"There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, ‘What the hell is water?’" - David Foster Wallace
When my Theatre Director's eye surveys the Mojave I see the desert as its former self- an ocean floor. The fish once floating around Southern Nevada are now people. The local arts and culture eco(nomic) system is the water they swim in. Like the two young fish in Wallace's story, many may fail to recognize the artistic expertise that surrounds them which deprives them of valuable opportunities. The fallout from the COVID pandemic revealed the U.S. economy is powered by Gathering. This was a revelation to public figures and the investor class, but not to the Arts professionals who collaborate to produce creative work commercially, in arts nonprofits, as public servants, or to advance education. Mobility empowers economy. The Creative Economy inspires movement between groups, locations, and levels of inclusion.
Cities like Las Vegas are monuments to both the visual art of "placemaking" and the spontaneous collaboration of live experiences, but the impact of Arts doesn't stop there. Empathy and innovation are the "particular set of skills" that creative talents "culture" and deliver to both the eco(nomic) system, and to the human experiences that make business successful, communities vibrant, and the social fabric strong. The Arts can connect society at the intersection between public engagement and personal purpose when strategically deployed, leveraging both in service to each other.
The local creative economy in any society exists as a coral reef with diverse systems of individuals, communities, and sectors clustered together in collaboration. When the conditions are balanced, the clusters thrive in a win-win cycle as they grow and attract more fish bringing new visitors, innovators, and industries.
The power of the Arts and creative expertise are for everyone: individuals, organizations, and communities. Eat More Art LLC is here to help you access it for yourself and to invent and implement a vision that meets your needs so that creativity can help you not only survive, but thrive.