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Chamber Forum on Arts as a Force for the Economy

The Newport County Chamber of Commerce and Salve Regina’s Pell Center combined efforts on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 to present a panel discussion about the role the arts has in our local and regional economy.  Moderated by the Pell Center’s Joseph Grady, the panel included diverse views of the arts economy.  Randy Rosenbaum, of the RI State Council on the Arts, came with studies and statistics detailing the creative economy’s documented impact on local economies.  Paul Carroll, Director of Civic Investment for the City of Newport, brought a national perspective, with information from research done on the arts’ role in a thriving small city.  Sandy Nesbitt spoke from the perspective of a small business owner who happens to be selling art, bringing to light some brass tacks realities and some interesting suggestions for improvements.  The funders’ perspective was offered by Daniel Kertzner, who outlined initiatives that the RI Foundation is using to bolster this segment of the economy and bring to light innovative partnerships and solutions.  Dominique Alfandre, of the ACA Board and the Island Moving Co. spoke about the arts’ role in the community, with impacts large and small, on locals and on visitors.  A good sized crowd only had time for a few questions, but many lingered to talk about ideas they had about this interesting topic.

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