Branding Charlotte as a cultural queen

28 Jul

By Bernie Petit
Communications Manager

Our suggestion? Build Charlotte's brand around arts and culture.

Our suggestion? Build Charlotte’s brand around arts and culture.

There’s been a lot of talk about Charlotte’s brand, or lack thereof.

There’s “no denying that what Charlotte lacks relative to more established cities is a unique identity,” opined Charlotte Agenda.

A Chamber of Commerce tour of Nashville in June reminded Charlotte leaders “yet again that Charlotte hasn’t determined its own” brand, according to a Charlotte Business Journal editorial.

“If Nashville is ‘Music City,’ then Charlotte is…” read a headline from The Charlotte Observer.

How about “Queen of Arts”? After all, the Queen City is named after Queen Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, whose sculpture greets visitors at the airport.

The city already has cultural royalty in Charlotte Ballet Associate Artistic Director and Kennedy Center Honoree Patricia McBride and Charlotte Symphony Music Director Christopher Warren-Green, who conducted the London Chamber Orchestra during the marriage ceremony of Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, in 2011.

Plus, the show that broke box office records at Blumenthal Performing Arts in August 2013? That would be “The Lion King.”

Okay, we admit “Queen of Arts” may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, but our suggestion that Charlotte build its brand around arts and culture is not. After all, the arts have played a crucial role in making the city what it is today.

A history lesson: Back in the mid-1970s, building Charlotte’s cultural infrastructure became an economic development strategy to attract business.

The reason you need to come to Charlotte, businesses looking to relocate have long been told, is because of the strength of our cultural sector.

“We don’t have mountains – we’re two hours away. We don’t have beaches – we’re three hours away,” said ASC President Robert Bush. “We also didn’t have any professional sports teams at the time, so the city and the county and the Chamber of Commerce decided that arts and culture was going to become the calling card when Charlotte went out on economic development visits.”

The resulting cultural plan proposed 40 years ago led to the creation of uptown cultural destinations Discovery Place, Spirit Square, The Afro-American Cultural Center (now the Gantt Center) and the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

An uptown Mint Museum and an artist colony research and development area (McColl Center for Art + Innovation) were also envisioned, though they came later.

“They are what drove the growth of this community in many ways from an economic development standpoint,” Bush said.

We know the arts have been and remain central to driving economic development. We know residents expect the cultural sector to connect people and strengthen community – it’s what they told us in the Cultural Vision Plan.

We know arts and culture matter in Charlotte. Now we need to show it by integrating the arts into every aspect of our lives, from showing up to support original, innovative works to making culture central to pre-K-12 education. That’s how you build a brand.

So, with that in mind, here are four fun ideas to make Charlotte stand out through arts and culture, and four potential cultural taglines for the city.

Have your own ideas? Let us know on Twitter @ASCCharlotte.

Four Far Out Ways to Make Charlotte Stand Out Through Culture
1. Establish a premier Fringe Festival. It would celebrate challenging and innovative art and introduce the community – and the nation – to what’s next on the horizon.
2. Create an annual dynamic temporary public art exhibition that connects the city. Imagine Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s “The Gates,” the temporary exhibit of “[f]ree-hanging, saffron-colored fabric panels” that created “a visual golden river” along 23 miles of New York’s Central Park in 2005, only annually and in Charlotte.
3. Get behind the wheel of an artmobile. Picture a mobile arts network that would bring arts and science to you no matter where you live in the city or the county. Traveling music, dance and theatre shows, artmobiles, filled with art-making materials and artists to spark hands-on creativity, would be among the familiar sights that build livelier and stronger communities.
4. Two words – lightsaber battle. It’s been done before, but ours would be cooler and in Bearden Park. An exhibit that tackles the science of “Star Wars” would add to the fun.

Four Cultural Taglines for Charlotte

1. Charlotte – Queen of Arts
2. Culture City, USA
3. Charlotte – Create Your City
4. Charlotte – Our City, Our Canvas

Cultural festivals offer weekend fun

28 Jul

Compiled by Bernie Petit
Communications Manager

Festival in the Park

Festival in the Park returns to Charlotte’s Freedom Park Sept. 25-27. Photo credit: Festival in the Park.

Saturdays in the park.

We think it’s cultural festival time.

A dated reference? Sure, unless you’re a Chicago fan. But the start of the cultural festival season means we have several Saturdays – and Fridays and Sundays – to look forward to.

ASC supports festivals throughout the year primarily through Cultural Festival Grants and Town Initiative Grants, with one upcoming festival receiving an ASC Cultural Project Grant to support a huge crowd-painted mural.

Cultural festivals increase access to arts, science, history and heritage offerings and strengthen the quality of cultural programming in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

They’re also why, over the next couple of months or so, you’ll find people dancing, people laughing, artists selling their work.

Okay, maybe that’s taking it too far. But we’ve been waiting such a long time for Saturdays.

Here are six upcoming festivals you won’t want to miss.

Sunday Afternoon in the Park
When:
1-6 p.m. Aug. 23.
Where: Wilgrove Park (aka Mint Hill Park on Wilgrove), 5233 Wilgrove-Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill.
What’s Happening: The event will offer art of all types, music and food. Plan to bring a blanket or chairs and spend the afternoon in the shade of majestic oak trees. Presented by the Town of Mint Hill, in conjunction with ASC.
Admission: Free.
Details: http://www.charlottecultureguide.com/event/detail/441928429/Sunday_Afternoon_in_the_Park.

Charlotte Pride Festival
When:
Noon-10 p.m. Aug. 15 and noon-6 p.m. Aug. 16.
Where: 100-400 blocks of South Tryon Street.
What’s Happening: The two-day cultural festival includes national, regional and local entertainers, musicians and bands, and over 150 exhibitors. On both days of the festival, Pride-goers can “Paint Your Piece of Pride!” with artist Edwin Gil at the corner of South Tryon Street and Levine Avenue of the Arts. All will be able to pick up a brush and begin filling in a blank canvas in creating a painting that represents Pride in the Queen City. “Paint Your Piece of Pride!” is supported by an ASC Cultural Project Grant. Admission: Free.
Details: http://www.charlottecultureguide.com/event/detail/441929289/Charlotte_Pride_Festival.

21st Annual Festival of India
When:
Noon-7 p.m. Sept. 12-13.
Where: Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St., Charlotte.
What’s Happening: The annual cultural festival showcases the diversity of Indian dance, food, art, music and Bollywood entertainment. There will be yoga demonstrations, henna tattoos available, traditional dances in front of Belk Theater on North Tryon Street and more. Presented by the India Association of Charlotte.
Admission: $7 at the door, $6 online at www.carolinatix.org, free for kids younger than 10 years old.
Details: http://www.charlottecultureguide.com/event/detail/441928728/21st_Festival_of_India_.

‘Tawba Walk Arts & Music Festival
When:
2-8 p.m. Sept. 19.
Where: Downtown Cornelius.
What’s Happening: The multidimensional, eclectic art crawl snakes through the heart of Cornelius and features dozens of local vendors, live street performances, shopping, food and more.
Admission: Free.
Details: http://www.cornelius.org/index.aspx?NID=339.

Festival in the Park
When:
4-9:30 p.m. Sept. 25, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sept. 26 and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 27.
Where: Freedom Park, 2435 Cumberland Ave., Charlotte.
What’s Happening: For more than 50 years, this Charlotte tradition has been seen as the last push of summer and a celebration of the fall to come. Local artisans, bands and crafts of all sorts are presented in a fun outdoors fair-like atmosphere. Festival in the Park features 180 artists and craft exhibitors and nearly 1000 entertainers.
Admission: Free.
Details: http://www.charlottecultureguide.com/event/detail/441798104/Festival_in_the_Park.

25th Annual Latin American Festival
When: 4-10 p.m. Oct. 10 and noon-8 p.m. Oct. 11.
Where: Symphony Park, 4400 Sharon Road, Charlotte.
What’s Happening: Headlining the 25th annual event will be Mexican ska band Panteon Rococo, legendary salsero Ismael Miranda and returning the multi-Grammy award winning Colombian rock group Aterciopelados. The festival will also feature traditional dance performances, a diverse selection of Latin American food, a marketplace of authentic handmade crafts, and some of North Carolina’s best Latino visual artists. Presented by the Latin American Coalition.
Admission: One-day pass $10, two-day pass $15, free for children 10 years old and younger.
Details: http://www.charlottecultureguide.com/event/detail/441923192/25th_Annual_Latin_American_Festival

Three ways ASC is supporting regional artists

28 Jul

By Bernie Petit
Communications Manager

Here’s a statistic for you:

More than two-thirds of Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents believe that individual artists contribute to our community’s quality of life, according to a 2015 Urban Institute Cultural Life in Mecklenburg County Survey.

Count us among the two-thirds here at ASC.

A strong community of individual artists is critical to the success of our cultural community. It is one of the main reasons why ASC is currently offering three opportunities for creative individuals that live and work in the 11-county greater Charlotte region to further their artistic development and engagement.

Here’s a look at the programs and how they have already benefited three local artists.

“One issue you run into as an artist is networking”

2015 ArtPop artist Jason Woodberry in front of his ArtPop billboard.

2015 ArtPop artist Jason Woodberry in front of his ArtPop billboard.

ArtPop showcases the work of local artists on billboards across the Charlotte region through an ASC partnership with Adams Outdoor Advertising. Here is 2015 ArtPop artist Jason Woodberry’s take on how the program has helped his career.

Being a part of ArtPop has been an extremely beneficial experience, especially for a young artist such as me. The one issue you run into as an artist is networking, not just with other artists but people that are established and educated in the art business. Through ArtPop, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting individuals who have won numerous grants, toured internationally, even gallery owners. The insight is priceless.

There is also a personal sense of accomplishment. Anytime I discuss my art with someone and they see the “Dark Matter” image (featured on Woodberry’s ArtPop billboard) I always get the reaction of “Wow! I’ve seen that! That’s you?”

Just to know that every day your art is being seen by someone – talk about branding.

Connecting to patrons and peers

2015 Community Supported Art artist Micah Cash (standing) connects with local arts patrons at a CSA event at Wing Haven.

2015 Community Supported Art artist Micah Cash (standing) connects with local arts patrons at a CSA event at Wing Haven.

ASC’s Community Supported Art (CSA) program supports artists in the creation and promotion of new work and establishes relationships between the artists and local collectors and patrons. Micah Cash, a 2015 CSA artist, details what he took from his participation in the program.

The Community Supported Art Program provided an opportunity to create a new body of work that remained true to my conceptual focus. I had many opportunities to speak to patrons and answer questions about my work, process, and studio practice.

In addition, the CSA program allowed me to build lasting relationships with collectors and peers.

This local artist is “All Shook Up”           

2015 Regional Artist Project Grant recipient Caroline Coolidge Brown with a printing press she was able to purchase with her grant.

2015 Regional Artist Project Grant recipient Caroline Coolidge Brown with a printing press she was able to purchase with her grant.

Regional Artist Project Grants provide an award for individuals and groups of unincorporated artists to attend a professional development experience or purchase/rent a piece of equipment. Here’s how a 2015 RAPG has benefitted recipient Caroline Coolidge Brown.

Thanks to an ASC Regional Artist Project Grant, I am now the proud owner of Elvis, a tabletop printing press perfect for printing linoleum, intaglio and monotype plates. The press allows me to print much larger plates than ever before. I’m working full-swing in this medium and am busy creating a series of botanical prints that will be featured in a Ciel Gallery exhibit in November.

The grant has also:

  • Inspired me to take a class at CPCC to hone my printmaking skills
  • Connected me to other printmaking artists
  • Fostered experimentation with monoprints
  • Provided me professional recognition as a valued artist in Charlotte
  • Brought a new spark to my studio practice!

As Elvis would say, “Thank ’ya very much!”

Are You an Artist Who Wants to Apply for One or More of These Opportunities?

Local and regional artists are invited to apply for the 2016 ArtPop and Community Supported Art programs, as well as for a 2016 Regional Artist Project Grant. All three calls are open to artists that live and work in Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Rutherford, Stanly, Union or York (S.C.).

For more information or to apply, visit one of the following links:

Preparing for student success this school year with arts education

28 Jul

By Amy Mitchell
Communications Manager 

It’s back to school season for students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. While parents and students are finishing up vacations and summer camps, shopping for school supplies and new jeans, ASC is preparing for another academic year of taking arts education into area PreK-12 schools.

Embarking on its fourth year, ASC’s School Grants program was developed to support the placement of professional artists, scientists, historians, and other cultural providers in grades K-12 for curriculum-based residencies, workshops, day trips, assemblies or performances, out of school experiences, or professional development for teachers.

Bright Star Touring Theatre performance at Elon Park Elementary last year.

Bright Star Touring Theatre performance at Elon Park Elementary last year.

Student engagement in arts education raises GPAs and test scores and reduces dropout rates, making arts, science, and history vital to every child’s education experience. Academic enrichment through arts and cultural programming ensures that Charlotte-Mecklenburg students are developed into critical, creative thinkers – the most sought skills in the 21st century workforce.

This ASC grant program gives educators the opportunity to include unique and creative arts and culture experiences for their students, fostering the further development of critical and creative thinking in the classroom and beyond.

This year the ASC School Grants program will provide up to $275,000 in total funding for Mecklenburg County public, charter, independent, parochial and private schools to support cultural programming that aligns with their curriculum and helps increase student success.

In the 2014-15 academic year, the ASC Education School Grants program reached 107,636 students with varied cultural programming with 165 schools participating throughout Mecklenburg County. Educators used the ASC Education Provider Directory and the ASC Arts Education Expo to shop for their school’s experience and select engagements that provided the best fit within curriculum standards and student interest.

David Cox Road Elementary student participating in a Clayworks program made possible with funds from the ASC School Grants program.

David Cox Road Elementary student participating in a Clayworks program made possible with funds from the ASC School Grants program.

Check out feedback from Charlotte-Mecklenburg educators about their experiences last year:

“We just completed our soil testing unit of study, so the soil testing portion of the program was fantastic! Students said that seeing the field tests of the soil tests really helped them to understand the process.” – Review of Reedy Creek Nature Center field trip

“Mimi is engaging and teaches concepts on many levels and learning styles. Every student walks away enriched from her programs.” – Review of Mimi Herman’s creative writing residency

“Mrs. Bartlett’s lessons were exactly what we are learning in math right now. Her lessons were linked directly to the Common Core and the objectives that we are covering in math.” – Review of Lona Bartlett’s Best of Friends Puppets and Storytelling performance

Lona Bartlett’s Best of Friends Puppets and Storytelling performance at Byers Elementary School last year.

Lona Bartlett’s Best of Friends Puppets and Storytelling performance at Byers Elementary School last year.

“I love ASC grants and programs. They are always top notch and afford students opportunities that they may not otherwise receive.” – Review of Living Rhythms: A Hands-On Exploration West African Drumming and Dance performance

“We study fables and it gave the kids an opportunity to hear some stories instead of always reading them or having stories read to them.” – Review of Linda Goodman’s storytelling performance

Join us as we kick off the 2015-16 school year at the ASC Arts Education Expo.
August 29, 2015
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Knight Theater

Learn more about local cultural resources available through ASC’s School Grants program, meet cultural education providers, and preview performances on the Knight Theater stage. Educators attending the expo will be entered to win raffle prizes, including provider donated artwork, educational resources, and additional grant dollars from ASC. While the Expo event is meant as a resource for local educators, it is free to attend and open to the public.

Student apathy or bad pedagogy? Engaging students in the classroom

9 Jul

By Caitie Connor
Out-of-School Time Special Projects Intern, Education
ASC Davidson College Education Scholar

Students observe a film pitch by their peers and raise their hand if they would go to see the film, in Studio 345's summer 100 Word Film studio. Photo credit: Max McDaniel.

Students observe a film pitch by their peers and raise their hand if they would go to see the film, in Studio 345’s summer 100 Word Film studio. Photo credit: Max McDaniel.

A recent survey of teachers identified student apathy as one of the major problems in classrooms. Academic disengagement is on the rise, as fewer students are willing to play the game of school without any perceived gain.

“I HATE writing essays in school,” Hope uttered.

I was eavesdropping on a conversation among the writing team in Studio 345’s Summer Program marketing studio. I was surprised to hear this, considering that they chose to be writers whose job is to develop content about Studio 345 for the Arts and Science Council (ASC) websites.

“I just don’t get the point,” she continued. Another student chimed in. “I could just copy and paste something into my essay and the teacher wouldn’t even know it,” he said. Others agreed, laughing.

Our current education system has the gaping problem of poor pedagogy. It is likely that writing an essay is a valuable learning experience for the student, but only if the teacher is able to engage the student in it, first. A close friend of mine in high school wrote most of his essays twenty minutes before they were due. “What’s the point?” he’d say, like Hope. It was only when we were given more freedom in the creative process that he was engaged enough to commit more time to his work. Sometimes, that happened when we were able to choose our own writing prompt or book. Other times, it happened organically when there was excellent instruction and dialogue in the classroom.

The primary goal of Studio 345 is to educate and inspire students to stay in school, graduate, and pursue goals beyond high school. Throughout the past two weeks that I’ve been with the program, I’ve noticed that they accomplish this goal by fostering independent thought and guiding the creative process. Students aren’t just handed cameras and told to have fun, and they’re not assigned a role that doesn’t fit their artistic interests, either. It’s skill-based, project-oriented learning that culminates in a finished project for an intended client.

I travelled with the photographers on their first field trip to check out Davidson’s Town Hall gallery, which will exhibit the students’ photos of Davidson in the fall. I heard a “whoa” and witnessed several smiles before they headed out to explore, cameras in hand.

If student apathy is a growing problem, what is the cause? Some educators I know would say bad attitudes or bad homes. All I know is that when I’m sitting in on Studio 345’s marketing studio, I’m stunned by the students’ participation. Chris, the teaching artist, says that he usually gives them the option to leave class 5-10 minutes early to have time for a break. One or two will stray to the restroom, but almost everyone earnestly continues working. Last time I was there, a kid yelled “Guys! We only have eight minutes left, we have to hurry!” I wish my group projects in college were like this.

Clearly, there are ways to engage students to be eager and excited learners. Some teachers, like Chris and the other teaching artists at Studio 345, have discovered these methods. Much of their instruction focuses on gaining “real world” experiences that the students value as relevant.

“I want to give them a taste of what a real film pitch and production is like,” says Tommy, the teaching artist and 100 Word Film project manager. He’s talking to me and six other ASC Education staff. We are the film production panel, and our job is to listen to the pitches by the scriptwriting team and choose one for the students to produce over the next six weeks. ASC will submit their film to a festival in October and promote it online.

Before Tommy asks us to give feedback to the first pitch, he faces Dakota and Anjewel away from their peers and asks the rest of the class, “who would go to see this film?” Hands fly up. “And would anyone not want to see this film? Why?” They converse as a production team after each pitch, before we give our feedback as a panel. Rarely do I get to see a learning environment where creative criticism and thought flows so freely.

Tommy Nichols, the teaching artist for Studio 345's summer film project, faces Anjewel and Dakota away from their peers after their film pitch to gauge interest in the film if it were produced.

Tommy Nichols, the teaching artist for Studio 345’s summer film project, faces Anjewel and Dakota away from their peers after their film pitch to gauge interest in the film if it were produced.

Let me be clear–plagiarizing essays is never okay. Students should be held to a high standard for classroom participation, even if the subject doesn’t fall within their academic interests. But there are ways to engage students in curriculum that makes them eager to participate, and there are too many classrooms in which this doesn’t happen.

At Studio 345, that is not the case.

“I’ve gotten feedback from a lot of people, friends and family, about this idea,” Hope says before pitching her film. She smiles.

Public art connects kids to community – and a local university

6 Jul

By Bernie Petit
Communications Manager

Artists Shaun Cassidy, Lauren Doran and Laurel Holtzapple on a tour of Winthrop University with students from Reid Park Academy. Cassidy, Doran and Holtzapple are creating the public artwork for the Reid Park community as part of the Neighborhoods in Creative pARTnership initiative.

Artists Shaun Cassidy, Lauren Doran and Laurel Holtzapple on a tour of Winthrop University with students from Reid Park Academy. Cassidy, Doran and Holtzapple are creating the public artwork for the Reid Park community as part of the Neighborhoods in Creative pARTnership initiative.

Elementary students from Reid Park Academy in Charlotte connected to the history of their community – and contributed to what will be a future source of pride for their neighborhood – during a college-level crash course in public art last month.

The students traveled to Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., to meet with the artist team of Shaun Cassidy (an associate professor at the university), Lauren Doran and Laurel Holtzapple to learn about the new public artwork the artists are creating for the Reid Park neighborhood as part of the Neighborhoods in Creative pARTnership initiative.

In addition to touring the campus to see how art is integrated into the university setting, the students created clay reliefs that will be incorporated into one of the three sculptures for the Reid Park public art project.

That had Reid Park Academy student Tierra Rice excited about the project, which is expected to be completed later this year and placed at the future Reid Park community park.

“Some of the things that are going to be on it I made, so of course I’m excited,” Rice said.

For the Reid Park neighborhood, the community engagement component of the public art process is just as important as the soon-to-be completed artwork, said neighborhood advocate Ricky Hall, who accompanied the students on the trip.

Students learned about prominent names woven into the fabric of the neighborhood, such as influential schoolteacher Amay James and community founder Ross Reid. In the early 1900s, Reid, a World War I veteran, purchased the land that became the neighborhood.

The artist team explained to the students how the future public art will connect to the rich history of the neighborhood, which became a home for African-American families displaced from Charlotte’s former Brooklyn neighborhood, the prominent uptown African-American business and residential district razed by the city in the early 1960s.

“That was a capstone for me because it brings together the whole notion of community, education and public art,” Hall said. “The students will know their hands helped produced pieces of that artwork that will be there for perpetuity.”

Throughout their time on the college campus, the elementary students were engaged, excited and asked thoughtful questions, Cassidy said. The art professor said he wanted to feel special by being guests on the university campus.

Sculptor and Winthrop University Professor Shaun Cassidy working with Reid Park Academy students to create clay reliefs to be integrated into the Neighborhoods in Creative pARTnership public artwork in Charlotte's Reid Park community.

Sculptor and Winthrop University Professor Shaun Cassidy working with Reid Park Academy students to create clay reliefs to be integrated into the Neighborhoods in Creative pARTnership public artwork in Charlotte’s Reid Park community.

“I was surprised by how many people enjoyed the tour of campus, where the ideas came from, understanding that a young person could build a very large scale sculpture and have it be put somewhere permanent,” he said. “I usually don’t get to work with young kids like that so their energy and enthusiasm was uplifting.”

Public artist Laurel Holtzapple talks to students from Charlotte's Reid Park Academy about the public art process. Holtzapple, Shaun Cassidy and Lauren Doran are the public artists creating artwork for the Reid Park Community as part of the Neighborhoods in Creative pARTnership initiative.

Public artist Laurel Holtzapple talks to students from Charlotte’s Reid Park Academy about the public art process. Holtzapple, Shaun Cassidy and Lauren Doran are the public artists creating artwork for the Reid Park Community as part of the Neighborhoods in Creative pARTnership initiative.

Many young students aren’t encouraged to pursue careers in the arts. The workshop was a way to open the participants’ eyes to that notion, said Holtzapple, the artist lead for the Reid Park project.

“We wanted the students to leave knowing how art can be found everywhere, you just have to look,” she said. “We also wanted to introduce them to the idea of a career as an artist.”

At the very least, they introduced one student to what will possibly be her future home for four years.

“When we were headed back home, one kid said, ‘I love this. I’m coming here when I go to college,’” Hall said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

The Neighborhoods in Creative pARTnership initiative, a collaboration between the City of Charlotte, the Public Art Commission and the Arts & Science Council, will bring public art to Reid Park and four other Charlotte neighborhoods: Elizabeth, Grove Park, Sedgefield and the Shamrock Drive Corridor.

An ASC fairy tale (or our 2015 year-in-review)

2 Jul

Illustrations by Ladianne Henderson

This fairy tale is a re-imagining of the Arts & Science Council’s (ASC) fiscal year 2015. Highlights range from Robert Bush being named ASC president and the debut of the arts advocacy film “Spiral Bound” to the release of the Cultural Life Task Force recommendations and the community’s Cultural Vision Plan.

year in Review 1

Once Upon A Time in 2015, there was a council of 41 Poohbahs in a glittering land.

They decided to go on a quest to make their kingdom even MORE fun, alive and fascinating.

So they crowned a new King of Culture and told him to SHAKE THINGS UP!

Year in Review

The king and his minions knew what to do; in a single year, 2015, they let fly a whole new Cultural Vision Plan for all the people of the kingdom.

And the Poohbahs were happy.

Year in Review 3

The king’s scholars taught students to make a magical movie called Spiral Bound and it blazed a trail all the way to the Left Coast to premier at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

And the Poohbahs applauded.

Year in Review 4

And the scholars’ Studio was 345 times more wonderful than any other school in the land, because all of its children graduated and felt proud.

And the Poobahs sang its praises.

Year in Review 5

A rich man in the kingdom learned of the king’s work bestowing blessings on children, so he gave one hundred thousand dollars to buy trips in from the field so thousands of children could see actors, dancers, musicians and more.

And the Poohbahs were pleased.

Year in Review 6

The king decreed that all the people should connect with culture, so his minions declared a special day on January 10th when more than 5,000 people came out to play .

And the Poobahs, their friends and families, played too.

Year in Review 7

And when the people played, they paid too; thousands of people in the kingdom gave millions to the King and the Poobah Cabinet’s Campaign for Culture.

And the Poobahs worked and worked and worked to make the campaign zing.

Year in Review 8

And the minions made art that went “Pop” on huge signs in the sky; made CSA bags full of wonderful prizes that gleamed and sold out in a flash – the kingdom’s artists beamed at the abundance.

And the Poohbahs wept with joy.

Year in Review 9

The king’s minions celebrated 10 years of training leaders called CLTs, a myriad 400 more Poobahs of arts, science, history and heritage dis-patched in the kingdom to do good works . . .

And the Poobahs saw themselves in these young leaders and were proud.

Year in Review 10

Listening to the king, the minions made art public, with disks that spun in the wind on sculpture’s own international day, and art sprung up everywhere, from hamlets to public squares to train tracks.

And the Poobahs saw joy in the faces of all people in the land.

Year in Review 11

The Poobahs, their king and the minions looked over their year’s work and rejoiced, for they had made much progress in their quest – millions on millions had fun upon fun.

But there was much left to do . . . so the Poohbahs, their king and his minions took a deep breath and began again . . . to create new ways to govern, listen and act . . .

To make 2016 and even better year of culture for all the people in the kingdom.

Year in Review 12

Thank you to all, and to all a good day!

Year in Review 13

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