Blog Posts for District of Columbia

Advocate with Grace

Posted by Jeanette McCune, Sep 13, 2017 0 comments

I had the honor of creating the Kennedy Center Youth Council (KCYC) in Spring 2016 with a specific mission of investigating how the Kennedy Center can positively impact and be positively impacted by youth. The KCYC founding was inspired by the Kennedy Center’s yearlong celebration of the centennial of John F. Kennedy’s birth, which included the exploration of citizen artistry, defined as using the arts for positive social impact. One of our most extraordinary KCYC members, an embodiment of the citizen artist ideology, is Grace Dolan-Sandrino. Grace, a 16-year old senior at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, has accomplished more than seasoned professionals twice her age.

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Through the Artist’s Lens: A Conversation with a Young Actor, Writer and Illustrator

Posted by Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell, Sep 12, 2017 0 comments

Arts education means so much to so many people, it seems counterintuitive that its continuation in school communities and beyond is constantly under threat. I know that I would not be the person I am today, a successful and happy museum professional employed by the Smithsonian Institution, had I not had the opportunities in my youth to explore the vast world of visual art provided by my schools and local youth orgs. For the future of all our children, we must defend arts education every opportunity we get. With that in mind, I was extra delighted for the opportunity to get to know my colleague’s spirited and quite profound daughter better through this interview.

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Arts & Economic Prosperity 5: How the Nonprofit Arts & Culture Industry Impacts the Economy in Your Community

Posted by Randy I. Cohen, Jun 17, 2017 0 comments

When recently asked how best to advocate for the arts in the current environment, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (NM)—co-chair of the Senate Cultural Caucus and chief sponsor of the CREATE Act—was unequivocal: “Start by telling every one of your Senators about the economic benefits of the arts.” This familiar refrain is one we have heard for decades from city council chambers to governor mansions to the halls of Congress—and it works. Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 does just that. It changes the conversation about the arts from that of a “charity” to one about an “industry” that provides both cultural and economic benefits to the community.

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Playing the Long Game: Developing our Future Board Members

Posted by Stephanie Johnson, Apr 18, 2017 0 comments

After years of playoff failures, Sam Hinkie, the Philadelphia 76ers general manager, decided to stop focusing on winning now. In fact, sometimes he made an active choice to start losing. Why? The worst teams in the NBA get the highest probability of top draft picks, and he was going to build a dream team, one player at a time. Hinkie and the 76ers were playing the long game.

Arts organizations can have a similar problem. Some organizations in our sector struggle to make balanced budgets, and while we’re producing thought-provoking, life-changing art for our communities, our financial situation can be squarely mediocre. So I, too, am playing the long game. Fortunately, it doesn’t involve losing at all.

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There’s No “I” in “Arts Advocacy”

Posted by Ms. Najean Lee, Mar 03, 2017 0 comments

While a presidential election season is the most intense time of political engagement for most citizens, advocates who dedicate themselves to a particular issue or set of issues know that there is seldom a defined starting or stopping point to our work. This is especially true for the arts, which encompass a wide range of policies in addition to federal funding (for example, improving the visa process for foreign guest artists to perform in the U.S., or protecting the ability of musicians to travel across international borders with instruments that contain protected species material). Happily, speaking up for the arts and our many policy concerns is easier to manage thanks to the work of coalitions such as the ad hoc Cultural Advocacy Group, which my organization—the League of American Orchestras—has been a part of for decades.

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Why Does Your Business Value the Arts?

Posted by Jessica Gaines, Dec 15, 2016 0 comments

In their acceptance speeches at the 2016 BCA 10 Awards, twelve industry leaders spoke about what being honored at the 2016 BCA 10 means to them and why they encourage and seek out opportunities to bring the arts into their worlds.

"We believe that everyone in this room is art. And when art and the folks in this room come together, we spark innovation; we inspire youth. We celebrate and heal communities. We stimulate economies. We sustain this great nation."

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