The next Iowa political caucuses are years away, but a cultural caucus gets underway today (Monday) in Des Moines. Shaner Magalhaes of the State Historical Society is overseeing an event today called “Imagine Iowa 2010: Great Places”, and billed as a “cultural caucus.” He says people from 11 Iowa communities held local caucuses leading up to this event. He says this is a process not unlike a political caucus, but a lot more fun. He says people from history, art and cultural organizations met with business and political leaders to talk about the future. Magalhaes says it’s not just talk, there’s hands-on information too. He says they have artist that’ll perform unique things, including a grafetti artist. He says it’ll be a fair and festive atmosphere along with talking about their strategic goals. Magalhaes says funding is one of the top concerns. He says one of the things that’s come up repeatedly in the regional caucuses is making those in the arts and culture community more financially viable. He says there’s a reason for the term “starving artist.” He says they’ve made some progress in funding culture in Iowa. He says one of the big goals of Imagine Iowa four years ago was to provide a trust to raise money for the cultural organizations. Magalhaes says money isn’t the only issue they’ll discuss. He says there’s lots of other fabulous ideas people have and he says it’ll be a challenge to bring them all together and create a document that’s not 100 pages long. The event beings at 8 A.M. and runs until 5 P.M. today.
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