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Recap: ART$ Town Hall | District 2 & 3 | July 15th, 2020
Arkansans for the Arts hosted our first virtual Art$ Town Hall on Thursday, July 16th. This event focused on Districts 2 and 3 and was held via ZOOM video conference.
The event opened with a warm welcome from our Board Chair, Garbo Hearne, and our Executive Director, Erin Holliday. Senator Joyce Elliot then joined the conversation and talked about the formation of the Arkansas Legislative Arts Caucus and the importance of the arts in Arkansas.
The Art$ Town Halls are just one way we work to support the arts, by bringing artists and creatives together with our state legislators. We want to make sure that our decision makers really see the impact that the arts has on the economy and the quality of life in Arkansas.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the state legislators who attended: Senator Joyce Elliott, Representative Deborah Ferguson, and Representative Denise Garner.
Presentations Featured in the Town Hall
The Resourceful Artists of Arkansas
During the Art$ Town Hall we wanted to present examples of how artists are resilient, flexible, and how even in a crisis a little creativity can result in some great outcomes. These stories show the power of connectivity all across Arkansas.
Pam Setser is a singer from Mountain View. She has adapted her concerts to social media so she can maintain connection while people are sheltering in place. Her facebook concerts have had between 500 and 1000 views and she has over 400 regular followers. And she has served as a lifeline to many in rural Arkansas who have been without much contact during the pandemic. And her audience has grown to viewers across the nation.
Maria Botti Villegas is a board member of Arkansans for the Arts. She is a teaching artist in El Dorado and an artist in residence at the South Arkansas Arts Center. When it was no longer an option to teach in person Maria immediately took to video and has produced over 50 videos since March. She did not hesitate in changing her way of teaching and has been able to continue reaching dozens of students in her community.
Kai Coggin curates Wednesday Night Poetry in Hot Springs. The in-person open mic events have been suspended due to Covid-19 and Kai has taken Wednesday Night Poetry to Facebook. Since mid March the event has expanded to include poets and viewers from around the world.
These three stories will show how adding the arts to adversity can add up to so much more.
“The Intersection of the Arts and Health” with Dr. Brookshield Laurent
Dr. Laurent is the Chair, Department of Clinical Medicine at New York Institute of Technology - College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University, she is the founding Executive Director, Delta Population Health Institute, the community engagement arm of NYITCOM, and one of the newest board members of Arkansans for the Arts.
Mid-America Arts COVID-19 Survey Results
Margaret Keough, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Mid-America Arts Alliance, our regional arts council. Ms. Keough is presented the results of two surveys put out my MAAA looking at the impact of CV-19 on individual artists in our region. See the following slide show for more information!
Creative Economy Slideshow
“The Creative Economy in Arkansas” and the latest ARftA Creative Economy Infographic were presented by Dr. Lenore Shoults. Dr. Shoults is on the board of advisors of Arkansans for the Arts and the Chair of the Creative Economy Committee. She has been collecting and presenting data on the creative economy in Arkansas on behalf of Arkansans for the Arts for the last 3 years.
Q&A With Legislators
The afternoon concluded with a brief Q&A with our legislators. Discussion centered on the impact of Covid-19 and the importance of maintaining creative education in K-12 public schools, creative job retention, and changes to public gatherings for concerts. Representative Ferguson shared her thoughts and some insight on how the legislature is working to keep Arkansans safe while supporting education and the economy.