It’s Arts, Culture & Creativity Month!

Hello, Artsy Good People,

Every morning, I read the Marin IJ online with a focus on our local news and a keen interest in creative events in the community.

Today, the news taught me something I didn’t know. Apparently, April is Arts, Culture & Creativity Month (ACCM) in California. I love it! Creative folks get a special month—and we deserve it!

According to the arts advocacy organization California for the Arts, the sixth annual month-long celebration honors the intrinsic value of arts, culture, and creativity as not only a public good—transforming communities and individuals—but also as a driver of prosperity for the California state economy. The group wants to make sure we recognize that the creative economy contributes $507.4 billion dollars to the state’s Gross Regional Product (GRP) and employs over 1.8 million workers, nearly 7.6% of the state’s workforce.

Our students aren’t in the creative economy quite yet, but they are certainly getting ready to join it if they so choose. Just in the last week, our artists have been busy planning and performing exhibitions, instrumental and vocal music concerts, and fashion shows. Building their creative skill sets and gaining relevant experience, students are problem solving, collaborating, taking risks, and performing with confidence for their parents and peers.

I’ve been extra impressed with glimpses of students having serious conversations about their artistic vision and process with professional artists who ARE in the creative economy. Like the enthusiastic exchange between Jacob and former MSA Jazz Studies Director Dr. Greg Johnson who joined the jazz band’s concert last week.  The two talked about improvisational composition strategies and were difficult to peel apart.

As we head into Spring Break next week, I hope we all get a chance to celebrate arts, culture, and creativity in our vacation choices and in our conversations with the young artists we collaborate to support. If you are looking for ways to recognize our artsy community, there are several suggestions below including early bird tickets to Showcase (ending soon!), the Thursday night Creative Writing Emerging Voices show, and the opening of an art exhibit featuring our very own Drawing and Painting Director, Taylor Mancini. I’ll be there at each event and hope to see you there too.

With so much love and appreciation for our awesome community,

Michelle Cortez


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