Policy and a Pint®: "Home Is Where the Art Is"

Policy and a Pint
Policy and a Pint (MPR Photo / Nate Ryan)
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Policy and a Pint: Home is Where the Art Is
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We know the Twin Cities are a great place to live when it comes to art and culture. From First Avenue to the Walker to the Guthrie and every coffeehouse and punk club in between, the arts have always been a thriving part of our quality of life. So is there a connection between economic health and the role that art and culture have to making this a great place to work and call home? And what's more important — lots of jobs, or having a "cool" reputation — when you want to attract top talent?

We covered these questions at our most recent Policy and a Pint event, where host Steve Seel was joined by guests Peter Leggett, Chair of Saint Paul's Cultural STAR Board, Director of Walker West Music Academy and Drummer for Heiruspecs; Gulgun Kayim, Director of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy at the City of Minneapolis; and Laura Zabel, Executive Director of Springboard for the Arts. It was a lively conversation about how the arts are key to fostering a strong urban core.

"That spectrum of opportunity and multiple entry points into arts and culture are what make it feel vibrant. Because as wonderful as our institutions are - our big institutions -- lots of cities have big institutions. So it really is the neighborhood-based, place-based stuff that makes this place feel specific, and desirable."
--Laura Zabel, Springboard for the Arts

"Thinking about it from the economic standpoint, and maybe the social too, if you're not focused on educating kids at all levels, including college, you're not producing future audiences, or artists. You shut that down. So it's a system that really needs to feed itself."
--Gulgun Kayim, City of Minneapolis

"[Arts] does have a really measured economic impact. St. Paul has something like, the economic footprint of the arts and cultural organizations is like... $300 million dollars, I believe. And it has something to do with 8200 jobs that are created by arts and cultural organizations. That's a huge demonstration of the direct impact.... That's keeping a lot of people moving and keeping a really vibrant city."
--Peter Leggett, City of St. Paul Cultural STAR Board

That's what our guests had to say. What makes the connection between economic health and arts and culture for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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