Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2017
As a young theater artist, I could always be counted on to step up and make a passionate plea when arts funding was on the line. I shared stories about myself and my colleagues with my legislators about how the arts are fundamental to our humanity. I wrote about how the arts ennoble and inspire us, fostering goodness and beauty. While I have never abandoned these arts-for-arts-sake messages in my advocacy, I have learned that they are rarely stand-alone winners. Today, I augment these fundamental benefits of the arts with pragmatic ones—stories and research that connect the arts to what keeps our community leaders awake at night: jobs, economy, education, healthcare, and community development. The change in my approach has made me a more effective advocate.
Arts, Humanities, and Public Broadcasting Funding Again at Risk
Seems like national funding for the arts, humanities, and public broadcast media may once again on the chopping block in Washington. Enflamed debates highlight fundamental disagreement over federal government funding priorities, and we can expect vituperative arguments again this spring as Congress determines budget appropriations. At the appropriate time, it will be incumbent on each of us to claim our cultural agency and let Congress know how essential the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Corporation for Public Broadcasting are.
Our voice is strong and vital—let’s use it!
Arts marketers, this is our call to stand up and to use our powers for good. If there’s not a higher purpose to communicating about the arts, what's the point in filling up a building with people?
The Origins of the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Program: Try, try again...
This is the story of how the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Program came into being. It’s a story created through patience, persistence, and opportunity. It began as the mid-1990s approached, as a result of a constituent request for state assistance by the founder of the Yiddish Book Center, a nationally known cultural resource located on the campus of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Robert Lynch Responds to Wall Street Journal Commentary Calling for an End to the NEA
Thank you to Patrick Courrielche (“Save the Arts by Ending the Endowment,” Jan. 25), who made an excellent case for protecting the National Endowment for the Arts and even increasing its appropriations. However, his letter needs to be read from the bottom up. Mr. Courrielche’s summary called for Congress and President Trump to create a robust, expanded national arts council, but that is in fact what the NEA is.
ArtWORKS PHX—Spotlighting Phoenix as a Creative Urban City
Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA) surveyed its business membership and found more than 80 percent believe that a city’s creative culture—including arts and public spaces—is vital to recruiting and retaining a talented workforce.
While this is no surprise, we were shocked when this group of business leaders rated Phoenix as a “5” on a 10-point scale with respect to arts and creative vibrancy. We, the leaders of PCA’s “Arts, Culture & Public Life Committee” knew better.
Two years later, taking this dismal community self-assessment to heart, PCA launched ArtWORKS PHX, a novel arts and business advocacy campaign shaped to increase community awareness about, and advocate for, the economic impact of Phoenix businesses partnering with the arts.
Making Disasters the New Normal
As a former regional arts agency executive who managed an arts center, I know how difficult it can be to prioritize emergency preparedness. In the context of an average day for an arts leader, preparedness typically does not take priority; after all, arts administrators oversee complex administrative and artistic operations to keep their organizations functioning. The probability of failure in meeting fundraising, budget, and attendance goals is significantly higher for an arts manager than the off chance of a data breach, server breakdown, active shooter, fire, or severe weather situation. However, our current social, cultural, and environmental climate is cause for any arts manager to consider emergency preparedness strategies just as they would other organizational priorities.
Goals Worth Fighting For
We now know that some of President Trump’s transition team advisors are recommending elimination of federal arts and humanities funding along with many other non-arts related cuts. The arguments are old and tired and fly in the face of some of the very things our new President wants like building new infrastructure, jobs, a stronger economy—all areas where the arts are proven allies. As we wait for more clarity, Americans for the Arts will continue to celebrate those who are making a difference, and work with arts advocates across the country toward goals that could strengthen our country through the arts.
Announcing the Launch of the new National Arts Marketing Project Website!
We listened to your needs and built a website that is simple to navigate, while providing the educational tools you need to market the arts in today’s competitive landscape.
Frequently Asked Questions about California’s New Dance Credential Law
We are truly in a new era in California Dance Education. With the passage of SB916, the Theatre & Dance Act of 2016, also known as TADA!, we as a community of educators and advocates have so much to celebrate. As I wrote here on ARTSblog last September, Dance Credentials had not been obtainable in the state of California since 1970—and now they’ve been reinstated again. Yet this hard-earned victory leaves our profession with a new set of questions. Here are answers to our most frequently received questions in the first month after the passage of the standalone credentials in dance and in theatre.
Artists and Communities: John Malpede & Christina Sanchez Juarez in Conversation
In 2016, the Los Angeles Poverty Department—a performance group now in its 30th year made up of members and former members of the city’s Skid Row community—created and performed multiple new works, put on an annual parade and festival, secured awards from the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and continued to run the Skid Row History Museum and Archive. LAPD founder and director John Malpede and L.A.-based social practice artist Christina Sanchez Juarez recently sat down together to connect over their tireless work using art to empower L.A.’s homeless and working poor.