Rodney Van Valkenburg Stresses The Higher Importance Of The Arts

Monday, July 22, 2019 - by Joseph Dycus
Rodney Van Valkenburg at the Pachyderm Club
Rodney Van Valkenburg at the Pachyderm Club
- photo by Joseph Dycus

Art can serve a higher purpose than simply being aesthetically pleasing, and Rodney Van Valkenburg let the Pachyderm Club know why during their weekly meeting.

The interim president of ArtsBuild, a local organization that helps facilitate the growth of the arts in Chattanooga, went through a multitude of points during his presentation.

The speaker spoke at length about the economic impact ArtsBuild’s programs have on the community.

“Our purpose is promoting the creative arts,” said Mr. Van Valkenburg, “and the shorthand is that we are the United Way for the arts. We raise money so we can invest into all of our arts organizations.”

The company funds 24 organizations, including the Tivoli Theater, the Hunter Museum, and many other important institutions. However, he let it be known that not just any arts-related organization is eligible for funding.

“They have to go through a review process. The main issue, about 50% of the issue, for access is “how do you serve the community?” How can the arts support the good things happening in the community,” asked Mr. Van Valkenburg, “will your organization helps in schools or social service agencies? How can we help invest that money into those organizations and empower them to reach out?”

However, he did not want this qualifier to scare of any potential programs from applying. Even though there are standard which must be met, the speaker encouraged others to apply.

“Anyone who has a good idea to make Chattanooga a better place can get a grant to fund their project,” he said, “It only takes a day to figure out If they’ve been approved.”

Mr. Van Valkenburg also gave some background information on ArtsBuild. The speaker said,  “The great thing about the arts from a political standpoint is that it’s non-partisan,” but he also got slightly political In front of a rather conservative audience.

He praised Chuck Fleischmann, who has been very supportive of the arts during his time as a Congressman. He said Congressman Fleischmann got into office, saw the missing artwork in the Third District's student artwork section in the Capitol, and said, “We need to change this.”

Mr. Van Valkenburg spent a good amount of the presentation illustrating why investing in art for their children’s’ (or grandchildren’s’) education was of vital importance. He mentioned Splash, a program where Chattanooga children create art and then sell it.

“It’s become an oasis. It keeps them occupied, and shows them they have talents they may not have known they have,” said the speaker, “They’re also showing them how to be entrepreneurs, how to sell their artwork.”

“It’s about engagement, it’s about engaging the kids. They may be bored in math, but they’ll show up for their art class.”

Mr. Van Valkenburg gave special attention to the economic impact ArtBuild’s investments have on the Chattanooga community. By funding art-related programs in schools and other places, money has actually been generated for the Scenic City.

 “We did a survey to look at the economic impact of the arts, and we surveyed arts organizations and asked what they were spending. We found out that our total impact on our community is 170 million dollars. We’re putting money back into the community,” said the interim president of ArtsBuild.


Southern Lit Needs Volunteers For YA-Hoo Fest Sept. 21

CDOT Announces Construction Closures On Appling Street And W. Aquarium Way

Book Launch: Dave Connis In Conversation With Matthew Hubbard Sept. 17 At Star Line Books


Chattanooga’s second annual young adult book festival, YA-hoo Fest, will be held from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 at Chattanooga State Community College. Presented by Southern Lit Alliance ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Department of Transportation announces the following closures: Appling Street between Benton Ave and the access drive to Blood Assurance parking is now closed until Friday, Nov. ... (click for more)

Join us at Star Line Books at 7 pm on September 17th Star Line Books wiill launch the latest YA novel by Chattanooga favorite Dave Connis, "Suggested Reading," on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. Dave Connis ... (click for more)


Happenings

Southern Lit Needs Volunteers For YA-Hoo Fest Sept. 21

Chattanooga’s second annual young adult book festival, YA-hoo Fest, will be held from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 at Chattanooga State Community College. Presented by Southern Lit Alliance and Chattanooga State Community College’s Writers@Work program, YA-hoo Fest is offered free of charge in celebration of young adult and middle grades literature, the authors who write it ... (click for more)

CDOT Announces Construction Closures On Appling Street And W. Aquarium Way

Chattanooga Department of Transportation announces the following closures: Appling Street between Benton Ave and the access drive to Blood Assurance parking is now closed until Friday, Nov. 15, due to construction. Access to the Blood Assurance parking lot will be maintained at all times. Detours will be posted. The Eastbound lane of W. Aquarium Way between Chestnut Street ... (click for more)

Breaking News

CFC Interested In Having 3 Soccer Fields At 13 Acres Of Montague Park Available For Development; Montague Descendants Oppose Any Commercial Use

The city of Chattanooga is seeking Requests for Proposals for the development of 13 acres at Montague Park by E. 23rd Street. A pre-bid meeting was held at the site on Wednesday morning, and the proposals are due by Sept. 10. A city panel will review the proposals and make a recommendation. Tim Kelly, chairman and co-founder of the Chattanooga Football Club, confirmed that ... (click for more)

State Dismisses Manslaughter Charge Against Jadarius Knox; Anguished Mother Of Victim Says "He Didn't Have To Kill Him"

The District Attorney's Office on Thursday dismissed a voluntary manslaughter charge against Jadarius Knox, saying evidence in the case in which Dakota Biddle was killed showed a self defense theory could be found to be valid. Knox was original charged with criminal homicide in the May 2018 incident on Basswood Drive, but it was reduced to voluntary manslaughter at the Grand ... (click for more)

Opinion

Are There Too Many Hamilton County Schools?

Two recent articles reveal a great deal about the present state of local public education. Mixing and matching information and reading between the lines reveals even more. First, there is that loooonnnngg list of Top Hamilton County Schools Salaries 2019. That nearly incredible list covers only salaries from $70,000 and up, and includes 290 different individuals -- approaching ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Drum Major For Peace

There have been many Christmas Seasons when I have looked high and low for Christmas Cards that included the poem, “One Solitary Life.” I came across the revered poem easily over 40 years ago during a kiddie matinee at the famed Radio City Music Hall, which is in midtown Manhattan. The Radio Music Hall is huge – it can comfortably seat 6,000 – and so awesome is the Christmas Spectacular ... (click for more)