Center, courtesy of The Lone Tree Arts Center

Photo Credit: The Lone Tree Arts Center, courtesy of Denverite

Jim has discussed the idea of ecosystem on this blog. In his words, it’s the idea that theaters, restaurants, homes, academic institutions, hotels, tourist destinations, stores, public spaces, social services and everything else that people need and want exist together and affect each other. He brought it up when he was writing about TEDxBroadway, specifically, and more generally about Broadway. He wrote:

“TEDxBroadway is a conference about a neighborhood, where theater happens to be quite important.

This neighborhood, in turn, has a really big impact on the city it’s in, and by impacting the millions upon millions of people that visit this neighborhood, and through the intellectual property it generates, it has a big impact on the world.

That’s why we talk about Broadway as a place, not ‘Broadway’ as a symbolic term for the theater business in New York. And more than that, Broadway, the neighborhood, is an ecosystem of people and organizations, businesses, governments, residents, entrepreneurs, tourists and others. …

We call it an ecosystem because it’s interdependent. Take every good restaurant out of the area and see what happens to theater. Put in unwise government and see what happens to businesses in general. Make the theatrical content way, way better and see what happens to tourism. Encourage young people with a high-tech startup to set up shop on 48th and Broadway and see where that takes everything.

No industry, no business is an island, entire of itself.”

Now, according to Denverite, “Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan sees a growing number of arts centers in the Denver metro area that are making their municipalities better places to live. And the way he sees it, the arts could do a lot for Aurora, too.”

In this post, Denverite reporter Ray Mark Rinaldi makes a case for what art centers do for communities (beyond art) and how art centers can boost a city’s image beyond its borders — and suggests what Aurora can learn from the region’s art centers.

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