The City of Jacksonville placed a picture of the The Florida Theatre and Jaxoscope, the 2019 public art installation by Shasti O'Leary-Soudant, on the front cover of their recent Capital Improvement Plan. Some may questions the choice of the image, donning the cover of such an important financial document. Some may just see it as a picture of an iconic location that represents downtown Jacksonville. Or, some may see it as a perfect representation of the link between the arts in Jacksonville and the future success of our city. I don’t know why the Mayor’s office chose this image, but I do know some things about the impact arts and culture has on community.
"The sign of a... great city is the strength of its cultural life," said J. Clayton Hering, president of Northwest Business for Culture and the Arts. "Our non-profit arts groups are a powerful economic force, and act as a magnet for tourism. Even more important, they help educate and inspire our citizens and stimulate creativity in the workplace and in our schools."