Last weekend three of area’s largest charity events occurred on the same night. Maybe there was good reason for that happening. Maybe it was by coincidence. I suspect that the end result was less than satisfactory to at least one of the organizations if not all three. The Mahoning Valley is an area of limited resources. On that night…the pie was divided in three.
So it is with the arts and culture organizations in the Mahoning Valley. We are an area rich in arts and culture history and infra-structure. Our facilities are equal to or better than areas with three or more times the population. The concentration in a 15 mile radius of auditoriums and galleries and theaters is mind boggling. But the limited population is problematic. Like the three charity events from last weekend, the arts and culture organizations are competing with each other for scarce resources.
That is what makes Power of the Arts so important. POA is not an Arts Council. It is an organization designed to facilitate the arts and culture community in the Mahoning Valley by providing support promotional services in a unified manner, acting to foster communication between the groups, make sure one group knows what the other is doing, look for areas where joint cooperation might benefit participating organizations, and provide information and educational opportunities to help our organizations. Most importantly, POA is an advocate for the arts locally and at the state and federal levels. We want to make sure the Mahoning Valley gets its share of whatever resources may be available to us, and to look for new ways to fund local organizations.
Those of us who live in the Mahoning Valley understand the history of all of these organizations. When competing for scarce resources, it becomes a tough environment very quickly. It becomes a zero sum game where there is only one winner and the rest are left scrambling. The key to success is cooperation, communication, and participation. That is the goal of Power of the Arts. Building Community within our arts and culture organizations and the Valley as a whole.
Most importantly, Power of the Arts understands the role of small organizations and individual artists that serve as the seeds for this area’s continual growing pool of talent. These grass roots folks and organizations cover the gambit from art to music to theater to jazz to writing to just about anything. These are the folks and organizations that need to be nurtured and allowed to thrive. Power of the Arts believes these folks are the foundation of our community. It will work hard to help them.
Fund raising, holding events, selling tickets, and looking for ways to support your passion does not have to be a zero sum game. It does not have to be three charitable events happening on the same night to each one’s detriment as opposed to each one’s benefit.
That is the goal of Power of the Arts…working for the whole of the arts and culture community. Working to make the Valley a great place to live and enjoy the flavor of life.
Yes…Power of the Arts matters.