Frank Zappa, the avant-garde musician-songwriter and one-time San Diego resident, once said that art is making something out of nothing and selling it. While there are some who would object to that statement as an endorsement of art as crass commercialism, I think that it is an apt description of art’s economic importance.
Robert J. Watkins, president and chairman of R.J. Watkins & Co., was elected president of the Board of Directors of BRAVO San Diego Inc. Watkins follows Jung Ho-Pak, former conductor of the San Diego Symphony, who served as the BRAVO’s founding president in 2004.
The performing arts spark our imagination, entertain us, make us think and show us different perspectives, experiences and ethnic heritages.
Several prominent business and community leaders were recently elected to the BRAVO San Diego board of directors, representing an incredible level of civic commitment to the future prosperity of the nonprofit performing arts organization, said William Parker, chairman of the board of directors.
BRAVO San Diego recently announced the formation of a special fund at The San Diego Foundation to provide grant support to the often-undernourished performing arts community in San Diego. The fund will be used to provide support to organizations whose primary function is to create, perform, present or otherwise promote dance, music or theater in San Diego. Officials said the BRAVO San Diego Performing Arts Fund provides a credible option for individuals, estates, foundations and corporations looking to support the performing arts in San Diego.
Singled out for efforts to connect children to the arts, a visionary alliance with the San Diego Symphony and for commitment to the performing arts community, BRAVO San Diego salutes Viejas Enterprises for providing exceptional leadership and support to the arts throughout the region.
The arts play a major role in our local economy. San Diego’s fine cultural institutions draw visitors from around the world and, according to the San Diego Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, cultural tourists stay longer and spend more money than average overnight visitors.
In 2003, the 82 nonprofit arts and culture organizations supported by the city of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture created 5,000 job opportunities and spent $116.2 million in the local economy.
In 1998, Georg Hochfilzer, general manager of The Westgate Hotel, and Rob Appel, director of Appel Presents..., met and discussed ideas for a special event at the hotel. Hochfilzer had experience hosting a food festival with entertainment in Europe; Appel suggested reversing the idea to be an event that could feature a number of performing arts groups and be complemented with gourmet foods.
A former dancer-choreographer-director with 4,000-plus shows and productions worldwide under his belt, Rob Appel, BRAVO’s co-founder, is setting the stage for his seventh and final appearance as producer of the BRAVO gala festival.
The mission of BRAVO San Diego is to connect dance, music and theater companies with San Diego’s business community and stimulate funds for the long-term stability of San Diego’s performing arts industry.
The arts are good for business and business is good for the arts. By investing in the arts, business improves the quality of life and fosters economic development. This, in turn, attracts new business and spurs community growth.