Blog Posts for community engagement

New Ways to Talk About Art, Artists, and Community

Posted by Margy Waller, Dec 22, 2015 0 comments

A young dancer recently told me she would be so happy if architects of community change and innovation and planning came to her with a request to put her skills to work for her community. Nothing would make her happier as an artist.

She’s just waiting for the invite! So, why doesn't this happen more often? And why do artists find it so hard to get a seat at the community planning table?

In recent meetings about the role of arts in community building and development, including the four regional meetings of the New Community Visions Initiative this fall, participants from the arts told us that they have a hard time getting a seat at that table. They sense that people in other sectors don’t seem to take arts seriously as a community development partner.

 

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The role and responsibility of the arts

Posted by Erik Takeshita, Dec 10, 2015 0 comments

“The arts are like a little black dress; right for every occasion, but one size doesn’t fit all.” - Commander Moira McGuire, Clinical care coordinator; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Jamie Bennett, President of ArtPlace America, recently shared this missive with me and I couldn’t agree more. The arts are unique in their capacity to inspire, motivate, connect, give voice, and, all in all, lead to great things.  And, to quote another great source, Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.” 

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It’s Not About What Happens in Ten Years: It’s About Right Now

Posted by Jean Hendrickson, Nov 24, 2015 0 comments

It is past time to put the arts into action for every child in this country. If we are serious about equipping our kids with the tools they need to be successful in the future, let’s prove it by systematically and completely addressing the inequities that exist in our schools right now.

I recently participated in the New Community Visions Initiative in Oklahoma City. I came away from that event filled with hope and inspiration after a day of working side by side with many intelligent and empowering people: educators, government officials, private industry leaders, cultural organization heads, and foundation leaders. We looked at how we see the arts and culture playing a strong role in building a healthier, more vibrant, and more equitable community over the next ten to fifteen years.

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“C is for...” Creative Messaging Through the Arts

Posted by Ms. Stacy Lasner, Nov 19, 2015 0 comments

If I ask what “C is for,” many of you reading this would probably respond by recalling the lyrics of Cookie Monster’s famous song. Throughout history, from the cave wall to the Facebook wall, art has forged connections by communicating specific ideas and emotions in a relatable, memorable way. The idea that art can be used not only to entertain, but also to communicate important messages, has been demonstrated effectively by educational children’s television shows. Numerous studies over the years have shown that children who watched Sesame Street programming outperformed their peers in English, math, and science, and had more positive attitudes toward school.

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Stepping Up in the Silence: An Emerging Artist Leader’s Reflections about the AFTA Convention

Posted by Zahida Pirani, Oct 09, 2015 0 comments

I attended this year’s AFTA convention for the first time as an emerging artist leader thanks to the Queens Council on the Arts (QCA) and a grant from the NEA. When QCA’s Executive Director, Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, invited me to the convention (the NEA grant allows QCA to bring an individual artist every year), I was so thrilled, yet didn’t really know what to expect.

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The Cultural Equity T Shirt Project

Posted by Hoong Yee Krakauer, Oct 07, 2015 0 comments

 

How do you support artists whose work questions, argues, provokes, disrupts and refuses to accept anything less than an equitable cultural ecosystem?

This is the question that drove me to the 2015 Americans for the Arts Pre-Conference on Cultural Equity in Chicago.

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