Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Planet JH: Arts orgs drawing more on local talent and community experiences

Wyomingarts is a fan of feisty local newspapers (print and online), especially those that cover the arts.

Matthew Irwin, writing in today's issue of Planet Jackson Hole, surveys the local arts scene and finds some intriguing trends:

Jackson Hole, Wyo. -- If you talk to local arts organizations about how they’re getting through the down economy, they’ll probably tell you that though the bad economy has caused them to roll back programming, it has provided some needed course correction.

Whereas the almighty tourist dollar continues to be a focus of marketing efforts, arts orgs have decided to draw more on local talent and provide more community-oriented experiences.

This redirection could represent a sea of change in the local arts scene, not only in the way organizations plan programming, but also in the willingness of residents to support the arts in an official capacity, say, through language in the Comprehensive Plan update.

Though this idea certainly has skeptics in Jackson Hole, the reported influx of volunteers, who also happen to be patrons or workshop students or event attendees, say otherwise.

WAC Manager Rita Basom was interviewed for the article, as were WAC roster artist Macey Mott (of Riot Act, Inc.) and a number of our grantees, such as the Art Association.

To read the entire article, go to