The Washington County Arts Mapping Project
Dear Washington County Artists and Arts Organizations:
We’ve spent the last nine months meeting with you and creating a beginning inventory on active artists and arts organizations in Washington County. Many of our conversations ended up focusing on the need to create a collective online calendar and a marketing campaign to help promote our work. This year we won a Market NY grant in support of some of this work over the next year. We’d love to gather again to hear about your upcoming 2017 events, share our progress and the information we’ve gathered and our hopes for marketing our work together over the next year.
Our next meetings will be at 11:00am and 6:00pm on Wednesday, May 17 in the Lovejoy Building at Hubbard Hall. Please let us know if you can attend either meeting! We look forward to seeing you there!
In 2016, through the work of the Capital Region’s Regional Economic Development Council, Hubbard Hall gained a NY State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) grant to map the arts (organizations and individuals) in Washington County and to begin a network aimed at collaborating and advocating for our strengths, impact and challenges throughout the Capital Region and beyond. We’ve convened several times throughout 2016 to begin to develop a strong, comprehensive arts network here in Washington County.
We’re in the process of assembling a directory of arts and artists here in our county, that can be shared with NYSCA and with the county and available online and in hardcopy via Hubbard Hall and from any participating partners with the ability to also disseminate it. This directory will give residents and visitors an invaluable tool for identifying and working with our local arts, while also providing our new tourism efforts in the county with a key missing piece of the puzzle – a map of the depth and breadth of the arts in Washington County.
For the purpose of guiding and limiting our work to some attainable goals for now, we are defining “arts” as: performing, visual, sculptural, literary, design, technological, and clothing or material-related. These are initial parameters and by no means meant to exclude anyone. We welcome your input on what else should be included as we move forward. We are specifically looking to map organizations and artists who work in Washington County. So while it’s exciting to have artists live in Washington County who primarily work elsewhere, we are focused on those growing the arts locally here through their work. And while we may be able to expand in year two to the agricultural arts and artisanal food, we are avoiding these parts of the arts for now, until we get the rest fairly mapped and have the capacity to add on.
We’ve had a great deal of fun so far identifying and mapping artists throughout Washington County. Two needs that have come to the fore in all our conversations are 1) enhanced marketing of the county as an arts destination and 2) a need for an online calendar/presence for the arts in Washington County.
As we’ve been saying throughout, the ultimate goal is to use the info and contacts we’ve been gathering to better advocate for our work (within and outside the county regionally and nationally) and our economic value to our representatives and local leaders.
To that end, we’d like to gain some numbers on our economic impact collectively, so we can demonstrate our value by the numbers.
This sounds great! What Can I Do?
Please fill out the linked survey here. The information is broadly posed and will be kept entirely confidential. We will use the totals we gather to show our impact as a field and perhaps the averages of how much organizations and individual artists (not by name) are contributing to the county’s economy. As you may know, Washington County suspended spending on tourism until they could assess what economic value tourism has on our local economy. If we can have some real numbers at our fingertips on economic impact of the arts, we (and you) can prove to the County and others our value and worth for promoting. We can also apply for further funding as a community, based on the millions being generated by our community each year.
If you complete the survey and attend at least one more convening (to be held during the first half of 2017), we can offer you an honorarium of $25 for your time.
Here’s the survey: Economic Impact Survey
Thanks in advance for your help!
David A. Snider
Executive & Artistic Director
Hubbard Hall Center for the Arts and Education
Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.