Over the past year I have become a fan of Andrew Taylor and his blog The Artful Manager. His postings are a mix of big picture thinking on the arts combined with humor, practical insights and well written commentary.
One of his recent posting is based on a speech to a Rotary Club in Sheboygan, Wisconsin (not exactly preaching to the choir mind you). The speech discusses in concise terms the difference between the footprints (arts outcomes – instrumental value in Gifts of the Muse terms) and the Giant (the intrinsic value of the arts). As any advocate knows, this can be a tough sell. Andrew Taylor shows he is up to the task.
''The Footprints and the Giant.'' The footprints are the impressions left by something very large, but they are not the thing, itself. Economic impact is a footprint. Social connection is a footprint. Education and personal growth are footprints. And a vital civic life is a footprint, as well. They are easier to talk about because they are the things we can see and measure. Our focus on the footprints can blind us to the more important point. The footprints get larger and deeper only if we understand the giant that leaves them.
This article is a must read for any arts advocate.
The Artful Manager: The Footprints and the Giant