Art Is Important To The Valley’s Pulse
Mickey asked us to share our thoughts as newcomers about the connection between place and quality of life that bridges economic development and a creative community. He asked us to write to this topic because he knows and understands our interest and commitment to the arts, innovation, and creativity and to the economic development of our Valley. We are proud to write for Mickey as he enjoys the holidays with his family. It is the least we can do for all the work he does for Main Street and our town.
As newcomers, we were looking for a location to retire. We did not want to retire from life but retire from our careers. We were looking for people similar to us, that is, a community that was full of curious, creative, energetic people with a vision that embraced change. We were also looking for a growing creative and cultural economy that included visual, performing and literary arts. We chose Water Valley and Water Valley chose us.
We see Water Valley as the future Taos of the South and like to think of Taos as our Sister City. We are about the same size in population, have a flourishing arts community, are in close proximity to a major university, have a wide range of visitors and the residents are warm, welcoming and open-minded. Our self-image and community spirit is so high that perceptively we appear much bigger than our town is, again, just as Taos is. In the time that we have been here, as you walk down Main Street, you can see and feel Water Valley’s self confidence growing in the recent boost of community spirit, self-image, social consciousness, and energized businesses.
We believe artists and the arts have been and will be an integral but not the only conduit to cultural and economic growth into the future. The recognition of communities’ arts and cultural assets and the marketing of them is an important element of Water Valley’s economic development. Arts and cultural activities draw crowds from within and around the community increasing the number of visitors as well as enhancing resident participation and helps build economic and social capitol.
We hope our town’s economic developers and planners review the 2009 ARC Charrette for new ideas and with the future in mind, consider having a follow-up charrette completed to make deliberate, conscious connections between the arts, technology, culture, and businesses. By funding and supporting tourism, manufacturing, technological innovations, construction, museums, restaurants, working artists’ studios, and galleries we can insure connection between place and the quality of life that bridges economic development and a creative community.
In the upcoming year, the Arts Council is committed to the creative, economic and cultural growth of our town through the arts. When we reach out to you, join both the Main Street Association and the Arts Council. Be active, be vocal, and volunteer!
We will leave you with a quote that applies to Water Valley’s present situation and future success:
“We don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we are curious… and curiosity keeps moving us down new paths.”
– Walt Disney