Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Creating a better arts community in Memphis

Tonight will be an important gathering of some of the players in the Memphis arts scene.

An Artists Only Happy Hour will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Playhouse on the Square. I'm sure it will be a good social event bringing together members of the city's diverse arts community.

But the main purpose of this gathering is to complete a survey. ArtSpace, a national organization that works to create affordable live/work space for artists in cities across the country, is conducting a survey of those in the arts community to learn more about their needs.

I just took the survey. It's hard to say if I'm really an artist. I had the discussion yesterday with a colleague if being a journalist is an artist. He thinks it's more a trade. I agree with him, I think. But considering my role as editor of a business paper in Memphis that promotes the arts (not to mention this blog and just my overall appreciation of the city's arts) I felt it OK to complete the survey.

I encourage anyone with a connection to the local arts scene to do the same.

I could tell you what this survey aims to do but I think the story Stacey wrote in The Daily News today does a much better job than I could ever pretend to do. Kerry Hayes, special assistant to Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr., also does a good job of summing up the objectives:

“It gives ArtSpace the data they need to figure out the scope of the project. In the mayor’s office, it gives us a chance to see what artists and members of the creative class need to stay here – what we can do from a policy level to keep them from moving to Atlanta or Austin or another area.”

Sounds good to me.

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