At an October 24, 2011, meeting, members of the Dalton-Whitfield Arts & Culture Issue Work Group discussed the possibility of forming an arts and culture consortium. To assist with the discussion, University of Georgia Masters in Public Administration student Megan Miller was present. Megan recently moved to Georgia with her family from Detroit, Michigan where she served as the Director of Programs at Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. Mosaic is an internationally acclaimed youth development organization that has performed with artists such as Maya Angelou, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and the Temptations for audiences in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Kennedy Center. While at Mosaic, Megan grew satellite program participation from 230 to more than 1000 youth served each year, and represented Mosaic in an inter-agency collaboration recognized as a model for collaborative youth arts programming.
At the meeting, community members discussed hopes and concerns they have regarding the formation of an arts consortium. The participants noted that they need a better understanding of how an arts and culture consortium could function. The group members stated that they want to understand how a consortium can assist individual entities with funding, marketing, and sharing of information. In addition, group members are interested in learning about the resources needed to establish and maintain a consortium.
Going forward, Megan will work under the direction of the work group to develop a report and presentation that discusses the key benefits of establishing an arts consortium, expectations of individual members of the consortium, and successful operating models.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
On October 28, 2011, community leaders, including members of the Archway Partnership Executive Committee, met at the Colonnade in Ringgold, Georgia, to discuss how 15 counties in Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia might work together to develop a 40 year regional plan. Archway Executive Committee member and Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce CEO Brian Anderson has been a key leader in this initiative and describes it as follows:
This initiative follows an effort in 2010 to receive Sustainable Planning Grant funding from the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development for regional planning. Although we were unsuccessful in 2010, we were identified as a preferred applicant and encouraged to re-apply in 2011 with suggested modifications to our grant application. Through the Community Foundations of Chattanooga pledge of $1 million, pledged support from Hamilton County and the City of Chattanooga for another $1 million, and the potential for $1 million more from the private sector, we have the opportunity to leverage $3 million in local funding against an additional $2.5-$3 million from HUD for a three year regional business planning initiative. Even if unsuccessful in receiving HUD funding, we can execute a significant planning initiative with local funding.At the October 28 meeting, community leaders had an opportunity to network with those in surrounding communities, brainstorm about shared needs, and ask and answer questions.