Blog Posts for Massachusetts

Sometimes the Budget Pie is Big Enough for Everyone

Posted by Robert Lynch, Apr 26, 2017 0 comments

It’s the late 70s and I’m standing in the rotunda of the Massachusetts State House with a 10-foot-wide Boston cream pie. A pencil-thin line of white frosting drawn from the center outward like the minute hand of a watch is punctuated by a tall cardboard flag that says, “A piece of the pie for the arts.” This might get us some curious onlookers, maybe some pictures, I think. But before I know it, every elected official and staff member in the entire statehouse is drawn to the spectacle and descends into the rotunda not only to view it, but to get a piece. My fellow advocates and I served a lot of pie that day … and we also got an increase to our arts budget. 

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Women’s Leadership in the Non-Profit Theatre: Continuing Actions to Shift the Perception

Posted by Kristen van Ginhoven, Apr 20, 2017 0 comments

Women have never held more than 27% of leadership positions in American non-profit theatre. Why? In a field in which “representation” is important to the stories we present to the public, the persistent underrepresentation of female leadership is puzzling and problematic. A 2013 research study was able to unravel some of the reasons behind leadership gender imbalance through a multi-informant and multi-method design, which made clear that the issue is not a pipeline problem. There are sufficient numbers of women in next-in-line positions in the field. Action plans that address this “glass ceiling” need to be developed to correct the disparity and will be explored at the pilot Berkshire Leadership Summit in October 2017.

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Community Leadership from the Inside Out

Posted by Julia Dixon, Apr 17, 2017 0 comments

Berkshire County in western Massachusetts is an incredibly rich place for the arts. It contains such a critical mass of artists, arts institutions, and arts resources that in 2016 the county was named the 12th most arts vibrant small- to mid-sized community in the nation by the National Center for Arts Research. With this abundance of creative activity comes a necessity for arts leadership, although here, these positions aren’t reserved for executive directors and upper management of large institutions. A new generation of community arts leaders in North Adams is surfacing as junior employees and other non-executive workers are beginning to cultivate leadership roles outside of work.

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College and Career Ready—Are We Building Vertical Pathways for Arts Students?

Posted by Myran Parker-Brass, Mar 08, 2017 0 comments

Preparing students who are “college and career” ready is a common goal for success for high school students across the nation’s school districts; “post-secondary readiness” is included as an indicator for school quality or student success in the Every Student Succeeds Act legislation. Our state education departments and local school districts all have working definitions and metrics for this readiness. So, how prepared are we, the arts education community, to engage in this discussion? Are we building solid college and career pathways in the arts with our higher education partners, institutions and employers? Are we engaging and supporting our families and students in understanding that the arts provide viable college and career opportunities?

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The Origins of the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Program: Try, try again...

Posted by Stan Rosenberg, Feb 07, 2017 0 comments

This is the story of how the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Program came into being. It’s a story created through patience, persistence, and opportunity. It began as the mid-1990s approached, as a result of a constituent request for state assistance by the founder of the Yiddish Book Center, a nationally known cultural resource located on the campus of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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STEM to STEAM

Posted by Stan Rosenberg, Dan Hunter, Dec 27, 2016 0 comments

Business needs a creative workforce to compete in the global economy. But our schools are locked into 20th century priorities. We are testing mastery of content when the Internet delivers content in 0.7 seconds. If the only public measure of a school’s progress is standardized testing, then schools have every incentive to “teach to the test.” With limited resources, teaching the arts is dropped, diminished, or dismissed.

Testing establishes the educational priorities. So, how do you measure creativity? How do you test for the A in STEAM? In Massachusetts, we began discussing the concept of a Creative Challenge Index.

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