By Michael Spring
Southeast Florida has a unique opportunity to get it right. As we plan together responsibly for our region’s future, we must resolve to make our communities great. An essential ingredient in achieving that greatness is the arts and culture.
We need to think in a revolutionary, new way about the role of the arts in our communities. The arts and artists must be part of developing and implementing strategies in every facet of our life – from transportation and housing to ecosystems and education. Transit lines and public housing must be created by superb architects, planners and designers in collaboration with artists. Education and the environment must be advanced through innovative and proven arts integration techniques. How our surroundings look, how well they function, how we share our diverse heritages and how effectively we develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills are critical to a sustainable economy. Investing boldly in our artists and arts organizations is essential to advancing our region and celebrating our humanity.
Great communities know this. They are committed to working with outstanding architects who design superb public structures; they engage visionary planners who understand that vibrant cities and neighborhoods must look brilliant; and they rely on talented artists to create environments that are surprising, uplifting and welcoming. When these elements magically coalesce, a place becomes more livable. Its neighborhoods are revitalized. It has a competitive edge for commerce and tourism. It becomes the kind of progressive place where a sophisticated, 21st century workforce wants to live. It achieves greatness.