Wondering what life is like at the Ohio Arts Council? Let me tell you … every single day is wrapped around the artists and arts organizations we serve. From the “quick question” phone calls, to an exhibition opening or performance, it’s clear that the arts are alive and well in Ohio. As a sector of creative beings we understand the value of success and positive momentum. We can work hard and live fully because our passion for innovation and inspired living through the arts is our primary driver!
On the third Friday of each month this fall, we hosted “office hours” at the Ohio Arts Council located in the Rhodes Tower in Columbus. I was privileged to meet with wonderful people from around the state. A few of the folks who visited include: Julie Woffington, Jim Palmarini, and Marion Combs from the Educational Theatre Association; Errick Freeman, aka Pach Atomz, a uniquely creative pyrographic artist from Canton; Laurie Lathan from Columbus Children’s Theatre; and Tim Tavcar, artist and director of WordStage in Cleveland. I also had the opportunity to visit with Elaine Grogan Luttrull, author of Arts & Numbers; Neenah Ellis and Luke Dennis from 91.3 WYSO in Yellow Springs; and David Mitzel and Susan Gottlieb representing the Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics.
A trip to Cleveland to visit with the Volunteer Council of The Cleveland Orchestra, led by President Faye Heston, was wonderful and included an additional opportunity to meet with staff members Jon Limbacher, Erin Gay, Dan Coleman, and Joan Katz Napoli. Another highlight was participating in meetings with Dr. Jane Chu, Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, during her first visit to Ohio. Fall was a great season of engagement! We are looking forward to more “office hours” in January; I hope to see you.
We would also like to give special thanks to the 5,782 people, representing every county in the state, who responded to the OAC Public Opinion Survey! We are thrilled to have such an overwhelming response and to hear your ideas and opinions about what’s needed for the arts and cultural sector in Ohio. Stay tuned for the analysis of the information as we move through our strategic visioning process.
We have concluded our fall “Engagement Tour,” with events in Dayton, Shawnee, Canton, and Piqua. Several hundred individuals met with us and shared their vision for the arts in Ohio. Most striking was the heartfelt generosity from every person we met. All of us agreed that Ohio is a creative state and the goal is simple: We intend on making every dollar appropriated to the Ohio Arts Council for arts and culture an investment with a significant return. Together we are innovators and investors in Ohio today for the best tomorrow.
Until next time,
Donna S. Collins