Brevard Cultural Alliance Elevates The Arts
The 3rd Annual Cultural Summit drew 400 guests who came to learn how to better market, network and develop their brands. The fine artists, musicians and representatives from arts organizations had a notable international guest among them — Duran Duran lead singer Simon Le Bon.
His presence at the all-day arts and cultural conference is a sign of the level of support for arts here, said Brevard Cultural Alliance (BCA) Executive Director Neil Levine, who just happened to have a worldwide music career in the 1980s and 90s.
“As we continue to elevate our arts and cultural offerings here on the Space Coast, being able to attract top-tier talent like Simon is critical,” Levine said.
Le Bon talked about life as a member of one of the world’s most popular bands, as well as the influence of art, fashion, and music on his life and career.
The host BCA also drew leadership from organizations like Americans for the Arts and the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership to lead workshops at the summit.
Aside from the annual summit, BCA coordinates a wide range of unique programs and services, including “Art in Public Places,” in-school artist residencies, programs specially designed for at-risk youth and arts advocacy at state and national levels. BCA currently manages the county’s cultural grants program and has more than 180 area artists and cultural organizations as members.
“The BCA works very hard for all of their members and more importantly, are focused on long-term growth and sustainability,” said Aaron Collins, BCA member and artistic director and conductor for Space Coast Symphony Orchestra. “They are spearheading the effort to demonstrate that culture is essential for a thriving regional business environment and the quality of life in our community.”
BCA partners with Dr. Mike Slotkin of research entity Praecipio EFS to publish an economic impact study every two years, to verify the ever-increasing contribution the arts make to our local economy.
Highlights of the “2019 Economic Contribution of Arts & Culture to the Space Coast” report were presented at this year’s Cultural Summit. Sixty-four local organizations contributed to the study, showing that the arts and cultural sector in Brevard adds $64.9 million to the GDP and supports 1,768 full and part-time jobs in our area. Not only that, but the study estimates that Brevard’s arts and cultural sector generated $26.3 million in sales impact from cultural tourism, and more than 53,000 hotel room nights in the area in 2018 alone.
Brevard County artist and BCA member Karin Delagi is extremely thankful for BCA’s efforts.
“Because of BCA and their dedication to bringing our art to the people of Brevard County, it is possible that we can continue to thrive and create beautiful work,” Delagi said. “Due to BCA’s Art in Public Places Program, we have an important venue to showcase our creations.”
“I think it’s important to remember that creativity is in all of us,” Le Bon said at the summit. “Creativity is in everyone, and goodness is an act of creativity. It’s a very deep, basic, human trait.”
Art in Public Places features the work of more than 300 local artists at nearly 30 high-traffic locations throughout the county, enabling around 500,000 people per year the opportunity to view and purchase local art that they may not have seen without the program. BCA does not take a commission on sales of artwork.
BCA also offers a number of unique programs for students — infusing the arts into everyday learning and providing creative outlets for our at-risk youth.
Through the BCA Arts in Education Program, thousands of Brevard County students have been touched by the instruction of local artists embedded in their classrooms over many years.
Barbi Miller, Teacher of Gifted Students and Partners in Education Coordinator at Palm Bay Elementary, is especially pleased with the impact on her student population.
“Over the past few years, BCA has touched the lives of my students at Palm Bay Elementary. To say I am grateful is an understatement,” she said. “The Brevard Cultural Alliance Artist Residency Program was life-changing for so many of our students, yet they don’t have the ability to verbalize their thoughts and feelings. So often the students in self-contained exceptional education programs are completely isolated from the happenings in the rest of the school. BCA created a place in time for these students.”
There is even a special program for at-risk youth funded through Brevard Schools Foundation and the Heineman Foundation, in partnership with AMIkids Space Coast/Melbourne Center for Personal Growth — all facilitated by BCA staff. AMIkids is a local program that works to break the cycle of poverty and failure in our youth by providing guidance and healthy opportunities for expression.
“Brevard Cultural Alliance is extremely important to us,” said AMIkids Community Development Coordinator Danielle Jewett. “The BCA mosaic project, for example, gave our kids the opportunity to showcase their creativity and gain a real sense of accomplishment while creating public art features at Heritage High School for the community to enjoy.”
Brevard Cultural Alliance
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