The Arts are a Strategy to Build Racial Equity
Today we are in the middle of an historic change moment in our country, our cities and our role in the field of the arts. Not since the 1950’s when highways connected and crisscrossed our land have we seen such a massive influx of population in our cities and immigration nationally and internationally. At a time when racial equity and social and environmental justice is being challenged at a national level we affirm our commitment to this work and stand in solidarity with our communities.
The Arts in Austin Need our Commitment and Support at this Critical Time
Austin’s title as the Live Music Capital of the World is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the value of the arts here. It is a city where you can explore the work of designers, painters, sculptors, writers, photographers, filmmakers, dancers and musicians, at any time of year, any day of the week, in a variety of venues. Creativity, however expressed, is something to be treasured, but we can take it for granted at the same time we’re worried about losing it. At this critical time, we must commit to the arts and support what we love about Austin.
Our Beta Exploration: Can Creating Art Increase Your Profits?
Organizational culture research points to significant financial benefits for companies that invest in giving. In his article for Harvard Business Review, “In the Company of Givers and Takers,” Adam Grant, Professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, states that “higher rates of giving were predictive of higher unit profitability, productivity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction, along with lower costs and turnover rates. When employees act like givers, they facilitate efficient problem solving and coordination and build cohesive, supportive cultures that appeal to customers, suppliers, and top talent alike.”
So why aren’t more companies investing in creating cultures of givers? One answer is simply that they don’t know how.
Giving Voice Through Art
I am an artist and a military spouse. I create artwork that expresses the fragile strength of life as an Army wife. I have found that if I can express my challenges and frustrations through my art, the message is less finite or specific. The artwork is not just about me. And it’s not only cathartic to me, but it leaves room for the viewer to bring his or her own experience and voice to the visual conversation as well—in ways that words and writing can not.
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.