Dennis Deery

The Arts Make Money

June 15, 2007
Professional CommunityDevelopment

The Wisconsin Arts Board has come out with a new study showing the impact the arts have on local economies. According to the report, “in 2005, Wisconsin’s non-profit arts industry generated over 15,000 full-time jobs and $61,840,000 in state and local government revenue. Cumulatively, the arts contributed $418,055,786 in total economic activity.” The Wisconsin Arts Board hopes to use the report’s findings to improve public funding for the arts in Wisconsin.

We have certainly entered an era when communities will have to show a vibrant cultural environment to survive and thrive. Many small towns in Wisconsin, and elsewhere, struggle with this. I will say that’s one big difference I’ve noticed between Ireland and the United States - arts, whether it be music, storytelling or visual arts, play a prime role in society here in Ireland. I’ve told many friends, and written here, about the prevalence of traditional music sessions even in the town of 8,000 we live in. It’s not unusual to have live music events here in town every night of the week. I’m a firm believer that this kind of thing helps to build communities, because arts events are shared events, rather than the individual event of staying home and watching television.

In a Wisconsin State Journal article announcing the release of the report, our good friend Anne Katz of Arts Wisconsin is quoted doing what she does best, plugging the arts. Nice job Anne!

Wisconsin State Journal - State’s arts spending ranks near the bottom

Wisconsin Arts Board Study

A Model for Change

August 20, 2018
CommunityDevelopment OrganizationalDevelopment Professional

Change is constant – we all deal with it, we all complain about it. We all do it. In a 2008 study titled “The Enterprise of the Future”, IBM surveyed over 1,000 CEOs around the world. 83% of those surveyed said they expect their organization to undergo substantial change. But only 61% of those executives believe they have managed change successfully in the past.  Why the disconnect? If change is so constant, why are we so bad at it?

Take a Systems View

July 20, 2018
CommunityDevelopment OrganizationalDevelopment Professional

Do you ever have trouble getting your living room temperature just right? It gets cold outside, so you bump the heat up. Whoops, too much, now you’re too hot. Down with the thermostat. Wait, now it’s freezing, turn up the heat! Cycle after cycle, until finally you get it dialed in just right. Now you can fire up the TV and binge-watch your favorite show. Congratulations, you understand systems thinking – that’s it in a nutshell.

Small Town Rules

May 8, 2012
Professsional CommunityDevelopment Books
by Barry Moltz and Becky McCray (Full disclosure: Becky is one of the organizers of #140conf Small Town, where I’ve spoken the last two years. She was kind enough to provide me with a review copy of her book.) This book, subtitled “How Big Brands and Small Business Can Prosper in a Connected Economy”, is a great look at the unique attributes that can make small town and rural businesses successful.
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