Pondering the Arts and the city’s future

Approximately 25 arts enthusiasts converged at the Carruthers Ballroom at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts on Saturday, February 7, to discuss the emerging arts environment in Hamilton. This open forum was hosted by ARTSLINK, a group of community leaders who have a passion for the arts and are excited about what the arts can do for our community.

The goal of the meeting was to formulate ideas and strategies about how the arts could become an integral part of the fabric of Hamilton. Artists involved in music, visual arts, theater, dance, and arts administration were part of the discussion that centered on the question, “What would Hamilton look like if it were defined by the arts?”

The event opened with an overview of what ARTSLINK is, and isn’t. The leader of the group, Greg Albright explained, “Our group is looking at the arts in Hamilton from 30,000 feet. We are not intended as a marketing or fundraising group, but rather as a voice advocating for the arts as a powerful community-building tool.”

According to Laurin Sprague, the purpose of ARTSLINK is to connect, empower, and excite the community and its leadership to better understand the economic, educational, social, and cultural impact of the Arts. A core group of ARTSLINK leaders has been meeting for over two years of planning, and it was now time bring the entire community in to the fold, according to Sprague.

Much of Saturday’s meeting focused on brainstorming, but concrete proposals clearly emerged from the discussion. Participants encouraged the leaders of ARTSLINK to continue their efforts, and to expand the group and consider longterm strategies to move forward as a unifying advocacy organization. The core group of leaders will meet soon to formulate next steps, based upon the direction given them at this public forum.

Vice-mayor Rob Wile shared in the enthusiasm of the morning. According to Wile, “City government was committed to promoting Hamilton as the place to live, work and play. That can’t happen without the arts as an everyday part of our community.”

For further information, contact Greg Albright at galbright@cinci.rr.com.

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