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contents news in brief


on the cover: Spring in Westchester features


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Westchester County Business Journal • ARTSWNEWS Page A3


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Page A7-10 Page A12 Page A13


ArtsWNews, your guide to the arts and culture in Westchester County, NY is published by ARTSWESTCHESTER, a private, not-for-profit organization established in 1965. The largest of its kind in New York State, it serves more than 150 cultural organizations, 43 school districts, hundreds of artists, and audiences numbering over one million. Our goal is to ensure the availability, accessibility, and diversity of the arts in Westchester.


Janet Langsam, Chief Executive Officer Salina Le Bris, Director of Communications Mary Alice Franklin, ArtsWNews Editor Vanessa Reitz & Clare Maker, Designers Lisa DiCarlucci, Calendar Editor Alison Kattleman, News in Brief Editor


For more information about ArtsWestchester, please call 914.428.4220 or visit www.artswestchester.org.


Our work is made possible with support from Westchester County Government.


Robert P. Astorino, County Executive Kenneth W. Jenkins, Chair, Westchester County Board of Legislators Westchester County Board of Legislators


Catherine Borgia Gordon A. Burrows David B. Gelfarb Peter Harckham Michael Kaplowitz James Maisano


Sheila Marcotte Judith A. Myers Virginia Perez William J. Ryan MaryJane Shimsky Michael J. Smith


Bernice Spreckman John G. Testa Alfreda A. Williams Lyndon Williams


Thanks to our generous sponsors: A&A Maintenance Enterprise, Inc., Benerofe Properties Corp., Con Edison, Entergy, Ethan Allen Interiors, First Niagara, IBM, Jacob Burns Foundation, John Meyer Consulting PC, Joseph & Sophia Abeles Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, Key Bank, The Liman Foundation, The Margaret Cargill Foundation, MAXX Properties, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, New York Power Authority, Nordstrom, Peckham Industries, Inc., PepsiCo, Inc., Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., Reckson, A Division of SL Green Realty, Ronald McDonald House Charities, RPW Group, Swiss Re, Target, TD Charitable Foundation, Wells Fargo Bank, Westchester Magazine


O 1683 R ARTSWESTCHESTER: YOUR COMPLETE ARTS GUIDE


thisandthatbyjl.com ARTS: THE MOTHER


OF INVENTION By Janet Langsam


Every morning, I turn on the treadmill, tune into the Today Show and run until I bank 150 calories to earn a glass of Chardonnay at the end of the day. Matt Lauer and the NBC crew are usually just eye candy and background chatter, but today they hit a nerve talking about college degrees that may be “use- less” like “fine arts, drama, philosophy, religious studies.” when it comes to getting a job. Lauer quoted a recent poll that said that one out of two recent college grads are either unemployed or underemployed.


Donny Deutsch, one of the Today panelists said, “I never looked at a (college) major in my life in hiring people.” And a good thing too since the National Arts Index published by the advocacy organization Americans for the Arts, indicates that interest in the arts as a college major is growing. It says that from 1996 to 2010 more than 1.5 million degrees were awarded in visual and performing arts, with annual graduations growing steadily from 75,000 to 129,000—an increase of 73%. Could all these college bound kids be wast- ing their time? Fortunately, according to the Americans for the Arts website, there are a growing number of jobs out there in creative industries that range from museums, symphonies, and theaters to small for-profit film, video, music, architecture, digital games and advertising companies. So one doesn’t necessarily need to land a leading role on Broadway to use their arts degree. “Nationally, there are 904,581 businesses in the U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts that employ 3.34 million people. Representing 4.25 percent of all businesses and 2.15 percent of all employees, respectively,” quotes their site. In case one is tempted to quibble with these figures, they come from the most trusted of sources, Dun & Bradstreet.


Like any other subject, there are at least two or maybe a hundred schools of thought, and we Neanderthals in the arts believe that “creativity” is a good enough reason to study the arts. According to Newsweek in a 2010 article entitled Creativity Crisis: “A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativ- ity as the No. 1 ‘leadership competency’ of the future. Yet it’s not just about sustaining our nation’s economic growth. All around us are matters of na- tional and international importance that are crying out for creative solutions, from saving the Gulf of Mexico to bringing peace to Afghanistan to delivering health care.”


The fact is that our businesses are crying out for creative employees…and… perhaps some of them learned to think creatively through the arts. The ac- cepted definition of creativity is production of something original and useful says Newsweek. While the arts don’t have a monopoly on left brain thinking or creative problem solving, they do have a remarkable track record. So why is Lauer posing the question, “are (college) degrees in things like fine arts, drama, etc…useless when it comes to getting a job?”


Years ago (defined as when I went to college) a liberal arts education was thought to be the smartest and most comprehensive degree to pursue in preparation for a career in any field. Now, in this age of specialization, there is a college degree to be had in every narrow silo that fits a job description that may be “useless” in years to come. I somehow doubt that such myopia will bring an entrepreneurial spirit back to American business. Steve Jobs for one gives credit to a single calligraphy course in college, without which he says “the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts." Who knows where inspiration will come from next, so don’t sell the arts short. It is the mother of invention.


MAY 2012


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