Want the Arts to Make Your City Vibrant?

Don’t Just Throw Money at Artists. Give Them Places to Perform, Collective Bargaining Powers—or a Break on Permits.


For towns like Visalia, California, the expression “arts for art’s sake” doesn’t make much sense. In Visalia—as in other emerging arts towns throughout the U.S.—art isn’t just there for its own sake: art is there to energize a community and help people live well. The Central Valley town’s recent “Taste the Arts” festival was a case in point: It brought together a crowd ranging from 20-something native Visalians who have returned home to create visual art to entire families from neighboring towns. Making events like this succeed for artists and …

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