Small places typically have small financial resources. That certainly describes the environment for Jay County (population 21,253), where Arts Place started in 1967. Small also often translates into limited audiences if an organization cannot reach beyond its traditional boundaries.
One way Arts Place has found to hurdle these obstacles has been to partner with our neighboring rural communities to create economies of scale. This approach also breaks some of the isolation natural to making the arts happen in places outside the urban mainstream.
Partnerships and collaborations have become second nature to Arts Place. While survival may have stimulated our early efforts, the benefits of such an approach have made reaching out to other communities and organizations our preferred way of making the arts happen.
Partnerships can be as simple as offering the same program in multiple communities. For example, Arts in the Parks, a series of summer workshops and community projects for children, requires significant overhead for planning, fund raising, and management during the program. But, by spreading the overhead amongst more than a dozen communities in five counties we created a more cost effective program. Read the rest of this entry »