Roswell, An Arts Destination: Driving Economic and Social Prosperity

 When the economy thrives, people thrive. The economic health of each individual within a given community is crucial to collective and individual success, happiness, and progress.

Many people do not think of the arts as a driving economic force. The facts say differently. Nationally, the economic impact of the arts is more than $600 billion per year. According to Americans for the Arts, the arts support 4.92 million jobs, account for 4.2% of our GDP and where robust, increase property values by 20%.

Roswell Arts Fund is the designated arts agency for the City of Roswell, a direct outcome of the Imagine Roswell Arts and Culture 2030 Study, competed in Feb. 2015. Our mandate was clear –  make the city of Roswell a destination for the arts.

What does destination mean? It means the arts, in its many forms, drive people here and they spend money, creating revenue for the city. It means the value of your home and business increases because the arts increases the value of our city.  It means the arts drive economic and social prosperity year round.

Let’s take a closer look at the some of the initiatives Roswell Arts Fund manages and how they drive revenue to Roswell.

 

ArtAround Roswell (AAR), our annual signature event has become a regional model for sculpture tours. In addition to making your daily walk, bike ride or commute more interesting and aesthetic, the tour brings people and money to Roswell. One example is our AAR Bike Roswell tour, where people from inside and outside our city, come together to ride bikes, talk about art and then gather at the end of tour, hungry and thirsty at our event partner’s establishment, spending money on food and libations.

All AAR art is for sale. At the end of our first three years, Roswell Arts Fund facilitated the purchase of ten works of art that will stay in Roswell, a value of over 150K of assets gifted to the city.

In 2018, Roswell Arts Fund launched our inaugural Biannual Artist Around the Table work session, where City Department Leaders and Public Artists spent the day exploring how to integrate art into architecture and design of capital projects. The outcome could mean more than pavers, walls and bridges – it could be iconic works of arts that become destinations in and of themselves. Subsequent meetings will transform ideas into action.

Roswell Arts Fund delivered a Public Art Master Plan in 2017, and although not formally institutionalized, has from its inception created and executed policies and procedures that reflect best practices, ensuring integrity and community engagement of all public art procedures and selection. This year we will install Roswell’s first commissioned artist bicycle racks, and are working with Keep Roswell Beautiful to bring animated public art ducklings to our streetscape. Our public art process is posted at our website https://roswellartsfund.org

 

Though Public Art is a main focus, Roswell Arts Fund manages other projects that drive revenue to Roswell.

We completed the third phase of a much wanted state of the art performance space, a high priority for Imagine Roswell Arts and Culture respondents. Now this promising project moves into the private sector for the next stages that will bring it to fruition.

Roswell Arts Fund maintains the only all arts website, where amongst other things, for-profit and not-for-profit artists and artist organizations can boast about what they do and advertise their events for free. Our artist directory currently hosts over  60 artists. Our website drives attendance and attendance produces revenue.

As an independent non-profit, we are by default a fundraising organization. At the end of three years, we raised over $200,000 from individual donors and businesses. Their investment is testimony to their belief of how important the arts are to our city, and their understanding that an arts centric city is a magnet for boosting tourism, attracting business investment, and professionals.

Roswell Arts Fund introduced their membership program in 2018, Now, community members who live and work here can join this arts movement, become an arts advocate at a level that is comfortable for them. All dues will go towards strengthening the arts in Roswell.

We all need to know that the arts are not on the periphery of our life – they are our very core, our universal language, defining our sense of place and deepening our attachment to our community.

 

Roswell Arts Fund is very proud to have been the catalyst to transforming the conversation on the arts in our city,
 proud to IGNITE new ways of thinking about the arts,         
INSPIRE
new ways of doing art,
and
IMPACTING the city economically and socially.

 

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