Arts Vibrancy: What does that mean in Rochester, New York?

Guest post by Dawn F. Lipson, Chair, Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester

Rochester New York has an embarrassment of wealth when it comes to offerings in the realm of Arts and Culture. We have music, dance, visual arts, public art, and theatre. We have large and small arts and cultural organizations as well as some amazing individual artists.  There really is something for everyone.

Corporations know that taking a prospective client to a concert, an event, an art gallery, or a museum is good business.

Our Arts and Cultural organizations and individuals collaborate and partner whenever possible.  This enriches the offerings and provides underserved populations with access.

The Arts in Rochester are accessible and affordable.  Our problem is converting these facts into monetary support.  None of the arts organizations can survive without contributed income.  It is frustrating when other communities (in North Carolina and Texas for example) receive public funding as a good portion of their budget and Rochester organizations do not.

Individual organizations in Rochester receive some funding from the City of Rochester and the County of Monroe as well as the State of New York and we are grateful for that support but it is not anywhere near what it needs to be.  The economic impact of the arts on our community is clear.  The quality of life in our community is intertwined with the vibrancy of our arts community and is frequently cited as a reason someone choses to live here.

The Arts organizations in our area have been playing a major role in the educational arena and provide alternatives to violence and problem solving abilities that translate into important life skills.  Many of our Arts and Cultural organizations offer opportunities for constructive dialogue and community engagement.

Rochester, the City of the Arts, is a fertile ground for the Arts to grow and flourish and with additional support the entire community could soar.  Together we can ensure a brighter and better future for our entire community and arts and culture is a large part of that vision.