Art and Culture
Overview: Below is a briefing of all of the challenges regarding art and culture in Boys State of Kansas. City councils may use this information as needed to define and understand challenges or to prioritize initiatives for the progress of the county. Each issue does not be addressed, and city councils may decide that a challenge included in the briefing is either not a problem or not one that needs to be prioritized. Councillors are welcome to research any information in addition to that provided in this briefing.
Festivals are organized by communities for a variety of reasons including: showcasing their cultural heritage, promoting their community, attracting tourists, and providing additional cultural entertainment offerings to local residents, thereby providing opportunities to improve their quality of life.They create economic benefits for communities such as: tax revenues for governments, increased employment, business opportunities, and generations of additional revenue for said communities. Construction of new facilities and venues that can be used for other purposes after festivals can also help the regeneration of urban areas and infrastructure, justifying the investment required for organizing these festivals.
Festivals can help communities create and promote a positive image of the community in the minds of both residents and prospective visitors. Therefore, festivals have been receiving an increasing amount of attention from local governments, mostly because of the anticipated benefits they can bring to their region and the lives of the residents. They create a sense of community among the residents, providing opportunities for cultural exchange between visitors and locals, as well as providing entertainment and recreational opportunities.
Economic Initiatives for Arts and Culture
Cities around the nation are facing a dilemma: a changing economic climate. Where the once prosperous factories cranked out a wide array of products they now sit vacant, dropping the property value of the neighborhood they belong in. When property values drop, higher income citizens leave for other cities, small businesses in the neighborhood can no longer sustain themselves due to a lack of consumers, those that own these businesses lose work.
Art and culture initiatives have proven to be effective tools providing an outlet for community expression. But equally as important, investment in art initiatives has had a strong correlation to bringing back consumers to neighborhoods, which then rebuilds businesses, provides jobs, brings back consumers and in turn, raises property values.
According to research done by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, travel and tourism in Kansas continued a six-year growth trend, peaking in 2015. Visitation moved upward to 35.4 million, a gain of 900,000 over 2014 and equivalent to everyone from Texas, Nebraska and Missouri visiting Kansas once a year. Traveler spending increased to $6.5 billion in 2015, equivalent to what all American on July 4th of that year combined.
Sales tax made up 68% of all tax income for all accrued taxes for the 2015 calendar year and travel spending has seen a consistent 5.5% growth with the exception of 2016. While 2016 was not a bad year for tourism and commerce in the state, the decrease in attraction to the state of Kansas could be cause for concern if the trend begins to decline. The question remains: how can counties and cities best market the attractions that they offer for outsiders and/ or how can they continue to attract newcomers to their state and their communities?
Artistic Community Outreach
According to a study done by Princeton, investment in artistic educational programs have been found to improve academic performance and student discipline, revitalize neighborhoods, promote economic prosperity. Moreover, those that participate in arts related educational events, it improves physical and psychological well-being, and provides a catalyst for the attainment of important community goals.
With that being said, few opportunities beyond the educational institutions are available for students interested in expanding their artistic ability. Lack of access is not only applicable to youth. Adults are also faced with a lack of opportunity to engage in artistic opportunity.
Task: Determine those issues that appear significant to your city and develop actionable experiments to address those challenges. Monitor the progress of these experiments to decide if further action needs to be taken. Experiments may take the form of city ordinances, collaboration between counties and cities on joint measures, or any other measure developed by the county commission.