Kathryn Graddy served as a panelist at the 2012 National Arts Policy Roundtable, along with Jeremy Nowak, President of the William Penn Foundation and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Board of Directors, The Honorable Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia, and Emily Pilloton,  Founder of Project H Design.   David Grant, Facilitator of the National Arts Policy Roundtable and former President of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation served as the Moderator. The Roundtable is organized by Americans for the Arts and was held on September 27th-29th at the Sundance Resort in Utah.   The theme for the discussion at the 2012 conference was “The Role of the Arts in a Shifting Economy.”

The purpose of the National Arts Policy Roundtable is to bring together decision makers and thought leaders from different sectors to discuss ways of advancing the arts, broadly defined, in America.   The premise of the conference is that arts and culture are very important to all parts of society, including the economy, and need to be actively promoted.  The National Arts Policy Roundtable was launched in October 2006 by Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Robert Redford, founder of the Sundance Institute.

Graddy very much enjoyed the conference and especially enjoyed interacting with a group of people whose primary purpose is to advance production of art.   Highlights of the event were performances by two 2012 United States Presidential Scholars in the Arts, Kelley Kessell, a singer and a freshman majoring in computer science at the Florida State University, and Da’Shawn Mosley, a writer and a freshman major in English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago.   On the Saturday night of the conference, the first screening of Studio H, a documentary film that follows Emily Pilloton, founder of Project H Design,  and Matt Miller as they teach the fundamentals of design, architecture and construction to a class of high school juniors in rural North Carolina  was screened for the first time.  The choice of these two young artists, along with the screening of Studio H Design, highlights both the breadth and importance of the arts to society as a whole.

Graddy’s research focuses on the Economics of the Arts.  She is the Editor of the Journal of Cultural Economics and the Chair of the Economics Department here at Brandeis.  In the spring, she will be jointly teaching a course on the Economics of the Arts with Professor Nancy Scott of the Department of Fine Arts.




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