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HOW THE ARTS ENRICH US

How the Arts Enrich Us at the Arts and Culture Summit 

By JM Huck


Like last year, the Second Annual Arts and Culture Summit agenda featured a full day of panels, breakout sessions and live performances. Poetry and spoken word were added for the first time to performances. Clark County Poet Laureate (2017-2019) Vogue M. Robinson performed her work, The Working Artist’s Dinner Table


A closing activity for summit attendees was to reflect on — “How the arts enrich us.” A total of 80 responses were collected, and I have sequenced them in the following poem. 


HOW THE ARTS ENRICH US

According to the Second Annual Arts and Culture Summit Attendees

By JM Huck


The arts 

bring extraordinary moments/movement 

to everyday lives

arts are a bridge 

to knowledge

to our authentic selves 

to expression when words are not enough 


The arts raise critical thinkers 

and peacemakers

and liberators and healers

they add color and confidence

foster a sense of identity 

and place in a chameleoning city


The arts help us preserve, remember 

and embolden ourselves 

they give hope

instill strength

allow for difficult conversations


Arts spark joy

encourage empathy

reveal truth

teach what it means to be human


Arts drive dollars

nourish the soul

secure us from a Robot World


They make life worth living 

and lobbying for


The arts enrich us.


Note, this is not a “cento” where exact lines are copied. The majority of lines are exact or with only minor changes. Though, there is some creative liberty with certain lines, and I reinterpreted the spirit of submissions while putting them into my own words. 


Recently, I have expanded on the theme of “how the arts enrich us” with this rainbow shape poem. 





In this collaborative piece, I’ve invited community members to add words that “spark joy.” We will complete the shape poem 3-5:30pm, Saturday, May 11th, at the free Asian Cultural Heritage Festival at Winchester Dondero Cultural Center. Drop by and check out the event.


About the Contributor

JM Huck (she/her) works part time on the Public Arts team as the Clark County Poet Laureate program assistant. She is writing the book of her dreams.


About the Summit

On Feb. 29, 2024, the Second Annual Arts and Culture Summit was presented by the City of Las Vegas at the Historic Fifth Street School, in downtown Las Vegas. Similar to the inaugural summit held in 2023, last month’s event attracted about 200 attendees. 


Highlights of this summit include opening remarks by Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Councilwoman Olivia Diaz. Keynotes were delivered by Randy Cohen from Americans for the Arts and Felicia Shaw from San Diego Arts and Culture Coalition. Panels centered on arts advocacy and arts education. Breakout and networking sessions included topics such as: community building, access to art space/real estate, and the arts for wellbeing. Aside from City of Las Vegas staff, this event was also made possible through the contributions of three subcommittees, including a Speakers/Panels Subcommittee that planned all the sessions, a Performances Subcommittee that organized all the performing artists and a Community Engagement Subcommittee that designed events for attendees to engage in, which I served on.

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