The new executive director at the Northfield Arts Guild, Ann Mosey, was our guest at the December Downtown Forum. The attendees came away with great excitement and expectations for the next year.
Mosey brought some interesting experiences with her from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, where she was the Executive Director of the Arts Alliance of Portage County. During her tenure on the other side of the Mississippi River, she conducted an Economic Impact Study of the arts, developed a Public Arts Master Plan, and coordinated collaborations in Tourism Marketing.
These experiences were immediately evident in her presentation. Ann seeks to expand collaborations between the downtown retailers and the arts community, looks forward to completing a strategic plan for the Arts Guild, offers her support of a local economic impact study of the arts, and, in her spare time, is considering founding and producing something along the lines of her Deep Winter Film Festival.
Mosey views the Northfield Arts Guild as a key member of the local arts community. “The Arts Guild is one entity at a table with many entities”, she told the group.
One of the unique strengths of Northfield that immediately struck Ann when she first visited is the presence of a number of private galleries in Northfield. She views these as a critical, and often missing, asset in cultural tourism marketing. She is also excited about the new energy and ideas coming out of the current Arts Quarter work. Her experiences in Stevens Point indicate that mutually beneficial partnerships between businesses and arts and culture organizations are crucial to successful economic leveraging.
Business leaders were key supporters of the arts in culture in her previous community, but the local government played an important role too. Both groups saw a link between employee retention and recruitment and the arts. In fact, the City of Portage said to her, “Tell us what you’re doing and we’ll help you do it”.