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Great Expectations: Art citizens, unite!

By Tony Auth for The Big Canvas
By Tony Auth for The Big Canvas

If you think we have something great happening here in the fine arts world–I know I do–then maybe you want to keep it going.

That’s where Great Expectations comes in. The group wants to nourish the arts in the region. They need to hear about all the wonderful stuff that’s happening here, under the radar.

Great Expectations is a civic project combining two big forces–The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Penn Project for Civic Engagement. They are running a number of forums called The Big Canvas–the equivalent of focus groups and brain storming sessions–to explore the future of arts and culture in the region.

I hope some of you get to these events, because if the only people The Big Canvas canvasses come from the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance or Pew, the picture will be lopsided and the blueprint for action will mistake a few sequoias for the whole gorgeous forest.

Great Expectations has been working in tandem with Penn Praxis on the Penn’s Landing waterfront planning that Mayor Nutter has backed, and it has been working toward a more responsive city government. In both cases, citizen voices helped crystallize what needed fixing and how to fix it.

Saturday I met Linda Breitstein from the Penn Project for Civic Engagement, and she made a great case for how important it is to include many voices in the Big Canvas forums. I’m a believer. So put your two cents in and get heard–you need to register.

There’s a forum later today, and the last one on the list is in Philly, at Moore College. Here’s the schedule, with links for how to register online, or call 215 854 5956.

Today, Wednesday, July 16, at the Inquirer’s suburban headquarters, at the Schuylkill Printing Plant, 800 River Rd., West Conshohocken (near the Blue Route/Schuylkill Expressway interchange).

Wednesday, July 23, People’s Light & Theatre Company, 39 Conestoga Rd., Malvern.

Thursday, July 24, Tolentine Hall at Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Ave., Villanova.

Wednesday, July 30, Moore College of Art and Design, 20th Street and the Parkway, Philadelphia.Great Expectations: Art citizens, unite!