Blog Posts for Maryland

Advocate: At All Levels—At All Times—For All People

Posted by John Schratwieser, Jul 17, 2017 0 comments

Day in and day out, we work on behalf of so many that we may never meet. Whether a student in an art class or school chorus, a senior citizen in a quilting guild, a potter fashioning pieces for an Empty Bowls food pantry fundraiser, or a writer or composer bringing important subject matter to the page or the stage—they are relying on us to move the needle in public discourse about the power of the arts. 

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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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Thanks and Gratitude for My Arts Advocacy Village

Posted by John Schratwieser, Jun 12, 2017 0 comments

I have worked with hundreds of volunteers, be they board members, letter stuffers, wine servers, budget testimony panelists, and more. We do not achieve status as members of the “beloved community” by singing our own praises, and ignoring the commitment and dedication of those who volunteer their time with us. We do not achieve this by saying “our doors are open to all” and then sitting inside those open doors and waiting for “them” to come. Without those who give of their time and resources freely, we are nothing but another cog in a wheel.

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When Trying Hard Isn’t Good Enough: Alignment, Action and Accountability

Posted by Mary Hester, Apr 19, 2017 0 comments

Bridging the gap between reality and results for arts education in schools requires multi-sector, cross-agency leadership making aligned efforts and contributions. Moving from talk to action requires collaborative leadership—the ability to make decisions and take action together in service of the result. This type of leadership requires experimentation, trust building, and a fair amount of risk. It breaks down the boundaries of hierarchical leadership and looks across organizational boundaries. When we work collaboratively, we acknowledge that no one program, agency, or organization can produce population-level results.

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Are Internships Building the Leaders We Need?

Posted by Mr. Ryan Antony Nicotra, Apr 18, 2017 0 comments

Today’s emerging leaders will need to be proficient, savvy, self-aware, and boundlessly resilient in order to meet tomorrow’s challenges; and yet, the long-term value of the short-term internship model appears to vary by organization and pupil. What makes an internship meaningful and worthwhile for both parties? Does a traditional internship model facilitate learning that extends beyond specialized proficiency to include strategic thinking, a value for cultural equity, and adaptive processes?

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10 Steps to Build a Localized Movement for the Arts

Posted by Mr. Ryan Antony Nicotra, Mar 22, 2017 0 comments

Allow me to set the scene: while attending the 2016 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in Boston, I received a text from a friend in my hometown stating that in a late-night meeting the day prior, the local Board of Education unexpectedly introduced and approved an unreasonably high new fee for all students wishing to participate in extracurricular drama programs. Today, after eight months of coordinating an aggressive advocacy campaign that succeeded in eliminating that same fee with the near-unanimous support of the same board members who introduced it, I aim to identify and share the 10 crucial steps and considerations that made this victory for the arts in Harford County, Maryland possible.

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