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Do you have a PASSION and PURPOSE in the arts?

“Passion is caring deeply about something. Purpose is doing something about what you deeply care about”

- Edgar Papke

Passion has many definitions and meaning when searching for a definition it comes up with strong and barely controllable emotion, a state or outburst of strong emotion, intense sexual love. All these things describe passion and we have all felt this emotion as some point in our lives and will become very familiar with this emotion over our life span. There are so many things you can be passionate about and these passions will change over time as our lives go on and our interests change. That is the wonderful thing about humans we are constantly changing, evolving, and finding new interests yes we are creatures of habit and find peace in things that are familiar to us but at the same time we get board very quickly and look for things that spark our interest again this is where passion comes in you do things that you are passionate about be it the arts, new foods, traveling, family etc., we are all passionate about so many things. I bet if you sat down right now in less than two minutes you could name at least three or more things you are passionate about. My three things....

  1. Art

  2. Spending time with my family

  3. That first 15 minutes of my morning sitting on the swing with a hot cup of coffee/tea watching my dog play in the yard listening to the quiet and stillness of the morning no one yelling my name or wanting something from me. Those few moments by myself just being able to think and relax enjoying the beauty of my backyard those are the moments I love.

Purpose is the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. Purpose is one of those tricky things that I feel like you really do not find until you are older and really know yourself well and what you want in life. Some people may never find their purpose or take awhile to find out what it is, others do not know until it has come and landed right in their lap. For some they find their purpose early in life and others not until later and that is okay. Have you ever been around a new mother looking down at her sweet new bundle of joy and with tears in her eyes she says this is my purpose in life. That right there that small human being in her arms for her is the whole reason for her existence. I feel like we all search for our purpose in life what we were meant to do, who we were meant to be. We question this our entire lives. What is our purpose in life? I believe we all have many different purposes in life and not everyone has the same purpose that’s what makes us all so great we are just going through life all at different stages, learning different things, and experiencing different situations just to find our purpose.

So you maybe wondering right about now why I am going on and on about passion and purpose and how all of this has come from a simple quote from a book for my arts innovation class and the reason being is we would not be here if it was not for passion and purpose you would not be reading this is you did not have passion about arts or a purpose to be reading this. The Passion and Purpose for the arts that’s what this is about. So many people have a passion and a purpose in the arts and participate in it on a regular basis. In fact, according to the Americans for the Arts in a project calls Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 is Americans for the Arts’ fifth study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry's impact on the economy. It documents the economic contributions of the arts in 341 diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion of economic activity during 2015—$63.8 billion in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $102.5 billion in event-related expenditures by their audiences. This activity supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments (a yield well beyond their collective $5 billion in arts allocations).

When looking through this project I found that 6,015,779 people in Dayton, Ohio alone attended arts and culture events. In Ohio as a whole state 2.9% of the state arts and culture related and 1.1% of the state is employed in the arts and culture. There is a total of 11.66 million people that live in the state of Ohio lets round this number down to just 11 million that means that roughly 121,000 people have employment related to the arts and culture. Below are maps from the Americans for the Arts through the BEA website that gives these percentages for the entire United States.

Map 1 shown in the blue gives the value of Arts and Culture in each state dark blue being the highest ranging from 3.9-8.4 percent and light blue the lowest ranging from 1.3-2.4 percent. District of Columbia having that highest at 8.4% and Delaware having the lowest at 1.3%

Map 2 shown here in the orange depicts the percentage of the state employed in arts and culture. The highest percentages being in the orange with anywhere from 3.3-5.5 percent and the lowest percentages being in the light orange ranging from -3.4 to -0.4 percent. Washington and Utah coming in at the highest percentage rates for employment at 5.0% and Mississippi coming in with the lowest percentage rates at a -0.4 percent

In closing there are many ways you can get involved in the arts be it you are just passionate about it or it is your purpose in life or both. There are ways to get involved through volunteering, a job, attending events, giving money to your favorite arts organization or on a more political level like writing an advocacy letter to your state representative or attending Arts Advocacy Day in Washington DC on March 12-13th, 2018 where arts advocates from across the country convene in Washington, DC for our annual Arts Advocacy Day each year. Arts Advocacy Day brings together a broad cross section of America's cultural and civic organizations, along with more than 700 grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts. Whatever you decide to do there are so many ways to get involved and fund the arts every little bit count. Next time you have nothing to do, have a little extra cash, just do not know what to do with yourself, want to miss school or work we won’t tell do a little googling and find yourself and art event. Take your spouse, significant other, boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, siblings, the stranger you just met at the bar take them and get them involved too or go by yourself I am all for a little alone time. Go out to eat or make something at home, get a few drinks and enjoy your evening or day we don’t judge. But as always go get involved and art on.






  4. innovation by design how any organization can leverage design thinking to produce change, drive new ideas, and deliver meaningful solutions. Thomas Lockwood and Edgar Papke




Alisha Mason is a senior at Miami University anticipated graduating in December 2018 with a BA in Community Art co-major in Arts Management and a minor in Art Therapy. She is the eldest of seven children loves to go back home and spend time with them as they are all very close. She is a dog mom of a ten-month-old lab/grey hound mix aspires to be a grant writer when she graduates.

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