The City of Farmington Hills and Eastern Michigan University recently hosted a conference to discuss the creation of a community arts certification program, which would formally certify students who wish to pursue a career in administering cultural art programs. The League was invited, along with the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, America for the Arts, Mercedes Benz and the Kresge Foundation, to participate on a panel to discuss the economic and social reasons for supporting the arts . A certification program would not only better prepare an inidividual to administer arts and culural programs in a community, but it would demonstrate and elevate the importance of arts as an economic development strategy. With a passionate group of attendees representing all walks of the arts, there was little debate about its economic importance and contribution to the vibrancy of communities. Following the conference, a committee met to start working out the details for the program.
It’s important that we continue to have discussions around arts and culture as a crucial economic development tool. The League’s Center for 21st Century Communities has identified arts and culture as one of 8 key assets, which are critical to creating and maintaining vibrant communities and regions, attracting talent and providing a quality of life. Numbers don’t lie. Michigan depends on the creative state of our economy. Learn more about the impact here. For every $1 Michigan invests in arts and culture, $51 is pumped back into the state’s economy! We can’t afford NOT to support arts and culture. After a decade of unprecedented cuts, (over a 90% decrease from 2002-2010), the cultural arts is finally seeing a rebound.
Stay tuned for further updates on the arts certification program!
Colleen Layton is Director of Policy Development for the Michigan Municipal League. She can be reached at 734-69-6320 or at firstname.lastname@example.org