From the Executive Director

Dear CultureSource Members,

Connecting you with new, creative, and inspirational ideas is one of our roles as your cultural alliance, and in the last four weeks, we have been particularly engaged in linking our local creative sector to activity taking place throughout the state and county. Here are just a few of the many insights gleaned—and remember, we're always ready for more in depth conversation with you around these ideas.

  1. More and more, the expectation is that artists' work is designed to connect with audiences as collaborators, and not just spectators. CultureSource's new partner Mural Arts Philadelphia talked a lot about this as their model during their recent Detroit site visit.
  2. The Public Art Fund's director of special projects was our guest for a two-day residency, which included a keynote speech at our Spring Member Meeting. His encouragement was to lower the pressure on public art by focusing on temporary installations and raise buy-in by choosing work that actually speaks to a community: whether it amplifies regional history or reinterprets landmarks.
  3. During my first trip to the Mackinac Policy Conference, I immediately sensed our sector's policy needs positioned behind many others. It seems we have abundant opportunity to optimize our relevance to Michiganders by connecting our work to the daily, non-arts activities that they hope bring them good health, prosperity, and happiness.
  4. Tuesday, CultureSource hosted a presentation of the triennial Culture Track study, detailing national trends in audience participation and engagement. The most surprising research finding: the primary reason people participate in our cultural activities is to have fun. (This is despite us sometimes being very serious about our work.)

Some of these ideas might be new to you and others very familiar. Across all your work, we hope to support you in making shifts, adapting, and innovating. Just let us know!

Omari Rush