Erik ReeL - Arts and Culture Contributing Editor at Large
Society805 recently caught up with artist and arts advocate extraordinaire Tracy Hudak between projects to find out what she is thinking and doing these days regarding the arts in the 805. Tracy is noted for having her finger on the pulse and designing effective partnerships between public and private entities and the arts. In an area where cities and organizations often make expensive mistakes, Tracy has excelled in helping people get the most bang for their buck by creating successful programs that excite artists and public alike. Find out what is working and not working in the arts these days and how that relates to the arts here in the 805.
Pro-arts candidates sweep the recent Ventura City Council elections by overwhelming margins, with the top vote count going to the director of an arts non-profit, affirming the ongoing vigor and electoral strength of the arts in Ventura. It was an instructive test, as the “arts slate” crossed party lines and was not the slate supported by any of the official party
The James Irvine Foundation Arts Regional Initiative, Phase Two, has awarded over two and a half million dollars in grants for 805 regional arts institutions committed to broadening and diversifying their audiences and strengthening their financial sustainability. The organizations represent a mix of artistic disciplines, including music, dance, opera, theater, visual arts and multidisciplinary arts.
Julie Tobiason and Timothy Lynch of Seattle Dance Project
On the 22nd of July , at the closing general session of their 97th Annual convention in New Orleans, the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) announced that Ventura, California, along with Miami, Florida, have been selected as the winning destinations for the first Arts Destination Marketing Award for “their innovative collaboration with local art agencies to market their communities as a travel destination.”
Is the 805 Ready for a Regional Arts Council?
The 805 area has the critical mass in terms of artists, arts institutions, and population of a major city. It is a culturally contiguous region with supporting wine, restaurant, and film industries, plus museum, transportation, and tourist infrastructure. It has a score of small towns and centers facing similar core economic re-vitalization and cultural problems, including tight city budgets and increasing infrastructure costs. Does it make sense to keep pursuing a balkanized arts and culture strategy with each town duplicating vital marketing, staffing, and organizational costs? Is it time for a regional approach instead?