Day Three: Arts Education

Today I dabbled in civic engagement and arts education. There was a great session on innovative partnerships with developers that are taking place in Austin, Denver, and Washington DC as those cities continue to reinvent themselves through arts and culture. I need to learn more about their visioning process as we prepare to do something similar here in Portland and take off where ArtsPlan 2000 has expired.

The afternoon was a MetLife Forum looking at the role of arts education in building a creative workforce. This forum featured the incredibly smart, always charming, and quite funny Sir Ken Robinson. (Sir Ken is shown here giving a similar speech to another group, courtesy of the very excellent TED website.)

I opted out of the AFTA-hosted tours that evening to stroll the strip alone for a tad. Walked through the Mirage and accidentally stumbled into a private nude cigar pool party (wha???) before attempting to comprehend a casino game of apparently Japanese origins with domino-like tiles and three dice in a tin cup. Met two lovely ladies at a very tasty Oyster Bar at Harrah’s who had come to see Phantom (Vegas!) and Love, the new Cirque du Soleil Beatles show. Which reminds me, the Cirque creative director was our keynote speaker earlier today. She was pretty interesting but her speech ran pretty long. But I gotta see Love next time I’m here, or so these ladies tell me, and my sister in law, a huge Beatles fan, would love it especially. “Was Phantom over the top?” I asked. “Oh god yes. Too much,” she said.

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