Thursday, October 1, 2009

OAC Listening Tour will Visit Cincinnati in January

The Ohio Arts Council is hitting the road again this fall to find out what Ohioans value about the arts, creativity and their communities. The OAC’s Listening Tour will travel to seven more communities in fall 2009 and early winter 2010. This is in additional to the seven communities visited in fall 2008. The goal of the tour is to discover what the arts, creativity and imagination mean to elected officials, arts professionals and citizens in large and small communities across the state.

“The Ohio Arts Council wants to hear from Ohio’s citizens in order to improve the way we serve Ohio,” said OAC Executive Director Julie Henahan. “The Listening Tour provides an outlet for Ohioans to tell us how they think the arts and creativity can be a bigger part of their community.”

The findings from the first half of the Listening Tour last fall helped illuminate the impressive accomplishments, driving aspirations and daily struggles of communities around the state. The meetings also provided an opportunity for Ohioans to share the vital role they believe the arts, creativity and imagination play in their community as they pursue a wide range of economic development strategies to retain and attract existing and new business, especially knowledge-based industries.

A small group of staff from the OAC will lead three meetings in each town to discuss the arts, creativity and aspirations for the residents’ communities. During the morning meeting OAC staff members will meet with elected officials and business and community leaders; the afternoon meeting will be held with members artists, arts administrators, other members of the arts community and educators; and the evening town hall will bring people from all backgrounds together to discuss the arts and creativity and the role they play in community.

Information gathered from this tour will provide the agency with a better understanding of a broad range of Ohioans’ needs, including communities that have traditionally been underserved by OAC’s public funding, and assist the agency in developing the 2010-2013 Strategic Plan and the State of the Arts Report II.

Communities to be visited this fall and winter will be: Cincinnati in late January, Cleveland on November 6, Columbus on December 10, Dayton on September 18, Kent on November 5, Mansfield on October 13 and Wapakoneta on October 8. More information and registration details can be found at the link to each city name. Dates for city visits and additional information and itineraries will be added as it becomes available.