Blog Posts for California

ESEA THOUGHTS: The Law of Unintended Consequences

Posted by Donn Harris, Sep 17, 2015 0 comments

I became aware of the recent flurry of activity around the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) almost accidentally; the acronym ESEA was hardly familiar when I first heard it. I was at a California Arts Council meeting, our discussion in full view of the public, and the tape was rolling for posterity. I had been riffing on the entire NCLB experience as it had affected arts education, especially the past nine years (!!) of non-authorized, non-replaced limbo, when a staff member mentioned optimism about the upcoming Senate vote on the new bill, the Every Child Can Achieve Act. Later it passed by an 81-17 margin and now we await a House vote and most likely a bill on President Obama’s desk this fall.

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Bloomberg Philanthropies on the Power of Public Art

Posted by Kate D. Levin, Aug 25, 2015 0 comments

At Bloomberg Philanthropies we recognize the enormous potential of public art to enliven neighborhoods, drive foot traffic to local businesses, bolster tourism, and inspire people to live and work in places identified with creativity. So in October 2014, we launched the Public Art Challenge to support temporary public art projects that catalyze urban growth, contribute to local identity, and promote creativity. In addition to generating exciting work in cities and seeding strong public-private partnerships supporting culture, we hoped the initiative would encourage local governments across the United States to view artists and the arts as resources for addressing civic priorities in real and transformative ways. 

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Dream It! Do It!

Posted by Kim Bruno, Aug 19, 2015 0 comments

At The Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts in downtown Los Angeles (known as Grand Arts High School) we have produced an original music video – Dream It! Do It! –directed and choreographed by Emmy, Golden Globe, NAACP Image, Drama Desk, Astaire and Olivier Award winner Debbie Allen.  Read more to watch/read more about this inspiring video! 

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So, What Do You Do?

Posted by Ashley McDonald, Ms. Felicia W. Shaw, Jun 26, 2015 0 comments

Editor’s Note: Ashley McDonald, Membership Associate at Americans for the Arts, interviewed our member Felicia Shaw about her work in the arts field. At the time of this interview Felicia was in the process of transitioning from her role as interim executive director of Young Audiences of San Diego to her new role as executive director of the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) in her hometown of St. Louis, MO.

AM: Can you describe your role at St. Louis Regional Arts Commission (RAC)?

FS: My job at RAC will be to assume the leadership role of a local arts agency that has had an impressive 30-year history of growing the arts and culture community throughout the St. Louis region. I’ll be working to preserve the vitality of a successful organization that is ready to grow to the next level, particularly at a time when St. Louis is turning the corner and looking to the future. I am charged with establishing a vision for RAC and strategically moving the organization forward in a new and impactful way for the next decade and beyond.

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Arts Action Heroes to the Rescue!

Posted by Robert Lynch, Jun 24, 2015 0 comments

During my 30 years at Americans for the Arts, I have had the great privilege to visit and learn about a different community nearly every week. While they differ vastly from one another, there is one common strength I have observed: the arts have made a profound impact on the health of each community.

Across America, in communities of all sizes, a rising population of arts action heroes -- both individuals and organizations -- are stepping up, armed with the tools of their craft and a vision of how their work in the arts contributes to the well-being of a community.

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Some Expressions about the Arts and Creative Expression

Posted by Mr. Charlie Jensen, Jun 23, 2015 2 comments

I was thrilled to sit in on the “Vocabulary for Arts and Arts Education” session at Americans for the Arts' Annual Convention this year. All three presenters—Christopher Audain, Kevin Kirkpatrick, and Margy Waller, along with moderator Margie Reese—were all on point for the session and I perhaps overtweeted in my enthusiasm over what they shared.

As I left the session, I started focusing on what Kevin presented on changing the conversation about arts and culture. Arts Midwest recently released the study Creating Connection: Research Findings and Proposed Message Framework to Build Public Will for Arts and Culture, which examined how existing attitudes and values of our audiences connect with our field’s message output. The study suggests reframing arts activity to be “creative expression” will have a more effective connection to broader audiences, and that connecting with others, with their families, and with their inner selves is their largest motivation for participating in arts and culture.

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