Looking Forward to Culture Days
Now that Culture Days has come and gone for 2011, many organizations have had the chance to reflect on their involvement. The Art Gallery of Swift Current is the one of many cultural organizations that was pleased with the results.
Originally, Kim Houghtaling, director and curator of the Art Gallery of Swift Current, thought Culture Days would be a great opportunity to work collaboratively with organizations that otherwise may not have had the chance to work together. As Houghtaling puts it, “some of the groups that worked together for Culture Days this year had not really collaborated on anything else. They had their own world of activities and didn’t really have a reason to branch out with any other groups. Culture Days provided that opportunity to work together. It worked out really well in Swift Current.”
A common goal can bring a community together, he notes. And have a lasting effect. “Knowing that those organizations now see themselves as part of Culture Days makes it easier to make connections for future projects. If something came up now, we wouldn’t hesitate to call up the recreation folks to get involved and vice versa.”
Culture belongs to us all and Culture Days really helps to show that, and to show it off. we all get into it, heritage is the soul, the arts are the voice, and the heart is community – and that’s culture for you. 16 wINTEr 2012 Engage It is not only the new working relationships that appeal to the Art Gallery. It is the opportunity to reach and entertain a wider audience, encouraging new visitors to the Gallery. “People who normally feel comfortable coming out for a recreation event, but maybe not cultural events, were able to take part in Culture Days and feel comfortable about it,” explains Houghtaling.
“In 2011, the hope was to have a city-wide open house for Culture Days and invite everyone to take part. Culture Days increased the comfort level for people to go into culture facilities or take part in culture-based activities.”
Based on the successes of this year, Houghtaling has high hopes for next year’s celebration.
“Yes, we will do Culture Days again next year,” he says, “along with all our friends. Culture is not a special interest, it’s not a business model, and it isn’t elitist or exclusive. It’s just the opposite. It’s inclusive.”
He adds, “Culture belongs to us all and Culture Days really helps to show that, and to show it off. We all get into it, heritage is the soul, the arts are the voice, and the heart is community – and that’s culture for you.”