Penn hosts public discussion: Can arts revive our cities?

The Penn Institute for Urban Research, in partnership with the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and Philagrafika, will sponsor a public discussion from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2 at the University Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, on how the arts affect local and national economies and whether the arts can revive America's economic landscape.
The session, titled "Can the Arts Revive Our Cities' and the Nation's Economy?," will address how policymakers, civic leaders and other city builders can assess and capitalize on the value of the arts, and will explore whether culture can serve as a catalyst in job creation and for-profit development.
Speakers, including Rocco Landesman, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts; Mark Stern, Penn professor of social welfare and history at the School of Social Policy & Practice; and David Thornburgh, executive director of the Fels Institute of Government, will discuss the need for local and national policies to support art-based economies, and the need for a better understanding of the value of the arts in cities and the nation.
This is the second event in Penn IUR’s three-part seminar series titled “The Arts and the City,” supported by the Provost Interdisciplinary Seminar Fund. Other speakers scheduled to participate include Donald Harrison, saxophonist, singer and composer; Julia Olin, executive director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts; Greg Rowe, director of culture initiatives at the Pew Charitable Trusts; Cookie Ruiz, executive director of Ballet Austin and Nick Spitzer, host and producer of the “American Routes,” show on public radio.
The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required. To register, email For more details, click here.

Originally published on February 25, 2010