NEWBURGH – The Newburgh Arts and Cultural Commission and the City of Newburgh are proud to undertake the first comprehensive inventory and assessment of the diverse arts and culture ecology in the city: the Newburgh Arts + Cultural Study (NACS). As evidenced in cities large and small, arts and culture are known to be powerful engines for business sectors, and benefit residents and visitors alike. The project website, NewburghCulture.org, details how Newburgh’s community can participate in the first focus group on August 6th, take the survey, volunteer, follow NACS social media, and learn the survey’s results.
At this highly charged moment—collectively contending with historical systemic racism, and the ongoing worldwide health and economic crises—creativity is the tool needed for healing, growth, community building, civic engagement, and ongoing collaboration. The arts and diverse cultural expressions built a grand Newburgh and they continue to actively shape its resurging creative identity, one that is anti-racist and working toward equity for all.
The study is a city-wide conversation that takes stock of itself: who is participating in or creating cultural experiences for the public, how do they impact the city, and what supports are needed to promote equity, increase access and participation, nurture development, and build capacity. The resulting report, data, and maps establish a benchmark, and offer a rich and in-depth understanding of the city’s cultural assets. With this guidance, stakeholders can make decisions and policies that best support Newburgh’s growing cultural landscape and a creative economy that benefits all.
The NACS team includes project managers Naomi Hersson-Ringskog and Naomi Miller, who are working with project consultants Joy Bailey-Bryant and Eve Moros Ortega of Lord Cultural Resources. The team convened individuals from Newburgh’s broad spectrum of voices to serve on the Project Advisory Committee (see list below) to guide the study.
Additionally, a number of organizations and businesses are partnered (see list below) in order to spread awareness and increase participation through as many stakeholders as possible. “The Newburgh Art and Cultural Study will be an invaluable tool for Newburgh to better understand its arts and cultural assets, in order to best ensure an optimal future for Newburgh’s creative community and the public at large,” said Joy Bailey-Bryant, Vice President and project lead from Lord Cultural Resources.
“By engaging in the process of the study, our artists, residents, and community groups will increase mutual understanding, collaboration and pride.”—City of Newburgh’s Councilwoman Ramona Monteverde
The Project Advisory Committee has been meeting since May, convening over video conferences in compliance with pandemic protocols. In the same way, public and targeted focus groups will be conducted throughout the summer. A bilingual survey assessing participation will be accessible online and available in hardcopy at the Newburgh Free Library and other small businesses throughout the city. The first virtual workshop, a focus-group discussion targeted for artists and creative industries, is scheduled for Friday, August 7th, 4:00–5:30 pm. More workshops are being scheduled through September.
NACS is structured to be accessible to all and benefit all. Only by learning about and understanding the true spectrum of expressions and cultural activities that presently exist in Newburgh can we begin to influence, strengthen, and make change for a healthy ecosystem and creative economy.
Follow newburghculture.org and its social media for latest updates.