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|Issue 10 | Spring 2012|
Happy spring! We are pleased to bring you our spring 2012 edition of the Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal (PSIJ), titled “Innovations in Arts and Culture.”
At the heart of this edition are provocative questions such as: What is the future of arts and culture in Greater Philadelphia? In what ways will the character of audiences and constellation of organizations change in the years ahead? How will arts and culture advance our brand in the international marketplace of cities, enrich our economy, and improve the quality of our lives and those of our children?
Twenty years ago, advocates had to make the case for the significance of arts and culture in the life of a community. No more. Researchers and advocates, including many whose work is featured in this issue, have documented the impact of arts and culture on individuals as well as the cities in which they live. In Greater Philadelphia, there is tangible proof that arts and culture drives revitalization of deteriorating commercial strips; attracts high-end tourists; factor into a company’s decision to locate a headquarter here; spurs recent graduates’ and empty nesters’ decisions to relocate; improves children’s work ethic, attitude, and test scores; and builds bonds of respect and shared experiences among diverse cultures and communities. We have the data that verify these impacts.
But, beyond these metrics lies the most profound benefit of arts and culture. When you watch a performance by the talented musicians of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra or students of the Curtis Institute of Music, or tour an exhibit of oversized portraits at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, or visit the luscious Bucks County impressionist paintings at the Michener Museum, or encounter the edgy, kinetic world of artist Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Gardens; or attend a performance at Art Sanctuary or Appel Farm; or see yourself reflected in the peculiar bits and pieces of human body parts at the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians…you get how arts and culture make a difference.
Quite simply, it enlivens the spirit, refreshes the soul.
This Innovations in Arts and Culture edition of the PSIJ had the honor of Nancy Moses serving as Guest Editor. In Nancy’s own words, “The Arts and Culture issue has allowed me to think forward, and to invite an exciting complement of experts to do the same. This issue features a galaxy of leading artists, elected and appointed government officials, scholars, advocates, managers, gallery owners, creative economy employees, board members, funders, and patrons—a 360-degree view of the region's cultural sector. The contributors represent people of diverse perspectives, ages, backgrounds, and at different places in their life journey. The submissions range from well-researched analyses to personal essays to elegantly framed thought pieces to descriptions of disruptive social innovations to photo essays; and we’re pleased to have as ‘cover art’ an editorial cartoon designed just for this edition.
I am proud to present my colleagues in cultural Philadelphia. I hope that their ideas will spark some of your own, and inspire you to share in creating the kind of creative future in Greater Philadelphia we all wish for and deserve.”
PSIJ Upcoming Editions:
The Arts and Culture edition is sponsored by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Bank of America, who are part of the PSIJ Advisory Board. We also want to recognize and thank our other advisory board members, including the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, the Patricia Kind Foundation, Independence Foundation, The Philadelphia Foundation, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Scattergood Foundation, St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children, Green Tree Community Health Foundation, William Penn Foundation, Wells Fargo, Inglis Foundation, and Barra Foundation, as well as the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice, the Wharton School, and Sage Communications.
We hope you will enjoy this edition and think you will find exuberance to the writing, a bit of healthy skepticism, and eager curiosity about what comes next.
Very truly yours,