The new direction is tied closely to the arts’ impact on Georgia’s growth. And that is reflected right in the council’s new mission statement: “to cultivate the growth of vibrant, thriving Georgia communities through the arts.”
It’s also reflected in the council’s new home as part of the Department of Economic Development instead of reporting directly to the governor’s office.
The council receives state and federal money that it re-grants to arts programs. But it has seen state funding cut in half in recent years.
Setting these new goals is about deciding what the council should do with those resources, not just what it can do, said Karen Paty, the arts council’s director.
“I want to make sure that we are making smart decisions with the current resources we have, but also that when and if more financial resources come back to us, I want to make sure we’re making the right decisions about where we put that money,” Paty said.
Paty said the council can still advocate for the arts even with the reduced funding.
“We have the ability to do a lot of good work even with the resources we have right now,” she said. “Just like anybody else in business, collaboration and partnership is the way for us to do it. For us, that is both with the nonprofit arts world but also within state government.”
Paty says tying arts to growth is not a new idea, but it’s been getting more traction here and across the country because of the recession.
The goals also include more public awareness of the value of the arts.
The new goals and mission are online for public input through May 25.