Tag Archives: Economy

Jackson Hole Art Auction Gears Up; Arts Economy, CIAO, DIGS

E.I. Couse, (1866-1936), "Moonlight"

E.I. Couse, (1866-1936), "Moonlight"

Upstairs at Trailside Gallery, towards the rear, are treasures.   The Jackson Hole Art Auction takes place Saturday, September 19 at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts. The auction is taking bidder registrations; 2009 consignment deadlines have long passed, but you may submit artwork for consideration for 2010’s Auction by logging onto their website.

To tempt you, here’s a look at this year’s schedule.  The Jackson Hole Art Auction dixonmaynard-oldflathead-1245873692-detailis produced in conjunction with the Gerald Peters Gallery. All times are Mountain Standard Time.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 18:  Auction Preview.  Free to the public at the Center for the Arts, 240 S. Glenwood.    10:00 am – 7:00 pm.





The Auction takes place during Jackson Hole’s Fall Arts Festival. A calendar of events relating to the visual arts may be found by clicking on the Festival Calendar link on the right side of the blog, near the top of the page.   The calendar will be posted here at Festival time.   Got Fall Arts Info?  Send it along to me, at: tammy@jacksonholearttours.com.    Visual arts information only, please.

Item #2:

jchang1largeUp at CIAO: Here’s the skinny on CIAO’s new show: “Nocturnes, Art Inspired by the Night” features an eclectic array of art from jewelry to photography, created by local and international artists.  The opening reception will take place Saturday August 22nd, 6-9pm at CIAO Gallery on Glenwood.  This exhibition features artists Chang Jorinde, an artist from Taiwan and Texas based artist Twyla Bloxham. This exhibition will feature local artist & guest juror Benji Pierson as well as Glass Artists Liz Peet. New York City based jeweler Kristen Wall, will feature her one of a kind, city night inspired pieces.”

Phone number to call for more information: 307-413-4841.

Item #3


ARTS & ECONOMY: Rocco Landesman was confirmed as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. According to the New London Day, “…his straight-talking style, Missouri roots and affinity for baseball and country music are expected to give him a leg up with many legislators.”

Item #4:

download3Habitat for Humanity is launching a new social networking group, ‘DIGS’ – Dedicated Individuals Giving and Serving. DIGS brings together active young locals who share a passion for Jackson Hole and who support housing in order to preserve an engaged and diverse community.  The group offers a fun and social way for Jackson residents to give back, and aims to raise enough money in the next twelve months to “dig” the foundation on a new Habitat house.”


“DIGS will host a kick-off event this Wednesday, August 26 from 5pm – 8pm at Lyndsay McCandless Contemporary. The event will feature live bluegrass music from the Random Canyon Growlers and a raffle of two tandem flights with JH Paragliding. It will also showcase works by local artists crafted from Habitat ReStore materials in partnership with Lyndsay McCandless Contemporary. Complimentary Snake River (award winning!) beer, wine, and hors d’oeuvres will be served.  Memberships will be available for purchase at the event for $35 and include free entry to all DIGS events, a free raffle ticket for the paragliding raffle, and discounts at local businesses including Amangani, Elevated Grounds, Nikai, Skinny Skis, Tobacco Row, Jackson Whole Grocer, and the Mangy Moose.  FREE!”

Info: Office: (307) 734-0828

Arts, Economy, & Jackson Hole, Wyoming

3245664647_47644fe9caMemorial Weekend Monday as I write this.  Earlier today I took a walk around town.  It was an extremely pleasant walk because I was able to stroll easily around the Town Square, able to find a bench to sit on, able to browse lazily in a few shops.  It was mellow out there.

It’s not supposed to be this mellow in Jackson Hole on Memorial Day.  Earlier in the weekend, a friend emailed me to find out what was happening in the arts over the holiday.  My answer was….not much.  No big parties or receptions.  No extravaganzas; I wasn’t even certain all the galleries would be open.

Our galleries are gasping for breath.  I’ve posted an idea about window art being utilized to fill and brighten empty storefronts; sent a letter to the editor at the Jackson Hole News & Guide that has yet to appear.   Which is o.k., because we’ve got some mega-issues going on with our revised Comprehensive Plan.

We need some stop gap action, though; simple, non-political gestures to shore us all up while the economy writhes and we search for a livable future for Jackson.  Our Center for the Arts needs a loan, galleries have closed, artists are scrambling. Artists are leaving, too. Comprehensive Plans include internal solutions, solutions that don’t have to do with sketching out a building, but that include using our hearts, minds and space in the most giving ways.

Ok, enough.   In the end, Jackson’s future is about how we decide to act in this community.

Earlier this spring Bruce Richardson, Chair of the Wyoming Arts Council, spoke on the subject of the importance of arts to our economy.   Richardson, a board member of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, takes the elusive, often seemingly quirky and odd aspects of art, and boils it all down to sensibility. Here’s Richardson’s essay, taken from the Wyoming Arts Council Blog. Note his point about the number of people working in the arts in Montana.


Arts Mean Business
By Bruce Richardson

I am here to talk about the ordinariness of arts and why include them in job bills and economic development. Simply put, arts are business and the arts business, both for-profit and non-profit, is a substantial part of the Wyoming economy.

People tend to think of art as odd and special, a separate, realm of elevated, difficult and unusual activities done by talented, but eccentric, flaky people. People remember Beethoven’s genius and bad temper, Vincent Van Gogh’s ear-chopping, and think of starving writers not paying the rent (as in the musical Rent).

In fact, most art workers are pretty regular people. They take and sell photos, repair instruments, plan buildings, design websites, make and sell jewelry, build hand-crafted furniture, teach guitar, fiddle, oboe, make and market sculpting tools, sculpt antlers into beautiful objects and sell them over the web, frame pictures, paint portraits, play Mexican dance music at your wedding, do entertaining and uplifting concerts, make fine pottery, do leathercraft, sell paintings in a downtown gallery and design your building.

All of these are businesses in Wyoming. The owners rent or own property, buy supplies, pay insurance and taxes, pay salaries, buy groceries and furniture and participate in the local economy just as do the owners and employees of manufacturing companies or coal companies.

So the arts portion of the stimulus bill makes good sense. The grants that will go out in Wyoming must be used to preserve significant jobs in non-profit arts organizations facing cutbacks. As reported in The Casper Journal, arts organizations such as the Symphony and Nicolaysen Art Museum have suffered from decreases in their endowments, donations and fund-raising.

The Arts are taking an especially big hit as philanthropy moves their diminished resources to others areas. Layoffs and canceled programs are a likely result that can hit small towns as well as large. We want to see the robust Oyster Ridge Music Festival in Kemmerer or the Basin Art Center continue to thrive. In the performing arts, a cancelled concert is similar to a layoff. Musicians lose work and money, the audience loses a program, and the organization loses the ticket and sponsorship income.

The small stimulus allotments contemplated by the Wyoming Arts Council will be out there fast and function as a short-term bridge to preserve jobs in the arts. The program will not remove all the threats to jobs, but it is timely, targeted and temporary.

Some may be surprised how many people in Wyoming make their living from the arts. In Sheridan there are 1,123 people (5.8% of the labor force) working in the creative, arts-based economy according to a recent, very careful study, “Tradition, Expression and Recognition: Creative Opportunities in the New West.” Stuart Rosenfeld, the author, gets his data from on-the-ground counts that find the self-employed and others not listed on the standard sources. He also found a cluster of leather and saddle artisans.

The study (available from the Center for Vital Communities in Sheridan) is of significance to the whole state and our efforts to increase economic diversity and attract top creative talent. There is much here already that we can nurture.

For example, the arts economy in Jackson, according to a recent study by Americans for the Arts (Arts and Prosperity III), is one of the largest in the nation. While the study, using Dunn and Bradstreet lists, misses much of the activity, it does allow comparisons and they are staggering. Jackson has ten times more arts spending per-capita than Boulder, Colorado, and twenty times more than Boise, Idaho, both places that promote themselves as arts centers. Cody, not included in the study, is probably not far behind Jackson, and clusters of activity can be found in many Wyoming communities, including Casper.

This matches national trends. Rosenfeld found that the arts economy in Arkansas was the state’s third largest employer and that in Montana, astoundingly, there were more people working in the arts than in the energy industry. It’s no surprise then that arts councils are often part of state offices of economic development, as is the case in Louisiana and Connecticut and that many towns actively recruit artists and promote themselves as arts destinations. Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a decaying manufacturing city has made a huge comeback by stressing music, pottery and food. Each night the downtown swarms with young shoppers and music lovers having a good time and spending money.

We know that appealing towns have lots of arts and that arts draw people and businesses. We also know that arts are fun, that they give pleasure and meaning, that strong art lifts the soul and unclutters the mind.

American Association of Museums Rallies Against Coburn Amendment

As is painfully apparent around Jackson Hole, indeed across Wyoming, the arts are taking an economic blow to the belly.  Local arts  entrepreneurs are pulling together, a healthy and overdue development.

What follows is an exerpt from a letter written by Ford W. Bell, of the American Association of Museums, calling for museum advocates to rally and contribute in response to the recently passed Coburn Amendment (See “Gambling with the Arts,” posted 2/8/2009). The amendment bans stimulus package funding to museums and other entities tied, erroneously or not, to the arts.  The letter goes on to ask for contributions, but doing such will be left to the reader.
February 24, 2009

Dear Advocate,

I write to you having just returned to my office from Capitol Hill, where I enjoyed breakfast with 310 AAM friends and advocates from 45 states, all gathered here in Washington, DC for AAM’s Museums Advocacy Day. Following the networking breakfast, we were honored to hear poignant and motivational remarks by Congressman John Lewis (GA-5), followed by heartfelt welcomes and personal museum stories by Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-4), Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX-1), Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Congressman Lacy Clay (MO-1) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN). Having spent the majority of yesterday refreshing their collective “Advocacy 101” skills with a remarkable group of teachers, Hill-insiders and even an “Advocacy Guru,” today the assembled group of advocates appeared eager and well-prepared to carry our unified message that MUSEUMS MATTER to their elected officials.

We have real strength in numbers and, after the Coburn amendment in the Senate, it is more important than ever for us to use our voices and to use them well. For those of you who have not heard, an amendment was passed – overwhelmingly – by the Senate on February 6 prohibiting any economic stimulus funding from going to museums. In that amendment, museums were joined by casinos, stadiums, golf courses and swimming pools, among others, in being barred from stimulus funding.  The fact that museums would even be considered in a list like this illustrates how critical it is for us to educate our legislators on our mission and contributions to our communities. Museums are a vital part of our economy and of our nation’s educational infrastructure.  They employ more than a half million Americans and partner with schools to educate our children.

And while the passage of this amendment was initially a setback for our community, our collaborative action in response to that misguided provision was a watershed moment for our field.

Together we have started a movement, and with our field-wide response to the recent developments in Congress, our Museums Advocacy Day and your engagement in e-advocacy activities,  we now take that movement to Capitol Hill. We all should be quite proud that we were able to mobilize a massive field-wide effort to prevent a funding ban on museums in this bill. Through nearly 4,000 letters and emails and untold numbers of additional calls directly into legislators’ offices, our consternation was heard! The troubling fact is that Congress – and specifically the U.S. Senate in its February 6 vote – initially saw fit to exclude museums from funding. Further, the truly disheartening fact is that zoos and aquaria will be prohibited from competing for most economic stimulus funds made available through this bill. You and I both know that zoos and aquaria have tremendous public benefit for environmental education and wildlife conservation, while contributing greatly to our nation’s economy by spurring tourism. The omission of zoos and aquaria magnifies the need for our field to resoundingly make the case for all museums in all communities.

The presence of AAM’s Government Relations team at a number of regional and state association meetings, along with the direct cost for our advocacy alert systems and the service that allows you to look up your legislator on our site, www.speakupformuseums.org, are not insignificant….


Ford W. Bell


Then, Now: Media, the Economy & Leadership

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.”F.D.R., Inaugural Address

Is the media too attentive to our economic plight, feeding our fears in the process? Nobody can answer how much better or worse the economy might be without the coverage; if you think the economy is worse than is being reported, you’d answer one way; if you think the economy is not as broken as is being reported, you’d answer another way.

But Roosevelt’s point was not that we, the public, are our own worst enemy.  His point was that LEADERSHIP need be trustworthy, apt, fearless and true.

“Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.”

In his inaugural address, Roosevelt did what media does now: state the obvious. Generally, we don’t like change.  F.D.R.’s speech was pretty radical. It is only in stating the obvious in such times, though, that reality is fully dealt with.  Citizens gain courage when leadership is dynamic.

“In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.”

As a response to the economic crisis we’ve created by living beyond our means, (The World Resources Institute is a resource for information on living beyond our means environmentally )  and that the rash, selfish economics of the past decade have led us to, we can redefine ourselves for the better.  But we can only do that if we are open about taking a good hard look at ourselves, and gain strength from the effort.  We are about to experience new leadership, most likely of a sort existing generations haven’t experienced.   There will no doubt be problems; there always are.   But if our new president runs his presidency like he ran his campaign, he will be one of our greatest leaders.  And with great leadership, fear and distrust fade away.

“Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.”

Pulitzer Prize winning economist Paul Krugman said that our economy will only start to turn around when jobs are created again.  Here in Jackson Hole, people need work.  We’ve long needed more good work, but with visitors spending their dollars in our tourism economy, we all felt safe.     I don’t know how much Obama can reasonably be expected to accomplish during this first term, but as an 18-year-old noted on National Public Radio, he should be counted on to maintain the honesty and openess he’s exhibited thus far.  That will establish trust on our end, which will encourage us towards putting our economy back together again.

Smart Growth for Jackson Hole

Mixed-use development, currently defined, imagines businesses and customers as embracing that concept by building unspecified commercial, lodging and residential spaces. The premise is that Jackson residents will be able to walk to work.

What work? What quality of jobs are we planning for?

What professional jobs are being created that will provide the level of income necessary to live in these spaces?

If we don’t plan to build opportunities for sufficient wage earning, we’re just doing more of the same: constructing amenities to be supported by service-level jobs. All work is valuable, but these jobs, by themselves, won’t sustain us.

Here in Teton County over the past five years, some free market housing values have almost doubled. But that rate of return will not continue.

Potential property buyers need significant wealth, excellent credit, 500 ounces of gold, and an upper tier level job waiting for them.

We don’t have enough of those jobs. Wages are too low and there is no housing. Last Friday evening driving home from Tetonia, I easily passed 150 cars driving to Idaho; very few cars were headed towards Jackson.

Eben Fodor, a ‘green’ urban planner, implores all communities to ask themselves these questions when planning growth:

1. Of the jobs that will be created by new growth, what kind of jobs will they be?
2. Who will get these jobs?
3. What salaries and benefits will be paid?
4. Are the benefits to the community greater than the cost?
5. Will these businesses be stable and make long-term contributions to the community?
6. What will be the full cost to the community? ( Fodor lists subsidies, infrastructure, services, environmental and social costs.)
7. What are the risks if the business should not succeed or relocate?

We are determining whether to offer enriching livelihoods and long-term community health and wealth. If we don’t make specific choices we rob future generations and ourselves.

In planning a community, we ideally pick development and growth ‘stocks’ to provide steady return over an extended period. Making informed, broad-based choices determines the value of our community, the education and resumes of our citizens, the breadth of our economic base. In choosing qualitative growth we must explore ways to add education, arts, technology and science-based businesses and build infrastructures to support entrepreneurs. Let’s research the incorporation of facilities for humanities, health and public policy training.

Tammy Christel
Jackson, Wyoming 83001