Stewardship of Local Arts and Culture
Business leaders have long understood the value of strong and viable educational and cultural opportunities in their communities. Most companies also recognize their unique responsibility to return something of value to the people of the community. Beyond simply providing entertainment or diversion, the arts are emerging to play an increasingly important and well-documented role in virtually all facets of education, as well as economic development efforts, community building and downtown revitalization. There are always diverse conditions and incentives, but cultural and educational opportunities for executives, employees and their families are now a tremendously important factor in a company’s or an individual’s decision to relocate to a community, or even to stay there.
L/A Arts was a leader in developing a far-reaching Cultural Plan for Lewiston-Auburn over the last several years with more than 70 artists, educators, interested citizens, professional arts administrators, city officials and others. This Cultural Plan, which explores such major issues as Cultural Facilities, Services to Artists, the Arts in Education, and the Coordination/Alliance of the community’s cultural resources, was incorporated into Lewiston’s state-mandated Comprehensive Plan. The inclusion of a “cultural” component within a municipal Comprehensive Plan is unique. The Cultural Plan calls for the establishment of a Cultural District, with special incentives for the development of retail, residential and other enterprises.