Research Essay

5182 words - 21 pages

Cultural Blueprint

A public-private partnership for securing the future vitality of the
arts and culture of Metro Louisville and Southern Indiana

September 20, 2004

• [pic]

▪ Preamble 1

▪ Cultural Blueprint Goals

← Goal 1 6

← Goal 2 8

← Goal 3 10

← Goal 4 12

← Goal 5 14

[pic]

Imagine if you will:

• Walking in downtown Louisville and having every weekend evening feel like the First Friday Gallery Hop, with people popping in and out of galleries, retail stores and restaurants, getting on the trolley for a next stop and ...view middle of the document...

All the data collected about our arts and cultural institutions from public surveys, leadership interviews, and focused forums indicate the arts and culture are the cornerstone of Metro Louisville’s current development and are uniquely positioned to lead future development. Further, the ecology of success for Metro Louisville means that arts and culture must be at the center of the four or five “big wins” that our Metro region propels forward.

For our citizens, this Cultural Blueprint will result in involving more people, more often, with deeper and more meaningful engagements, with the Metro Louisville’s arts, cultural and historic assets.

This Cultural Blueprint is the result of input received from almost one thousand citizens who participated in meetings, surveys, interviews, and through on-line forums, lending their opinions about the future of arts and culture in Metro Louisville. The consensus is nearly unanimous - arts and cultural institutions and programs are a critical cornerstone of Metro Louisville’s current and future development. In the minds of countless citizens and leaders, the region’s future growth and success depends not only on job creation, quality schools, and affordable housing, but just as heavily on a healthy cultural ecology that supports major cultural institutions, smaller community-based grass-roots arts groups, and individual artists, working together and contributing to the region’s economic and community vitality.

The Arts and Cultural Ecosystem

Metro Louisville is a region where more than a few corporate leaders “brag” on the arts, describing how a visit to the Kentucky Center or the Speed Museum or the Science Center is often a first step in the recruiting process when luring young executives and their families to town. According to many interviewed for this Blueprint, those “selling” the city to businesses and prospective residents are likely to showcase its cultural resources prominently in the seduction.

Louisville is a city where, beginning almost a century ago, mayors and publishers and business titans placed their eggs in the arts and culture basket, building major cultural institutions with international reputations for cutting-edge programs (like the Humana Festival of New American Plays, for instance), and where in the last 30 years some very important artistic creations were born and celebrated, by the likes of visionary artistic directors and curators and maestros.

It’s an unusual place as far as American cities go, more like a European capital than most U.S. towns, where community “buzz” about region-wide coordinated cultural programs (such as the beloved Classics in Context, active in the 1980s) was palpable and overheard in theater lobbies, galleries, museums, restaurants, taverns, fancy parties, and in neighborhood parks and carpool lines.

It’s a city:

• that was recently named one of America’s most livable mid-sized cities by Partners for Livable Communities...

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