Why is it so critical to support the vibrant arts scene? Whether it’s an art gallery or live music or theatre, or maybe it’s a cafe or handcrafted soap, chocolates, or cocktails, the subtext of these experiences is about self-expression and creativity. A vibrant arts scene outwardly communicates, ‘This place embraces the entrepreneurial spirit and supports the risk takers.’ And it also says, ‘You are safe to try out something new here.’ Most importantly, I think, it says, ‘We’re going to have fun doing it.’
In Goshen, this is not a ‘Build it and they will come’ scenario. It’s already done. The work of the task force really is to support and promote the experiences in the Arts and Culture District (ACD) and its connections to the artists and their work. Naming the ACD is critical because we’re really putting the stake in the ground and saying, ‘We are here.’
I’m by trade a city planner and urban designer. I was not really familiar with tourism. However, once I became aware of what the ECCVB does here in Elkhart County and its relationship to communicating and promoting the message of who Elkhart County is, and the work we do in connecting with our residents to tell their stories – planners and the tourism industry work on kind of the same things. It’s about quality of place, so that really resonated with me.
Goshen, I think, has a couple of key standout attributes. Goshen College is a tremendous asset and influence in our community. It promotes community, and it also promotes enlightenment and learning. Also, Goshen has a unique sense of community that really fosters diversity and encourages conversation. It’s less transactional, I believe, and more about building relationships
Writing and editing by Scott Weisser and Neil King