Creative Life in the Gateway Arts District

Why Art?

ALH logo6Through Art Lives Here, partners are constantly bumping into creative people who strive to make creative places throughout the region whether through starting their own organization, creating new programming, or artistic events. For us, the arts are at the very core of our community. We can’t imagine a world without music, without color, or without movement, can you?

As people who love to create, we are looking forward to this year’s Maryland Arts Day hosted by the Maryland Citizens for the Arts this coming Wednesday, February 12, 2014.

When working to support a creative community, we continue to return to the concept of advocacy. Advocacy for us means gaining support for art initiatives from local residents, organizations and legislators. We advocate on behalf of the artists, art students, those who love art and the community. Aside from the aesthetics of art, we look at the practical implications art has on our community, specifically around education and the economy.

IMG_6331Since 2009 Prince George’s County has cut back on art education funding, because of budgeting issues (Read More). Yet social scientists Brian Kisida, Jay P. Greene and Daniel H. Bowen wrote in their November 2013 New York Times opinion blog, “Students who …  visit[ed] the museum on a field trip demonstrated stronger critical thinking skills, [and] displayed higher levels of social tolerance” (Read More). That’s just for visiting museums! Imagine if students were engaged every day in multi-disciplinary arts experiences? Elliot Eisner, ever the champion of arts education, who passed mid-January, once wrote, “the arts are fundamental resources through which the world is viewed, meaning is created and the mind developed” (Read More). We of the Art Lives Here campaign believe this, and through every event, program, and artist we work with we seek to further this idea in the community.

1395395_537837842976475_1349348937_nBack in December 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and National Endowment for the Arts released their preliminary report on the impact of arts and culture on the U.S. economy; top key findings included the positive impact of the arts on U.S. Gross Domestic Product (Read More). The arts are continually proven as an economic driver for community growth. Arts programming stimulate the local economy by providing jobs and supporting local businesses.

As the Art Lives Here campaign moves into the programming phase for the spring of 2014, spaces will be activated through the arts. Local residents will come out and celebrate their communities through ALH activities. At Art Lives Here, we hope to help  our readers continue to advocate for the arts throughout the Gateway Arts District so that programming like this can continue.


About neenajoe

Joe’s Movement Emporium is a cultural arts hub that acts as a catalyst for creativity and economic opportunity for all through productions and programs in education, artist services and work readiness. Located in the town center of Mount Rainier, Maryland within the Prince George’s County Gateway Arts District, the organization supports and promotes creative projects of local artists and community groups. For additional information on programs and events, please visit

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