For Arts Professionals in the Know
I have thought long and hard about ways to approach the conservation and maintenance of public art, particularly the thorny question of de-accessioning a piece.
What are the criteria? How do we make an informed decision? What is in the best interest of the public?
Historically, government entities have removed public artworks because they have deteriorated to the point where they pose a public safety hazard or they are so degraded they have become an eyesore, and the cost of repair exceeds 50% of their value (another hard thing to determine). The decision to remove an artwork in those cases is easier to make.
The more complex reasons to de-accession a public artwork stem from negative reactions to the content. What sort of process do we embark on if the public objects to the subject or style of an artwork? I think many folks, both arts professionals and the general public, are gun-shy about removing artworks because of subject or style after the precedents of Tilted Arc and John Ahearn’s installation, which remained for a brief five days on a plaza in front of a Bronx police station.
For the purposes of this discussion, I will focus on de-accessioning public artworks because of conservation issues.Read More
Each year, Americans for the Arts presents a series of Public Leadership in the Arts Awards to elected officials at all levels of government and artists who speak out in favor of the arts and arts education.
We just recently presented the first of the 2013 awards at The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) Winter Meeting in Washington, DC. The USCM is Americans for the Arts' oldest public partnership going back more than two decades.
Each year, we also sponsor the “Mayor’s Arts Breakfast” were we present awards to two mayors, a governor, and one or more nationally-acclaimed artists. This event is very important as more than 350 of the country’s most powerful mayors gather to hear about how the arts are important to their cities.
I am happy to report that over the years, our nation’s mayors have become vocal advocates for arts funding as we provide them with a front row seat to learn the importance of arts and culture and the economic value the sector provides.
At this year's breakfast, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Santa Fe Mayor David Coss were recognized for their support of the arts and culture in their cities. Both of these mayors, one from a fairly large city and the other of a fairly modest size, understand the importance and value of supporting their local nonprofit arts community and how that support generates substantial economic impact.Read More
At the Baltimore Art + Justice Project, we generally do not debate the merits of scale. We are a citywide project based in Baltimore. Our scale is fixed. What we have wrestled with, adapted to, and been challenged by is the question of scope.
Scale is about numbers. Scope is about variety.
A project designed by Director of the Office of Community Engagement at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) Karen Stults, the Baltimore Art + Justice Project was originally designed as an asset inventory for the newly-minted office. In building the office, there was a distinct and urgent need to more fully understand MICA’s impact and role as a community-engaged campus in Baltimore City.
The asset inventory was to identify where, how, and with whom MICA was engaged in arts-based social change in the city, as a framework for the creation of new programs that avoid duplication, build on strengths, and increase impact.
When presented with the opportunity to receive national funding from the Open Society Foundations in New York, and to use the data collection process as a means to also contributing to a larger dialogue about the role of socially-engaged art and design, the MICA-specific inventory expanded to a citywide initiative.Read More
As you saw in a previous ARTSblog post, Brunswick Acres Elementary School in Kendall Park, NJ was very dedicated to winning the third annual "Art of Education" contest sponsored by KRIS Wine and Americans for the Arts.
Not only did this video help them jump out to an early lead, but it helped them score the top prize of $5,000 for their arts education programs:
Even more amazingly, they secured 16,000 of the 90,000 total votes in the contest!
Art teacher Suzanne Tiedemann plans to use the funds to support her recent "Shells for NJ Shores Program" for which students will create shell-themed art to raise money for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy late last month.
In addition, 15 other schools in 9 states will receive a total of $20,000.Read More
YES is the answer to this question judging from the enthusiastic audience response on October 10 to Imagination Stage’s Creative Conversation on the topic.
One hundred and forty parents, educators, and other stakeholders attended a panel discussion, moderated by Doug Herbert of the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Office of Innovation & Improvement, and then enjoyed breakout sessions that included sample sessions in professional development for teachers, creative parenting classes, and an opportunity to take the Torrance Test, the only nationally recognized measure for creativity that has been in use for more than 50 years.
Each of the four panelists described their viewpoint about creativity during the forum.
Developmental Psychologist Meredith Rowe debunked the commonly held assumption that creativity is a gift which cannot be taught.
Neuropsychologist Bill Stixrud spoke about what he sees daily in his clinical practice: that kids today enjoy less free play, feel more stress, are less motivated, and have lower self-esteem than past generations. His findings parallel data from the Torrance Test, which has noted a sharp decline in children’s creativity scores over the last 20 years, especially in the elementary grades. Stixrud recognizes that children are missing the benefits of creative play and arts education.
I discussed how theatre arts classes and arts integrated into the school curriculum can help children of all abilities to find motivation for their studies. Projects that are student-led and focused on creative problem solving have been shown to engage young people in ways that traditional modes of instruction no longer can.Read More