Blog Posts for Social Change

Advocacy is the New Yoga: Just Thirty Minutes a Day Can Make a World of Difference

Posted by Ursula Kuhar, Apr 23, 2012 4 comments

Ursula Kuhar

I love yoga. It’s all the rage—even Nancy Hanks Lecturer Alec Baldwin is a fan. Yoga practice is a great fitness activity that has physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits. A thirty minute workout comprised of sun salutation, downward facing dog, and accompanied by a little “om” action provides the energy and balance needed to chug through the day.

What about arts wellness? I propose this: advocacy is the new yoga.

I promise, I’m going somewhere with this. Just hear me out.

Every year in April, hundreds of arts advocates arrive in Washington, DC for Arts Advocacy Day.

The two-day summit covers advocacy training, break out sessions regarding current arts issues, the Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and a day on Capitol Hill—meeting with legislators to discuss the state of the arts and future objectives.

It’s an empowering and inspiring experience. Even as a seasoned veteran, I discover new information, meet and discuss issues with colleagues from all over the country, and leave Washington knowing that somehow, in some way, I planted a seed by educating and encouraging my elected officials regarding the positive power of the arts and their support and continued funding benefits the country in countless ways.

But what happens when we leave our nation’s capital? It is all too easy to “fall off the wagon”: to put our Congressional Arts Handbook and other resources on a bookcase in the office, only to be revisited the following April.

Here’s where yoga comes in.

Read More
TAGGED WITH:

More Clips from Alec Baldwin: "Art is like water. It's essential."

Posted by Tim Mikulski, Apr 23, 2012 0 comments

The two clips below capture more of Alec Baldwin's Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts & Public Policy given as part of Arts Advocacy Day on April 16 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

During this clip, Baldwin makes the case for the the support of arts funding:

And for the coda of his lecture, Baldwin summarizes the main points of his journey through the arts during his life and utters the most memorable quote of the speech (besides the gang dancing line much earlier...):

Read More

Arts Advocacy Day from a Newcomer's Point of View

Posted by Candy Nguyen Smirnow, Apr 20, 2012 1 comment

Candy Nguyen Smirnow

I came to Arts Advocacy Day for the first time this year not knowing exactly what to expect.

I’ve never considered myself a political person. I rarely sign petitions and have never campaigned for any one organization or candidate. I’ve just always been very passive when it came to politics, most certainly because of my Gen X mentality.

So, when my boss asked me to join her I was hesitant, wondering does my voice really matter? But, I’ve learned a lot in the business world, and one of those things is never to pass up an opportunity to learn something new. So, I quickly reconsidered the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill.

As I walked into day one, I was amazed by the congregation of over 500 advocates. I was especially surprised by the number of young people who were participating.

When I was their age, I would’ve never even considered joining something like Arts Advocacy Day. I grew up in the public education system in Southern California, which unfortunately did not have much of an arts-infused curriculum.

In elementary school we had a “music cart,” where once a week Mr. Nelson would roll into the classroom with his keyboard and pass out the maracas and tambourines. It was everyone’s favorite day of class, but unfortunately it didn’t come quite often enough.

Read More

Alec Baldwin: "When I saw 'West Side Story,' I wanted to dance like them...in a gang"

Posted by Tim Mikulski, Apr 19, 2012 0 comments

Here is another portion of the Nancy Hanks Lecture given by Alec Baldwin on April 16 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

This time he addresses the evolution of his appreciation for dance:

Thanks again to our friends at Ovation for providing us with the clip.

You can also listen to Alec's interview with National Public Radio's Morning Edition on April 17 as a podcast on that program's website.

Here's a sample of his wisdom:

HOST STEVE INSKEEP: Why do you think arts funding is periodically a political lightning rod?

ALEC BALDWIN: It was easier before, and I think now you still have these kind of vapors in the air from old battles, which when there were individual grants and you could say those hot button words, like Karen Finley. And you could say Mapplethorpe and you could talk about individual grants that went to people...

INSKEEP: Artists whose work (unintelligible) were considered obscene in many cases.

Read More

Who's Number One? (from The pARTnership Movement)

Posted by Will Maitland Weiss, Apr 19, 2012 0 comments

Will Maitland Weiss

The sweet sixteen. The elite eight. The final four. But what does it really come down to...Who’s number ONE?!?!

In the case of The Economist's Hot Spots: Benchmarking Global City Competitiveness (just released last week), IT’S NEW YORK.

A total of 120 cities were evaluated with 31 indicators for each city (21 qualitative and 10 quantitative) in “eight distinct, thematic categories” like “economic strength,” and “financial maturity,” and “social and cultural character.”

The Economist journalists write in their executive summary:

"Competitiveness is a holistic concept. While economic size and growth are important and necessary, several other factors determine a city’s competitiveness, including its business and regulatory environment, the quality of human capital, and cultural aspects. These factors not only help sustain high economic growth rates, but also create a stable and harmonious business and social environment. Against this backdrop, we define competitiveness as the demonstrated ability to attract capital, business, talent, and visitors."

I love this stuff.

Let’s face it: I love when New York wins.

You love it when your city, your team, your organization wins—as you should; but, this isn’t a fluff press release from the tourism/convention agency and it isn’t, ultimately, about New York.

Read More

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Social Change