Cultural Leadership Challenges and Recommendations

Posted by John Arroyo, Jun 01, 2007 0 comments

It's the first day of the 2007 Americans for the Arts Convention! It's hot in Las Vegas and although the Flamingo Hotel can be a little confusing, we've all managed to navigate our ways through the casinos, crowds, and mirrored hallways (they all look the same and seem to take you back to where you started!) to our respective sessions. Speaking of navigating through challenges and obstacles, I'll be checking-in frequently to report back on my musings and reflections from Leadership Track sessions over the course of convention weekend. I'd like to share some thoughts on today's Cultural Leadership session...

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Arts Ed from Bed: Early Ruminations on Day One of Convention

Posted by Tom DeCaigny, Jun 01, 2007 2 comments

So I decided to return to my hotel room to blog from bed.  Vegas is nothing if not exhausting, and I've already seen more fake bodies and drunken frat boys than one San Franciscan can handle. I suppose it's fitting since rumor has it Vegas IS the new Hollywood.  This rumor might also explain the trash items found by one of my colleagues underneath her bed at the Flamingo.  Fortunately for me, the Flamingo and Harrah's were booked by the time I got my act together to make a reservation so I'm reaping the benefits of a great Hotels.com deal at the Signature at MGM Grand.  Just a tip for your next trip to Vegas...

Anyhow, Risk and Reward is definitely the right theme for this conference.  It's risky enough just negotiating the Flamingo casino floor to get to your workshop of choice.  But all and all, it's the best kind of environment for an arts conference - chaotic, loud, unruly, fast, wildly varied in temperature, and challenging to navigate.  It makes you pay attention to where you are going (or staying) which is a fitting metaphor for the state of arts education (in case you haven't had the opportunity to hear Eric Booth so eloquently speak to this yet).

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Why Business Should Care About Arts Education - thoughts on a Dana Foundation Symosium

Posted by Gary Steuer, May 29, 2007 0 comments

The Dana Foundation recently convened a symposium in New York on "Transforming Arts Teaching: The Role of Higher Education" as part of their ongoing commitment to arts education, as well as to the role the arts play in the development of the brain. Participants included a wide array of people from around the country who are leaders in arts education, including people from arts organizations, academia, government and the funding community.  [The link above takes you a page on the Dana Foundation site that includes some video excerpts from the Symposium.] I had the pleasure of participating as well, and found it particularly relevant to the work we are doing in linking the arts and arts education to workforce development issues. The better job we can do of getting business to be active advocates for arts education because they see it of benefit to their bottom line, the more effective we can be at getting greater recognition and funding of arts education in our educational system which has been so damaged by the relentless focus on measurement of a handful of subject area skills. I thought it would be helpful to share some of the Symposium conversation through this Blog. It is a longish entry so please remember to click the "more" link to read the whole report! Dr. David J. Skorton, President of Cornell University, gave a stirring opening keynote on the importance of the arts in education. He is trained as a musician, and supported himself performing jazz while pursuing his education as a scientist, doctor, biomedical research and academic. His talk wove actual examples of music of different genres into his speech, as well as snippets of video from musical performances. He talked with passion of his belief that arts exposure, participation and training results in graduates who are both better human beings and better workers and contributors to society.

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