The Arts Don’t Just Heal, They Also Unify and Inspire Action
I have been playing a lot of piano lately—my antidote for when I am feeling low, or my energy source for when I am working through challenges. This election season has brought to light challenges in our country, divides that I have always believed the arts can bridge. And so I find myself sitting at the keyboard and playing tunes by artists I admire like Bob Dylan, or trying out some dark Leonard Cohen pieces on guitar, or writing some of my own poetry in order to help me get from one state of mind to another. It also makes me imagine how to better convey the power of the arts during these difficult times as part of the solution for our country, much like my own art does for me.
Why Does Your Business Value the Arts?
In their acceptance speeches at the 2016 BCA 10 Awards, twelve industry leaders spoke about what being honored at the 2016 BCA 10 means to them and why they encourage and seek out opportunities to bring the arts into their worlds.
"We believe that everyone in this room is art. And when art and the folks in this room come together, we spark innovation; we inspire youth. We celebrate and heal communities. We stimulate economies. We sustain this great nation."
The Art of Healing
There's no doubt that these last several months have left many of us with a sense of deep divide—both across the nation and within our local communities. There are many remedies for that and most of them have nothing to do with politics (or presidents). I need to be clear that my writing here is not meant to minimize these deep and abiding concerns, nor should these words be received as an overtly political text. Instead, I simply want to drill down into what I believe art—and specifically in this context, arts education—can teach us in these anxious (for some, though not all) times.
One Year Later: Well-Rounded Education Boosted in Implementation of the K-12 Education Law
Leading up to the decade-long work that resulted in enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act last year—the latest authorization of the landmark 1965 Elementary & Secondary Education Act—Americans for the Arts has been covering developments and sharing opportunities to impact reauthorization with arts advocates. On November 28, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education released final regulations pertaining to state accountability plans. USED fully adopted our recommendations to make clear that the “arts” are statutorily part of a well-rounded education.
What women leaders said about the arts during a Creative Conversation held at McMurry University
On October 19, 2016, The Center for Arts Excellence (CAE) at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, hosted a Creative Conversation as a way to celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month. The CAE gathered women leaders together from the Grace Museum, Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, United Way, Paramount, Hunt Direct Marketing and McMurry University to discuss the arts in Abilene. More specifically, this group focused their discussion on three distinct areas: arts and community, access to the arts, and possible community arts partnerships.
What Happened to Impact? Navigating Aesthetics & Social Responsibility in the Public Art World
In 2014, a coalition of Wynwood-based organizations invited a frenzy of mural artists to turn the school into an outdoor gallery. Even though the school’s walls looked vibrant, the students were not included in the mural project in any significant way. They were mere spectators to the act of creativity, rather than participants in the creative process. Did the murals fully empower the local students to be capable, responsible and active citizens? In other words, did this good-intentioned mural painting project do enough?
If you haven’t heard about the movement to place art within STEM curriculum, or STEAM, you’ve been missing one of the steamiest topics to hit the arts in decades. Essentially a catchy acronym for arts integration targeted at math and science, STEAM has ignited the imaginations of scientists, artists, and educators nationwide. Those on the outside of art and education may wonder: what does a STEAM program look like? Why do it? This blog offers a quick look into one such program steaming forward in the center of the Midwest.
A Tale of Two Industries: Art and Steel, Part 2
Erie, PA has embarked on a renaissance of both art and industry through a project that leverages Erie’s industrially-rooted identity. The Art & Industry project convenes local manufacturers to share trends and career opportunities with students from Erie County Technical School, reinforcing skills students need to excel. The students then designed, fabricated and installed public art that is a lesson in the history of Erie’s people, helping to foster pride in industrial heritage that extends to the products created locally today.
2016 Speaker Series: The Convergence of Arts + Technology
Creativity is the driving force of innovative technologies. The Arts & Business Council of New York dedicated its annual speaker series on November 15, 2016, to exploring the intersection of arts and technology by showcasing companies that have developed and utilized new technologies to tap into the creative economy—transforming how the arts are accessed, produced, and funded.
A Tale of Two Industries: Art and Steel, Part 1
In May of 1919, National Geographic magazine brandished Erie industry as being among the finest in the U.S., even likening it to that of Chicago. Nearly a century has passed since then, but that does not mean the city has lost its luster of yore. In fact, it would seem that the Gem City has instead embarked on a renaissance of both art and industry. The industrial buildings that were once the epicenter of Erie’s gritty core are undergoing a complete makeover. They have been revitalized and transformed into distinctive microbreweries, upscale urban housing, and, most recently, ideal sites for public art installations.
The Therapeutic Healing of Art Among Veterans
Studies have proven that a designed interior with emphasis on color and art provides a therapeutic experience without stress to the client/patient, and is an ideal setting to gain the best outcome from a visit to the medical office or clinic. Unfortunately, there are those who see art as a luxury or an unnecessary expense, rather than as a therapeutic healing supplement to enhance the greater purpose and to improve both internal and external health. This is one of the reasons I created The Veterans Art Venue, with a mission to exhibit, to provide, and to empower through art, beyond words. Our art evokes a thought, a reflection and a therapeutic embrace.