Monday, August 14, 2006

Promoting Arts & Beauty of Area

“What can you do to send gifts of beauty from your town?” was the challenge that Gerald Yoshitomi asked of the participants at the FHLB Conference in Sioux Falls, SD. He discussed a number of innovative programs around the country, including the Paducah, KY one to attract artists into a dilapidated part of town, which has been a tremendous success.

He asked, “Why doesn’t Montana which has more people with hunting and fishing licenses for non-residents than there are residents in the state, promote wildlife art to those license holders?”

Yoshitomi also told of Pittsfield, MA which is taking empty store fronts and giving them to artists for six month periods as a way to generate traffic into an anemic downtown. Could you do this in your downtown?

As he was talking I wondered why we couldn’t each get a photographer in our hometowns to take a weekly photo of local art, natural beauty or other attribute of the area. What if we sent such a photo to everyone in town, asking them to forward it onto those who live outside of the area, but with ties to the area? Could this be used to help generate interest in our hometowns?

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