I’ve been at work with Berkshire Creative for about 18 months now as part of the steering group and various committees. (That’s an illustration of the “Creative Cluster” we did up top.) It’s been a fun process and great for the Berkshires and I’ve enjoyed it a lot. We’ve relaunched the website as a wordpress blog to open up the conversation and get more people involved and I like the way it is going. I made a post there which has got me thinking about the changing landscape of culture, institutions and investment. Here’s the excerpt:
“One argument that we hear is that “there are too many non-profits in the Berkshires, all going to the same funding sources”. I think that is short-sighted. Many of the institutions in our area realize the substantial bulk of their funding from outside sources, include donors from outside of the region, and national-level granting organizations. These funds come into our economy and stay here, paid out in salaries, construction, resources and other ways. I’d like to predict the day that other communities come “shopping” in the Berkshires, seeking to lure our cultural treasures away with promises of new investment, much as happened in professional sports, with cities competing for valuable franchises. We may not be there yet, but it’s interesting to consider.”
What do you think? What if, say, Providence RI came knocking on Shakespeare & Company’s door with an offer they couldn’t refuse? What if the Hamptons became a second home for Jacob’s Pillow II? What is the role of place in creativity and expression? What if an organization decided to “branch out” and create a second or third site? Is the experience transportable? I think of the phenomenal, for-profit explosive growth in something like “Cirque du Soleil” and it makes me wonder. Understand, I’m not advocating either way. The concept just popped into my mind this morning. But it does make you think. Also, I think it might help as an exercise to imagine such scenarios when assessing the relative value and economic impact of the cultural assets of our region.
Thoughts? Post a comment.