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Nominations sought for arts steering committee


A collective of local arts organization members is putting together a committee with the intention of getting Rochester's arts and creative communities involved in the city's comprehensive plan process.

Last month the city of Rochester presented a draft of "Rochester 2034," its 15-year comprehensive plan for improvements in housing, transportation, economic growth, and other areas. That plan (which can be viewed at is in the public comment phase.

Seeing the need to formalize the arts sector's often-mentioned desire for inclusive arts funding, ROC Arts United members have begun organizing the Rochester Creative Economy Development Steering Committee. ROC Arts United development team member Amanda Chestnut is asking those interested in serving on the committee to nominate themselves. She shared the request on Facebook.

"It is urgent that a unified voice can speak to the need for equity, transparency, and access in arts funding and administration in the city of Rochester," Chestnut wrote in the nomination form's introduction.

The steering committee would ideally serve as that voice, representing the range of work, institutions, organizations, organizations, businesses, and individuals in Rochester, she wrote.

"Ultimately, we need the same things: transparency, inclusion, and equal access to a seat at the table" when the arts and creative sectors – which organizers call the creative economy — are being discussed in Rochester, Chestnut wrote.

The steering committee will meet monthly to discuss information gathered from existing research committees and the community. It will work to determine the needs of those working in the creative economy, from independent makers to large arts institutions. The steering committee will look at the economic and social impact of Rochester's creative economy and determine goals and desired outcomes for supporting the arts and creative sectors.

Steering committee members would serve on a volunteer basis for the time being, though. ROC Arts United's leaders say they're looking into potential funding streams.

The nomination period closes at the end of the day on Thursday, June 20, and nominees' submitted information will be made public during the day on Friday, June 21. Steering committee members will be voted in by ballot at the next Creative Economy Development meeting on Monday, June 24, at 9 a.m., at Visual Studies Workshop.