Cultural Quarterly
Winter 2009
Volume XXII, Number 1
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Joining Forces
to Help Artists Thrive

By Helene Foster

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Elizabeth Young, executive director for the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, eagerly awaited this winter’s meeting of the South Florida Cultural Consortium (SFCC), when the members had a chance to gather and share ideas.

Having joined the Council of the Arts in March 2008, she finally had a chance to meet face to face with representatives of the other arts councils in the area.

Jamaica by Louis Davis
by past SFCC winner Louis Davis

“I was so eager to meet others from the other councils,” says Young. “This cooperation opens doors to the arts in the Florida Keys as we can cooperate with the larger counties in marketing, education and providing fellowships.”

Formed in 1984, the South Florida Cultural Consortium is a coalition composed of the cultural arts councils of Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. With the goal of advancing the arts in South Florida by sharing resources, the group collectively awards fellowships and grants, exhibitions and publishes Voices & Venues, a helpful website for the arts throughout South Florida. Since its inception, the SFCC has strategically aligned the five counties with cost savings, scholarships for South Florida arts administrators, regional strategic professional development workshops such as the National Arts Marketing Projects (NAMP), a bi-monthly electronic newsletter and advocacy through membership in the Florida Cultural Alliance.

Young says that Voices & Venues has been a great way for the artists of the Keys to get noticed. “We have our listings of performances, events and exhibitions and we really enjoy and benefit from that exposure,” she says.

According to Mary A. Becht, director of the Broward County Cultural Division, “The new federal administration has published new  arts policies that include cultural diplomacy, investing in arts education and increased funding for the National Endowments fo