Blog Posts for California

Product Relevance–An Experiment in Engaging Silicon Valley Corporate Millennials

Posted by Audrey Struve, Jan 21, 2016 0 comments

In June 2015, Silicon Valley Creates, a regranting organization in San Jose, California, with a thirty-plus year record in providing funding opportunities for the local arts and culture community, made a bold move–for us. We took a first-time experimental step in investing in capacity building, specifically to elevate the conversation about product relevance.

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Living the Dream

Posted by Ken Busby, Jan 19, 2016 0 comments

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” As we reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this week, I was reminded of this one of many, but not often cited, quotes by Dr. King.

Recently, the Arts Education Advisory Council of Americans for the Arts met for its midwinter meeting in Los Angeles. We spent much of our time discussing equity and the need for access to the arts for all students, pre-K through high school. We took a tour of the Colburn School, an outstanding music conservatory with numerous community engagement programs. The mission of the Colburn School is to admit students who have tremendous artistic promise and provide them with full tuition, including room and board, so that they can focus solely on their musical careers.

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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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Top 10 in Arts Education 2015

Posted by Jeff Poulin, Jan 06, 2016 0 comments

Each December, I have the pleasure to reflect alongside colleagues of the Americans for the Arts’ Arts Education Advisory Council about what happened in arts education in America over the course of the previous year. It is truly one of my favorite activities – a chance to celebrate big accomplishments, learn from incidents that were not-so-good, and identify trends which may crop up in our work in 2016.

Last year, as we looked back over 2014, we discussed STEAM, creative youth development, standards, new reports, resources for specific student populations, mayors and more. Some things continued this year, and some things did not – check out the list below!

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More Than a Number: The Role of the Arts in Youth Development Programs

Posted by Jennifer Oliver, Dec 23, 2015 0 comments

When a potential supporter for creative youth development approaches me, one of the first things I tell them is to look at the numbers. This model works. Students who participate in rigorous, arts-based after school programs perform better in school and have higher graduation rates than that of their peers who do not participate in the arts. I reference programs such as The Wooden Floor in Santa Ana, Say Si in San Antonio, ARTS in San Diego – the results are impressive. It is at this moment that I have their attention. I have connected my work to something they value: academic success.

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Cooking up Frameworks - Inviting You to the Evaluation Test Kitchen

Posted by Pam Korza, Oct 29, 2015 0 comments

At the October Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) conference, artist Rosten Woo described the Vendor Power! project, a poster/brochure initiated by the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) and designed by artist Candy Chang to make comprehensible New York City’s most commonly violated street vending rules which are buried in hundreds of pages of impenetrable bureaucratese.  For thousands of vendors whose first language is not English, the Vendor Power! poster became an essential tool, directly helping them to understand their rights, avoid fines, and know how to respond when approached by police. Woo reported with satisfaction that, following CUP’s distribution of 10,000 posters, the Dept. of Consumer Affairs seized the poster’s power to address a longstanding institutional problem and printed another 10,000. Here the system took action to change a problematic practice.  If only evidence of change was always so clear!

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