The arts are not only integral to the development of our cultural identity and values, but they allow us to celebrate and engage in the community. They drive economic development and make the Midlands a more attractive place for families and businesses to lay down roots. The broad appeal of artistic events fosters the mixing of socioeconomic groups. It all culminates in an improved quality of life for us all.
Watch a video from last year’s event
I am proud to support 701 Center for Contemporary Art and its sixth annual Columbia Open Studios tour, April 2-3. Seventy local artists will open their studios to the public, giving us a rare glimpse into the artistic process. This remarkable event celebrates the importance of the arts and builds connections across all levels of our society.
Artistic events are even more important after times of community stress and crisis. Last year’s floods devastated so many neighborhoods and touched all of us. Events such as Columbia Open Studios can bind our community, stimulate our minds and help move us forward.
My family looks forward to the tour every year. The unfettered and unfiltered access to artists in their own studios is extraordinary. It always stimulates great dialogue and opens our eyes to new and different things going on in our neighborhoods. The exposure to different art forms stimulates our children’s minds and broadens their horizons. Simply put, we have a blast.
Midlands artists open their studio doors
I encourage our business community to engage in and support the arts in the Midlands. Your impact will reach well beyond the organization you back, paying dividends deep into the community. And to our citizens, I say enjoy Columbia Open Studios and all that our increasingly vibrant arts community has to offer. The experience will bring you joy and make you proud of our community.