The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts released today for public comment a draft version of its latest strategic plan. The plan, produced over months of research, discussions and focus groups, outlines the role the State Arts Council will play in helping to strengthen and support the arts in Rhode Island, estimated by economists to contribute over $750 million annually to the state’s economy.
The plan can be seen at http://www.arts.ri.gov/plan. Public comment can be offered online at the State Arts Council’s strategic plan webpage.
Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, stressed the importance of planning during difficult times. “Artists and arts organizations are suffering in this economic climate,” Rosenbaum said. “Now, more than ever, we need to recognize how important the arts are to our economy, to the education of our young, and to our quality of life.” Planning helps to “maximize the state’s return on its investment in the arts.”
The State Arts Council worked with nationally-recognized planner Craig Dreeszen on its strategic plan. Dreeszen has also been working with the City of Providence on its cultural planning process, entitled “Creative Providence.” The State Arts Council partnered with the City for economy of scale and in order to reach deeper into the state’s largest cultural community.
Following a public comment period the strategic plan will be presented to the 13-member State Arts Council board for approval in late June. The Arts Council board is made up of artists and arts supporters from throughout the state. They are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.
CRAIG DREESZEN is an educator, consultant, and writer who works nationally in arts organizational development and planning, community arts and education planning, program evaluation, and community cultural planning. He is author of Community Cultural Planning: A handbook for community leaders, Intersections: Community Arts and Education Collaborations, and The Artist in Business. He co-edited Fundamentals of Local Arts Management and wrote three chapters in that book. He is the former director of the Arts Extension Service (AES), University of Massachusetts Amherst. There he led a national team of staff and associates in teaching and consulting, research and publishing on behalf of artists, arts organizations and communities. He earned his PH.D. in regional planning and his M.ED. in organizational development at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The RHODE ISLAND STATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS is a state agency supported by appropriations from the Rhode Island General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. RISCA provides grants, technical assistance and staff support to arts organizations and artists, schools, community centers, social service organizations and local governments to bring the arts into the lives of Rhode Islanders.