Arts & Culture Track

Session One: Paradigm Shift: How the Arts can Make Your Message Bigger, Bolder, Brighter

September 19 | 10:00 am to Noon

Tradition tells us arts need our support, but what if we turn that paradigm around? There are businesses and nonprofits all over rural areas using the arts to get attention, build their brand, and raise funding for special projects. From hosting major arts events to licensing artwork and more, participants will learn about radical models that are turning the preconception of a starving artist on its head. Businesses interested in leveraging the arts for their direct mission/purpose, artists and arts presenters looking for ways to work with businesses should attend this session and participate in a group brainstorm of other ways businesses can utilize the arts to fulfill their needs, and resources they can access to make connections with artists.

Session Two: Post-Industrial Towns: Shifting the Focus to Building an Arts Enclave

September 19 | 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Many towns across New England have begun to identify creative economy and cultural tourism as key assets to a changing economic landscape. A panel from recognized arts enclaves representing various community sectors will share with us how their community built and sustains their arts enclaves. Attendees will learn what has been the journey developing a municipal Arts Commission, and other structures that support this work. They will also hear how panelists envision moving forward as this trend of converting old mills into arts spaces spreads across rural communities. Arts council/commission members, cultural institution leaders, planners and economic development professionals, municipal leadership should all attend to hear the story of this rural arts enclave, how it was built, marketed, programmed with public/private partnerships, and how it continues to be sustained.
After the panelists share their story, facilitator Alec Doyle, of Keene’s historic Colonial Theatre will collect from the audience a list of challenges this type of development might bring to a community and the audience and panel will discuss ways those challenges could be addressed.

Session Three: Stewardship of Place: Art & Festivals on Conserved Land

September 20 | 9:00 am to 11:00 am

Many towns across New England have begun to identify creative economy and cultural tourism as key assets to a changing economic landscape. A panel from recognized arts enclaves representing various community sectors will share with us how their community built and sustains their arts enclaves. Attendees will learn what has been the journey developing a municipal Arts Commission, and other structures that support this work. They will also hear how panelists envision moving forward as this trend of converting old mills into arts spaces spreads across rural communities. Arts council/commission members, cultural institution leaders, planners and economic development professionals, municipal leadership should all attend to hear the story of this rural arts enclave, how it was built, marketed, programmed with public/private partnerships, and how it continues to be sustained.
After the panelists share their story, facilitator Alec Doyle, of Keene’s historic Colonial Theatre will collect from the audience a list of challenges this type of development might bring to a community and the audience and panel will discuss ways those challenges could be addressed.

Speaker: Emma Weisman, Agency Relations Manager, Burning Man Festival

Session Four: Solutions and Success Consistent with Rural Values

Colonial Theatre | September 20 | 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Keynote Speaker: Art Markman, Executive Director of IC2 at the University of Texas at Austin

Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Key Partners

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