Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

October 15, 2007


Host: Richard Ruelas

Arts and Economic Prosperity


  • A recent Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture report has determined the arts contribute a great deal to the valley economy.
Guests:
  • Linda Scott - Vice president, Jewish Family and Children's Services Solutions
  • Robin Wright - Journalist and author
  • Phil Jones - Director, Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture
Category: The Arts

View Transcript
Richard Ruelas:
Tonight on "Horizon," domestic violence is in the spotlight this month, as many organizations hope to shine light on the issue. A conversation with journalist and author Robin Wright on the turmoil in the Middle East. And a new study shows the Economic impact of the arts in the Valley. Next on "Horizon."

Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight, members of our Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Richard Ruelas:
Good evening, and thanks for joining us tonight on "horizon." I'm Richard Ruelas. October has been designated domestic violence awareness month. According to the Arizona Attorney General's Office, there were 80 domestic violence related homicides in 2004. In a statewide sweep conducted by more than 400 officers from 25 agencies statewide, more than 200 domestic violence suspects were rounded up. Joining me to talk about the problem of domestic violence in Arizona today, scheduled to speak at an upcoming "wipe out domestic violence" today and the luncheon on Thursday, is the vice president from Jewish family and Children's Services Solutions, Linda Scott. Thanks for joining us.

Linda Scott:
Thank you for having me. The funds will be raised to support our "Shelter without Walls" program. It's a program that JFCS has been running since 1998. It's a little different from a lot of programs because it's a nonresidential program. We don't have a physical shelter or transitional housing. Although we work closely with organizations that do provide those services.

Richard Ruelas:
How does the woman call the agency specifically or "Shelter without Walls?"

Linda Scott:
There's a phone number that's an entree into the "Shelter without Walls" program. One of the components is really a phone service. We fielded calls from around 600 women last year, many of whom were looking for resources and information. Some weren't quite ready to come into a program, and some needed a referral to an emergency shelter.

Richard Ruelas:
When you say looking for information, we can presume that 600 women felt at least some danger, some peril.

Linda Scott:
Exactly. Either they're afraid they're about to be victimized in some way, or they're in the midst of an abusive situation and are looking for resources. We really try to wrap the women and often her children, because more than half of the women we see have children too, and in very comprehensive supports that include: case management, safety planning. That's the number one priority. Then advocacy, hooking them up with resources. We also have a family enrichment program in which we help women and their children who have exited an abusive relationship, but don't have the funds to do kind of normal family activities, to be able to go to the movies or science center, that kind of thing.

Richard Ruelas:
When you talked about case management that sounds like a nice dressed-up word. But we're talking about helping women still in the home.

Linda Scott:
Very often they're still in the home. Our program does not require that they be outside of the abusive relationship. It's sometimes very frightening to figure out how to gather the resources and put things in place in order to be able to leave safely and permanently. That's what our advocates work with women to achieve.

Richard Ruelas:
You have a safety plan to cope with a potentially abusive relationship while they're still in the home?

Linda Scott:
Yes, and sometimes it involves a referral to a shelter. And sometimes women have newly left an abusive relationship, and need a tremendous amount of planning and support in order to be able to successfully stay independent with enough in terms of basic needs. Often it involves finance, transportation, housing are reasons that women go back.

Richard Ruelas:
We're a state that has a lot of newcomers, so maybe a lot of women feel disconnected, families are not close.

Linda Scott:
Absolutely. And there's still a lot of secrecy. Often women are afraid to tell people or afraid to let family members in on the secret. The other thing that happens is that the family is often known to the abuser. Family is not always the safest respite.

Richard Ruelas:
Okay. What -- we rattled off some statistics at the beginning of the interview. Help us make sense of it. What is domestic violence like in Arizona right now? Are we gaining ground in Arizona? Is it staying the same?

Linda Scott:
It's difficult to know if we're gaining ground. There are so many programs and services in Arizona; we have over 40 shelter programs and tons of support programs. But every year we see statistics rising. You gave the statistics at the beginning of the program, and there's been another death that's coming in since then, and there's been 107 deaths in the most recent year.

Richard Ruelas:
That's up.

Linda Scott:
That's up 23 from last year. And domestic violence is still the most common violent crime in the state of Arizona.

Richard Ruelas:
What is it that -- I'm not asking you to solve the problem or be an amateur social scientist, but it seems like it's one of those things like drunk driving or even speeding on the freeway, that seems to always be with us no matter what we do. We've turned several corners, but what are some of the root causes that we could get at?

Linda Scott:
That's a really good and probably a very complicated question. I think domestic violence programs; we serve very, very specific, often emergency needs. But we need to really begin moving upstream and looking at getting involved in the lives of these families earlier and earlier and working more towards prevention. I think people -- there are probably all kinds of causes. People sometimes grow up with bullying as a role model. They see it in their family and learn it as a way to cope, and nobody teaches them what to do so it goes on and on. We see increased drug use, and we know alcohol often can increase the rates of violence, but methamphetamines do, too. And we're still seeing a rise in methamphetamines use.

Richard Ruelas:
We might see, as methamphetamine -- as its use continues, the children who are stuck in these homes might model their behavior, as well?

Linda Scott:
Children are tremendously impacted by family violence. It teaches them all kinds of behavior and all kinds of fears that are with them for the rest of their lives. So, the earlier we can intervene, the better off we are.

Richard Ruelas:
How can somebody get a hold of your group, first of all, if they need assistance, if they need that "Shelter without Walls" program? Is there a website or a number?

Linda Scott:
There is a phone number people can call directly, which is 602-452-4640.

Richard Ruelas:
602-452-4640. And if someone wants to go to the luncheon --

Linda Scott:
Yes. The "Wipeout Domestic Violence" luncheon is on Thursday, 11:30 To 1:30 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on 2nd street. You can call 602-279-7655 and ask for Kristen Boyd, or get on the internet and go to www.wipeoutdomesticviolence.org.

Richard Ruelas:
Thanks for joining us. Appreciate it.

Linda Scott:
Absolutely.

Richard Ruelas:
Journalist and author Robin Wright has covered the Middle East since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. She's the author of two books that deal specifically with the Middle East. She's currently a diplomatic correspondent For "The Washington Post." She spoke recently at ASU, as part of the Jonathan-Maxine-Marshall distinguished lecture series and Larry Lemmons spoke with Robin Wright at that lecture.

Larry Lemmons:
Politically speaking, how difficult is it for George Bush at the moment, but any American president, I presume, to be able to work the various political realities of all the different countries in the Middle East at this time?

Robin Wright:
Clearly the United States is stretched thin in the Middle East. It has not only the threat of Al-Qaeda and branches all over the region, but the problem of Iraq, and the looming problem of Iran, which is getting more and more attention in Washington. There are those who will tell you that the administration is spending as much time today on Iran as it is on Iraq, because of the questions about an alleged nuclear program. It has a peaceful program to develop nuclear energy, which it needs because of a mushrooming population, despite its own oil. But, there are fears that the kind of processes, uranium enrichment particularly, used to develop peaceful energy, can be subverted for nuclear weapons. There are a lot of questions, a lot of challenges the administration faces over its final 15, 16 months in office. It's not clear that you can bring any of them to some kind of denouement or climax.

Larry Lemmons:
Is Ahmadinejad clearly the kind of loose cannon that we think he is in America? Or is he playing way to the Iranian people and another way to the west?

Robin Wright:
The Iranian president is one of a kind, clearly. The interesting thing about him is that he was elected as a rejection of the clerics from the early days of the revolution, who the Iranian people believed had not delivered, whether it was on jobs or outreach to the international community, ending Iran's status as a pariah nation. It had not addressed many of the problems of daily life. People were working two and three jobs just to survive. And in an oil-rich country, they have had to ration their own oil resources in the last three months. So he emerged, not as a choice, but as a rejection of the earlier revolutionaries. I think one of the lessons of revolutions, they are like pendulums, they swing. We went from a movement that was unable to deliver because of tension within the regime, to one that's hard line. He clearly is not delivering, but it's going to take a lot of patience before Iranians go to the polls again and have a chance to vote for someone else.

Larry Lemmons:
Is it your sense, when you visit Iran, some people have said that the Iranian people are not as anti-American as you might think. The Iranian government certainly might be. Do you find that to be true?

Robin Wright:
Oh, absolutely. On one of my trips there was a group of American tourists there. I met a woman, a producer, movie producer from Hollywood. She had been to over 100 countries a. She had been there two weeks and she said how wonderful it is to be in a place where they like Americans for a change. You'll find, whether it's Oprah or the "Young and the Restless" or MTV that satellite television has brought in western culture. One of my interpreters in Iran often sees American movies before I will. The internet is more active in Iran than anyplace in the Middle East outside of Israel. There is a real connectedness. At the end of the day, that you will see a society that wants a form of Islamic democracy, which the outside world can live with, but it's not coming any time real soon.

Larry Lemmons:
Also not coming any time real soon is peace in Iraq. I was just curious, in terms of General Petraeus releasing his report recently to mixed reviews, I was wondering, in your own observations, how does General Petraeus' report fit into what might be the reality of Iraq?

Robin Wright:
What the administration has basically done is said, we want a start-over. The surge the president announced with great fanfare was supposed to allow six to eight months and then we would make decisions. Now they're saying we need another six to eight months or longer before we make the final call on this. If the progress isn't dramatic enough, it leaves us a little more vulnerable. Time is running out, and there is great disappointment in the performance of the Iraqi government in not delivering on many of the critical moves to bring reconciliation between the Sunnis and the Shiites, to decentralize power so the Sunnis in the provinces feel they are no longer excluded as they have felt during the U.S. invasion. There are so many things that have to be done. In Washington we talk about the Washington clock versus the Baghdad Clock, and that's one of the core problems.

Larry Lemmons:
Do you ever feel safe while you're in Baghdad or Iraq, generally? Are you always in the green zone or how is the sort of situation for everyday people there? Do they feel terrified all the time?

Robin Wright:
Oh, sure. And I think what you saw during Saddam Hussein's era was a sense of political fear, fear that if you said something wrong or associated with the wrong people -- there was a period when you couldn't even own a typewriter for fear that people would write some kind of treatise against Saddam Hussein. Today you can't go anyplace without feeling the very real danger that you may be blown up, and you may. I think most Iraqis have a relative or friend who has been injured or died in a comparatively short time. We're talking four years. I will tell you, in the early days -- I've been going to Iraq since the 80's, since the Iran-Iraq war. And when I first went back after the invasion, I could walk out of the green zone, hail a cab, tool around Baghdad, go to the museum, go to see the war damage, meet with old friends, talk to the leadership, emerging leaders. Today you cannot leave the Republican Palace, which is the American embassy. The last time I was there, we spent a couple of nights there in these little trailers right next to the embassy, where they have instructions, you know, if you hear incoming, this is where you have to go, and to move between buildings you're supposed to wear flak jackets and helmets. I had to have an escort within the embassy, which was -- every time, the bubble gets smaller and smaller.

Larry Lemmons:
So in terms of the surge then, I know they've been talking about how there have been some successes. I think Anbar province, for example, is a success story that they tout. So have you seen that, as well? Are there areas where maybe you don't have to wear a flak jacket? Or maybe not you, but perhaps people could enact business and not fear for their lives.

Robin Wright:
There's no question that Anbar is the most important political success. It was done by the Iraqis themselves, and as a reaction to Al-Qaeda and the killing of the wives, fathers, brothers of the tribal sheiks, the leading tribal sheik who mobilized this. A father and two brothers had been killed by Al-Qaeda in 2004. He rallied the sheiks and said, "We need to take a stand." Not only did they show a willingness to work with the U.S. -- not that they like us, but their willingness to kind of combine forces, but they called on their own people to mobilize, to join the police and the army, which had not happened. Those are state agencies with which they didn't want to associate. You have 21,000 police in the Anbar province now, who are, I am not sure I can vouch for all of them, but they are willing to engage in law and order and to counter Al-Qaeda. The tragedy of last week was that the young sheik was assassinated by Al-Qaeda. And that's a sign of intimidation that is going to make all of the tribal sheiks think again and again.

Larry Lemmons:
Let's look at the promise. What do you see then as possible positive trends that are occurring in the Middle East that might be good in the future?

Robin Wright:
I think Anbar really tells us what's happening in the region. The rejection or beginning of rejection of Islamic extremism. It takes enormous guts to reject it, and then to do something about it. And, I think that the 25 years after we saw the first bombings against American targets, most of them in Lebanon, we're beginning to see people who are taking action, looking for alternatives. You have three forces in the region today. You have the theocrats, the Islamists, you have the democrats and then you have the autocrats, many of them, unfortunately aligned with the United States. We're in a terrible dilemma that we rely on the likes of the President of Egypt, an autocrat trying to create a new dynasty by handing over power to his son. He denies it, but the signs are on the wall-that you're beginning to see a new group of people willing to take steps themselves, feminists in Morocco, female candidates to Parliament in Kuwait, judges challenging the government on fraudulent elections. The philosophers who are dealing with the critical issues of how do you bring together the ideas of democracy and Islam. Going through the reformation process that we went through in Christianity 400 years ago, that gave birth to the age of Enlightenment and the birth of modern democracy -- they're trying to do all of it at once, and that is a challenge. But, there are people out there. I spent the last 18 months wandering the region, just looking for the new voices, the new forces. I am hopeful for the first time. Again, it is a long process. We, in this country, we are not the perfect democracy yet, I say as a woman. And it takes time to go through those stages. We are an impatient people. I think it's down the road, but we're not likely to see a democratic Middle East in my lifetime.

Larry Lemmons:
Robin Wright, thanks so much for talking to us.

Robin Wright:
Thank you.

Richard Ruelas:
Studies increasingly show that nonprofit arts and cultural organizations make a significant impact on the area's economy. Joining us to talk about the most recent analysis, "Arts and Economic Prosperity 3", the sequel, is the director of the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, Phil Jones. Well, what did the study show? This is the third one--

Phil Jones:
This is the third one we've participated in. Five years ago we were involved in one that was a valley-wide study involving Phoenix plus six other Valley cities, and it was coordinated by Americans for the arts, based in Washington, D.C. And five years ago when we did this, we found that arts organizations and their audiences in the Valley generated $360 million of economic impact. Now, fast-forward five years to the next study which was based on financial information and Audience attendance figures from 2005, and we just focused on Phoenix this time, not valley wide. Phoenix alone was $361 million. So we tied what was the total impact for the entire Valley.

Richard Ruelas:
It's made up of what components?

Phil Jones:
A combination of audience expenditures and arts and cultural expenditures.

Richard Ruelas:
The price people are paying for a dinner before an event, aside from tickets?

Phil Jones:
Right. We found that arts and cultural organizations actually spent, in 2005, $133 million for their basic operation, which involves paying employees and artists and purchasing supplies and services and things like that to present their product. And that leveraged $228 million of audience spending, up and above the cost of admission. So we're talking about lodging, parking, restaurants, souvenirs, Things like that. So, it's really quite incredible what arts organizations and their audience collectively provide in terms of economic impact for the community.

Richard Ruelas:
And you were selective in the nonprofit; you didn't go to the for-profit venue like Celebrity Theatre?

Phil Jones:
No, we focused exclusively on nonprofit arts organizations. It included not only performing and visual arts organizations but the Arizona Science Center, The Botanical Gardens, the Phoenix Zoo, the history museums. We're looking at culture in its broadest sense, but again, tied to the non-profit sector only.

Richard Ruelas:
Some people think of arts and culture as just being arts and culture as just beings operas and symphonies. If you tie in -- how did the traditional arts do versus as far as bringing in the Botanical Gardens?

Phil Jones:
Well actually, the arts organizations, themselves, hold their own quite well. We have an outstanding art museum, a wonderful opera company, a ballet company, wonderful symphony. In other words, we're really becoming a regional destination for arts and culture. The other thing we found which was really unique to this study--we conducted 942 audience-intercept surveys at 17 different events throughout the course of the year.

Richard Ruelas:
Where people just go out?

Phil Jones:
You get out and get people going into the opera, ballet, at a festival, downtown First Fridays. We found that 60\% of the people that we surveyed actually came from outside of Maricopa County, specifically for the event.

Phil Jones:
Specifically for the event, exactly.

Richard Ruelas:
Not just, we happened to be here, but we came here specifically for the event.

Phil Jones:
That's really quite amazing, when you consider that those people from outside the county spend on average about $45 per person for thins-you know, food, lodging, things like that related to the event. That's almost twice what our local folks spend, including the cost of admission.

Richard Ruelas:
And this is just Phoenix alone.

Phil Jones:
Phoenix alone.

Richard Ruelas:
So I guess we can take some measure of civic pride that our opera and symphony are good enough to draw in out-of-towners?

Phil Jones:
Definitely, definitely.

Richard Ruelas:
These kinds of impact studies are done because they bring hard numbers to the touchy-feely thing. But to talk about the touchy feely thing, why do we need to have a symphony and ballet and opera? Why should the state support these venues?

Phil Jones:
Well, I think it gives the community a soul, and it also identifies who we are as a community. It brings people together. It's one of the few things other than sporting events that actually brings people together, other than sporting events, for a common cause. In some cases they actually share ideas and have the same experience, and it's of great meaning.

Richard Ruelas:
This study just focused on Phoenix. But we're a few feet from the Tempe New Arts Center. Mesa's had theirs going for a Few years. Is there a danger of too many venues and not enough patrons?

Phil Jones:
Not with the rate the Valley is growing. We found that Mesa and Chandler had a combined economic impact of $82 million. A majority of that was focused on Mesa, which is a great thing because it reflects the new performance arts center there. This is all very healthy, but we suffer. One thing that has held the arts community back in the Valley has been the lack of performing facilities and exhibit spaces. So we're trying to catch up to meet the need valley wide.

Richard Ruelas:
Now I know that the Botanical Garden is considered arts, and I don't have to go to the ballet to consider myself an art patron. Thanks for joining us.

Phil Jones:
Sure.

Merry Lucero:
What do Arizonans think about the employer sanctions law? Find out as we release the results of our latest Cronkite Poll. Plus, congress recently passed a bill to renew and expand the S-chip, children's health insurance, known as "Kid's Care" in Arizona. The bill was vetoed by President Bush, but congress might override that. Both sides Tuesday on "Horizon."

Richard Ruelas:
Michael Grant is back Wednesday for one show, and join us Friday for "Journalists Roundtable." I'm Richard Ruelas, good night.

Domestic Violence


  • October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Linda Scott, vice president of the Child & Family Solutions department for the Jewish Family and Children's Service, talks about the issues facing the community in connection with domestic violence. Find out more. Visit http://www.wipeoutdomesticviolence.org
Guests:
  • Linda Scott - Vice president, Jewish Family and Children's Services Solutions
  • Robin Wright - Journalist and author
  • Phil Jones - Director, Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture
Category: Medical/Health

View Transcript
Richard Ruelas:
Tonight on "Horizon," domestic violence is in the spotlight this month, as many organizations hope to shine light on the issue. A conversation with journalist and author Robin Wright on the turmoil in the Middle East. And a new study shows the Economic impact of the arts in the Valley. Next on "Horizon."

Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight, members of our Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Richard Ruelas:
Good evening, and thanks for joining us tonight on "horizon." I'm Richard Ruelas. October has been designated domestic violence awareness month. According to the Arizona Attorney General's Office, there were 80 domestic violence related homicides in 2004. In a statewide sweep conducted by more than 400 officers from 25 agencies statewide, more than 200 domestic violence suspects were rounded up. Joining me to talk about the problem of domestic violence in Arizona today, scheduled to speak at an upcoming "wipe out domestic violence" today and the luncheon on Thursday, is the vice president from Jewish family and Children's Services Solutions, Linda Scott. Thanks for joining us.

Linda Scott:
Thank you for having me. The funds will be raised to support our "Shelter without Walls" program. It's a program that JFCS has been running since 1998. It's a little different from a lot of programs because it's a nonresidential program. We don't have a physical shelter or transitional housing. Although we work closely with organizations that do provide those services.

Richard Ruelas:
How does the woman call the agency specifically or "Shelter without Walls?"

Linda Scott:
There's a phone number that's an entree into the "Shelter without Walls" program. One of the components is really a phone service. We fielded calls from around 600 women last year, many of whom were looking for resources and information. Some weren't quite ready to come into a program, and some needed a referral to an emergency shelter.

Richard Ruelas:
When you say looking for information, we can presume that 600 women felt at least some danger, some peril.

Linda Scott:
Exactly. Either they're afraid they're about to be victimized in some way, or they're in the midst of an abusive situation and are looking for resources. We really try to wrap the women and often her children, because more than half of the women we see have children too, and in very comprehensive supports that include: case management, safety planning. That's the number one priority. Then advocacy, hooking them up with resources. We also have a family enrichment program in which we help women and their children who have exited an abusive relationship, but don't have the funds to do kind of normal family activities, to be able to go to the movies or science center, that kind of thing.

Richard Ruelas:
When you talked about case management that sounds like a nice dressed-up word. But we're talking about helping women still in the home.

Linda Scott:
Very often they're still in the home. Our program does not require that they be outside of the abusive relationship. It's sometimes very frightening to figure out how to gather the resources and put things in place in order to be able to leave safely and permanently. That's what our advocates work with women to achieve.

Richard Ruelas:
You have a safety plan to cope with a potentially abusive relationship while they're still in the home?

Linda Scott:
Yes, and sometimes it involves a referral to a shelter. And sometimes women have newly left an abusive relationship, and need a tremendous amount of planning and support in order to be able to successfully stay independent with enough in terms of basic needs. Often it involves finance, transportation, housing are reasons that women go back.

Richard Ruelas:
We're a state that has a lot of newcomers, so maybe a lot of women feel disconnected, families are not close.

Linda Scott:
Absolutely. And there's still a lot of secrecy. Often women are afraid to tell people or afraid to let family members in on the secret. The other thing that happens is that the family is often known to the abuser. Family is not always the safest respite.

Richard Ruelas:
Okay. What -- we rattled off some statistics at the beginning of the interview. Help us make sense of it. What is domestic violence like in Arizona right now? Are we gaining ground in Arizona? Is it staying the same?

Linda Scott:
It's difficult to know if we're gaining ground. There are so many programs and services in Arizona; we have over 40 shelter programs and tons of support programs. But every year we see statistics rising. You gave the statistics at the beginning of the program, and there's been another death that's coming in since then, and there's been 107 deaths in the most recent year.

Richard Ruelas:
That's up.

Linda Scott:
That's up 23 from last year. And domestic violence is still the most common violent crime in the state of Arizona.

Richard Ruelas:
What is it that -- I'm not asking you to solve the problem or be an amateur social scientist, but it seems like it's one of those things like drunk driving or even speeding on the freeway, that seems to always be with us no matter what we do. We've turned several corners, but what are some of the root causes that we could get at?

Linda Scott:
That's a really good and probably a very complicated question. I think domestic violence programs; we serve very, very specific, often emergency needs. But we need to really begin moving upstream and looking at getting involved in the lives of these families earlier and earlier and working more towards prevention. I think people -- there are probably all kinds of causes. People sometimes grow up with bullying as a role model. They see it in their family and learn it as a way to cope, and nobody teaches them what to do so it goes on and on. We see increased drug use, and we know alcohol often can increase the rates of violence, but methamphetamines do, too. And we're still seeing a rise in methamphetamines use.

Richard Ruelas:
We might see, as methamphetamine -- as its use continues, the children who are stuck in these homes might model their behavior, as well?

Linda Scott:
Children are tremendously impacted by family violence. It teaches them all kinds of behavior and all kinds of fears that are with them for the rest of their lives. So, the earlier we can intervene, the better off we are.

Richard Ruelas:
How can somebody get a hold of your group, first of all, if they need assistance, if they need that "Shelter without Walls" program? Is there a website or a number?

Linda Scott:
There is a phone number people can call directly, which is 602-452-4640.

Richard Ruelas:
602-452-4640. And if someone wants to go to the luncheon --

Linda Scott:
Yes. The "Wipeout Domestic Violence" luncheon is on Thursday, 11:30 To 1:30 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on 2nd street. You can call 602-279-7655 and ask for Kristen Boyd, or get on the internet and go to www.wipeoutdomesticviolence.org.

Richard Ruelas:
Thanks for joining us. Appreciate it.

Linda Scott:
Absolutely.

Richard Ruelas:
Journalist and author Robin Wright has covered the Middle East since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. She's the author of two books that deal specifically with the Middle East. She's currently a diplomatic correspondent For "The Washington Post." She spoke recently at ASU, as part of the Jonathan-Maxine-Marshall distinguished lecture series and Larry Lemmons spoke with Robin Wright at that lecture.

Larry Lemmons:
Politically speaking, how difficult is it for George Bush at the moment, but any American president, I presume, to be able to work the various political realities of all the different countries in the Middle East at this time?

Robin Wright:
Clearly the United States is stretched thin in the Middle East. It has not only the threat of Al-Qaeda and branches all over the region, but the problem of Iraq, and the looming problem of Iran, which is getting more and more attention in Washington. There are those who will tell you that the administration is spending as much time today on Iran as it is on Iraq, because of the questions about an alleged nuclear program. It has a peaceful program to develop nuclear energy, which it needs because of a mushrooming population, despite its own oil. But, there are fears that the kind of processes, uranium enrichment particularly, used to develop peaceful energy, can be subverted for nuclear weapons. There are a lot of questions, a lot of challenges the administration faces over its final 15, 16 months in office. It's not clear that you can bring any of them to some kind of denouement or climax.

Larry Lemmons:
Is Ahmadinejad clearly the kind of loose cannon that we think he is in America? Or is he playing way to the Iranian people and another way to the west?

Robin Wright:
The Iranian president is one of a kind, clearly. The interesting thing about him is that he was elected as a rejection of the clerics from the early days of the revolution, who the Iranian people believed had not delivered, whether it was on jobs or outreach to the international community, ending Iran's status as a pariah nation. It had not addressed many of the problems of daily life. People were working two and three jobs just to survive. And in an oil-rich country, they have had to ration their own oil resources in the last three months. So he emerged, not as a choice, but as a rejection of the earlier revolutionaries. I think one of the lessons of revolutions, they are like pendulums, they swing. We went from a movement that was unable to deliver because of tension within the regime, to one that's hard line. He clearly is not delivering, but it's going to take a lot of patience before Iranians go to the polls again and have a chance to vote for someone else.

Larry Lemmons:
Is it your sense, when you visit Iran, some people have said that the Iranian people are not as anti-American as you might think. The Iranian government certainly might be. Do you find that to be true?

Robin Wright:
Oh, absolutely. On one of my trips there was a group of American tourists there. I met a woman, a producer, movie producer from Hollywood. She had been to over 100 countries a. She had been there two weeks and she said how wonderful it is to be in a place where they like Americans for a change. You'll find, whether it's Oprah or the "Young and the Restless" or MTV that satellite television has brought in western culture. One of my interpreters in Iran often sees American movies before I will. The internet is more active in Iran than anyplace in the Middle East outside of Israel. There is a real connectedness. At the end of the day, that you will see a society that wants a form of Islamic democracy, which the outside world can live with, but it's not coming any time real soon.

Larry Lemmons:
Also not coming any time real soon is peace in Iraq. I was just curious, in terms of General Petraeus releasing his report recently to mixed reviews, I was wondering, in your own observations, how does General Petraeus' report fit into what might be the reality of Iraq?

Robin Wright:
What the administration has basically done is said, we want a start-over. The surge the president announced with great fanfare was supposed to allow six to eight months and then we would make decisions. Now they're saying we need another six to eight months or longer before we make the final call on this. If the progress isn't dramatic enough, it leaves us a little more vulnerable. Time is running out, and there is great disappointment in the performance of the Iraqi government in not delivering on many of the critical moves to bring reconciliation between the Sunnis and the Shiites, to decentralize power so the Sunnis in the provinces feel they are no longer excluded as they have felt during the U.S. invasion. There are so many things that have to be done. In Washington we talk about the Washington clock versus the Baghdad Clock, and that's one of the core problems.

Larry Lemmons:
Do you ever feel safe while you're in Baghdad or Iraq, generally? Are you always in the green zone or how is the sort of situation for everyday people there? Do they feel terrified all the time?

Robin Wright:
Oh, sure. And I think what you saw during Saddam Hussein's era was a sense of political fear, fear that if you said something wrong or associated with the wrong people -- there was a period when you couldn't even own a typewriter for fear that people would write some kind of treatise against Saddam Hussein. Today you can't go anyplace without feeling the very real danger that you may be blown up, and you may. I think most Iraqis have a relative or friend who has been injured or died in a comparatively short time. We're talking four years. I will tell you, in the early days -- I've been going to Iraq since the 80's, since the Iran-Iraq war. And when I first went back after the invasion, I could walk out of the green zone, hail a cab, tool around Baghdad, go to the museum, go to see the war damage, meet with old friends, talk to the leadership, emerging leaders. Today you cannot leave the Republican Palace, which is the American embassy. The last time I was there, we spent a couple of nights there in these little trailers right next to the embassy, where they have instructions, you know, if you hear incoming, this is where you have to go, and to move between buildings you're supposed to wear flak jackets and helmets. I had to have an escort within the embassy, which was -- every time, the bubble gets smaller and smaller.

Larry Lemmons:
So in terms of the surge then, I know they've been talking about how there have been some successes. I think Anbar province, for example, is a success story that they tout. So have you seen that, as well? Are there areas where maybe you don't have to wear a flak jacket? Or maybe not you, but perhaps people could enact business and not fear for their lives.

Robin Wright:
There's no question that Anbar is the most important political success. It was done by the Iraqis themselves, and as a reaction to Al-Qaeda and the killing of the wives, fathers, brothers of the tribal sheiks, the leading tribal sheik who mobilized this. A father and two brothers had been killed by Al-Qaeda in 2004. He rallied the sheiks and said, "We need to take a stand." Not only did they show a willingness to work with the U.S. -- not that they like us, but their willingness to kind of combine forces, but they called on their own people to mobilize, to join the police and the army, which had not happened. Those are state agencies with which they didn't want to associate. You have 21,000 police in the Anbar province now, who are, I am not sure I can vouch for all of them, but they are willing to engage in law and order and to counter Al-Qaeda. The tragedy of last week was that the young sheik was assassinated by Al-Qaeda. And that's a sign of intimidation that is going to make all of the tribal sheiks think again and again.

Larry Lemmons:
Let's look at the promise. What do you see then as possible positive trends that are occurring in the Middle East that might be good in the future?

Robin Wright:
I think Anbar really tells us what's happening in the region. The rejection or beginning of rejection of Islamic extremism. It takes enormous guts to reject it, and then to do something about it. And, I think that the 25 years after we saw the first bombings against American targets, most of them in Lebanon, we're beginning to see people who are taking action, looking for alternatives. You have three forces in the region today. You have the theocrats, the Islamists, you have the democrats and then you have the autocrats, many of them, unfortunately aligned with the United States. We're in a terrible dilemma that we rely on the likes of the President of Egypt, an autocrat trying to create a new dynasty by handing over power to his son. He denies it, but the signs are on the wall-that you're beginning to see a new group of people willing to take steps themselves, feminists in Morocco, female candidates to Parliament in Kuwait, judges challenging the government on fraudulent elections. The philosophers who are dealing with the critical issues of how do you bring together the ideas of democracy and Islam. Going through the reformation process that we went through in Christianity 400 years ago, that gave birth to the age of Enlightenment and the birth of modern democracy -- they're trying to do all of it at once, and that is a challenge. But, there are people out there. I spent the last 18 months wandering the region, just looking for the new voices, the new forces. I am hopeful for the first time. Again, it is a long process. We, in this country, we are not the perfect democracy yet, I say as a woman. And it takes time to go through those stages. We are an impatient people. I think it's down the road, but we're not likely to see a democratic Middle East in my lifetime.

Larry Lemmons:
Robin Wright, thanks so much for talking to us.

Robin Wright:
Thank you.

Richard Ruelas:
Studies increasingly show that nonprofit arts and cultural organizations make a significant impact on the area's economy. Joining us to talk about the most recent analysis, "Arts and Economic Prosperity 3", the sequel, is the director of the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, Phil Jones. Well, what did the study show? This is the third one--

Phil Jones:
This is the third one we've participated in. Five years ago we were involved in one that was a valley-wide study involving Phoenix plus six other Valley cities, and it was coordinated by Americans for the arts, based in Washington, D.C. And five years ago when we did this, we found that arts organizations and their audiences in the Valley generated $360 million of economic impact. Now, fast-forward five years to the next study which was based on financial information and Audience attendance figures from 2005, and we just focused on Phoenix this time, not valley wide. Phoenix alone was $361 million. So we tied what was the total impact for the entire Valley.

Richard Ruelas:
It's made up of what components?

Phil Jones:
A combination of audience expenditures and arts and cultural expenditures.

Richard Ruelas:
The price people are paying for a dinner before an event, aside from tickets?

Phil Jones:
Right. We found that arts and cultural organizations actually spent, in 2005, $133 million for their basic operation, which involves paying employees and artists and purchasing supplies and services and things like that to present their product. And that leveraged $228 million of audience spending, up and above the cost of admission. So we're talking about lodging, parking, restaurants, souvenirs, Things like that. So, it's really quite incredible what arts organizations and their audience collectively provide in terms of economic impact for the community.

Richard Ruelas:
And you were selective in the nonprofit; you didn't go to the for-profit venue like Celebrity Theatre?

Phil Jones:
No, we focused exclusively on nonprofit arts organizations. It included not only performing and visual arts organizations but the Arizona Science Center, The Botanical Gardens, the Phoenix Zoo, the history museums. We're looking at culture in its broadest sense, but again, tied to the non-profit sector only.

Richard Ruelas:
Some people think of arts and culture as just being arts and culture as just beings operas and symphonies. If you tie in -- how did the traditional arts do versus as far as bringing in the Botanical Gardens?

Phil Jones:
Well actually, the arts organizations, themselves, hold their own quite well. We have an outstanding art museum, a wonderful opera company, a ballet company, wonderful symphony. In other words, we're really becoming a regional destination for arts and culture. The other thing we found which was really unique to this study--we conducted 942 audience-intercept surveys at 17 different events throughout the course of the year.

Richard Ruelas:
Where people just go out?

Phil Jones:
You get out and get people going into the opera, ballet, at a festival, downtown First Fridays. We found that 60\% of the people that we surveyed actually came from outside of Maricopa County, specifically for the event.

Phil Jones:
Specifically for the event, exactly.

Richard Ruelas:
Not just, we happened to be here, but we came here specifically for the event.

Phil Jones:
That's really quite amazing, when you consider that those people from outside the county spend on average about $45 per person for thins-you know, food, lodging, things like that related to the event. That's almost twice what our local folks spend, including the cost of admission.

Richard Ruelas:
And this is just Phoenix alone.

Phil Jones:
Phoenix alone.

Richard Ruelas:
So I guess we can take some measure of civic pride that our opera and symphony are good enough to draw in out-of-towners?

Phil Jones:
Definitely, definitely.

Richard Ruelas:
These kinds of impact studies are done because they bring hard numbers to the touchy-feely thing. But to talk about the touchy feely thing, why do we need to have a symphony and ballet and opera? Why should the state support these venues?

Phil Jones:
Well, I think it gives the community a soul, and it also identifies who we are as a community. It brings people together. It's one of the few things other than sporting events that actually brings people together, other than sporting events, for a common cause. In some cases they actually share ideas and have the same experience, and it's of great meaning.

Richard Ruelas:
This study just focused on Phoenix. But we're a few feet from the Tempe New Arts Center. Mesa's had theirs going for a Few years. Is there a danger of too many venues and not enough patrons?

Phil Jones:
Not with the rate the Valley is growing. We found that Mesa and Chandler had a combined economic impact of $82 million. A majority of that was focused on Mesa, which is a great thing because it reflects the new performance arts center there. This is all very healthy, but we suffer. One thing that has held the arts community back in the Valley has been the lack of performing facilities and exhibit spaces. So we're trying to catch up to meet the need valley wide.

Richard Ruelas:
Now I know that the Botanical Garden is considered arts, and I don't have to go to the ballet to consider myself an art patron. Thanks for joining us.

Phil Jones:
Sure.

Merry Lucero:
What do Arizonans think about the employer sanctions law? Find out as we release the results of our latest Cronkite Poll. Plus, congress recently passed a bill to renew and expand the S-chip, children's health insurance, known as "Kid's Care" in Arizona. The bill was vetoed by President Bush, but congress might override that. Both sides Tuesday on "Horizon."

Richard Ruelas:
Michael Grant is back Wednesday for one show, and join us Friday for "Journalists Roundtable." I'm Richard Ruelas, good night.

Robin Wright


  • We talk with author and journalist Robin Wright, who has covered the Middle East since the mid-70s. Her book, "The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran," was selected as one of the 25 most memorable books of the year in 2000.
Guests:
  • Linda Scott - Vice president, Jewish Family and Children's Services Solutions
  • Robin Wright - Journalist and author
  • Phil Jones - Director, Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture


View Transcript
Richard Ruelas:
Tonight on "Horizon," domestic violence is in the spotlight this month, as many organizations hope to shine light on the issue. A conversation with journalist and author Robin Wright on the turmoil in the Middle East. And a new study shows the Economic impact of the arts in the Valley. Next on "Horizon."

Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight, members of our Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Richard Ruelas:
Good evening, and thanks for joining us tonight on "horizon." I'm Richard Ruelas. October has been designated domestic violence awareness month. According to the Arizona Attorney General's Office, there were 80 domestic violence related homicides in 2004. In a statewide sweep conducted by more than 400 officers from 25 agencies statewide, more than 200 domestic violence suspects were rounded up. Joining me to talk about the problem of domestic violence in Arizona today, scheduled to speak at an upcoming "wipe out domestic violence" today and the luncheon on Thursday, is the vice president from Jewish family and Children's Services Solutions, Linda Scott. Thanks for joining us.

Linda Scott:
Thank you for having me. The funds will be raised to support our "Shelter without Walls" program. It's a program that JFCS has been running since 1998. It's a little different from a lot of programs because it's a nonresidential program. We don't have a physical shelter or transitional housing. Although we work closely with organizations that do provide those services.

Richard Ruelas:
How does the woman call the agency specifically or "Shelter without Walls?"

Linda Scott:
There's a phone number that's an entree into the "Shelter without Walls" program. One of the components is really a phone service. We fielded calls from around 600 women last year, many of whom were looking for resources and information. Some weren't quite ready to come into a program, and some needed a referral to an emergency shelter.

Richard Ruelas:
When you say looking for information, we can presume that 600 women felt at least some danger, some peril.

Linda Scott:
Exactly. Either they're afraid they're about to be victimized in some way, or they're in the midst of an abusive situation and are looking for resources. We really try to wrap the women and often her children, because more than half of the women we see have children too, and in very comprehensive supports that include: case management, safety planning. That's the number one priority. Then advocacy, hooking them up with resources. We also have a family enrichment program in which we help women and their children who have exited an abusive relationship, but don't have the funds to do kind of normal family activities, to be able to go to the movies or science center, that kind of thing.

Richard Ruelas:
When you talked about case management that sounds like a nice dressed-up word. But we're talking about helping women still in the home.

Linda Scott:
Very often they're still in the home. Our program does not require that they be outside of the abusive relationship. It's sometimes very frightening to figure out how to gather the resources and put things in place in order to be able to leave safely and permanently. That's what our advocates work with women to achieve.

Richard Ruelas:
You have a safety plan to cope with a potentially abusive relationship while they're still in the home?

Linda Scott:
Yes, and sometimes it involves a referral to a shelter. And sometimes women have newly left an abusive relationship, and need a tremendous amount of planning and support in order to be able to successfully stay independent with enough in terms of basic needs. Often it involves finance, transportation, housing are reasons that women go back.

Richard Ruelas:
We're a state that has a lot of newcomers, so maybe a lot of women feel disconnected, families are not close.

Linda Scott:
Absolutely. And there's still a lot of secrecy. Often women are afraid to tell people or afraid to let family members in on the secret. The other thing that happens is that the family is often known to the abuser. Family is not always the safest respite.

Richard Ruelas:
Okay. What -- we rattled off some statistics at the beginning of the interview. Help us make sense of it. What is domestic violence like in Arizona right now? Are we gaining ground in Arizona? Is it staying the same?

Linda Scott:
It's difficult to know if we're gaining ground. There are so many programs and services in Arizona; we have over 40 shelter programs and tons of support programs. But every year we see statistics rising. You gave the statistics at the beginning of the program, and there's been another death that's coming in since then, and there's been 107 deaths in the most recent year.

Richard Ruelas:
That's up.

Linda Scott:
That's up 23 from last year. And domestic violence is still the most common violent crime in the state of Arizona.

Richard Ruelas:
What is it that -- I'm not asking you to solve the problem or be an amateur social scientist, but it seems like it's one of those things like drunk driving or even speeding on the freeway, that seems to always be with us no matter what we do. We've turned several corners, but what are some of the root causes that we could get at?

Linda Scott:
That's a really good and probably a very complicated question. I think domestic violence programs; we serve very, very specific, often emergency needs. But we need to really begin moving upstream and looking at getting involved in the lives of these families earlier and earlier and working more towards prevention. I think people -- there are probably all kinds of causes. People sometimes grow up with bullying as a role model. They see it in their family and learn it as a way to cope, and nobody teaches them what to do so it goes on and on. We see increased drug use, and we know alcohol often can increase the rates of violence, but methamphetamines do, too. And we're still seeing a rise in methamphetamines use.

Richard Ruelas:
We might see, as methamphetamine -- as its use continues, the children who are stuck in these homes might model their behavior, as well?

Linda Scott:
Children are tremendously impacted by family violence. It teaches them all kinds of behavior and all kinds of fears that are with them for the rest of their lives. So, the earlier we can intervene, the better off we are.

Richard Ruelas:
How can somebody get a hold of your group, first of all, if they need assistance, if they need that "Shelter without Walls" program? Is there a website or a number?

Linda Scott:
There is a phone number people can call directly, which is 602-452-4640.

Richard Ruelas:
602-452-4640. And if someone wants to go to the luncheon --

Linda Scott:
Yes. The "Wipeout Domestic Violence" luncheon is on Thursday, 11:30 To 1:30 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on 2nd street. You can call 602-279-7655 and ask for Kristen Boyd, or get on the internet and go to www.wipeoutdomesticviolence.org.

Richard Ruelas:
Thanks for joining us. Appreciate it.

Linda Scott:
Absolutely.

Richard Ruelas:
Journalist and author Robin Wright has covered the Middle East since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. She's the author of two books that deal specifically with the Middle East. She's currently a diplomatic correspondent For "The Washington Post." She spoke recently at ASU, as part of the Jonathan-Maxine-Marshall distinguished lecture series and Larry Lemmons spoke with Robin Wright at that lecture.

Larry Lemmons:
Politically speaking, how difficult is it for George Bush at the moment, but any American president, I presume, to be able to work the various political realities of all the different countries in the Middle East at this time?

Robin Wright:
Clearly the United States is stretched thin in the Middle East. It has not only the threat of Al-Qaeda and branches all over the region, but the problem of Iraq, and the looming problem of Iran, which is getting more and more attention in Washington. There are those who will tell you that the administration is spending as much time today on Iran as it is on Iraq, because of the questions about an alleged nuclear program. It has a peaceful program to develop nuclear energy, which it needs because of a mushrooming population, despite its own oil. But, there are fears that the kind of processes, uranium enrichment particularly, used to develop peaceful energy, can be subverted for nuclear weapons. There are a lot of questions, a lot of challenges the administration faces over its final 15, 16 months in office. It's not clear that you can bring any of them to some kind of denouement or climax.

Larry Lemmons:
Is Ahmadinejad clearly the kind of loose cannon that we think he is in America? Or is he playing way to the Iranian people and another way to the west?

Robin Wright:
The Iranian president is one of a kind, clearly. The interesting thing about him is that he was elected as a rejection of the clerics from the early days of the revolution, who the Iranian people believed had not delivered, whether it was on jobs or outreach to the international community, ending Iran's status as a pariah nation. It had not addressed many of the problems of daily life. People were working two and three jobs just to survive. And in an oil-rich country, they have had to ration their own oil resources in the last three months. So he emerged, not as a choice, but as a rejection of the earlier revolutionaries. I think one of the lessons of revolutions, they are like pendulums, they swing. We went from a movement that was unable to deliver because of tension within the regime, to one that's hard line. He clearly is not delivering, but it's going to take a lot of patience before Iranians go to the polls again and have a chance to vote for someone else.

Larry Lemmons:
Is it your sense, when you visit Iran, some people have said that the Iranian people are not as anti-American as you might think. The Iranian government certainly might be. Do you find that to be true?

Robin Wright:
Oh, absolutely. On one of my trips there was a group of American tourists there. I met a woman, a producer, movie producer from Hollywood. She had been to over 100 countries a. She had been there two weeks and she said how wonderful it is to be in a place where they like Americans for a change. You'll find, whether it's Oprah or the "Young and the Restless" or MTV that satellite television has brought in western culture. One of my interpreters in Iran often sees American movies before I will. The internet is more active in Iran than anyplace in the Middle East outside of Israel. There is a real connectedness. At the end of the day, that you will see a society that wants a form of Islamic democracy, which the outside world can live with, but it's not coming any time real soon.

Larry Lemmons:
Also not coming any time real soon is peace in Iraq. I was just curious, in terms of General Petraeus releasing his report recently to mixed reviews, I was wondering, in your own observations, how does General Petraeus' report fit into what might be the reality of Iraq?

Robin Wright:
What the administration has basically done is said, we want a start-over. The surge the president announced with great fanfare was supposed to allow six to eight months and then we would make decisions. Now they're saying we need another six to eight months or longer before we make the final call on this. If the progress isn't dramatic enough, it leaves us a little more vulnerable. Time is running out, and there is great disappointment in the performance of the Iraqi government in not delivering on many of the critical moves to bring reconciliation between the Sunnis and the Shiites, to decentralize power so the Sunnis in the provinces feel they are no longer excluded as they have felt during the U.S. invasion. There are so many things that have to be done. In Washington we talk about the Washington clock versus the Baghdad Clock, and that's one of the core problems.

Larry Lemmons:
Do you ever feel safe while you're in Baghdad or Iraq, generally? Are you always in the green zone or how is the sort of situation for everyday people there? Do they feel terrified all the time?

Robin Wright:
Oh, sure. And I think what you saw during Saddam Hussein's era was a sense of political fear, fear that if you said something wrong or associated with the wrong people -- there was a period when you couldn't even own a typewriter for fear that people would write some kind of treatise against Saddam Hussein. Today you can't go anyplace without feeling the very real danger that you may be blown up, and you may. I think most Iraqis have a relative or friend who has been injured or died in a comparatively short time. We're talking four years. I will tell you, in the early days -- I've been going to Iraq since the 80's, since the Iran-Iraq war. And when I first went back after the invasion, I could walk out of the green zone, hail a cab, tool around Baghdad, go to the museum, go to see the war damage, meet with old friends, talk to the leadership, emerging leaders. Today you cannot leave the Republican Palace, which is the American embassy. The last time I was there, we spent a couple of nights there in these little trailers right next to the embassy, where they have instructions, you know, if you hear incoming, this is where you have to go, and to move between buildings you're supposed to wear flak jackets and helmets. I had to have an escort within the embassy, which was -- every time, the bubble gets smaller and smaller.

Larry Lemmons:
So in terms of the surge then, I know they've been talking about how there have been some successes. I think Anbar province, for example, is a success story that they tout. So have you seen that, as well? Are there areas where maybe you don't have to wear a flak jacket? Or maybe not you, but perhaps people could enact business and not fear for their lives.

Robin Wright:
There's no question that Anbar is the most important political success. It was done by the Iraqis themselves, and as a reaction to Al-Qaeda and the killing of the wives, fathers, brothers of the tribal sheiks, the leading tribal sheik who mobilized this. A father and two brothers had been killed by Al-Qaeda in 2004. He rallied the sheiks and said, "We need to take a stand." Not only did they show a willingness to work with the U.S. -- not that they like us, but their willingness to kind of combine forces, but they called on their own people to mobilize, to join the police and the army, which had not happened. Those are state agencies with which they didn't want to associate. You have 21,000 police in the Anbar province now, who are, I am not sure I can vouch for all of them, but they are willing to engage in law and order and to counter Al-Qaeda. The tragedy of last week was that the young sheik was assassinated by Al-Qaeda. And that's a sign of intimidation that is going to make all of the tribal sheiks think again and again.

Larry Lemmons:
Let's look at the promise. What do you see then as possible positive trends that are occurring in the Middle East that might be good in the future?

Robin Wright:
I think Anbar really tells us what's happening in the region. The rejection or beginning of rejection of Islamic extremism. It takes enormous guts to reject it, and then to do something about it. And, I think that the 25 years after we saw the first bombings against American targets, most of them in Lebanon, we're beginning to see people who are taking action, looking for alternatives. You have three forces in the region today. You have the theocrats, the Islamists, you have the democrats and then you have the autocrats, many of them, unfortunately aligned with the United States. We're in a terrible dilemma that we rely on the likes of the President of Egypt, an autocrat trying to create a new dynasty by handing over power to his son. He denies it, but the signs are on the wall-that you're beginning to see a new group of people willing to take steps themselves, feminists in Morocco, female candidates to Parliament in Kuwait, judges challenging the government on fraudulent elections. The philosophers who are dealing with the critical issues of how do you bring together the ideas of democracy and Islam. Going through the reformation process that we went through in Christianity 400 years ago, that gave birth to the age of Enlightenment and the birth of modern democracy -- they're trying to do all of it at once, and that is a challenge. But, there are people out there. I spent the last 18 months wandering the region, just looking for the new voices, the new forces. I am hopeful for the first time. Again, it is a long process. We, in this country, we are not the perfect democracy yet, I say as a woman. And it takes time to go through those stages. We are an impatient people. I think it's down the road, but we're not likely to see a democratic Middle East in my lifetime.

Larry Lemmons:
Robin Wright, thanks so much for talking to us.

Robin Wright:
Thank you.

Richard Ruelas:
Studies increasingly show that nonprofit arts and cultural organizations make a significant impact on the area's economy. Joining us to talk about the most recent analysis, "Arts and Economic Prosperity 3", the sequel, is the director of the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, Phil Jones. Well, what did the study show? This is the third one--

Phil Jones:
This is the third one we've participated in. Five years ago we were involved in one that was a valley-wide study involving Phoenix plus six other Valley cities, and it was coordinated by Americans for the arts, based in Washington, D.C. And five years ago when we did this, we found that arts organizations and their audiences in the Valley generated $360 million of economic impact. Now, fast-forward five years to the next study which was based on financial information and Audience attendance figures from 2005, and we just focused on Phoenix this time, not valley wide. Phoenix alone was $361 million. So we tied what was the total impact for the entire Valley.

Richard Ruelas:
It's made up of what components?

Phil Jones:
A combination of audience expenditures and arts and cultural expenditures.

Richard Ruelas:
The price people are paying for a dinner before an event, aside from tickets?

Phil Jones:
Right. We found that arts and cultural organizations actually spent, in 2005, $133 million for their basic operation, which involves paying employees and artists and purchasing supplies and services and things like that to present their product. And that leveraged $228 million of audience spending, up and above the cost of admission. So we're talking about lodging, parking, restaurants, souvenirs, Things like that. So, it's really quite incredible what arts organizations and their audience collectively provide in terms of economic impact for the community.

Richard Ruelas:
And you were selective in the nonprofit; you didn't go to the for-profit venue like Celebrity Theatre?

Phil Jones:
No, we focused exclusively on nonprofit arts organizations. It included not only performing and visual arts organizations but the Arizona Science Center, The Botanical Gardens, the Phoenix Zoo, the history museums. We're looking at culture in its broadest sense, but again, tied to the non-profit sector only.

Richard Ruelas:
Some people think of arts and culture as just being arts and culture as just beings operas and symphonies. If you tie in -- how did the traditional arts do versus as far as bringing in the Botanical Gardens?

Phil Jones:
Well actually, the arts organizations, themselves, hold their own quite well. We have an outstanding art museum, a wonderful opera company, a ballet company, wonderful symphony. In other words, we're really becoming a regional destination for arts and culture. The other thing we found which was really unique to this study--we conducted 942 audience-intercept surveys at 17 different events throughout the course of the year.

Richard Ruelas:
Where people just go out?

Phil Jones:
You get out and get people going into the opera, ballet, at a festival, downtown First Fridays. We found that 60\% of the people that we surveyed actually came from outside of Maricopa County, specifically for the event.

Phil Jones:
Specifically for the event, exactly.

Richard Ruelas:
Not just, we happened to be here, but we came here specifically for the event.

Phil Jones:
That's really quite amazing, when you consider that those people from outside the county spend on average about $45 per person for thins-you know, food, lodging, things like that related to the event. That's almost twice what our local folks spend, including the cost of admission.

Richard Ruelas:
And this is just Phoenix alone.

Phil Jones:
Phoenix alone.

Richard Ruelas:
So I guess we can take some measure of civic pride that our opera and symphony are good enough to draw in out-of-towners?

Phil Jones:
Definitely, definitely.

Richard Ruelas:
These kinds of impact studies are done because they bring hard numbers to the touchy-feely thing. But to talk about the touchy feely thing, why do we need to have a symphony and ballet and opera? Why should the state support these venues?

Phil Jones:
Well, I think it gives the community a soul, and it also identifies who we are as a community. It brings people together. It's one of the few things other than sporting events that actually brings people together, other than sporting events, for a common cause. In some cases they actually share ideas and have the same experience, and it's of great meaning.

Richard Ruelas:
This study just focused on Phoenix. But we're a few feet from the Tempe New Arts Center. Mesa's had theirs going for a Few years. Is there a danger of too many venues and not enough patrons?

Phil Jones:
Not with the rate the Valley is growing. We found that Mesa and Chandler had a combined economic impact of $82 million. A majority of that was focused on Mesa, which is a great thing because it reflects the new performance arts center there. This is all very healthy, but we suffer. One thing that has held the arts community back in the Valley has been the lack of performing facilities and exhibit spaces. So we're trying to catch up to meet the need valley wide.

Richard Ruelas:
Now I know that the Botanical Garden is considered arts, and I don't have to go to the ballet to consider myself an art patron. Thanks for joining us.

Phil Jones:
Sure.

Merry Lucero:
What do Arizonans think about the employer sanctions law? Find out as we release the results of our latest Cronkite Poll. Plus, congress recently passed a bill to renew and expand the S-chip, children's health insurance, known as "Kid's Care" in Arizona. The bill was vetoed by President Bush, but congress might override that. Both sides Tuesday on "Horizon."

Richard Ruelas:
Michael Grant is back Wednesday for one show, and join us Friday for "Journalists Roundtable." I'm Richard Ruelas, good night.

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