Blog Posts for Maryland

Local Arts Agency Tweetup: A New Approach to Networking

Posted by Megan Pagado, Apr 11, 2012 0 comments

Megan Pagado

In late February, we at the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County hosted our first-ever #CreativeMoCo Tweetup for creatives in and around Montgomery County, MD.

Why did we, a local arts council, host a tweetup?

  1. Our constituents asked for it. They wanted the opportunity meet others in a casual, laidback, unstructured setting. (We’re fans of speed networking, but had to put those impulses aside for this particular event.)
  2. While we’re active on social media, we‘ve never had the chance to meet most of our followers and fans face to face. And isn’t eventually creating real, genuine interactions the whole point of social media?
  3. We saw this as an amazing opportunity to not only meet and introduce creatives to each other, but to mobilize them and take them to the next step of becoming self-identified arts advocates.

The tweetup was first announced on Facebook and Twitter, which generated over 40 registrations in two days. As I saw the number climb, I was amazed at the number of people registering that we didn’t know.

Since we used the term “creative community” instead of “cultural community” in marketing the tweetup, we had everyone from magazine editors to restaurant owners to DJs in attendance.

Based on our experience hosting our tweetup, here are some tips I can share with you on hosting your own, especially one that is advocacy-based:

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State Arts Funding: Good News! There Isn’t That Much Bad News

Posted by Justin Knabb, Feb 16, 2012 2 comments

Justin Knabb

While state legislative sessions are just getting underway in the new year, perpetual campaigning for the election is no doubt leaving everyone already feeling cranky and cynical (or is that just me?).

But take heart, advocates! Despite the cornucopia of GOP candidate positions on public arts funding---ranging anywhere from mild tolerance to total abhorrence---President Obama just proposed an increase in NEA funding!

And on the state level, while some familiar faces are making waves, several states are receiving some great surprises and proposals for steady funding:

Connecticut
Last month, Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) announced the launch of a $3.1 million local-level creative placemaking initiative in July. Gov. Dannel Malloy’s FY13 budget recommends eliminating all direct art support and redirecting those funds to a statewide marketing campaign that would include tourism. The state’s budget office indicates that arts organizations will be able to compete for $14 million in funding with other programs in the DECD.

Florida
The state legislature is proposing an increase to Florida Division of Cultural Affairs Cultural and Museum Grants. These grants were appropriated $2 million for the current fiscal year, and for FY13 the House and Senate are currently recommending $3,025,000 and $5,050,000, respectively.

Kansas
After zeroing out the state arts commission last year, Governor Sam Brownback reversed his decision and proposed $200,000 for the upcoming fiscal year. However, these funds would be for a new Kansas Creative Industries Commission, a merger of the Kansas Arts Commission and the Kansas Film Commission, housed under the Department of Commerce.

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Can't Stop Creative Conversations

Posted by Annelies van Vonno, Oct 17, 2011 0 comments

As we enter the third week of National Arts and Humanities Month, I would just like to thank all the local community leaders who have participated in our Creative Conversations!

Already, Creative Conversations have sparked local dialogue that is helping to unify groups of individuals engaged in arts and culture. These events help spur advocacy efforts and create networking opportunities for those interested in the arts in their communities.

In a memorable moment at a Creative Conversation last week in Silver Spring, MD, State Delegate Heather Mizeur advised, “Stand out with your art to connect to your advocacy. The artist should use their unique abilities in art making itself to stand out and reach legislatures.” From this Conversation, emerging arts advocates were able to take away this and many other valuable insights.

If you were unable to attend an event last week, don’t worry! October is full of remarkable and insightful events--over 30 so far, with more being added every day.

This week’s upcoming events include:

•    Bonus Features: Thinking Outside the Talkback – Today, Oct. 17! (Pittsburgh, PA)
•    Exploring Professional Paths in the Arts – Oct. 18 (Denver, CO)
•    Witness to Preservation – Oct. 20 (Stuart, FL)

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