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Task force to study arts and entertainment in Hagerstown, Washington County

March 15, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER | kate.alexander@herald-mail.com

A recently formed community task force will soon commission a series of studies to assess the arts and entertainment community in Hagerstown and Washington County.

The Arts, Education and Community Task Force, created to help build the community's reputation as an arts destination, informed the Hagerstown City Council Tuesday of its plans and goals for the studies.

James E. Miller, project chairman, said the task force will complete three complementary studies looking at marketing, economic impact and artists.

Miller said the task force has raised $22,000 to pay economist Anirban Basu and the Sage Policy Group to conduct the marketing and economic impact studies.

Frostburg State University graduate students in the school's marketing program will complete the artist study at no cost, he said.

According to city documents, the task force hoped to answer four basic questions through the studies:

  • What does the art consumer want arts organizations to provide?
  • What are the best methods to communicate arts offerings to an audience?
  • What are the spending habits of an arts consumer who is attending an event?
  • What environmental factors are important to arts consumers?

Miller said among their many facets, the studies will include focus groups involving the public, elected officials and professionals.

The studies also will include detailed case studies of arts initiatives in communities similar to Hagers-town, he said.

Local arts organizations, businesses and foundations came together to help finance the studies, Miller said.

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