Extensive research has consistently demonstrated that investing in the arts yields tangible benefits for the overall economic vitality of a region. Since 2017, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) has taken a proactive stance, bringing together a diverse coalition of Charleston stakeholders to explore the potential for creative placemaking in bolstering economic and community development. This collaborative effort led to the creation of Arts Amplified.
Launched in 2020, Arts Amplified is led by Director Bryan Cooper and a supervisory committee comprised of community leaders, business owners, artists, government officials and TGKVF staff. Through this group’s collaboration, Arts Amplified works to connect artists, businesses, and community to build a stronger creative economy.
In its inaugural three years, Arts Amplified has injected over $120,000 in seed funding into art-based initiatives, facilitated artists’ access to more than $200,000 in income-generating opportunities, and orchestrated a series of captivating arts-focused events, including City Center Live. Notably, in 2021, Arts Amplified received the Critical Impact Award from Philanthropy WV, underscoring its contribution to our community.
For more information on the transformative work of Arts Amplified, we invite you to explore www.ArtsAmplifiedWV.com
Bryan Cooper – Director
Bryan works with The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation as the Director of Arts Amplified. With a foundation in sociology and a passion for the arts, he’s been instrumental in shaping the cultural landscape of our community.
Graduating with a BA in Sociology from West Virginia University, Bryan also left his mark on campus as a dedicated member of the WVU Drumline. This academic journey laid the groundwork for his future endeavors.
Bryan’s career path initially led him to the dynamic field of Information Technology, where he honed his skills as a web designer, support analyst, and IT director over two decades. This diverse background has uniquely equipped him to seamlessly integrate technology into his creative pursuits.
For over a decade, Bryan and his family have been a part of the Charleston community. Despite his tech-focused career, Bryan has always maintained a deep connection to the arts. He has volunteered with local theaters, championed live music, and provided valuable support to aspiring local artists.
In his current role as the Director of Arts Amplified, Bryan serves as a bridge between artists, businesses, and the community, to help foster a growing creative economy. His mission is to cultivate all forms of art – whether visual, musical, literary, culinary, or performing – and weave them into the very fabric of Charleston, enriching the city’s vibrant cultural tapestry.
When he’s not shaping the arts scene, Bryan spends his free time traveling, enjoying good food, playing board games and is an all-around lover of having fun with friends and family.