A STEAMy Event

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A STEAMy Event

“There is a connection, hard to explain logically but easy to feel, between achievement in public life and progress in the arts. The age of Pericles was also the age of Phidias. The age of Lorenzo de Medici was also the age of Leonardo da Vinci, the age of Elizabeth also the age of Shakespeare,[1] " and in Schaumburg the success of the Building STEAM event has a correlation to the success of our economy. 

In 2017 the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts hosted the inaugural Building STEAM event designed to enhance the concept of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) by including the creativity thinking of the arts to produce STEAM!

Building STEAM connects students and professional artists with Schaumburg’s manufacturing companies that participate in the event by contributing scrap materials and parts that the artist use and transform into beautiful sculptures and works of art.

Recognizing the impact that an event like Building STEAM has on every industry in our economy the SBA partnered with the Prairie Center for the Arts Foundation to further engage the number of participating manufacturers to increase the awareness and overall success of the event.

In year two, Building STEAM saw a greater increase in the engagement and enthusiasm as 10 manufacturers participated by contributing enough materials for 11 sculptures to be created by the participating artist that directly highlighted the connection between the arts, creativity, design, and innovation. With the participation of the manufacturers, and the rest of the business community, the results supported the importance of the arts to an engaged public life.

Building STEAM does not just promote the importance of art for an innovative and creative economy but it also highlights the economic impact that the arts have on the economy including generating over 111,000 full-time jobs and providing almost $500 million in state and local government revenue.[2] This type of economic impact coupled with the engagement with local high schools and colleges and the partnerships being created with local manufacturers is a valuable community and economic development program that the SBA was excited to be part of this great program that emphasizes the importance of art for a community economy. 

 [1] Lynch, Robert. “Arts & Economic Prosperity 5.” Arts Alliance Illinois, 2017

[2] Kennedy, John F. Letter to Miss Theodate Johnson. Musical America, 13 Sept. 1960

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