Two items got my attention recently that are relevant to Rahway given the mayor’s plans to make it “All About the Arts.”
The first National Arts Index released last month by Americans for the Arts indicated that while the “number of arts organizations increased rapidly over a recent 10-year span, the percentage of people attending arts events declined.” Here’s The Washington Post‘s take on the study. Among the points that jumped out to me:
“‘Audience demand has failed to keep pace’ with this boom in opportunities for arts participation, said Randy Cohen, the vice president for local arts advancement at the Americans for the Arts. ‘There is a new arts organization created every three hours.’ Straitened financial circumstances and audience drift are issues that have been festering for years, and the recent recession didn’t help.”
It’s worth the quick read and is a national look at what nj.com examined in Sunday’s story, “Recession devastates N.J. nonprofit arts scene,” that details some of the deficits faced by theaters and museums around the state:
“Ticket sales were down, donations plummeted, state funds were slashed and investments tanked, creating a state of continuous crisis for the state’s theaters, museums, orchestras and arts centers. And that pain spread out into communities like Red Bank, New Brunswick, Millburn and Newark. These downtowns rely on arts patrons to spend money in their restaurants and shops. Fewer performances and smaller audiences hurt more than just the theaters’ bottom line.”
Here’s an abbreivated report on last month’s green building meeting between the Environmental Commission and Planning Board.