Blog Posts for Massachusetts

The Arts and Social Justice: Bridging Artistic Excellence and Social Justice Transformation

Posted by Myran Parker-Brass, Apr 06, 2016 0 comments

With the rise in racial tension and violence in our communities, the question of how we engage our communities in meaningful civic discourse is being asked across the country—particularly how do we engage our young people and help them understand how to include their “voice” in the discussion? The arts have a long standing place in building a bridge between artistic expression and social justice. “Music and the arts are often the glue that helps hold a movement together, providing a sounding board and an emotional support structure,” says Anthony Trecek-King, Artistic Director for the Boston Children’s Chorus, BCC, during our recent discussion about BCC’s unique mission.

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3 Steps to Success for Equity and Access

Posted by Jeanette McCune, Apr 04, 2016 0 comments

As a nation, we all agree that it is beneficial for every child to receive a comprehensive education, inclusive of the arts. How to operationalize this has been more elusive and challenging. Collective Impact, as shared in the Stanford Social Innovation Review article written by John Kania and Mark Kramer, outlines the conditions for broad, systemic change in social issues, and has been successfully implemented in a variety of communities across the country, including initiatives to support arts education.   

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The Passion of Arts Advocates Driving Change: Kennedy, U.S. Lawmakers, and You

Posted by Robert Lynch, Mar 30, 2016 0 comments

Earlier this month I was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, giving a lecture on arts and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Policy. In lieu of standard hotel accommodations, I was offered the chance to stay in John F. Kennedy's senior year suite in Winthrop House—and of course I jumped at it. Sitting down at Kennedy’s desk—complete with an Underwood portable typewriter—I was profoundly moved. I thought of his inspiring words and they resonated with the event and work of the week to come, Arts Advocacy Day, when citizen advocates take to Capitol Hill to make the case for federal support for the arts and arts education.

I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.

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Top 10 in Arts Education 2015

Posted by Jeff Poulin, Jan 06, 2016 0 comments

Each December, I have the pleasure to reflect alongside colleagues of the Americans for the Arts’ Arts Education Advisory Council about what happened in arts education in America over the course of the previous year. It is truly one of my favorite activities – a chance to celebrate big accomplishments, learn from incidents that were not-so-good, and identify trends which may crop up in our work in 2016.

Last year, as we looked back over 2014, we discussed STEAM, creative youth development, standards, new reports, resources for specific student populations, mayors and more. Some things continued this year, and some things did not – check out the list below!

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New Ways to Talk About Art, Artists, and Community

Posted by Ms. Margy Waller, Dec 22, 2015 0 comments

A young dancer recently told me she would be so happy if architects of community change and innovation and planning came to her with a request to put her skills to work for her community. Nothing would make her happier as an artist.

She’s just waiting for the invite! So, why doesn't this happen more often? And why do artists find it so hard to get a seat at the community planning table?

In recent meetings about the role of arts in community building and development, including the four regional meetings of the New Community Visions Initiative this fall, participants from the arts told us that they have a hard time getting a seat at that table. They sense that people in other sectors don’t seem to take arts seriously as a community development partner.

 

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Inclusion and Refinement Serving a Common Goal

Posted by Dan Trahey, Oct 27, 2015 0 comments

The purpose of these words are not to debate a right or wrong musical pedagogy however to promote the convergence of musicians, music, and students approaching music from different places. For the purpose of this article I will refer to the two different approaches as the Social sphere and Refinement sphere and argue that marrying these two approaches is of best interest to all.

In the summer of 2015, 10 students from one of the most challenging neighborhoods in West Baltimore attended the prestigious, Interlochen Center For the Arts on merit based scholarships. 

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