Blog Posts for Massachusetts

Mission Creep

Posted by Ms. Bridget E. Woodbury, Apr 19, 2015 0 comments

In Boston, a nonprofit organization called the Theatre Offensive came to the conclusion that the work they were doing – the work that their mission mandated – was stale. When the company was founded, it was a challenge to find live performances that addressed LGBT issues and contained LGBT characters. TTO strove to make that comment widely available in Boston. Now that theatre addressing sexual orientation and gender identity has become common in Boston proper, TTO’s adherence to its mission - to make queer-themed plays accessible - suddenly feels out of touch with the energy behind its founding.

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Arts Education Poised for Comeback in Nation’s Largest School Districts

Posted by Doug Israel, Apr 07, 2015 0 comments

Urban school districts, such as New York and Chicago, are taking bold steps to expand the school day curriculum and once again invest in arts education. After years of budget cuts, and a narrowing of curriculum at public schools across the country, cities are taking action.

Owing largely to mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, school districts of all sizes spent recent years focusing educational goals very narrowly on improving test scores in just two subject areas—English Language and Math. This focus came at the expense of the arts, music, and other subject areas that were not being tested.

Fortunately, the tide may be turning, and arts education may be making comeback.

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Arts Education in Museum Spaces: The Enriching Kidspace at MASS MoCA

Posted by Meg Salocks, Feb 06, 2015 0 comments

If you haven’t heard of it, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams, is well worth a visit – no matter how long it takes to get there. If you have heard of it, then you know what I’m talking about.

Opened in 2000, in a massive factory complex that takes up nearly a third of downtown North Adams, MASS MoCA is a seamless blend of contemporary art, community, and education.

North Adams is located in the general Western Massachusetts region and, in the past 25 years, has unfortunately been subject to significant economic upheaval that left a majority of the population unemployed. While the museum had an understandably rocky start in this setting - trying to convince locals that the arts could indeed revitalize an entire town - in the past 14 years they have achieved exactly that. This slow but steady growth and success is largely thanks to the museum staff’s steadfast commitment to high-quality arts education and to their community.

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Arts Education: Ten Things to Remember from 2014

Posted by Jeff Poulin, Jan 09, 2015 2 comments

I can now affirmatively say that I have been at Americans for the Arts for over a year! Woohoo! …And what a year it has been.

Each month the Arts Education Advisory Council of Americans for the Arts has a monthly call. In December, we sat on the call reflecting on the previous year and what we had all accomplished personally, collectively, and throughout the field. In my role as the Arts Education Program Coordinator, I am privileged to see a lot of things that happen on a national scale across the country, and the council often provides insight into the impacts of these trends or brings my attention to something that is up-and-coming before it has actually made a splash.

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What the Midterm Elections Mean for the Arts: Summary of 2014 Election

Posted by Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Narric Rome, Nov 06, 2014 0 comments

Nina Ozlu Tunceli Nina Ozlu Tunceli

 

In this year’s midterm elections, Republicans took back the Senate, kept control of the House and won governorships in 31 states and counting. What does that mean for you and for us, as strong advocates of the arts and arts education? Here we break down the national, state, and local results - and their potential impact on the arts:   In Congress The U.S. Senate will be Republican-led. This means all Senate committees will see new chairmen, and since those committees control and recommend federal spending, these new chairmen could have significant impact on federal arts funding.

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86+ Actions to Take and Growing: Carrying Our Collective Agenda Forward

Posted by Heather Ikemire, Sep 19, 2014 0 comments

Heather Ikemire Heather Ikemire

March 29, 2014, was the final day of the first-ever National Summit on Creative Youth Development in Boston—a national convening of more than 200 youth arts practitioners, funders, policymakers, and students designed to bring new energy and focus to creative youth development. On that day 86 individuals stood up at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and declared personal commitments to advancing creative youth development. I was proud to be one of them.

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