|Organization:||Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville|
|Sideshow Fringe Festival|
We're focusing this month’s Featured Member on an organization that celebrated National Arts and Humanities Month in part by hosting a Creative Conversation in its community. Creative Conversations are local gatherings of engaged citizens in communities across the country and are part of a grassroots movement to elevate the profile of the arts in America. While the program initially started in 2004 as a part of the Emerging Leaders Network, Americans for the Arts expanded the scope of the event this year to invite all arts leaders and interested individuals to participate.
On October 1, Jaclyn Johnson, program and communications coordinator at the Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville, hosted a community panel discussion with Nashville arts leaders and fringe artists titled "What’s New Nashville? Fringe and the Emerging Arts."The panel discussion was presented as part of the inaugural Sideshow Fringe Festival, a progressive performing arts festival.The first panel discussion was so successful that the Metro Nashville Arts Commission hosted the conversation for a second time during their monthly Cultural Executive Luncheon and as a part of Artober Nashville.
The panel was comprised of community cultural leaders and emerging artists in Nashville’s diverse performing arts scene that are producing innovative works of art within and for the Nashville community. The conversation explored Nashville’s future in fringe and performing art, overall artist retention, project funding, and opportunities for innovation.
While the conversation may only be the beginning of the Nashville cultural community finding answers to questions such as “What challenges innovation in the arts?” and “What role does risk play in artist development?” the opportunities for partnership and further innovation that developed out of the panel are multiplying. For example, through participating on the panel during the Cultural Executive Luncheon discussion, the executive director of Fall Dance, a small aerial dance company in Nashville, met the executive director of Nashville Ballet.Nashville Ballet offered to provide rehearsal space to Fall, solving a problem for the small company that had long plagued their ability to be successful.
Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville will also continue collaborating on future Cultural Executive Luncheons and contribute resources towards the efforts of bringing the larger cultural community together. One conclusion drawn from both panel discussions was that the more innovative work that is happening in Nashville, the better it is for everyone. These discussions are beginning to break down the barriers of competition, and provide opportunities for the entire cultural community to work together on solving problems such as artist retention and funding support for innovative work.
Through this recent Creative Conversation, artists and arts administrators in the Nashville region can have regular dialogue about how to develop a system of supporting innovation and working together. While innovation exists in both emerging organizations and established institutions, it must be supported in both places to have a healthy community. The October discussions in Nashville are excellent examples of how local service organizations such as Arts and Business Councils and local arts agencies can serve as conduits for conversation, opportunities for collaboration, partnership, and the breakdown of silos.
|Organization Contact:||Connie Linsler Valentine|