Cultural Quarterly
Spring/Summer 2009
Volume XXII, Number 2
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MAYOR'S MESSAGE

Stacy Ritter

Mayor
Stacy Ritter

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It’s no surprise that artists and cultural organizations find the current economic situation to be challenging.  We all do.  But a difficult environment doesn’t mean that we have to fold up our tents and go home.  In fact, it has been observed that people often become more active with the arts when times are tough.  We are reminded about how affordable it is to explore a museum, visit a park, see a film or play, or discover a historical site.

During this period of great uncertainty, the Broward Cultural Division and other cultural organizations are working very hard to support and promote the arts.  They are doing so by concentrating on several strategies, including two that are tried and true – collaboration and innovation.  Here are a few examples:

June is Broward Attractions and Museums Month – known as BAMM for short.  Anyone who is a member or becomes a member of one of 17 different cultural organizations in the area can enjoy free admission to any of the other participating organizations during the month.
The Theatre League of South Florida is producing Playbill-sized listings of upcoming productions throughout the region, which our Cultural Division in turn distributes to Broward-based theater groups.  This simple program is helping to spread the word about the many wonderful theatrical productions that are available to us year-round.
The Cultural Division recently hosted the second of what is expected to become a quarterly series of gatherings for artists and cultural organization representatives at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale.  These social events have no agenda or speakers, but serve to bring arts professionals together to network and build relationships – which can only lead to new collaborations.  This program grew out of the Cultural Division’s “Leading the Arts through the Recession” workshops held earlier this year.

As you will see in this edition of Cultural Quarterly, a number of our county’s cultural organizations are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year.  We are confident that, with a positive attitude, innovative thinking and an emphasis on working together, our cultural community will emerge from today’s uncertain environment and find better times ahead.

Stacy Ritter
Mayor, Broward County