The Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture is putting on the 12th Annual Arts Symposium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, November 2 at Paseo Nuevo (651 Paseo Nuevo). This year’s nationally acclaimed keynote speakers are Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans and Randy Cohen, Vice President of Americans for the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Mayor Landrieu is currently the president of the United States Conference of Mayors and has been nationally recognized for his dedication to the arts. In New Orleans, he charged his office with creating the first Cultural Economy Report to quantify the impact of culture of the city’s economy and workforce. He took the initiative to include arts and culture in place-based planning efforts, including provisions for cultural development in successful grants to the HUD (Choice Neighborhoods) and the Department of Transportation (TIGER II). Mayor Landrieu also received the 2013 Americans for the Arts and The U.S. Conference of Mayors National Award for Local Arts Leadership.
Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, who is also a recipient of the Americans for the Arts and U.S. Conference of Mayors National Award for Local Arts Leadership, is pleased that Mayor Landrieu is able to address the Santa Barbara arts community. “Santa Barbara and New Orleans share a history of serving as a hub for artists and cultural practitioners; I very much look forward to the exchange between Mayor Landrieu and Santa Barbara, as we are greatly inspired by their leadership and placemaking efforts,” she notes.
During the morning session, Cohen will address the integral role arts play in sustaining the local economy. Cohen oversees the National Arts & Economic Prosperity Study that Santa Barbara has participated in since its inception. The study results were released this year and confirmed that the nonprofit arts sector in the Santa Barbara Country contributes more than $200 million in annual revenue.
Additional speakers will include representatives from the County Alliance for Arts Education, Community Arts Workshop (CAW), the Lobero, Granada and New Vic theaters, all of whom have participated in the National Arts & Economic Prosperity Study.
For North County residents, there will be a second symposium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, November 3 at 600 W. Enos Dr., Santa Maria. This symposium will reprise the important information discussed at Santa Barbara’s event.
Both events are open to the public. For more information, visit centerstagetheater.org or call 805/963-0408.