Not long ago, I was talking to a Chamber of Commerce president from a local community nearby. I explained that the chamber needed an arts and entertainment committee. A small group to put on community events which would help foster the notoriety of some of our local talent. Out here, we have many artists, authors, entertainers, architects, and designers. Many of them are self-employed, some working out of their home, and they need help with public relations, marketing, and they need to develop their reputations. Not to mention the fact that they would have to join the Chamber of Commerce if they wanted to be part of the group.
What about using art and entertainment as an economic development tool? What about using this sector to help put the city on the map, to let the world know that local talent was the cream of the crop? Why not have an author and artist group, and why not put on an event that all in the community could come and see, and have folks from other places come in as well. It would help them sell their work and it would help with economic development.
Artists and authors are also business people, they are self-employed – so to our architects and designers. And you may be surprised to find that in your own community you have various entertainers, DJs, local bands, and comedians, also self-employed. Promoting small business helps everyone. These folks also need to buy computers, canvas, costumes, and coffee, lots of coffee. You might also have apparel designers, weavers, tapestry makers, and what about all those ladies who make quilts? Trust me when I tell you there are plenty of people in your community who are engaged in these sorts of activities, it’s their own little world, it’s their own business.
Why not promote all of this at the local Chamber of Commerce level, why not promote it as economic development, and allow these people to get together and sell their wares at a local fair or large event? It will bring people into the area, people who will spend money, go to restaurants, and enjoy the day. They will also be buying what all of these artists are producing. And they can enjoy the entertainment while they are here, perhaps even set up a schedule with some of the entertainers for private parties.