ART + the Verb TO BE

Posted by Ms. Con Christeson, Mar 13, 2017 0 comments

In many tribal cultures, there is no word for ART. The creative act is in the shape of a context, the texture of relationships, the sounds of inquiry. It is how people are, not just what they make or do...creativity and connection, ceremony and ritual, the magic of the marketplace. ART is how we ARE.

I have written a book about arts-based community development that aspires to start conversation and support listening and learning from/about each other.  At that point, we bring in the action verbs: to think, fund, make, show, see, sell. Together, we consider the challenges of: reflection, documentation, and, finally, the evaluation of who and how WE are.

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Empowering and Inspiring Student Voices

Posted by Grace Alt, Mar 10, 2017 0 comments

As a senior in high school, I will be attending my third National Arts Advocacy Day this year. For many students, the words “arts advocacy” make us feel small. Upon hearing that phrase three years ago, it sounded like something I was not old enough to know about. How can my voice matter in changing things so far above my power as a teenager? In school, we are taught to get the best education possible to become someone who can affect change, but often we aren’t told that, as kids, our opinions matter. When policy makers shape decisions about arts education, they are making decisions about us, the students. Yet for some reason, it is the students who feel as though they are out of place in a Senator’s office.

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Diversity + Inclusion = A Winning Strategy

Posted by Floyd Green III, Mar 09, 2017 0 comments

If we’re going to talk about diversity, we also have to talk about inclusion. Diversity acknowledges and celebrates the differences we all bring to the world. Inclusion is about picking up all of those differences and putting them to work together, and using them to drive designed and desired outcomes. Diversity and inclusion are critical at Aetna, particularly when we think about our consumers—they don’t all look and think the same way. Our employees must be diverse so that our strategies and services are diverse, leading to a practice of inclusion that allows our customers to receive the support that best suits them individually.

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College and Career Ready—Are We Building Vertical Pathways for Arts Students?

Posted by Myran Parker-Brass, Mar 08, 2017 0 comments

Preparing students who are “college and career” ready is a common goal for success for high school students across the nation’s school districts; “post-secondary readiness” is included as an indicator for school quality or student success in the Every Student Succeeds Act legislation. Our state education departments and local school districts all have working definitions and metrics for this readiness. So, how prepared are we, the arts education community, to engage in this discussion? Are we building solid college and career pathways in the arts with our higher education partners, institutions and employers? Are we engaging and supporting our families and students in understanding that the arts provide viable college and career opportunities?

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Action Both Today AND Tomorrow

Posted by Brea Heidelberg, Ms. Ann Marie Miller, Mar 07, 2017 0 comments

There are a lot of bases to cover when preparing people to be effective arts advocates—especially when those aspiring arts advocates are undergrads. This isn’t work to be done alone. We have the distinct pleasure of working together, a boomer and a member of the Oregon Trail generation preparing arts advocates of the future. We met through ArtPride New Jersey, the state arts advocacy organization and member of Americans for the Arts State Arts Action Network. It was kismet. One had suffered through too many save-the-state-arts-council and save-the-NEA crises, the other through the inherent trials and tribulations of strategically navigating academia.

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