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Buffalo's new culture club

As I wrote in my column in today's Spotlight section, a select group of local cultural organizations have banded together to form a broad new advocacy group.

The Greater Buffalo Cultural Alliance, cast by its creators as a grassroots effort to get more people to acknowledge and invest in the arts, will direct its efforts both at local perceptions about the arts and culture and at sources of public funding and policy.

The organizers of the GBCA made no secret of their intent to enlist all of Western New York's non-profit cultural groups in their ambitious attempt to weave the arts more deeply into the identity of the Buffalo Niagara region. But at this point, specifics are obviously lacking.

So what's your take on this new group? Is it an exercise in futility to try to wring more attention and dollars out of a state government already facing massive deficits? Does it even make sense to treat the arts in the same way as manufacturing, or, say, tourism? How should the GBCA get started on its momentous task?

Let's brainstorm.

--Colin Dabkowski

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