Whose Business is the Arts?

As we enter into summer months, many folks connected to the arts begin a time of reflection on their work. We may be documenting details of last season, planning for next season, or producing summer programs. While there is still plenty of art to experience during the summer, artists, administrators, and/or audiences may be interested in attending an event on June 7, 2012 organized by the Lehigh Valley Arts Council.

“Whose Business is the Arts?” is a public forum on the economy, the arts, and the community. The forum will take place at DeSales University Center, 2755 Station Avenue in Center Valley, PA. Directions and Campus Map (University Center is #48)

The forum will feature a stimulating a dialogue to promote entrepreneurship and sustainability in the nonprofit arts sector; how the arts improve and strengthen communities. It is only a half day obligation, and not too far away. The speakers are excellent. In fact, one of them is Lehigh University’s Director of the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurialism, Creativity and Innovation – Professor Todd Watkins. Links to biographies for speakers added below.

From the Lehigh Valley Arts Council website:

Through presentations and interactive sessions, the forum will enable participants to explore the value of our cultural community in terms of:

• Its impact on our local economy
• Promoting the region
• Positively influencing quality of life
• Its capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship

The forum is targeted at:

• Business executives
• Corporate contributions and community relations representatives
• Artists and arts administrators
• Foundation representatives
• Board members of arts organizations
• Government officials

Program Agenda

8:00 – 8:25 a.m. Conference Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:25 – 8:30 a.m. Welcome

8:30 – 8:55 a.m. Arts & Economic Prosperity IV: Economic Impact Results.

Dr. Roland Kushner, Professor of Business, Muhlenberg College. (for a preview of his work, see this post)

9:00 -9:40 a.m. Keynote Address

Ben Cameron, Program Director for the Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. (Mr. Cameron is a nationally recognized speaker on the arts, check out his TED talk, “The True Power of the Performing Arts”)

9:45-11:15 a.m. Nonprofit Sustainability: Integrating Mission and Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Todd Watkins, Executive Director, Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity, and Innovation, Lehigh University

Breakout session: How to Raise Your Earned Income

11:15-11:30 am Wrap Up

To purchase tickets for the event, please see this link.

I’ll end this post with a quote to inspire you to register for the public forum:

We must seize and celebrate the power of the arts to shape our individual and national characters, and especially characters of the young people, who all too often are subjected to bombardment of sensation, rather than digested experience. — Ben Cameron