Blog Posts for arts and community

Weaving A New Cultural Tapestry

Posted by Mr. John R. Killacky, Apr 21, 2016 0 comments

One-third of the children in Burlington and Winooski public schools are students of color, including new Americans who are English language learners. With the demographics in our region shifting so dramatically, government agencies, educational institutions, businesses, and nonprofits are grappling with inadequate cultural competency in trying to serve these myriad populations.

Yesterday, the Flynn Center, along with Burlington City Arts, the Vermont Arts Council, and the Vermont Community Foundation, hosted a forum in Burlington called New Community Visions with Americans for the Arts. The initiative’s goal was to explore the role that the arts play in pursuing a healthy, vibrant, and cohesive community, and how individuals, arts institutions, and support organizations can help achieve that.

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OH at a Meeting: It’s Not Just a Bike Rack

Posted by Margy Waller, Jan 26, 2016 0 comments

We were in Oklahoma City and Heather Ahtone of Norman Oklahoma shared a story about the power of Arts And…, a moment when, as she said, “The arts community met a civic need in a creative way.”

Her city, like lots of other places, is growing fast. So fast that traffic has gotten a lot worse in the center. City planners decided to encourage more people to start riding bikes to get around, improving the quality of life for everyone. What happened next? 

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How a “non-artist” found her niche in the art world

Posted by Cherie Northon, Jan 11, 2016 1 comment

A foray into the Monterey History and Art Association’s December 2012 exhibit, “Flows to Bay,” totally altered my outlook on how to communicate action on environmental issues. A small exhibit, it featured a variety of art using discarded plastics from the marine environment to demonstrate how they detrimentally affect our planet. I do not consider myself an artist, so the lenses I view the world through are primarily those of an environmental scientist. But what I saw hooked me, and its strong yet captivating message gave me new insight into a way to frame environmental degradation through art. 

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Resilient Roads and Community Visions

Posted by Clayton Lord, Nov 04, 2015 0 comments

In 1995, as you surely know, Oklahoma City was the site of a bombing. A man drove a truck up one of the streets in downtown, pulled into a parking lot, went into a church and prayed, left, drove another block and parked in front of a federal building. Then he got out and blew the truck up, killing over 140 people including a bunch of children who were in a daycare in the building.

I got to see the memorial that was built on the site of the bombing. That road is now a glassy slip of water bounded on each end by gates. Where the building was, there are now ornamental chairs—smaller for children, larger for adults—to commemorate each life lost. Across the street, a gigantic, swooning tree that survived the blast stands guard. And throughout the city, at all of the street intersections that became makeshift helipads when responders rushed to the scene, there are deep red and tan bricks laid in resonating circles that pulsate out. The tragedy and the resilience of the place have literally been embedded in the roads, and the vision and perseverance of the people has been memorialized through art.

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The Importance of the Arts in our Communities: Robert L. Lynch and Laura Zabel

Posted by Robert Lynch, Nov 02, 2015 0 comments

October means something very important to the arts world and to communities throughout the United States -- National Arts and Humanities Month, now in its 30th year. Citizens of Minnesota have celebrated through numerous events that proudly showcase the state as an eclectic and dynamic artistic community, rich in cultural heritage.

It is fitting, then, that our capital city be the starting point for a nationwide dialogue exploring the future of local arts in America and the ways that community members can shape that future.

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Dispatches from the Evaluation Learning Lab

Posted by Alicia Gregory, Oct 26, 2015 0 comments

In 2014, Animating Democracy, in partnership with the Art x Culture x Social Justice Network (ACSJN) and the Nathan Cummings Foundation launched the Evaluation Learning Lab. The lab builds practical knowledge and resources in three areas as they relate to arts and social change projects and programs:  measuring social impact, evaluating artistic/aesthetic dimensions, and equalizing power in evaluation.

Over the past year, guided by the Lab’s theory of change, we’ve gathered 20 artists, arts practitioners, funders, and evaluators in learning exchanges that combined case studies, presentations and discussion around existing evaluation theories and approaches, analysis of current frameworks, criteria, guidelines, and tools, and development of new tools for ethical practices.

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