Blog Posts for advancing arts locally

Time to Celebrate—and fight for—the Arts and Culture!

Posted by Jay H. Dick, Apr 25, 2017 0 comments

Did you know that NACo (the National Association of Counties), along with Americans for the Arts, recognize counties for their arts and culture achievements? Beginning in 1999, Americans for the Arts, in partnership with NACo, began presenting its Public Leadership in the Arts Award to a county or county official who has worked to advance the arts and arts education within their county. Further, NACo presents its own award, the NACo Arts and Culture Award, designed to recognize county governments for their efforts to enrich American cultural and intellectual life, promote lifelong learning, and protect our national heritage. Nominations for both awards are currently open.

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Robert Lynch Responds to Hill Commentary Calling to End Funding for the NEA

Posted by Robert Lynch, Apr 24, 2017 0 comments

In his op-ed (“The case for cutting National Endowment of the Arts funding,” April 2), David D’Amato states that “Government-funded art is publicly-funded art only once government is lazily conflated with the public. It is not the public (whatever indeed that may mean) that decides which art projects are to be supported with taxpayer dollars.” That statement is simply inaccurate. Mr. D’Amato must be unaware that the public is embedded in the entire grantmaking process at the NEA. This in part is why the NEA has received wide support from both Republicans and Democrats for half a century. 

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Over 50 percent of Americans live and work in suburbs. Are 50 percent of them arts leaders?

Posted by Mr. Joshua Heim, Apr 21, 2017 0 comments

If equity and inclusion are of concern to you, then the suburbs should demand your full attention. Almost one-third of the nation’s poor live in suburbs; by 2008, the suburbs were home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in the country.  And while minorities only represent 35 percent of suburban residents, more than half of all minority groups in large metro areas live in suburbs. To be clear, the absence of suburban arts leaders isn’t the problem. It’s a symptom. The problem is a set of assumptions that occlude the arts and arts leaders not only in the suburbs, but everywhere.

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10 Steps to Build a Localized Movement for the Arts

Posted by Mr. Ryan Antony Nicotra, Mar 22, 2017 0 comments

Allow me to set the scene: while attending the 2016 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in Boston, I received a text from a friend in my hometown stating that in a late-night meeting the day prior, the local Board of Education unexpectedly introduced and approved an unreasonably high new fee for all students wishing to participate in extracurricular drama programs. Today, after eight months of coordinating an aggressive advocacy campaign that succeeded in eliminating that same fee with the near-unanimous support of the same board members who introduced it, I aim to identify and share the 10 crucial steps and considerations that made this victory for the arts in Harford County, Maryland possible.

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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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Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2017

Posted by Randy I. Cohen, Feb 14, 2017 0 comments

As a young theater artist, I could always be counted on to step up and make a passionate plea when arts funding was on the line. I shared stories about myself and my colleagues with my legislators about how the arts are fundamental to our humanity. I wrote about how the arts ennoble and inspire us, fostering goodness and beauty. While I have never abandoned these arts-for-arts-sake messages in my advocacy, I have learned that they are rarely stand-alone winners. Today, I augment these fundamental benefits of the arts with pragmatic ones—stories and research that connect the arts to what keeps our community leaders awake at night: jobs, economy, education, healthcare, and community development. The change in my approach has made me a more effective advocate.

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