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May 23, 2013

Host: Ted Simons

Arts and the Economy Report

  |   Video
  • The Arizona Cultural Data Project Task Force recently released a report that reveals the impact of Arizona’s arts and culture sector on the lives of Arizonans and the state’s economy. Jaime Dempsey, Deputy Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, will discuss the report, which will be released for the first time on Arizona Horizon.
  • Jaime Dempsey - Deputy Director, Arizona Comission of the Arts
Category: The Arts   |   Keywords: culture, arts, Arizona, report, economy,

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Ted Simons: The Arizona cultural data project task force is releasing for the first time, here on "Arizona Horizon," a report that reveals the impact of arts and culture on Arizona's economy and the lives of state residents. Jaime Dempsey, deputy director of the Arizona commission on the arts, is here to discuss the report. And also joining us is Cindy Orstein, director of the Mesa arts center. Good to have you both here.
Cind Orstein: Great to be here.
Jaime Dempsey: Thank you.
Ted Simons: The Arizona cultural data project. What is this, what's it designed to do?
Jaime Dempsey: Thank you so much for inviting us to talk about the Arizona cultural data project. This project was funded by a consortium of Arizona public and private funders who came together and they decided that they would engage in this national project which aggregates and provides analysis, opportunities for analysis of data on the arts and culture sector, and its impact on Arizona lives and economies.
Ted Simons: And what did we find here? A lot of stuff to look over here. As far as reports are concerned, just general impact of arts and culture on Arizona.
Cindy Orstein: Right. We found out quite a bit because we combined three different studies. The cultural data project was the main one, we also had the Arizona arts education research institute study, and Americans for the arts study. And we looked at them to find out the growth of jobs and businesses in the sector, how organizations are encouraging participation of what amount of participation is happening, and the beginnings of quantifying the economic impact of arts and culture in our state.
Ted Simons: What can we find about the economic impact? What are we learning?
Jaime Dempsey: We're learning it is significant, we're learning what we in the arts and culture sector already had a sense of, which is that the arts and culture sector in Arizona is a significant economic driver. What we didn't have a sense of prior to this report being released was the baseline numbers. And this report, this arts and culture impacts in Arizona, is providing us a good sense of how audience expenditures and organization expenditures combine, and how we can talk about the true impact of the sector.
Ted Simons: Let's talk about organization, expenditures, and audience expenditures. What kind of difference there, and anything surprise you from these numbers?
Cindy Orstein: Well, one of the things is that of course only about half the organizations in the state are participating so far, and we did find that from that half, we have over 580 million dollars in economic impact, and that's both the organizational expenditures and the audience expenditures as well. So when people come to the arts to arts and cultural events and they buy gas, they go to restaurants, so there's the -- There's that impact as well as the direct organizational expenditures. It's quite significant.
Ted Simons: I notice the report said for every dollar invested in the arts 92 goes to work in the economy?
Jaime Dempsey: That's absolutely right. And new information to us from this report. What happens is that every dollar that's invested by the state of Arizona in arts and culture leverages $5 from cities and towns, and local tribes and the federal government, it also leverages $41 in earned income from the organizations themselves, that's through ticket sales, and admission fees. And finally, $46 in contributed income from individual donors, from foundations, from local businesses and corporations.
Ted Simons: As far as volunteers who work within arts organizations 25,000? Something along those lines?
Cindy Orstein: Yes, 25,000, and that's so important to the sector. It represents community ownership of arts and culture activity, but also the arts ask cultural organizations could not survive and thrive without that work. At the Mesa arts center we have over volunteers who help us put on all kinds of events and activities. We couldn't do it without them.
Ted Simons: As far as funding for the arts, state funding for the arts, I got a feeling I know the answer, what did the report find?
Jaime Dempsey: Well, this report, we mentioned it in the report, but it's not news to us. State funding for arts and culture has decreased by about 70% since the beginning of the recession. And Arizona ranks 50th in the nation in per capita state appropriations for arts and culture. The state is still making a modest investment in arts and culture and that's what we talk about in the report as leveraging other funds from other sources.
Ted Simons: Dead last here in appropriations of funds, is there any suggestions on how to get past that? How to work around that? Is that the kind of thing that goes beyond the report or are you just talking about numbers?
Cindy Orstein: I think it goes beyond the report, but it does suggest that we need to do what we're doing here. We need to tell our story better about the kind of return on investment that we can get from investing in arts and culture, it's a good investment and it makes a difference for quality of life, education, and the economy. And that's a really important message.
Ted Simons: And as far as nonprofit arts and culture organizations, supported in Arizona, again, earned -- You touch on some of these numbers, earned revenue, contributed revenue, pretty much even Steven?
Jaime Dempsey: It swings a couple of points in either direction year to year. What we found out in this report was for the year that was studied, 46% of the revenue to arts and culture organizations to nonprofit arts and culture organizations was earned. So -- It's about half and half each year. That's how the nonprofit sector works.
Ted Simons: So what do you want folks -- You mentioned, you need to get this information out here. What information is in that report that you think needs to be heard the loudest?
Cindy Orstein: I think one thing that's really important is that there were over -- Just in this half of the organizations in the state that are participating so far, that there were over 14 million unique visits to arts and cultural organizations last year. And that of those, over 7 million were free. Meaning that the state money is really being invested in making sure every child, every family has access to arts and culture because it's an essential part of our lives.
Ted Simons: Real quickly, as someone who runs an arts organization, how does this help you?
Cindy Orstein: It's very, very useful. It's very important for us to be able to paint this sort of well-rounded picture, not just dollars and quality of life, really the combined picture.
Ted Simons: Last question -- What do you think people need to take from this report?
Jaime Dempsey: I think that people need to understand that Arizonans value arts and culture. They're participating at really high rates. And that the arts and culture sector is a significant contributor to local economies, to jobs, we show in this report that there's been an increase, there's been -- Increase in number of jobs and number of businesses even during the recession. This is a growth industry. And that Arizonans care and they value what arts and culture brings to their quality of life.
Ted Simons: Alright. Thank you so much for introducing the report here on "Arizona Horizon." Good to have you both here. Thanks for joining us.
Jaime Dempsey: Thank you.
Cindy Orstein: Thank you.

Da Vinci – The Genius Exhibit

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  • An Arizona Science Center exhibit titled “Da Vinci - The Genius” is the most comprehensive exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci to tour the world. It shows the full range of his genius as an inventor, artist, scientist, anatomist and more. The exhibit blends science, engineering, art and culture, and features a look at the secrets of the Mona Lisa. Sari Custer, director of guest experience at Arizona Science Center, will tell us more about the exhibit. Robert Bjork, director of the Arizona Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies at Arizona State University and a world-renowned expert in medieval studies, will talk about da Vinci and his work.
  • Sari Custer - Director of Guest Experience, Arizona Science Center
  • Robert Bjork - Director of the Arizona Center for Medieval, Renaissance Studies, ASU
Category: The Arts

View Transcript
Ted Simons: An exhibit titled "DaVinci The Genius" is on display at the Arizona science center. The exhibit shows the full range of DaVinci's work as an inventor, artist and scientist, and features a look at the secrets of the Mona Lisa. Here to tell us more are Sari Custer, director of the guest experience at the Arizona science center and Robert Bjork, a world renowned expert in medieval studies, he's a director of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at ASU. It's good to have you both here. Thank you for joining us. An exhibition on -- What don't we know about Leonardo DaVinci?
Sari Custer: Well, let me ask you -- What is Leonardo daVinci's most famous work.
Ted Simons: It's got to be the Mona Lisa.
Sari Custer: It is. And most people don't know anything else about Leonardo DaVinci. He was more than just a painter, he was also a sculptor and an engineer, an anatomist, he did work in making war machines, so there's such a range to Leonardo daVinci that people just don't know. He was a true renaissance man.
Ted Simons: Are we getting new information or are we getting the same information but presented in a different way?
Robert Bjork: We're getting basically the same information in a different way. This is the first time that so much of his work has been assembled in one place. And it's taken 10 years to assemble this material. People from all over the world in France, Australia, have put this exhibit together. And what's astonishing about it is the range of this man's genius.
Ted Simons: Take that further. Who was Leonardo DaVinci?
Robert Bjork: He was -- He was an Italian, he came from a little village, so it's -- Called Vinci, and he was pretty instantly recognized as a genius in his own time. So he was patronized by very powerful people who utilized his talents for various projects that they needed.
Ted Simons: So he wasn't one of the legends that had to die before everyone figured out who he was.
Robert Bjork: No, they knew very well who he was. He was courted and given quite a bit of money for his work.
Ted Simons: As far as the exhibit is concerned, we have some items here, I think we have like a perpetual motion machine. We'll look at these as we go on. What do you want people to take from this exhibit? What do you want -- When they walk in, what do you want them to see and think about?
Sari Custer: I want people to think about the range of science that happened. And this is an exhibition showcasing the science that happened 500 years ago. From a brilliant man who started a movement, 500 years ago, we're still using these ideas. Ball bearings, there's a precursor to the current tank, and helicopter. We're talking about innovation, this is a man that was innovating 500 years ago. I think that's great for people.
Ted Simons: Are there misconceptions of DaVinci out there?
Robert Bjork: I'm sure there are, because there's so much of him to misconceive as well as conceive. One might be, and I think everyone is going to be struck by this when they go to the exhibit, that he was just a humanist, just a genius who was working for the betterment of mankind. But he was also interested in how everything worked. He was interested in war machines. So you will see war machines that are absolutely grisly in their effect. But when you see these you recognize that his genius was in seeing how everything worked. Not just human anatomy.
Ted Simons: No one knows the title, but they know the guy standing there with his arms -- Let's talk about the things you brought in. We have a helmet and a sword together. What does this have to do with Leonardo DaVinci?
Sari Custer: We actually think that's a wonderful opportunity to bring in the study of the renaissance, and those in particular, Bob can speak more to those particular items. We love the connection to things people don't really know about that that wartime, building the war machines and just the feel of the times.
Ted Simons: This helmet here and this design by DaVinci?
Robert Bjork: No, actually that comes from about the seventh century, it's from the English area of east Anglia, it was buried in a ship, and so it's a replica of basically a Viking Angelo Saxon helmet. It does haven't anything to do with DaVinci, but he constructed a lot of weaponry and we thought this was a good emblem of what he achieved.
Ted Simons: We also have what looked like old music, some old music sheet of paper. What is this all about?
Robert Bjork: That's a sheet of vellum sheepskin in the middle ages and early renaissance, you wrote on sheepskin which is vellum, or parchment, which is cow skin. And this particular item is vellum, it's from about 1375. It's from the feast of St. Agatha, which is celebrate on February 5th, and it's just the beginning of the song, "let us all rejoice in the lord."
Ted Simons: You do know your stuff. You are a medieval expert. We have what looks like a wheel, is this a -- Is this the perpetual motion machine?
Sari Custer: This is the perpetual motion machine, and it's a great replica of an example of machines that DaVinci built. I mentioned there was a tank DaVinci also built helicopters, gliders, he was considered the father of flight. So there was all of this great, great, great inspiration that was happening from this man's mind that people wouldn't expect.
Ted Simons: That, you look at that and say I think I understand how it's not supposed to stop. Anyway, as far as the DaVinci exhibit, why do you think he still captures our imagination?
Robert Bjork: Because genius transcends all boundaries. Especially chronological ones. So whether it's Stonehenge, or the Taj Mahal, or Leonardo DaVinci, you're just stunned by that production.
Ted Simons: And what kind of response are you getting so far from the exhibit?
Sari Custer: People love it. And although Mona Lisa is the most popular, there are also the secrets of the Mona Lisa that are in there.
Ted Simons: What is that secret, can you give it to us?
Sari Custer: You want me to give away the secrets? That's the best reason to come. You'll learn about whether she had eyebrow and eyelashes, whether or not her hands are in the same place, whether she was wearing a veil.
Ted Simons: I want to know whether or not that's Leonardo DaVinci in drag.
Sari Custer: They start to cover that too.
Ted Simons: Alright.
Sari Custer: We cover that in the end.
Ted Simons: Very good. It's good to have you both. Fascinating exhibit. Thank you for joining us.
Sari Custer: Thank you so much.
Ted Simons: And that is it for now. I'm Ted Simons, thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening.

Education Town Hall

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  • The latest Arizona Town Hall dealt with higher education in Arizona. The percentage of Arizonans with college degrees remains below the national average, funding for higher education is declining, and access to postsecondary education remains a challenge for many. Panelists who attended the Arizona Town Hall on higher education will talk about solutions offered at the event.
Category: Education   |   Keywords: education, arizona, college, degree,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Good evening, and welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. The latest Arizona town hall focused on the state's higher education system and issues ranging from tuition costs, to college preparedness. Joining us now are town hall participants Rick Myers, chairman of the Arizona board of regents, and judge Pat Norris, of the Arizona court of appeals. Good to have you both here. Thank you so much for joining us.
Rick Myers: Thank you.
Ted Simons: Let's start with what aspects of higher education were addressed. Give us an indication here.
Rick Myers: When you look at higher education, it's our universities, community colleges, it's the private institutions of higher education here in the state. And we looked at everything to do about the future of Arizona. And how these educational institutions can help create the future and help us in Arizona to realize our potential.
Ted Simons: I notice one of the questions here, is higher education ready for Arizona's future? What do you think?
Pat Norris: I think the institutions of higher education are ready. I think the issue is whether we're going to have a student population that will be ready for the education. For example, Ted, right now is projected that about 60% of the population will need higher education for the work force. But right we have only about 40% of our population who has that education. So the question is, is can we develop that population so that they are ready for higher education, and higher education put them in a position for success for the entire state. Because it has a lot of collateral benefits.
Ted Simons: How do we do that, especially regarding the challenges regarding tuition, preparedness, other aspects as well, how do you get that train rolling?
Rick Myers: What we're doing is trying to be innovative and collaborative. The Universities are working very closely with the community colleges, we're trying to create new alternative pathways, where people can dual enroll and start in the community college and transfer later to the University. We're trying to use technology to bring our costs down, we're trying to give as much financial aid as we can so we can get access for more people. If we have to get more people in Arizona to achieve their personal potential by getting the education they can benefit from.
Ted Simons: That brings to mind a question, I ask this often when it comes to higher education, when I went to college my goal was to get a well-rounded education. It wasn't to acquire a particular skill. It wasn't to get particular training except to wake up and go to class and those sorts of things, which are life lessons you learn in college. Has that changed? And should that change?
Pat Norris: That's a very good question. I think Rick would know different schools of thought on this. I think it is quite clear that our work force is changing. There needs to be -- You'll need probably a more targeted professional program or degree to be a success. Having said that, nevertheless, higher education has I think a very important role, and I think our town hall participants acknowledge this, that if we're going to have people who are going to be thoroughly invested in our state, from a civic standpoint, they cannot be pigeonholed, for example, only taking engineering classes, or only taking nursing classes. They need to have a broader background.
Rick Myers: I'd add to that, we live in a very competitive world, and a fast-changing world. As you say, a key part of higher education is becoming a lifelong learner. It's learning how to learn, and how to continue to adapt yourself so you can add value in that changing world.
Ted Simons: Some of the challenges I noticed Arizona public institutions of higher education are under funded. True?
Rick Myers: I certainly think that we could use more funding. If you look at our three public research institutions, right now we get funding from the state, and the states have tough times. Funding from the state of about $5,000, a student. That's some of the lowest funding per student in the nation. Even in Arizona it's funding that we go back to the 1950s to where we had that type of funding for students. Again, the state struggled, but as the economy is coming back, and I think as we can show that we are the future, that higher education is driving the future that we want in Arizona, I think we can get the legislature and the citizens of the state to invest more back in our community colleges and our Universities.
Pat Norris: If I might add something on that, what's interesting about the town hall experience is it's a very diversified body. From all over the state. And on this particular point, we decide these issues, we make our recommendations and reports through consensus. And there was absolute consensus that the additional resources that Rick was just discussing need to be applied to higher education in the state.
Ted Simons: Was there any education on how you would do that? How do you get a dedicated sustainable funding source for higher education?
Pat Norris: Well, that Rick and I were discussing this, on that particular point I don't think we made a recommendation. But, for example, the town hall consensus this year was to recommend the repeal of proposition 108, which is the proposition that requires a super majority in our state legislature to enact or pass revenue bills. And indeed, not only this town hall has made that recommendation, the town hall two years ago made that recommendation and another town hall two years before that made that recommendation. So I think when you look at the diversified people who are attending these events, they're sending a message that that's one place to start.
Ted Simons: Another place to start would be getting kids better prepared for college once they get out of K-12. Thoughts there.
Rick Myers: That's something as a society, you know, we need to address. The Universities need to do much more in the community colleges with K-12 to help them solve some of the problems that they have. Right now 25% of the kids drop out in high school, half the kids that are left to graduate, only half of those are qualified to go to one of our three universities. And at the end of the first year maybe 20% of the kids drop out. So we have a lot of leaks in that pipeline, and the only way we're going to fix those leaks is if we work together, if we apply innovation and figure out how we can improve education outcomes at all steps along the education pipeline.
Ted Simons: Where does government, where does technology -- Where do these factor in?
Pat Norris: Government issues of funding that Rick mentioned definitely factor in. And technology is truly a major player. One of the issues that came up in town hall is that we have issues of cost as some would say -- We all have access. And we have Phoenix, and Tucson as the population base, but we have a huge stake with a large rural population. And so the Universities now are working with our community colleges to provide more opportunities for online education, to provide for remote degree programs, so I think that is a major initiative that we'll see expand in the next few years.
Ted Simons: So what do we take from this report, where do we go from here?
Rick Myers: We take from this report that this town hall absolutely believes that Arizona will not realize its potential. We won't have the future we deserve if we don't invest, and we don't take advantage of higher education for the people of our state. I give everyone an opportunity to achieve their personal potential. I think we take from it that we need to make something that at that point in time in this competitive nation, competitive world, that we bring to the forefront, that we absolutely as a society talk about, think about, support so that we can make the changes that are necessary to fix this.
Ted Simons: Last question -- How do you get what he just said to happen?
Pat Norris: Hard work. And individual initiative. I think it requires the spirit of the people who are at town hall, they need to go back into their communities, and that's one of the recommendations. That is the responsibility of each one of us to achieve that. Really, this requires I think a bottom-up approach.
Ted Simons: Bottom line, does Arizona need to be more serious about higher education?
Rick Myers: I think we're very serious. We need to execute even better than we have.
Pat Norris: I think he said it very well.
Ted Simons: Alright. Good to have you both here. Thank you so much for joining us.
Pat Norris: Thank you.
Rick Myers: Thank you.