New Hampshire will soon have a new director of the Department of Cultural Resources Division of the Arts. Ginnie Lupi comes to the position after serving of the executive director of the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger lakes in Corning, NY. Lupi will take over the position in August. I spoke with Lupi about her appointment as director and her plans for art in the Granite State:
What does the department do and what is your role in the Arts Division?
The Division of the Arts is the state’s art agency. Its mission is to connect people throughout the state to the arts in all of their manifestations.
How does the division benefit the state?
It benefits in many different ways. I often talk about the intrinsic and extrinsic value of the arts in our communities. The Division of the Arts supports both of these. By connecting people to the arts, the state agency helps to support the intrinsic value of the arts. The division tries to see what makes a difference for us as individuals and to show how the arts can benefit our relationships with other people, other cultures and communities. On the extrinsic side, the Arts Council helps support New Hampshire’s economy both statewide and in individual communities by supporting activities that residents can attend, view and participate in. This also promotes tourism.
How does New Hampshire’s commitment to the arts stack up against other states?
I was very interested in this position because New Hampshire seems to be on the cutting edge in terms of what a state arts agency can do and how it can support its constituency. I’m very impressed and can’t wait to learn more about the Arts Council’s programs in Creative Communities, Arts and Health Care, Arts and Education, and Arts in the Correctional System. This council is doing things that other states are not and doing these things very well considering their small staff and relatively small budget.
Can you give me an example of what they are doing well?
Sure. There’s an Arts and Health Care program that the Arts Council sponsors. This program brings arts into health care settings like veteran’s homes and ICUs. From what I have learned, and obviously I have a lot to learn, these programs really make a difference for patients, families and staff.
What is unique here in New Hampshire that allows it to be committed to art?
I think it’s the focus on local community here. The focus on towns and villages, as opposed to county governments and centralized state governments, is something that’s very different here. I think the arts benefit tremendously from this local focus. This council is very much interested in helping the local communities and their arts and cultural activities through grant making, technical assistance and one-on-one assistance.