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Arts, culture and public dollars — what’s the value?


We got this press release yesterday from Amy Adams, Fleisher-Ollman Gallery Director and member of the Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council.  It’s about a panel discussion with people worth listening to, like Rocco Landesman, the new NEA Director who’s on the giving away end of the public dollars spectrum; Nick Spitzer of public radio’s American Routes show (on the receiving end of public funds) and others who are policy makers or players in the public funding for the arts arena.

Arts and The City
Can the Arts Revive Our Cities and the Nation’s Economy?
March 2, 2010
5:00 – 7:00 pm, followed by reception
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Join the Penn Institute for Urban Research, along with the Greater
Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and Philagrafika, for a discussion with
leading experts on how the arts impact local and national economies
and their potential to help rebuild them. How can policymakers, civic
leaders, and other city builders assess and capitalize on the value of
the arts? To what extent is public investment in arts and culture a
catalyst for job creation and for-profit development? How should pubic
investment be directed, in the balance of capital investment versus
operating support? The session will address the local and national
policies needed to support art-based economies, the obstacles to
building political support essential to public investment, and the
research needed to better understand both the concrete and illusive
value of the arts to urban communities and the country as a whole.

Speakers include:
Rocco Landesman, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Donald Harrison, Saxophonist, Singer, Composer
Julia Olin, Executive Director, National Council for the Traditional Arts
Greg Rowe, Director, Culture Initiatives, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Cookie Ruiz, Executive Director, Ballet Austin
Nick Spitzer, Host and Producer, American Routes, Public Radio
Mark Stern, Professor of Social Welfare and History, Social Impact of
the Arts Project, University of Pennsylvania
David Thornburgh, Executive Director, Fels Institute of Government,
University of Pennsylvania

Space is limited. Register by Wednesday, 2/24 by emailing

For more information, visit