Of Art and Government

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Exploration & Discovery
There's been a lot of talk about public art in Nashville lately. Metro Councilwoman Vivian Wilhoite filed a bill earlier this week to remove restrictions on the city's public arts funding program so outdoor sculptures and the like could be made to directly honor persons significant or historical. As it stands, the Purcell-era program — Percent for the Arts — squirrels away 1 percent of all general obligation bonds for construction projects to funding art in the city.

(Keeping on the theme, there's also this.)

For those aspiring to join the city's 40-person legislative body, there's a session about the arts in Music City on Monday, June 27, that's probably worth attending. During the workshop, the Nashville Arts Coalition will present findings from a recent study that offer some rather promising new intel:

An analysis prepared for the Metro Nashville Arts Coalition, measuring the years 2007-08, found that the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area has the fourth-highest cultural vitality index value in the nation, trailing only Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and New York City. In 2008, there were about 23,500 highly creative jobs in Davidson County and more than 35,000 in the Nashville MSA.

Presenters will also discuss grant and public art programs in Davidson County, and Stephen J. Tepper, associate director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University, will talk specifics about the cultural and economic effects of the arts here.

“Nashville’s arts community is a big force in our economy and makes a mighty contribution to education and quality of life for everyone who lives here,” Nashville Arts Coalition member Vali Forrister said in a release. “Metro government is a strong partner in a very large community-wide effort that has built a vibrant arts scene."

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