Blog Posts for California

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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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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