'We Practice Cultural Economics'
Pensacola Cultural Heritage Tourism Vision by UWF VP Matt Altier
CULTURAL, HERITAGE, & WEALTH
Does Culture Produce Wealth Or Does Wealth Produce Culture?
The Answer: ‘Culture creates Wealth’! Every immigrant who came to America brought their culture, heritage and traditions; and integrated them into their communities, and developed the assets to create generational wealth for their people and themselves. The English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Irish, Italian, Chinese and others brought their cultures, traditions, and heritage to America, and today each is an integral part of the culture, we classify as “American”. Our American Culture is made of various cultures and is constantly evolving, which makes us attractive to the rest of the world. A melting pot, ‘No’ - America is a GUMBO!!!!
The African American Culture is no different. Slaves and immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean, brought to America their cultures, traditions, and heritage. Openly and in secret, they continued to practice them, and many have survived for over four hundred years. Our music, art, dance, foods, traditions, trades, skills and creative intelligence are integrated in the mainstream culture and society. Unfortunately, seldom is any thought or recognition given to their origin, or their economic value. Each cultural asset was placed into society without the originators recognizing that these assets can, and would be clustered in Black communities to duplicate the wealth that was created in the mainstream culture. It is the desire of the Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute leadership to begin the journey by assisting Forgotten Communities rebuild their cultural infrastructure by implementing the ‘Pan African Cultural Heritage Initiative’, with the assistance of the Institute and the National Cultural Heritage Tourism Center. These organizations were created to celebrate and reclaim the Pan African identity, and to develop clusters of cultural businesses in historic Forgotten Communities and Villages, to create wealth and opportunities. Motown, Stax, BET, and other companies that produced jobs, opportunities and wealth, serving cultural needs, are evidence of this concept.
The Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute will assist in the development of cultural economic entities that will bring to producers of cultural products and services, increased opportunities by marketing them to the Black Diaspora across the globe, via an e-commerce platform and network. The goal again being: to educate, connect national and global communities, create jobs, and opportunities. The primary focus of the Institute will be the creation of Cultural Wealth and the Reduction of Institutional Poverty.
The Florida Black Chamber’s Economic Principle: Cultural economics is the application of economic analysis to the creative and performing arts, the heritage and cultural industries, in both the public and private sectors. It is concerned with the economic organization of the cultural sector and with the behavior of producers, consumers and governments in that sector. The subject includes a range of approaches, mainstream and radical, neoclassical, welfare economics, public policy and institutional economics and it also espouses interdisciplinary analysis connected to these topics. Cultural economics is the branch of economics that studies the relation of culture to economic outcomes.
Culture: Here, 'culture' is defined by shared beliefs and preferences of respective groups. Programmatic issues include whether and how much culture matters as to economic outcomes and its relationship to mainstream society and institutions. The cultural clusters can include the arts, history, traditions, civil rights and religion; using the culture of micro-enterprise businesses.
Heritage: Here, ‘heritage’ refers to something inherited from the past. The word has several different senses, including: National Heritage, an inheritance of geography, landscape and landforms; and Kinship, the relationship between entities that share a genealogical origin.
Cultural Heritage: Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical artifacts and intangible attributes of a group or society: man-made heritage. The best examples are art, food, music, monuments, ethnic communities and districts.
Cultural Arts: Cultural arts refer to transformation and a collaboration of different art forms. The term embodies creative thinking and critique, which encompasses the analyses of contemporary visual culture alongside other art forms i.e. visual art, literature, music, theatre, film, dance, etc. Cultural arts help to explain the world in which we live, worldview and often challenge current ideas, thoughts and practice. In general, cultural arts are multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and cross-genre. Cultural arts are less about definition and more about meaning and making sense of our current environment through an exploration of creativity.
Cultural Heritage Tourism or Diaspora Tourism: A branch of tourism oriented towards the cultural heritage of the location where tourism is occurring. The National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States defines heritage tourism as, "traveling to experience the places and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past’ and to experience that authentically represent the cultural experience and traditions of the past and present.
Pan Africanism: An ideology and movement that encourages the solidarity of Africans worldwide. It is based on the belief that unity is vital to economic, social, and political progress and aims to “unify and uplift” people of African descent. The ideology asserts that the fate of all African peoples and countries are intertwined. At its core Pan-Africanism is “a belief that African peoples, both on the continent and in the Diaspora, share not merely a common history, but a common destiny”. The largest Pan-African organization is the African Union.
Capitalism: America’s economic and social systems are based on the principle of “Capitalism” from a historic, but skewed, European social system of class and status. The system is economic and social based for the integration, operation, and acceptance of all sub-cultures into to economic and social process. Faith, traditions, beliefs, opportunity, education, class and status are intertwined in this unique system.
All immigrants eventually must learn and navigate this complex, yet beautiful, matrix to seek the opportunities it possess. They must address its custom, traditions and protective laws that sometimes oppress its participants via laws and regulations that act as gatekeepers of opportunity. Their need to be an understanding that capitalism involves the management of natural resources, and investment of capital and finance in the production of products to support the needs and desires of a culture, to maintain a belief and traditional way of life. Overtime; culture, tradition and legal challenges, forged by activism and enlightenment, allows entry. It is a generational conquest of challenges. The Civil Rights Movement was such an endeavor that brought about the doors of opportunity being opened. Afro-centric and Forgotten Communities can create economic opportunity by understanding the principles of capitalism to develop and expand their business sector and creates jobs for it culture. Now we must take advantage and master capitalism and economics via cultural asset development and management by partnering with faith centered principals and organization.
The Faith Community is the one sector of our capitalistic society that ensures fairness and forges opportunity as a practice of it beliefs, customs and traditions. It opens doors, preserves and protects. It is what truly makes “America Great”:
One Nation, under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for “All”.`