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Cultivating Culture
Drew Cady | Stratford Court

 

Drew Cady. Photo Katarzyna Woronowicz

 

Imagine a warm July evening in Del Mar. You and your friends wait with anticipation. It’s the opening night for the new cultural series at the Powerhouse. This evening we anticipate hearing from two local poets, a nationally recognized author and an innovative music trio featuring a contemporary interpretation of Mozart.

We are thrilled to be able to enjoy one of the many community-sponsored cultural events which currently include: a music and theatrical series, art exhibits, lectures as well as literary and poetry readings. People of the community, young and old, are enjoying a new lease on a creative lifestyle. This is the emerging cultural life of Del Mar.

If I were to ask you, “Are the arts and cultural offerings in the community important to you?” You might answer, “It depends.” Or perhaps you would say, “It’s not my thing. There’s not enough time. It’s frivolous. It’s expensive.”

You might reconsider your response if you realized that the arts are about more than fulfilling dreams, inspiring creativity, and bringing beauty into our world. The arts are an untapped industry, and important medium for community development.
Think about this: Americans for the Arts published their most recent Arts & Economic Prosperity Report in June 2012, which indicates that non-profit arts organizations in San Diego County support 20,374 full time equivalent jobs. The arts also generate $665 Million of economic activity each year! (More than half of that is generated by arts audiences. In addition to the cost of their tickets, money is spent for restaurants, babysitters, parking fees, hotel rooms, and souvenirs.) Futhermore, through the Arts, $11million in local taxes and $13.9 million in State taxes are collected in San Diego County alone each year!

We can no longer ignore the robust economic impact the arts have in terms of contributing to local communities. As the Report repeatedly demonstrates “The Arts Mean Business.”

As for Del Mar….It is a characteristic of a civilized society to promote and sustain an artistic culture. We owe it to ourselves, as the dreamers and creators of a community’s future, to plan and nurture an artistic community. We can determine whether the arts will be an indelible part of who we are as a community, and how the future will be experienced by our children.

Drew Cady, Deputy Director, Art Pulse, a local San Diego Art Service Organization focused upon building cultural infrastructure for the San Diego region. Drew is former General Manager of the San Diego Symphony, and currently has an arts consulting business in San Diego. He is a classically trained cellist.

 

 

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