Blog Posts for professional development

How Businesses Can Recruit and Retain Talent through the Arts

Posted by Ms. Stacy Lasner, Aug 20, 2015 0 comments

For more than 50 years, Americans for the Arts has been dedicated to building broad public support, strong leadership, and increased resources for arts and arts education. The pARTnership Movement, which was launched in 2012 by Americans for the Arts’ Business Committee for the Arts, bridges the gap between the businesses world and the arts world, and helps businesses understand that partnering with the arts can have real strategic value.

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Teaching Artists in the Post-Silo Era

Posted by Mr. Eric Booth, Aug 05, 2015 0 comments

A number of trends discussed at the 2015 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention resonated with my personal experience as a teaching artist. One trend arose frequently, in a number of different contexts: we all need to consider it since it is clearly top of mind in our field, and prominent in our experimenting with change.  Different presenters used different words to describe this trend, but the gist is: the longtime silos of practice and identity within the greater arts field are coming down. We have stayed within them too long, and now necessity and good strategy are bringing them down.  

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Privilege, Access, and the Arts

Posted by Adil Mansoor, Jul 22, 2015 0 comments

This past June, I had the opportunity to present at the first Cultural Equity Preconference at the 2015 American for the Arts (AFTA) gathering in Chicago, IL. Over 100 people spent three rigorous days thinking about art, diversity, and their own communities. Each presentation created space for me to consider, reflect, and question. From chats over lunch about gay zombie theater to bus rides investigating the urgent need to include dialogue about ability and accessibility in social justice movements, every interaction was steeped in expansive conversations.

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10 Fun Online PD Resources for Arts Educators & Leaders

Posted by , Jul 08, 2015 0 comments



It’s that time of year – summer is here! As we say goodbye to another school year and take the next month or two to regroup, plan, and hopefully enjoy some much needed R&R (preferably on a beach), here are a few (mostly free) really great professional development resources to help refuel, recharge, and inspire our creative minds. The bonus is they’re all available online!

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So, What Do You Do?

Posted by Ashley McDonald, Ms. Felicia W. Shaw, Jun 26, 2015 0 comments

Editor’s Note: Ashley McDonald, Membership Associate at Americans for the Arts, interviewed our member Felicia Shaw about her work in the arts field. At the time of this interview Felicia was in the process of transitioning from her role as interim executive director of Young Audiences of San Diego to her new role as executive director of the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) in her hometown of St. Louis, MO.

AM: Can you describe your role at St. Louis Regional Arts Commission (RAC)?

FS: My job at RAC will be to assume the leadership role of a local arts agency that has had an impressive 30-year history of growing the arts and culture community throughout the St. Louis region. I’ll be working to preserve the vitality of a successful organization that is ready to grow to the next level, particularly at a time when St. Louis is turning the corner and looking to the future. I am charged with establishing a vision for RAC and strategically moving the organization forward in a new and impactful way for the next decade and beyond.

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Some Expressions about the Arts and Creative Expression

Posted by Mr. Charlie Jensen, Jun 23, 2015 2 comments

I was thrilled to sit in on the “Vocabulary for Arts and Arts Education” session at Americans for the Arts' Annual Convention this year. All three presenters—Christopher Audain, Kevin Kirkpatrick, and Margy Waller, along with moderator Margie Reese—were all on point for the session and I perhaps overtweeted in my enthusiasm over what they shared.

As I left the session, I started focusing on what Kevin presented on changing the conversation about arts and culture. Arts Midwest recently released the study Creating Connection: Research Findings and Proposed Message Framework to Build Public Will for Arts and Culture, which examined how existing attitudes and values of our audiences connect with our field’s message output. The study suggests reframing arts activity to be “creative expression” will have a more effective connection to broader audiences, and that connecting with others, with their families, and with their inner selves is their largest motivation for participating in arts and culture.

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