The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) has announced that it will lead the community effort to develop a sustainable funding plan for arts and culture, encompassing both public and private sector funding strategies. The agency has retained Ben Maiden to lead the development of the strategic funding plan working with stakeholders such as the arts and culture community, city, county and private sector through the Columbus Partnership and the Columbus Foundation.
“The studies conducted in the past two years demonstrate that arts and culture are very important to our economic vitality and our ability to compete for both the businesses and talent we need to grow as a city,” said Robert Falcone, GCAC board chair. “We need a funding plan to build on our successes, and Ben is the right person at the right time to lead this effort,” he said.
A Community Report: The Arts, recently released by The Columbus Foundation and the Columbus Partnership, maintained that the success of arts and culture depends on three elements: improved earned income for arts organizations, including arts and culture in the Columbus2020 economic development plan, and GCAC leading the effort to re-invigorate the arts.
Alex Fischer, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, recently said, “We should support this work, we should be involved in it and should champion and advocate for it, but we believe GCAC is the right organization to own this topic.”
Maiden, a retired Battelle Executive, has a long history of supporting the arts and collecting contemporary art. During his 31 years at Battelle, he led the organization’s world-wide environmental business, as well as a corporate venture group that started three spin-out companies based upon Battelle technology. His teams were known for their innovation, entrepreneurship, and impact.
Maiden has served on the board of the Columbus Museum of Art, as well as on the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Committee on Collections. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Board of Wonderland Columbus, an exciting new arts initiative. A committed community leader, Maiden has served as an advisor on issues related to social entrepreneurship and financial sustainability for organizations such as the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio, The Ohio State University, the Children’s Hunger Alliance, and the Franklin Park Conservatory. He also served for eight years on the Board of the Melville Charitable Trust, a foundation dedicated to finding and preventing the root causes of homelessness.
About the Greater Columbus Arts Council: Through vision and leadership, advocacy and collaboration, the Greater Columbus Arts Council supports art and advances the culture of the region. A catalyst for excellence and innovation, we fund exemplary artists and arts organizations and provide programs, events and services of public value that educate and engage all audiences in our community. GCAC thanks the City of Columbus, Franklin County, the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts for their continued support.
CONTACT: Jami Goldstein