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Green
When discretionary funding is found and allocated, it quite often goes to the local sports programs, often following the argument that sports programs bring more money into the community to support local businesses. Studies show that this is not true, but the public believes that it is, so the practice continues. The National Governors Association has issued a policy brief, titled “The Role of the Arts in Economic Development” that states, in part, the following: The non-profit arts industry, with $36.8 billion in annual revenue, is a potent force in economic development nationwide. Governors can position their states to use the arts effectively by promoting new partnerships among state agencies, communities, and the business sector and by harnessing the power of the arts and culture as tools that unite communities, create economic opportunity, and improve the quality of life. Public interest in the performing arts has increased yearly to such an extent that these activities now outdraw sporting events and movie houses. Assuming that the Governors studies are accurate, and given that these studies are not widely disseminated to the public, the question is, what can arts organizations do by themselves to maintain their existence?

We believe the answer to that question is that arts organizations can follow a strong program of

sustainability through planning and constructing buildings that are energy efficient and

environmentally sound. The Tehachapi Performing Arts and Museum Center is being planned as

such a building. Our Green Committee is hard at work planning exactly how this can be

accomplished, and we are following closely the Council for Leadership in Energy and

Environmental Design (LEED) list of requirements for going Green. Our ambition is to earn

enough points to get the LEED Council’s Platinum Award, and we are optimistic that we can

accomplish that through the use of wind and solar power to the extent that little or no purchased

electricity will be necessary. That, along with the use of

other energy saving materials and practices, will give us the

ability to maintain and operate our building on a relatively

small budget.

We believe that going Green will be able to save some organizations that are in danger of

financial collapse. In our case, we are fortunate to be starting

our building from the ground up, which is less costly than

retrofitting an existing building. However, we believe that there

are also changes that can be made in existing buildings that

can impact their bottom line significantly, especially the

installation of renewable energy equipment. The Tehachapi

Performing Arts Center Foundation Board is excited to be a

model for the rest of the community, which currently has no

Green Buildings. We hope that many others will follow our

lead. The results of the deliberations of our Green Committee

are contained in a separate report. We are a small community

with a large vision. We hope both public agencies and private

foundations will see the benefits in helping us build this

sustainable building for the future.

CAN GREEN

SAVE THE ARTS?

It has long been the case that quality- of-life organizations, such as performing arts centers and museums, lack the ability to fully fund their operations. The expense that continues to contribute most significantly to their inability to sustain themselves, is electricity. One manager of a performing arts center in a nearby city told us that the amount of their ongoing deficit parallels their cost of electricity. To add to the problems of these institutions is the reality that most governmental entities today put quality-of-life issues at the bottom of the budget in favor of fixing potholes and expanding fire and police services. This means that the arts, in all areas, must continually fight for survival.
Green