Creating Connection: Arts Leaders Convene to Discuss How to Build ‘Public Will’ for the Creative Community




On June 1, more than 200 arts leaders gathered in Emerson College’s Paramount Theater for “Creating Connection”, a forum to discuss building public will for arts and culture.  Using data collected by the Metropolitan Group and Arts Midwest, the discussion centered around how to build broad based long-term support for the arts by tapping into people’s core values on creativity and connection. 

“Many of our leaders and the general public look at the arts as ‘nice but not necessary’. We need to do a better job at telling the stories of the impact of the arts to the broader population to highlight how the arts connect us on so many different levels,” said MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson.  MASSCreative co-hosted the events that were sponsored by the Barr Foundation and the Bloomberg Foundation. 

The Metropolitan Group and Arts Midwest will partner with MASSCreative and others in the Commonwealth to help make this paradigm shift to encourage political leaders and donors to think about the arts as a major asset in their lives and a tool to address many of the Commonwealth’s socioeconomic issues. 

Polling from the Metropolitan Group has shown that talking about the arts as a tool to create connection needs to be central to this narrative. Among these connections, there are: personal connections to the arts that help individuals find deeper meaning from the world, connections that deepen bonds with families and friends, connections with our broader community that develops a local sense of identity, and the ability for arts to foster connections between different cultures and regions. Each of these core narratives need to be told to build the broader public will for arts and culture, and to position the arts as a central part of our society.  

Read more about the Metropolitan Group’s ‘Public Will’ project, and stay tuned for next steps on this effort to build public will for arts and culture. In the coming months, Creating Connection will conduct a survey in Boston to identify how people connect and interact with art. 


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