The Arts Center serves as laboratory for the creation of new works, nurturer of interdisciplinary initiatives, originator of exhibitions, presenter and producer of performing arts, educator, publisher of critical writings, community builder, and advocate for issues affecting the arts. In essence, JMKAC functions as a catalyst for and explorer of new art forms and new ideas that will impact the lives of both artists and public.
John Michael Kohler Arts Center 1990
A major focus of the program shall be exhibitions devoted to a wide range of concepts and directions in contemporary art, with particular consideration of craft-related forms, installation works, photography, new genres, ongoing cultural traditions, and the work of self-taught artists. The exhibitions shall encourage the creation of new work and shall involve substantive critical explorations.
The performing arts shall emphasize new directions as well as continuing and evolving cultural traditions in dance, theatre, music, and interdisciplinary forms through programming that brings together artists from around the world with diverse regional audiences.
The Connecting Communities program shall collaborate with Community Partners to involve outstanding artists with area cultural communities and a wide range of constituencies with special needs in the creation of powerful original works of art and, in the process, to aid in uniting and strengthening the community and the region.
In cooperation with American business, Arts/Industry shall provide support for artists in the creation of new work and in the investigation of new ways of thinking and making art through long-term residencies and other programming at manufacturing sites. At the same time, Arts/Industry shall involve the industrial community and other audiences with the artists and their work.
The collections shall be of significance to the Arts Center's program and constituencies, concentrating primarily on the work of self-taught artists, ongoing cultural traditions, and works created in Arts/Industry. They shall be used in on-site and touring exhibitions as well as in research and education.
Education shall be a fundamental tenet of all programming. Educational and interpretive services shall relate directly to the exhibitions, collections, performing arts programming, Connecting Communities, and Arts/Industry as well as to the Arts Center's architecture and gardens. They shall employ the integration of the arts as a primary educational tool. Such services may take the form of artists' residencies; an arts-based preschool, classes, and camps; festivals and other special events; scholarly publications; guided tours, lectures, and demonstrations; resource center; retail shops; programming for constituencies with special needs such as schools, universities, day care centers, English-language-learner programs, shelters, and children and adults with disabilities; and/or any other means that encourage a continuing dialogue between artists and public and heighten their understanding of and sensitivity to all the arts.
At the very heart of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center are its local, regional, and national constituencies and the unique, very real relationship between artists and the public. The Arts Center shall nurture the involvement of children of all ages, through the schools, families, and community organizations. Likewise, it shall engage the broadest possible adult audiences. The Arts Center shall continue its leadership roles of nourishing diversity and building community through the arts. In all programming, the Arts Center shall cultivate connections: between artists and audiences, between artists and communities, between emerging and established artists, between local and visiting artists, between the Arts Center and other organizations, between art forms, and between past and present.