Lycoming Arts seeks paid staff and volunteers | News, Sports, Jobs

“The arts bring money to the community” says Joy Walls of Lycoming Arts.

The organization has spent the past few months meeting with Williamsport City Council, Lycoming County Commissioners and the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce to tout the economic impact of our area’s arts scene and how it fits together with tourism related to outdoor recreation and other facets. tourism and apply for grants or other sources of income to support the work of the group.

In addition to city council, commissioners and chamber management, Lycoming Arts hopes to share its presentation with state legislators in the region.

“We are economic development at this point,” Lycoming Arts’ Judy Olinsky told the Sun-Gazette on Monday. “We want the community to see this opportunity.”

Olinsky and Walls noted the impact of the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project, which is nearing completion, and ongoing work on Interstate 99 from the New York State line to Center County and the potential for improvements to attract visitors and their money to the Region.

“It will make an incredible difference. This is a moment in time for us,” Olinsky said. “We need to improve our management and our promotion” Arts and culture.

Olinsky, Walls and the other Lycoming Arts volunteers would like to see the community seize the opportunity both by funding paid staff for the organization and by increasing the number of its volunteers.

“We need people to help us with First Friday,” Walls said. “We need volunteers. We need a paid administrator.

First Fridays, perhaps a hallmark of the organization’s work in promoting arts and culture, has grown. The event attracted “an older crowd” when it first started, Walls said, but in recent years First Fridays have seen families and young community members participate.

“A wave of creatives is settling here”, Walls said.

Olinsky noted that the burgeoning arts scene provides opportunities for small business entrepreneurs and people from more modest backgrounds to pursue careers and livelihoods in arts-related businesses and fields — a way to thrive in the face of decades of globalization and the loss of more traditional jobs. .

The arts contribute $1.7 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy and $4.2 million to the Northern Tier economy. According to data compiled by Lycoming Arts, audiences at arts events spend over $1 billion a year. Lycoming Arts has provided a list of promoters and businesses whose efforts can directly relate to branding the city as an arts destination. Olinsky and Walls also noted that arts tourism is converging with other types of tourism, including outdoor recreation supported by the Pennsylvania Wilds program and increased funding for the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. and the region’s status as a host of the Little League World Series.

Paid staff “would ensure sustainability and an increase in the value that the arts can bring to the community”, depending on the presentation. A paid administrator could “put more emphasis on a cultural district and cultural trails”, says the presentation.

Other projects in which paid staff could be at the forefront include designing tram routes for tourists, conference attendees and others to visit arts and cultural sites, marketing and promoting the artistic and cultural heritage of the region and collaboration with the Susquehanna Greenways Partnership and with state tourism initiatives. .

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James C. Tibbs