Blog Posts for emerging leaders network

The Hills (and Country) are Alive with Arts Education!

Posted by Ms. Lauren S. Hess, Aug 28, 2015 0 comments

I returned home from the Americans for the Arts 2015 Annual Convention in June with information and ideas swimming in my head, and hope rising in my heart for the optimistic future of arts education. There are numerous areas of the country where great things are happening to provide access to quality arts education for all children in a district, city, or county, depending on the location and size of the program.

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Privilege, Access, and the Arts

Posted by Adil Mansoor, Jul 22, 2015 0 comments

This past June, I had the opportunity to present at the first Cultural Equity Preconference at the 2015 American for the Arts (AFTA) gathering in Chicago, IL. Over 100 people spent three rigorous days thinking about art, diversity, and their own communities. Each presentation created space for me to consider, reflect, and question. From chats over lunch about gay zombie theater to bus rides investigating the urgent need to include dialogue about ability and accessibility in social justice movements, every interaction was steeped in expansive conversations.

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Offline at AFTACON

Posted by Lara Davis, Jun 26, 2015 0 comments

Americans for the Arts Annual Convention (AFTACON) regularly draws thousands of members of the arts world to one location for a whirlwind four days of workshops, recognition, plenaries, and arts excursions in some of the most incredible and dynamic cities in the country. There is never enough time to attend all the sessions I’m interested in. They all offer an insight into how art influences our economy, education, and communities – and how we visualize and interpret our world.

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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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Our Shared Public Art (and Placemaking) Legacy

Posted by Penny Balkin Bach, Jun 24, 2015 0 comments

At the Americans for the Arts 2015 Annual Convention, I was honored to accept the 2015 Public Art Network Award on behalf of the Association for Public Art (aPA) and also the early innovators who guide our work today. I am acutely aware that as the nation’s first non-profit public art organization, aPA has a unique 140+ year legacy. While we do not operate in the same environment as government agencies, I believe that recognizing our shared public art legacy can fortify our position by imparting clarity, credibility, and clout.

So who were those civic-minded people who founded and supported the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) and established the earliest percent for art programs in the United States?

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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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