Blog Posts for Social Change

From Blues to the “Peanutcracker,” Government Support for the Arts Helps Create Access for All

Posted by Robert Lynch, May 25, 2017 0 comments

It’s easy to rattle off numbers, but what does this increase in funding really mean? Great projects across the country will now get to continue. Last year, the NEA recommended more than 2,400 grants in nearly 16,000 communities in every congressional district in the country. A review of NEA grants shows that the majority go to small and medium-sized organizations, and the diversity among these grant recipients is unmatched by any other U.S. funder. One grant program, “Challenge America,” is dedicated to reaching underserved communities—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

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Are You as Connected as You Could Be? Introducing our Member Briefing Series

Posted by Bridget Woodbury, May 16, 2017 0 comments

On February 8, Americans for the Arts launched our Arts Mobilization Center, which serves as a hub for all of our position papers. The Mobilization Center is available to the public and is intended to be a tool to help you advocate for the arts. Then, to help our members be the most effective advocates they can be, we launched a regular member briefing series on March 23. These are 30 minute calls available exclusively to members around a specific issue statement, topic area, or program update. During each call, Americans for the Arts senior staff members and I provide background on a given topic, then we take your questions live!

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Advocacy & Arts: Have You Seen the Ads?

Posted by Kate McClanahan, May 05, 2017 0 comments

Elected leaders care deeply about the areas they represent and the views of their constituents who elect them every few years. They may not agree with what they think, but they do care to know what they think—and it is certainly one key factor that weighs on how they cast their votes, what issues they focus on, and what areas they deepen their knowledge. Since we know that ads bring attention to issues, inspire and educate the public, and mobilize grassroots, they are one great way to invite data and impact stories that can lead to policy change. And, we know that legislators read their local newspapers, so the message gets through.

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Helping Veterans Build Connections Between Creative Arts Therapy Programs and Their Local Arts Communities Through Telehealth

Posted by Heather Spooner, MA, ATR-BC, Jennifer Baxley Lee, MA, BC-DMT, May 05, 2017 0 comments

The past five years have been a renaissance for those of us who incorporate the arts into our work with Veterans. However, as professionals who deeply engage in this work each day, we are aware that gaps remain in the continuum of care provided to Veterans. One such gap is in the transition from clinic to home-based care. Many service members and Veterans receive intensive therapy, including creative arts therapy, following an injury or illness and then return to their own corners of the world, which are disproportionately rural and isolated. 

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The Mission of Theater: The Contract of Showtime

Posted by Jeffrey Pufahl, MFA, LMUS, May 04, 2017 0 comments

There are basic contracts theater makers enter with each other when they start a project. These unwritten rules govern the creation of a piece of theater. We understand that what is shared at a performance is only between those who are there, and although the performance disappears forever once the lights are dimmed, what was shared remains and is carried by the audience. For the veterans who tell their stories through theater, their burdens can become a little lighter, a little more bearable—and that can make the pain of telling worthwhile.

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From Distress to De-Stress: The Power of Visioning and Rehearsing Healthy Behavior through Theatre

Posted by Jennifer Baxley Lee, MA, BC-DMT, May 03, 2017 0 comments

I build bridges for a living. By asking good questions or offering a juicy creative prompt, I point to a potential link between two seemingly disparate ideas: arts and health. I then have the privilege of bearing witness to the flood of ideas, possibilities, solutions, and truths that flow freely when the bridge is built. This year’s “bridge”? Why do we have stress as human beings? How does stress, and constructive or destructive ways of coping, impact our health? Are there any positive gains from stress, if properly expressed and harnessed?

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