Blog Posts for Illinois

From ESEA to CPS: Arts are at the Core

Posted by Ms. Amysue Mertens, Sep 17, 2015 0 comments

It has been 20 years since Americans for the Arts and others worked diligently to ensure that the arts were included as core subjects in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). As we celebrate Arts in Education Week in Chicago, I am reminded of how important the arts’ inclusion in ESEA truly is to not only our schools but to our community partners.

For more than 30 years, Chicago’s arts and culture community filled educational gaps, encouraged youth participation in the arts, and worked with CPS to incorporate the arts where it could given budgetary and instructional time constraints. My arts education for example, came largely from a gifted program offered by two community partners; the Art Institute of Chicago and Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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The Artist at the Center

Posted by Jennifer Oliver, Sep 02, 2015 0 comments

This year’s Americans for the Arts (AFTA) conference, held in Chicago, proved to be a great success with almost 1,500 people in attendance.  For me, the conference began when Theaster Gates took the stage and spoke about empowering the voices inside communities through art.  I have so many thoughts from this lecture, but what stays with me now is the role of Theaster as a mentor, as a leader.  I was awe-struck by his dedication to serving his community and his presence and availability to us, his audience. 

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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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Happy Anniversary to the Arts & Business Council of Miami and the Arts & Business Council of Chicago

Posted by Jordan Shue, Aug 27, 2015 0 comments

The Private Sector Network of Americans for the Arts, which includes organizations like Arts & Business Councils and Business Committees for the Arts, works to promote the message that business sector support for the arts is integral to the success and longevity of the arts, and essential in building communities in which the business sector can thrive. This post is one of two that highlights five such organizations that are celebrating monumental anniversaries in 2015 and have spent decades building these vital partnerships.

Two weeks ago we featured the Arts & Business Council of New York, the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, and the New Hampshire Business Committee for the Arts as they celebrate major anniversaries this year. Now, we turn to the Arts & Business Council of Miami and the Arts & Business Council of Chicago to learn more about their work over the past 30 years. 

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The Art of Athletics

Posted by Brian Foster, Aug 03, 2015 0 comments

Anyone that is in my presence for more than ten minutes will probably pick up that I am passionate about two things outside of my family: Sports (particularly football and basketball) and artistic expression (particularly music and film). I’ve often debated with various friends whether or not sports could be considered art, and opinions have varied.

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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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