Thursday, February 21, 2013

Revival: the Goal--ARTS: the solution

A recent issue of the Kansas City Star featured Lexington, MO, the winner of a competition sponsored by the University of Missouri (MU)'s MU Extension.  The prize is for faculty and students from MU to help the winning small town develop an arts-based "revitalization."

This is Lexington, MO's Main Street, with the Lafayette County Courthouse clock tower.
The Star article quoted Lexington resident Chris Campbell explaining the idea: "the strategy is to use the arts as a vehicle for economic and community development."

This is not a way-out idea. More and more municipalities all over the country are looking to the arts as a remedy for their economic woes.  Here are articles about other arts-stimulus efforts in Bennington, VT, Philadelphia, PA, and the states of Texas, North Carolina, and Montana

I wrote other posts on this subject last summer, in July and August.  The evidence just keeps growing. At least some of the folks in Missouri "get it."  Now if we could just convince the "Kansas side." Governor Brownback, that especially includes you!

IMAGE CREDIT: The Kansas City Star photo of Lexington's Main Street is by Jill Toyoshiba, a photographer to keep in mind.  Many thanks to them, for providing it!


  1. People assume we have an arts based economy in the town where I live but in fact, there are a few galleries that come and go rather rapidly and lots of artists working four other two-bit jobs in order to do their art. I'd love to know how it works for Lexington, if it does, long term.

    1. I'll follow this story. Meanwhile, you may find it interesting that recently there's been a debate on "The Daily Beast" regarding how well the arts stimulate the economy.

      Joel Kotkin contends that the "Creative Class" is not such a hot economic engine after all in his article:

      Richard Florida, whose book "The Rise of the Creative Class" popularized the idea, rebuts Kotkin in this article:

      Both raise interesting points.