The arts relating to economic development, forum
Last week I wrote about a productive but sparsely attended “Cultural Exchange 7.0,” the Kitchener all-candidates session organized by TheMuseum on Oct. 3.
According to what I heard in response, a lot of people in the arts community simply didn’t know about it. So here are four upcoming events that may also not be as widely known as they deserve to be. There’s no explicit connection with the election but they all touch on the theme of how the arts relate to economic development.
Together, these events are a remarkable congruence. Is there something in the air?
First up, on Monday, Oct. 15, starting at noon, there’s a “tech community engagement session” at the Kitchener location of the Accelerator Centre on Gaukel Street, which is being promoted as “a special event and important update about the future of The Museum and arts and culture in our region.”
This is part of an ongoing series of stakeholder consultations designed to inform expansion plans and form collaborations around a “vision for a better, bigger, bolder critical mass of arts and culture in downtown Kitchener.”
A similar event geared toward the broader arts community is in the works for date in November. Details will be announced soon.
Meanwhile, at the Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery on Tuesday, Oct. 16, the Alliance for a Grand Community, a network of “senior leaders in several arts and culture organizations in Waterloo Region,” is presenting “Panel Discussion: Creative Industries — Economic Drivers.” The focus here is on “the impact of arts and culture on economic development.” The panellists are Ken Coit, program manager of public art and projects for the City of Hamilton; Crystal Ellis, senior economic development officer, County of Wellington; Tony LaMantia, president and CEO, Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation; and Beisan Zubi, community relations manager, Communitech.
Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery executive director Shirley Madill will host, and Andrew Bennett, Executive Director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS), will serve as moderator.
On Thursday evening, Catherine Fife and Laura Mae Lindo, who represent the Waterloo and Kitchener Centre electoral districts, respectively, in the provincial Legislative Assembly, are hosting a discussion called “Strengthening the Creative Economy: Planning for the Future.”
The focus is on “showcasing the advantages of investing in the arts and the benefits it can create for the economy and the people of Kitchener-Waterloo.”
The panellists are Isabel Cisterna, arts advocate; Janice Jo Lee, artist; and Dr. Kate Rybczynsk, department of economics, University of Waterloo.
The session starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo.
This is in the week leading up to the election on Monday, Oct. 22. Two days later, on Wednesday, Oct. 24, there’s “Amplify Culture Summit 2018,” — a full day of offerings “celebrating creativity and innovation.”
A key objective is to facilitate connections among “researchers, artists, designers, and creative industry workers developing cutting-edge ideas in art and technology.”
This is a City of Waterloo initiative. The venue, once again, is the Centre for International Governance Innovation.
The lineup of presenters includes Jesse Stewart, composer, percussionist, visual artist, researcher, and educator; Sage Paul, Artistic Director of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto; and Christine Leu, co-founder of the multidisciplinary arts and curation practice, LeuWebb Projects in Toronto.
The program includes six peerto-peer sessions exploring the themes of belonging, innovation and placemaking, with participation from Meg Leslie, ceramic and mosaic artist; Darin White, Laurier Library Makerspace; Laura Peart McBride, Central Fairies Art and Photography; and many others, including, once again, Andrew Bennett, who is leading a session with his KWS colleague Christine Tolton.
The event wraps up with dinner at 6 p.m., including keynote speaker Richard Evans, cofounder of EmcArts, a nonprofit consulting group originally from the U.K. and now based in the U.S. He’ll talk about “the widespread changes in how people want to engage with artistic experiences and how artists, organizations, and communities can redefine our roles in this new era of engagement.”
The Amplify Summit is open to everyone, for a nominal fee of $25. The other three events are free. Registration for all four is through eventbrite.ca. themuseum.ca kwag.ca waterloo.ca