Unifying and promoting the arts

ZANESVILLE – In 2020, the Muskingum County Planning Commission released the 2020 Muskingum County Comprehensive Plan. The plan looked at every aspect of the county and set a path for the county to move forward.

One of those included the creation of the Muskingum County Arts Council, and the Muskingum County Commissioners set that plan in motion with the allocation of $10,000 for a study to determine the feasibility of a council in the county.

An arts council would bring together all of the various groups and types of artists, and create a group with one unified voice, said Kelly Ashby of the Zanesville-Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce. A council would be “a unified, focused voice whose sole purpose is to promote the arts in Muskingum County,” she said. The council would represent every facet of the arts, from the visual to the performing and all genres in between.

Kelly Ashby

The groups already representing the arts in the area are run by volunteers. The vision for the council, Ashby added, is to eventually hire a full-time employee or staff. “That is the difference,” she said. “There are fabulous volunteer organizations doing wonderful things for the arts” in the area. However, “If you are a volunteer and have a full-time job, you only have this much time to focus on your volunteer work.”

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