Supporting the Health of Our Veterans with the Arts
As Veterans Day approaches, we wanted to take pause to reflect on the transformative power that access to the arts has on veterans, their families, and the communities they call home. Today and tomorrow, we will be publishing blog posts exploring the impact that access to the arts and creative arts therapies has had on veterans’ recovery and reintegration—and sometimes even redeployment. But for every veteran and service member, as well as their families and loved ones, who has felt and benefitted from the transformative power of the arts, there are some decision-makers who need to be convinced.
Robert L. Lynch Speaks of Hope, Unity, and Resilience at the End of This Presidential Election
President-Elect Trump has said, “…supporting and advocating for appreciation of the arts is important to an informed and aware society. As President, I would take on that role.” Americans for the Arts hopes for a White House and administration that supports the nonprofit arts community, the local and state arts support infrastructures, as well as independent artists and creative entrepreneurs. We will work hard to advance pro-arts policies and strengthen our efforts to transform communities through the arts. It is more important than ever that we use the arts to help the economy, our communities, families and children, and our nation to seek hope, opportunity, and ultimately to come together.
Inside the Culture Wars Maelstrom of the 1990s
In 1994 while working at Walker Art Center, I presented Ron Athey’s Four Scenes in a Harsh Life. The sold-out performance was well received by an audience of about 100. Post-show discussions with the artist, attended by eighty people, were thoughtful and engaging. Theatre and dance critics had been invited—none chose to attend. Three weeks after the event, a visual art critic from the Minneapolis StarTribune called, wanting to verify someone’s distorted, fantastical version of the performance. She did not want to meet in person, and warned me to look for her lead story on the front page the next morning.
There are More Than 31 Ways to #ShowYourArt
National Arts and Humanities Month was a perfect time to try new ways to engage with you, our members and stakeholders, as well as the general public through our ever-growing social networks including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. This year, we upped the stakes of our traditional social media sharing campaign, #ShowYourArt, by creating 31 arts-related themes—one for each day of the month—and challenging you to show us your art on Instagram each day in October. If I’m being completely honest, I was nervous as Oct. 1 approached. I wasn’t sure if anyone would hear our call and respond. Or if they did, would the enthusiasm last?
Celebrating Businesses That Partner with the Arts at the BCA 10 Gala
Now in its 12th year, this black-tie gala presented by Americans for the Arts’ Business Committee for the Arts brought an evening of stories and musical performances that showcased the great gain in the business and arts communities coming together. The companies recognized this year join an illustrious list of honorees who are transforming their businesses and their communities by partnering with the arts to foster innovation, engage employees, and contribute to the health and quality of local life.
National Creative Conversation on Facebook
Creative Conversations started in 2004 as a program through the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network, bringing together individuals in their communities to talk about the arts & culture and creativity, with a goal to generate partnerships and increase energy and awareness around grassroots efforts. Meeting people where they are is a key focus of local work and of particular interest in fostering space for conversation and gathering. Knowing that organizational budgets and individual resources can be limited or non-existent makes in-person national dialogue difficult. So how could we easily meet people “where they are” on a national scale?
The Stories of National Arts and Humanities Month
National Arts and Humanities Month is a celebration of the creative work that reaches and translates our stories to communities across the country. The month-long celebration represents a collective collaboration between Americans for the Arts, local arts agencies, artists, and individuals to build an archive of creative actions and give individual and community stories a national platform.
Using Data to Advance the Arts: A Legislator’s Perspective
If it’s true, as some say, money is the mother’s milk of politics, then I would argue that data, anecdotes and experience are the meat and potatoes of good policy. And since policymakers are driven to do the right thing and want to meet the expectations and needs of their constituents, they will choose the will of their voters over those of special interests whenever they have the data, anecdotes, and experience to back up those decisions. This is especially important when advocating for the arts. Americans for the Arts’ Research Department has made policymakers’ jobs a bit easier by placing a variety of tools and services literally at our fingertips.
And the Award Goes To...
We all know those hard working teachers who get up extra early and are in their classrooms long before students have arrived, preparing for the day’s lessons. These are the same teachers who spend their own money on extra supplies for their students. They stay after school advising various clubs to provide students more experiences in the arts. They go the extra mile to take their students on field trips to hear the local orchestra, or attend the art museum in their community. These are the amazing educators who love and care about the welfare of their students. How do we honor these individuals? I suggest an Awards Alternative.
We Love You: Photographer Bryon Summers Honors 1,000+ Black Males
Photographer Bryon Summers is traveling around the country with his camera in hand, taking intimate portraits of more than 1,000 Black males of all ages for his We Love You project. Summers aims to dispel the often dehumanizing and negative stereotypes of Black males portrayed in mainstream media. Summers wants to remind Black males of all ages that they belong, they are seen, and most importantly, that they are loved.
Pointers for Investing in Emerging Technologies
How can an arts marketer keep on top of the emerging tech while staying strategic, mission-centric and goal-oriented?