Blog Posts for cultural equity

Follow up on Americans for the Arts' Annual Convention

Posted by Ms. Ann Marie Miller, Jun 23, 2015 0 comments

The 2015 Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention was also my first visit to Chicago. Having arrived early, I heard that the Chicago Architecture Foundation offered outstanding tours. I arranged to join the “Must See Chicago,” tour and was not disappointed. My inner geek enjoyed learning about Daniel Burnham, bundled tube construction, and remembering the contributions to mid-century modern architecture of Mies van der Rohe from art history class. While I spent a considerable amount of time “looking up” at numerous behemoth skyscrapers, I was grounded by a treasure trove of public art. It felt like opening a new box of crayons-truly inspirational. That was only the beginning of my #AFTACON inspiration.

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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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Justice in Education

Posted by Lara Davis, Jun 05, 2015 2 comments

Across the country, communities are calling for justice in education. High stakes testing, disproportionate discipline by race, and the mass closing of public schools in certain regions profoundly impact the lives of young people. In an environment where education reform, vouchers, charter schools, and increased accountability dominate the landscape, what does it mean to impact the very heart and bureaucratic structure of public school districts and build trust, equity, and meaningful change?

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Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act: Museums and Accessibility

Posted by Rebecca Bradley, Apr 19, 2015 0 comments

On July 26, 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. I was five years old and the child of a father who was hard-of-hearing. I knew that my dad wore hearing aids, but I never really thought about it. My dad was my dad. Like most five year olds, a law as significant as the ADA was lost on me. But I needed to know why there were captions on the TV that obstructed my cartoons! I was curious why these words were on the screen. This was the beginning of my curiosity that led me on the path to become not only a disability advocate, but a museum educator. I remember when “the black box” (closed captioning box) arrived at our house. Our neighbors had a deaf son and they wanted to share this new and innovative technology with us. It’s hard to imagine that something like this was cutting edge! Especially 25 years later when I’m working with telepresence robots!

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Living Into The Questions

Posted by Arlene Goldbard, Nov 17, 2014 1 comment

Arlene Goldbard Arlene Goldbard

The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers. - James Baldwin

Baldwin’s epigram reminds us that to thrive, we must be able to see through imposed realities and prefab solutions. We may be tempted to seek definitive answers, but what we really need now is to live into the questions.

To inhabit questions means to first unpack their assumptions and implications.

What’s the context for an inquiry into aesthetics and social justice? When I speak on this topic, someone from the “establishment” arts world always asks me this: “What about standards? What about excellence? A lot of this work isn’t very good.”

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