Blog Posts for Illinois

The Intersection of Creative Youth Development and Creative Community Development

Posted by Matt D'Arrigo, Jul 13, 2015 0 comments

My last blog “The Power of Place: The Importance of Dedicated 3rd Spaces for Youth to Engage in the Arts” talked about the importance of creating dedicated 3rd spaces in the community for youth to engage in the arts. I talked about our successes of creating the ARTS Center in National City – a low income, blighted community with high rates of violent crime, poverty, and unemployment. The ARTS Center is a colorful, vibrant, and safe oasis within the community for youth to come after-school and on weekends to be healed, inspired, and empowered through the arts. 

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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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Arts Action Heroes to the Rescue!

Posted by Robert Lynch, Jun 24, 2015 0 comments

During my 30 years at Americans for the Arts, I have had the great privilege to visit and learn about a different community nearly every week. While they differ vastly from one another, there is one common strength I have observed: the arts have made a profound impact on the health of each community.

Across America, in communities of all sizes, a rising population of arts action heroes -- both individuals and organizations -- are stepping up, armed with the tools of their craft and a vision of how their work in the arts contributes to the well-being of a community.

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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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Chicagoland's Arts and Culture Brings the Vibrancy -- and Money, Too!

Posted by Robert Lynch, Jun 12, 2015 0 comments

This article has been co-written with Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and originally published by The Huffington Post on June 12, 2o15.

Deplaning at Chicago's O'Hare, it's easy to daydream of the world-famous art that awaits: the gleaming, 100-ton stainless steel Cloud Gate, Grant Woods' iconicAmerican Gothic, historic architecture and the homegrown Chicago blues.

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