Eugene T. Paslov: Arts as economic driver for the community

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF

Carson City has a depth of creative talent that is unsurpassed for a community our size. This artistic engine includes creative writing and photography which we have recently seen exhibited in "Always Lost: A Meditation on War," a WNC war memorial exhibit now touring the United States.

We have outstanding performing arts in the musical theater productions of WNC's Stephanie Arrigotti, an accomplished actress, singer and director. The Brewery Arts Center produces professional/community theater under the direction of a talented group of directors, actors and exceptional artists from a variety of backgrounds.

The BAC also produces outstanding performances conducted by local artists and from around the country. There are musicians, painters, dancers and an abundance of other artists in this city who excel in their art and would love to make a living through it. We are recognized as an outstanding arts community, but making a living in the arts is difficult. We can make it better.

Let's consider the arts an economic asset for the city. Our talent pool can be forged into an economic instrument for attracting art fans from around the country, creating a viable new industry for the city. We generally don't think of the arts as a business. We need to. There are those who think of the arts as a frill but not essential. Nonsense. I've even heard some say (in all seriousness) that the arts can raise money with bake sales, and if they can't in hard times, they should just go away. Luddites.

I recently heard international entrepreneurs who were very impressed with the Carson High School/WNC state-of-the-art digital animation capabilities. They thought Carson City was a wonderful place to start this kind of entertainment business. This discussion was part of the City Center development center. We need to engage these entrepreneurs and encourage others to broaden the view of the "entertainment industry" to include performing and related arts. There is opportunity and great potential for this vital new industry in Carson City.

Several steps are needed:

• Bring key decision makers together to develop a vision and strategy to make the entertainment industry part of our economic future for the city.

• Designate a non-profit as a lead agency for planning, development and marketing new "for profit" performing art institutions.

• Engage in major long-term planning for a new performing arts center.

• Create a public performing arts charter high school in Carson City.

The above are illustrative not exhaustive. We need to be bold in our thinking and put the performing arts in our City's economic future.

• Eugene Paslov is a board member of the Davidson Academy at the University of Nevada, Reno and the former Nevada state superintendent of schools.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment