WXXI AM News

Local Arts Council Looks To Better Define Its Mission

Aug 24, 2016

There are some big changes ahead for a local arts organization. 

The board of directors of the Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester is restructuring, trying to provide better focus for the kind of work that group does for the local arts community.

There have already been changes in recent years, including some earlier financial troubles, and the resignation two years ago of its longtime executive director.

The new president of the board for the arts council is local philanthropist Dawn Lipson, and she says they won't fill the executive director's role for now. Instead, she says this will be more of a working board, and one of the challenges is try and refine the council's mission.

“What we should be doing is being advocates for all of the arts that we have here, connecting people that need to be connected and also advocating for all of the arts. When you look at the mission the way it’s been clarified, that’s what we need to do.”

Lipson says that arts group will try to better define its mission as an umbrella organization for local artists and related organizations, and they will also work to foster discussion about the importance of a vibrant arts community.

“Whether it’s at the table of the regional economic development council, or whether it’s at the county executive level, or whether it’s with our state lawmakers, somebody needs to constantly remind these folks that arts are important and they matter, and they matter to the quality of life we have here," Lipson said.

Lipson, who is also a member of the Board of Trustees of WXXI, said that the board hopes to use the council to foster greater diversity in the local arts community.

And she says they also are looking to partner with the Community Foundation, an organization that could help the arts council as it tries to manage grant money.