For the past several months, a new arts-focused community coalition called Arts in the Loop has been studying ways to use the arts to help revitalize downtown. It's been looking at what other US cities have been doing to create successful, vibrant arts programming. Now it's planning a two-day symposium – June 5 and 6 – bringing in people from four cities to share their experiences.
"Each of these cities – in their own ways – have found their unique blend of creative assets and then leveraged them to benefit their communities," Arts in the Loop executive committee member James Doser says in a press release.
As it has studied what has worked in other cities, Doser said in an interview last spring, the group found five common denominators: a distinctive identity, the existence of "creative clusters" where the arts could thrive, diversity in programming, the presence of community stakeholders to support the programming, and artist entrepreneurship training.
The June symposium, which will be held at the Eastman School of Music, is open to the public, although all of the sessions are during daytime work hours.
Five guest speakers will talk about how their cities have leveraged the arts to benefit their communities: Audrey Russo, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council; David Pankratz, research and policy director of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council; Jun-Li Wang, community development program director of Springboard for the Arts, St. Paul; Gülgün Kayim, director of arts, culture, and the creative economy in Minneapolis; and Jill McMillan, executive director of the Arts and Business Council in Nashville.
The symposium's four sessions open to the public are "Arts in the Loop: Activating Rochester through the Arts, Media, Entertainment, and Technology Sectors" (Wednesday, June 5, noon to 1:30 p.m.); "Placemaking: Why Design Is Core to Success for Activating Communities" (Wednesday, June 5, 1:45 to 3 p.m.); "Arts Council Forward: A Conversation about Best Practices of Effective Arts Councils" (Wednesday, June 5, 3:15 to 4:30 p.m.); and "The Creative Economy: Economic Development Through and With the Arts (Thursday, June 6, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.).
All sessions are free except Session 1, which has a charge for lunch. Registration: artsintheloop.com.