Bioscience leaders connect the dots between the arts and biosciences

Bioscience leaders connect the dots between the arts and biosciences

On March 3, Artlink  and Phoenix Community Alliance’s Arts, Culture & Public Life Committee hosted the 6th Annual Creative City Symposium. The virtual event, attended by 65 local arts advocates and community leaders, served up a multi-faceted conversation about the state of the arts and the role that creativity and the arts play in a well-functioning, healthy city. 

Among the symposium’s speakers were two key figures in Arizona’s bioscience community, Tammy McLeod, President & CEO of the Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation, and Kyle Jardine, Director of Real Estate for Wexford Science + Technology at the Phoenix Bioscience Core (PBC).

So, what’s the connection between the arts, creativity, and the biosciences? 

According to Kyle, community collaborations between scientists and artists, which are at times the same people, lead to a more vibrant and innovative ecosystem. Both the scientists and the artists benefit and create engaging material for the rest of the community.

Tammy also noted there’s a strong correlation between artists and scientists. First, it’s important to invest in the arts for young people if you want to build strong STEM careers. Secondly, the scientists being recruited to Arizona by proponents of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap need the arts as part of the quality-of-life package. Quite often, as Kyle pointed out, scientists are artists and hence, it’s an intrinsic need.

What’s on tap for the Flinn Foundation and Wexford Science + Technology to continue the dialogue from the Symposium and take action? 

Per Kyle, Wexford plans to facilitate more of these interactions in the coming months on the PBC and in the surrounding community with Venture Café, a neighborhood mural, more active engagement with First Fridays, and more. 

Personally, the biggest thing Kyle is working on daily is to recruit more scientists and their teams to work in Downtown Phoenix. This will provide more collaboration opportunities and participants in the arts simply by increasing the everyday feet on the streets.

Meanwhile, the Flinn Foundation is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Bioscience Roadmap and much of the work of the Foundation’s board and staff is focused on advancing that plan. The Foundation continues to foster the development of Downtown’s bioscience core and is providing professional development services for the area’s large arts and culture organizations and their board of directors.

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