Sunday, May 02, 2010

The Cultural Economy

I was at the Grand Re-Opening of the Mineral Point Opera House Friday night.

I just can't say enough for the people and the organizations that created this wonderful community asset.

I've poached the title of this post, cultural economy, from Mineral Point Opera House materials handed out opening night…

"Nine decades after the original Opera House opened its doors, Mineral Point is still well-known and respected for its leadership in historic preservation and the cultural economy."

Yes it is. Mineral Point is a celebration of culture and a center of the cultural economy for South and Southwest Wisconsin.

Again from Opera House materials, how this community values culture as a value to their community: "And while national acts, professional performances, and world-class cinema are a remarkable addition to Mineral Point, for many of us, nothing will be more thrilling than watching our young people develop the confidence and pride that the arts encourage. The experience of performing on the restored stage of the Opera House will link our young people to Mineral Point's history in a way that will allow them to develop deep and meaningful roots in this unique and creative community."

Economic development designers say they want tools to help retain and attract their young people. Most struggle to enunciate just what it is that is valuable to those young people. The good folks behind the Mineral Point Opera House not only talk the talk they have walked the walk. This new facility will benefit young and old alike for generations to come. They put these goals right into their opening statements for this magical facility.

The Blue Canvas Orchestra from the Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua sold out the house. What a resounding festival / sing along and community affirmation this night was.

Cultural economy is a term that deserves more merit, especially in the world of economic development. People move their money and their businesses to places that are attractive to them across a wide number of measures , specifically-and-especially including the 'cultural economy' of a location.

Very soon Mineral Point and Iowa County area people can begin utilizing the new Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen to broaden the region's 'cultural economy' to include agriculture - local foods, regional food systems, and food entrepreneurs.

Building and nurturing the cultural economy is a vital strategy for implementing economic development generally. This beautifully refurbished facility will serve that effort for generations.

Many congratulations to the organizers of the effort that led to the Grand-Reopening of the Mineral Point Opera House!

Mineral Point Opera House. Come visit the cultural heart of Southwest Wisconsin.

Moon Songs & Moon Shadows. A tribute to the songs of Paul Simon and Cat Stevens

Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen, opening July 11, 2010

Photo courtesy of the Mineral Point Opera House.

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