Some more Cultural Alliance thoughts

I'm coming back to my thoughts on the Cultural Alliance of Milwaukee. I would like to report that I'm posting a podcast today, but my "cat ate my homework" excuse has to do with a 2 1/2 year old discovering the joys of clicking a mouse. So, no podcast of our meeting with the Cultural Alliance a few weeks back, but here's the start of a new round of thoughts.

The Cultural Alliance of Milwaukee is extraordinarily welll intentioned. This was proven in the meeting that they agreed to with me and Artsy Schmartsy readers. Artists at this meeting asked tough questions, and, for the most part, the representatives from The Cultural Alliance (Executive Director, Christine Harris, and Board Chair, Paul Matthews) answered all questions with a straightforward, "let's get some stuff done" attitude. I am impressed by their ambition. I am cautiously optimistic that The Cultural Alliance of Milwaukee is going to have a positive impact on the arts and culture sector in Southeastern Wisconsin.

But let's talk about caution for a moment. This is becoming a time in our country's history when we are all cautious. Cautious about having jobs, health insurance, dribbles of our once comfortable retirement accounts, and and a basic sense of hope for the future.

I encourage the Culutral Alliance to recognize this caution. I also encourage them to not be too cautious. Now is a perfect time to start to act on forming plans, for now is the time when all the cautious men and women in our world need brave, innovative work that helps to fuel new ideas and initiatives.

The Cultural Alliance folks talked about how in their initial impact as an organization could be characterized as inert. I think that all we need to hear. Now let's thank them for that acknowledgment and urge them to get busy. I know they are busy forming their plan, but some demonstrable actions would do great things for an arts and culture scene in peril. I know I said I wouldn't mention it again, but we saw the demise of Milwaukee Shakespeare this week, and that probably could have been avoided with different approaches to advocacy and infrastructure with the organization. But that is aided only by a stronger, more aggresively demanding public conciousness of the value of all arts in our lives. The Cultural Alliance can be a major force in creating the culture of thought for Southeastern Wisconsin that breeds the idea that good arts aren't just a nice thing to have for a cozy quality of life, but they are, in fact, essential to the lives' we demand as concerned citizens seeking better lives.

I came upon this article about an Arts Alliance in Michigan. This is an economically desimmated area that we are talking about, and the Ann Arbor based alliance is actively pursuing some arts strenghtening efforts. That's inspiring. I know that our Milwaukee based Cultural Alliance will show them up soon.

Read on. Believe in this stuff. Get involved. It's the best way to contribute to a healthy arts scene.

Give arts a future, plan says