Cultural Quarterly
Fall 2008
Volume XXI, Number 4
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MAYOR'S MESSAGE

Mayor Lois Wexler

Mayor Lois Wexler
Collaboration is key to Broward County’s arts and cultural community. We know the rewards of building partnerships.

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As you read this edition of Cultural Quarterly, I believe you will notice a common thread that weaves its way through the various articles – and that is the continuing power of the arts to move us and, indeed, to change lives.

A prime example is our profile of Ray Dominguez, the guiding force behind The Write Side Poets.  Enthralled several years ago by young people reading poetry in a neighborhood coffee shop, he started down a road he never imagined he would travel – and now inspires kids to express themselves in remarkable new ways.

You will also see how Broward County’s Arts Teacher of the Year, Nicole Greggs, uses music to build her students’ self-esteem; how Rob Nathans’ paintings help him deal with personal tragedy and how 15 energetic young professionals are learning how to step into the ranks of the next generation of cultural leaders.

The lessons they are learning couldn’t come at a better time.  The uncertain economy in our county, state and nation is taking a toll on our cultural infrastructure.  It is important for all of us to rally around the arts, because we understand that “creative industries” bolster our economic bottom line, just as they enrich us personally. 

Indeed, according to Americans for the Arts’ recent 2008 Creative Industries Report, Broward County is home to 4,655 arts-related businesses that employ 20,500 people (based on data from Dun & Bradstreet).  This is a 12-percent increase over 2007 in arts-related businesses and employees in Broward.  

October is National Arts and Humanities Month – so this is a wonderful opportunity to learn what you can do to support the cultural bedrock of our community.  Please take a few moments to visit the Americans for the Arts website to learn more.  Thank you for your continuing support of arts and culture in Broward County.