Arts and Culture
Meeting and event planners could be hard-pressed to find a destination that offers as many arts and activity options as Asheville, N.C., in such a tight package. A center of arts and culture, the Blue Ridge Mountains town located a couple hours’ drive from Charlotte, N.C., also boasts a bounty of culinary and brewery options, all set in one of the most scenic areas in the U.S.
Issued every five years, the latest “Arts & Economic Prosperity” study from leading advocacy group Americans for the Arts found that between 2010 and 2015, economic impact from the arts in North Texas tripled from $500 million to almost $1.5 billion. With Dallas, Fort Worth and Irving among the study’s principal participants, contributing factors included expanded public programming; multiple new or renovated cultural venues; and increased spending on hotels, restaurants, parking and more by event attendees.
Now America’s 15th largest metropolis, the “City of Cowboys and Culture” keeps expanding. And arts are a central part of Fort Worth's boom.
AT&T Stadium in Dallas and The Star in Frisco are distinguished by a singular assembly of private art. Guided by an advisory council comprised of leading members of the Dallas-Fort Worth art community, Gene Jones established the Dallas Cowboys Art Collection. Her drive began by commissioning monumental works specifically for the stadium. Notable installations include Win! from Mel Bochner, featuring football-centric exclamations, and outside, the $13 million Sky Mirror, a 35-foot-diameter concave mirror from artist Anish Kapoor.
Puerto Rico may have had a massive setback following the disastrous Hurricane Maria in September 2017, but its comeback has been just as colossal, both from an infrastructure perspective and a cultural standpoint.
Launched in March 2016, the Pennsylvania Tourism Office’s “Pursue Your Happiness” marketing initiative echoes the call to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” that began with the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in 1776. The campaign included updating nearly 40 interstate and highway welcome signs with the slogan. The goal was to create “a positive first impression for those entering Pennsylvania from neighboring states.” In Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh, people-powered happiness begins with the beloved personality who was everybody’s neighbor.
From its famed cuisine to art museums and musical landmarks, Shreveport-Bossier and Baton Rouge invite groups to experience Louisiana’s culture.
The southwest region of Missouri has a secret: its three main towns, Springfield, Joplin and Branson, have a rich and diverse mix of art and entertainment venues. History takes the main stage in Springfield and Joplin with outlaws and Route 66, while Branson goes beyond its well-known country shows with venues dedicated to jazz, swing, classical and more.
For a small coastal enclave, South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island, along with neighboring Bluffton and Daufuskie Island, loom large when it comes to arts and culture.
Home to a wide variety of talented performers, Maui rocks and sways with plenty of live entertainment after dark. Even its laid-back sister islands, Molokai and Lanai, offer places to enjoy Hawaii’s distinctive music and cultural scene.