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Fundraising not the key purpose for arts

Posted: January 22, 2009 6:40 p.m.
Updated: January 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.

In response to "Commission or no, arts need attention," Jan. 11: The editorial by The Signal questioning whether an arts commission would solve one of the many issues faced by arts-related nonprofits - which is fundraising - missed the mark.

Fundraising is not the key purpose for forming an arts commission, but rather it is to identify the cultural needs of the community, create opportunities and provide tools for local arts groups to prosper.

A successful arts commission should promote existing and developing arts organizations in Santa Clarita by including them in local events and spurring collaboration, utilizing proactive marketing techniques, and educating both the community and businesses about the social and economic benefits that stem from the arts.

Time is a precious commodity for most arts organizations, which operate with a small volunteer staff, and establishing an arts commission would provide synergies; increasing the effectiveness of the individual arts organizations' efforts.

Cross-collaborating on events that are planned is one way to free up resources, allowing for additional offerings from the arts organizations to meet the needs of our growing community.

Expanding the public's awareness of the groups through a professionally managed Web site, frequent e-mail communications and the creation of a master marketing database is critical to audience development.

By elevating the relevance of the arts within the community, the city becomes a catalyst for expanding awareness and encouraging residents to attend arts events, which in turn increases profitability, results in more supporters for the arts and ensures sustainability.

Information regarding the social and economic benefits of the arts can spur interest and lead to greater funding from the private sector.

Together, all of these activities will result in creating a vital and vibrant arts sector in Santa Clarita, but only if an arts commission is given the resources, authority, accountability, and access to City Council members which are necessary for success.


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