Sponsored by George Fox University
Home Archives February 2007 Don’t make me send in the mimes

Don’t make me send in the mimes

| Print |  Email
Thursday, February 01, 2007

s_Robin

In a previous life, I was an arts editor. I had to argue longer, and a little louder, to get an arts story on the newspaper’s front page, while editors offering tales of big mergers or corrupt cops breezed onto Page 1. So I’m not surprised that the arts “moment” at the recent Oregon Leadership Summit was pretty much ignored in the news coverage of the summit.

The local papers and business press and their editorial boards wrote at length about the sustainability theme of the summit; indeed, that was our January cover story.

But that arts segment, which included dance and classical music performances listed on the agenda as “the lunch program,” shouldn’t be underestimated. It was an elegant shot across the bow by those who have worked long and hard to get the arts included in the Oregon Business Plan, a highly regarded framework for priorities for business and political leaders.

Jamey Hampton, co-founder of Portland dance troupe BodyVox and the son of arts advocate and timber baron John Hampton, gave a smart, funny and passionate speech. Duncan Wyse, president of the Oregon Business Council, invited him to do that in honor of John, who long had lobbied the council to include the arts in its business plan.

John Hampton, who passed away last year, might have liked how his son didn’t mince words as the younger Hampton stood in a place where his father often did: in front of a room full of business people, trying to convince them that arts are not only an artistic expression, but an important fuel in the economic engine.

“I initially accepted this gig today with a bit of trepidation,” Jamey said in his remarks. He wondered if he would have to “stand in front of yet another group of people and make the speech about how the arts are important to the economy of a region ... and have people nod their heads in agreement that, in fact, the arts are important while they are saying inside, ‘Yes, but only after we’ve put all the other aspects of our house in order. And if our schools don’t have enough money, shouldn’t we cut the arts programs first so we can afford the expensive football gear?’”

After the summit, I asked Wyse why the arts still were not a specific initiative in the business plan, now in its fifth year. “We had considered arts for this year, but decided we had a lot on our plate right now,” he said. To the council’s credit, it gave the arts a coveted program spot. Will the arts be in the plan next year? Wyse said the council hadn’t decided. But indecision is not what arts advocates are feeling.

“We’re giving Duncan a little breathing room but we plan a full attack to convince the council that arts should be in the business plan,” says Virginia Willard, executive director of the Northwest Business for Culture and the Arts (NWBCA). “We’re going to focus on creativity and innovation and how important it is to the economy. We need strong arts to compete. Arts have been seen as the frosting. Now we need to see it as the yeast.”

“The timing is right,” says Carol Morse, the NWBCA board president, adding that she is certain the arts will be included in the plan next year. Morse and Willard are formidable forces, and they aren’t alone.

The real honor to John Hampton would be to elevate the arts from a moment at the summit to a full-fledged initiative in the business plan. And to give his son, and all those who work tirelessly for the arts, a seat at the table, instead of being just the invited lunchtime guests.


— Robin Doussard
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

OB Video: Dress for Success

News
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
DFSOBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.


Read more...

Q&A: David Lively of Organically Grown Co.

News
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
OGCLogoBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.


Read more...

Risks & rewards of owning triple net investments

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 24, 2014
NNNinvestmentBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.


Read more...

Attack of the Robin Sages

Contributed Blogs
Monday, July 07, 2014
070714 thumb linkedinfakesBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.


Read more...

EPA Standards: A breath of fresh air for the region

News
Thursday, June 12, 2014
EPABY ANDREA DURBIN | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Last week, the Obama administration took an important and welcomed step in the effort to protect the health and well-being of all Oregonians by limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants.


Read more...

Oversight? Or gaming the system?

News
Monday, July 14, 2014
AmazonBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.


Read more...

OB Video: Oregon MESA

News
Thursday, June 26, 2014

ThumbOregon Business hosts an informal roundtable discussion about the Oregon MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) program.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS