Arizona Artbeat: Scottsdale Cultural Council Name Change

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The Scottsdale Cultural Council is changing its name to Scottsdale Arts to more clearly define its role in bringing arts to Scottsdale through its three divisions: the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) and Scottsdale Public Art. Neale Perl, the president and CEO of Scottsdale Arts, will tell more about what’s behind the name change and rebranding effort.

TED SIMONS: TONIGHT'S EDITION OF ARIZONA ARTBEAT LOOKS AT A NAME-CHANGE FOR THE SCOTTSDALE CULTURAL COUNCIL, WHICH OVERSEES THE SCOTTSDALE CENTER FOR THE ARTS, THE CITY'S MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART AND SCOTTSDALE PUBLIC ART. THE CULTURAL COUNCIL IS NOW CALLED "SCOTTSDALE ARTS,"AND HERE TO TELL US WHAT'S BEHIND THE NAMD-CHANGE AND RE-BRANDING IS SCOTTSDALE ARTS PRESIDENT AND CEO, NEALE PERL. WELCOME TO ARIZONA "HORIZON."
NEALE PERL: THANK YOU, TED.
TED SIMONS: GOOD TO HAVE YOU. WHAT IS SCOTTSDALE ARTS?
NEALE PERL: IT IS EVERYTHING WE USED TO BE BUT WITH A NEW NAME. PEOPLE WERE CONFUSED ABOUT WHO WE WERE IN THE PAST. CULTURAL COUNCIL. SOME PEOPLE THOUGHT WE WERE A GOVERNMENT AGENCY BUT THIS IS A WONDERFUL TIME TO REBRAND THE ORGANIZATION BECAUSE WE ARE THE THREE DEVISIONS THAT YOU MENTIONED THE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER AND THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART AND PUBLIC ART BUT WE ARE JUST ONE ORGANIZATION. I WAS BROUGHT ON BOARD TWO YEARS AGO TO LEVERAGE THE TALENT.WE HAVE AMAZING STAFF MEMBERS, DEDICATED BOARD MEMBERS AND THEY ARE ALL MOVING IN THE SAME DIRECTION BUT PEOPLE STARTED THINKING OF US AS DIFFERENT ENTITIES BUT WE ARE ONE VERY EXCITING ORGANIZATION.
TED SIMONS: IT SOUNDS LIKE A GOAL TO SHOW UNITY OUT THERE.
NEALE PERL: EXACTLY.THE ARTS ARE ABOUT BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER AND WE HAVE SUCH AMAZING PROGRAMS. EDUCATION PROGRAMS, PERFORMING ARTS, VISUAL ARTS, PROGRAMS FOR SENIORS AND VETERANS, CHILDREN.IT'S A REALLY EXTRODINARY ORGANIZATION THAT TOUCHES ALMOST 400,000 PEOPLE A YEAR.
TED SIMONS: WERE THERE SILOS DEVELOPING BEFORE? IS IT HAPPENING IN SCOTTSDALE?
NEALE PERL: I ALWAYS SAY THE ORGANIZATION HAS DONE EXTRAORDINARY WORK FOR A VERY LONG TIME. THE CENTER JUST CELEBRATED ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY LAST YEAR. THERE WASN'T THAT KIND OF COHESIVENESS AND PART OF THE BEAUTY OF THE ORGANIZATION IS TRYING TO FIND WAYS TO LEVERAGE THE CREATIVITY AND TALENTS AND CONNECTIONS OF THE STAFF SO WE CAN MAKE A BIGGER IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY AND DRIVE TOURISM TO THE REGION.
TED SIMONS: I WAS GOING TO SAY MARKETING OR PR MUST BE A BIG ASPECT OF IT. SCOTTSDALE CENTER OF THE ARTS, MOST FOLKS ARE FAMILIAR WITH THAT, HOW DO YOU BETTER DEFINE THE CENTER FOR THE ARTS?
NEALE PERL: I THINK PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT IT SO OUR GOAL ALWAYS IS TO DRIVE ATTENDANCE BRING THE MOST EXCITING ARTISTS WE CAN. ALL DIFFERENT GENRES, WE JUST RELEASED OUR SEASON GUIDE, WE HAVE SO MANY EXCITED ARTISTS COMING TO THE CENTER. PEOPLE WHO HAVE COME FOR MANY YEARS: CARPENTER, CASH, WE HAVE ARTIST COMING FOR THE FIRST TIME. WE HAVE GREAT JAZZ ARTISTS LIKE BRADFORD MORSALIS IS COMING.PAT LATINA IS COMING. WE WERE TALKING POLITICS AND CAPITAL STEPS IS COMING BACK. SO IN AN ELECTION YEAR THIS IS AN EXCITING TIME TO COME.
TED SIMONS: SO THAT'S HOW YOU BETTER DEFINE SCOTTSDALE CENTER FOR THE ARTS. THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART -- HOW DO YOU GET THAT INFORMATION OUT THERE AND HOW DOES RE-BRANDING TO SCOTTSDALE ARTS HELP PEOPLE REALIZE THERE'S A MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ARTS IN SCOTTSDALE?
NEALE PERL: WELL WE ARE ON ONE CAMPUS. IT'S INTERESTING THAT ANY OF THESE THREE DIVISION CAN BE A PORTAL. LET'S SAY YOU SAY I AM INTERESTED IN CLASSICAL MUSIC. AND DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT CONTEMPORARY ART, THEN WHY DON'T YOU COME TO THE CENTER A HALF AND HOUR EARLY AND WALK OVER. THURSDAY NIGHTS ARE FREE, COME AND ENJOY AND SEE ALL THAT WE HAVE TO OFFER. SO WE WANT TO LEVERAGE THE TALENT AND PROGRAMMING OF ALL THREE ENTITIES.
TED SIMONS: THE THIRD ENTITIES IS SCOTTSDALE PUBLIC ART AND I AM NOT EVEN FAMILIAR WITH THAT AND I HAVE BEEN HERE A LONG TIME. WHAT IS THAT?
NEALE PERL: PEOPLE ARE FAMILIAR WITH WITHOUT KNOWING THEY ARE. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE LOVE SCULPTURE AND THEY SAY OF COURSE WE'VE SEEN THAT. THAT IS IN THE PACIFIC MALL. PUBLIC ART IS ALL AROUND US IT'S ON THE 101. THE CONCRETE STAMPING YOU SEE ON THE HIGHWAY. IT IS CANAL CONVERGENCE. A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHERE THE WATER FRONT IS AND I SAY YOU KNOW THE WATER FRONT. COME DOWN. IT'S IN FEBRUARY. LAST SEASON WE HAD 55,000 PEOPLE. IT IS ON A TRAJECTORY BECAUSE OF THE EXCITEMENT OF THE ARTISTS. BOTH LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS COME AND WE HAVE WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE. IT IS COMPLETELY FREE AND WE THINK WITHIN TWO YEARS WE WILL BE AT 100,000 PEOPLE. AND DRAWING THE TOURISM FOR OUR REGION.
TED SIMONS: WHEN I SEE SCOTTSDALE PUBLIC ART I THINK OF IT AS A BUILDING AS OPPOSED TO A GENERAL THING THROUGHOUT THE CITY. THAT KIND OF INFORMATION NEEDS TO GET OUT THERE THUS THE RE-BRANDING. WHAT ELSE CHANGES WITH THE RE-BRANDING?
NEALE PERL: I THINK IT IS A REAFFIRMATION OF OUR MISSION. ABOUT A YEAR AGO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND STAFF GOT TOGETHER TO CREATE A NEW STRATEGIC PLAN AND PART OF THE PLAN WAS TO RE-BRAND THE ORGANIZATION AND DRAW MORE ATTENTION TO THE GREAT WORK WE ARE DOING WITHOUT THE REGION. FOR INSTANCE, WHATS NEW WE HAVE A PROGRAM INITIATIVE CALLED SCOTTSDALE ART PRESENTS. WHAT IT IS IS TAKING OUR ARTIST BEYOND OUR OWN CAMPUS. IT IS BEAUTIFUL DOWNTHERE IN OLD TOWN. 21 ACRES. WE WANT TO PARTNER WITH OTHER ARTS ORGANIZATIONS AS WE HAVE DONE IN THE PAST. WE HAVE A NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NEW INSTRUMENT MUSEUM. WE HAVE A NEW PROGRAM CALLED WHAT MAKES IT GREATS. PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT IT YET BUT WE INVITE THEM TO GO TO OUR WEBSITE SCOTTSDALEARTS.ORG ANDTAKE A LOOK AT IT.THIS WILL ALLOW US TO REACH NEW POPULATIONS IT'S A WONDERFUL PROGRAM.
TED SIMONS: I WAS GOING TO ASK YOU ABOUT THAT. I KNOW THE IDEAS CAN GAGE MORE EFFECTIVELY WITH THE PUBLIC, WHAT ABOUT BETTER ATTRACTING THAT NEXT GENERATION OF AN AUDIENCE?
NEALE PERL: I AM GLAD YOU ASK. IT IS CRITICAL FOR ARTS ORGANIZATIONS TO REACH NEW AUDIENCE MEMBERS, YOUNGER PEOPLE, PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT WALKS OF LIFE WHO HAVEN'T BEEN EXPOSED TO THE ARTS. WE DO THAT IN OUR ARTS EDUCATION PROGRAMS. MATTER OF FACT WE JUST HIRED OUR FIRST EVER DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION TO OVERSEE ALL THREE DEVISIONS AND TAKE ALL THE PROGRAMS AND CRYSTALIZE WHAT WE ARE DOING TO DO THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY RAISE MORE FUNDS SO THAT WE CAN REACH MORE PEOPLE. IN A YEARS TIME WE REACH OVER 40,000 PEOPLE THROUGH OUR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND ALMOST ALL OF THEM ARE FREE.
TED SIMONS: INTERESTING. SO AGAIN, YOU BRING UP THE MONEY.THIS RE-BRANDING.HOW MUCH DOES THIS COST AND WHO IS PAYING FOR IT?
NEALE PERL: VIRTUALLY NOTHING. THANKS TO OUR VOLUNTEER BOARD OF DIRECTORS WE WERE ABLE TO LEVERAGE CONNECTIONS TO PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY WHO DO RE-BRANDING AND THEY VOLUNTEERED THEIR TIME TO COME TOGETHER. IT WAS A TEN-MONTH PROCESS. THE NAME WAS EASY TO FIGURE OUT AND IT IS ALMOST EMBARRASSING AND AMUSING THAT FOR EIGHT YEARS OUR WEBSITE HAS BEEN SCOTTSDALEARTS.ORG. SO THE NAME WAS ALWAYS THERE BUT IN ADITION WE HAD THREE SEPARATE WEBSITES FOR THE THREE DIVISION BUT NOW PEOPLE CAN GO TO ONE WEBSITE, ONE PORTAL, AND LOOK AT EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS.
TED SIMONS: I AM HEARING COOPERATION, INNOVATION AND A DIFFERENT SENSE OF PURPOSE WITH THE RE-BRANDING. AM I CLOSE?
NEALE PERL: I THINK YOU ARE ON TARGET. WE ARE GOING TO ASK YOU TO BE ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
TED SIMONS: LAST TIME BRANDON MARSALIS WAS HERE A FEW YEARS AGO PLAYING ON THE LAWN. DO YOU STILL DO CONCERTS ON THE LAWN?
YES, WE CALL IT AMPHITHEATER. IT'S WONDERFUL LOOK AT THE QUALITY OF LIFE WE HAVE HERE IN THIS VALLEY AND THE CONCERTS OUTDOOR ARE FANTASTIC, WE'RE GOING TO BE DOING MORE OF THAT. WITH SCOTTSDALE ARTS PRESENTS WE ARE LOOKING AT OTHER OUTDOOR VENUES THAT ARE LARGER SO WE CAN BE MORE INCLUSIVE AND BRING MORE PEOPLE.
TED SIMONS: BEST OF LUCK TO YOUR ORGANIZATION.THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I AM TED SIMONS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

Neale Perl

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