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Yikes! My head is a little jumbled today:  A mix of anticipation and (holiday) exhaustion. Monday, I walked out of Greg Fischer’s inauguration breakfast and his charge of “ONE” filled my thoughts:  ONE community….

So with the ONE idea rolling around in my head, I took Mayor Fischer’s charge to heart by way of wondering, “What can I do? What can you do? What can we do together?” ONE it is!

The elephant in the room here in my world of ONE is the health of our Arts. As if the holiday chatter wasn’t enough, when it came to the focus on the Arts dilemma of the day there really is a great deal at play when you talk about the ONE-ness of our Arts. Even the very definition of Arts ONE-ness requires a tilt. TODAY all our Arts together form our ONE-ness. This is 2012 not 1952.

So ONE-ness it is. And, here is my prescription for (a part of) the cure:

Onstage:

  • We must inspire, engage, and surprise you! Anything short is just boring and a waste.
  • Our business:  Be as innovative off-stage as onstage – not by simply throwing out our less vigorous procedures and practices….let’s invent and define the business of the Arts for America! Let’s own the future.
  • As organizations, we must be creatively thrifty in neat and cool ways as maybe only the Arts can be:  Make a nickel return a quarter. Give you wizz-bang without the financial pain. Manage our Arts budgets tightly and make them balance.

As patrons:

  • Buy tickets. Get our friends to buy tickets. Take our kids to the Arts. Treat a classroom to an Arts performance.
  • Get excited and engaged:  Give a big bold vote of confidence to and about our Arts.
  • Be the solution:  Maybe even be the solution “solution”. Support the Fund for the Arts and this year consider a one-time 11.25% increase to bridge our special challenges. Click here and make a gift. Or, if you give through your workplace campaign – be the solution there!

And finally:

Come to our 2011 Arts Showcase and Campaign Kick-off at 12 noon on February 1 at the Brown Theatre. Let’s pack the place! Let’s make the power of ONE be the power of thousands. Click here to make your reservation or call us at 502-582-0100.

So maybe this is a bit too much commercial mixed with a touch too much sermon. But, the song is in my head and the dream is a dream worth dreaming.

In ONE-ness,


Allan Cowen
President & CEO
Fund for the Arts

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