For Arts Professionals in the Know
There has been a lot of talk about the creative economy coming out of Washington, DC, lately—from the NEA’s recent panel discussion last week on Creative Placemaking, to the Center for American Progress’ panel which discussed The Creative Economy: How to Keep the Fuel of Creation and Innovation Burning (If you have an hour and a half, I highly recommend watching the video of this panel). Also last week, Partners for Livable Communities hosted a forum on Building Livable Communities: Creating a Common Agenda.
I was lucky to have snagged a seat at the sold-out and standing-room-only Center for American Progress Creative Economy panel, which took place on September 21. There were some key takeaways and important points that are worth repeating and sharing.
It’s also interesting that within the span of less than two weeks, three separate organizations (a federal government agency, a progressive think tank, and a national nonprofit) felt it important to invest the time and energy into the topics of creative economy and livability. I believe this is a reflection of the years of hard work and advocacy put in by many artists, arts administrators, advocates, journalists, and citizens who have pushed to get arts and culture to the center of the discussion around how we can begin to solve the economic and social challenges that are plaguing our country. It’s uplifting to note that in some corners of our world (and U.S. government) that there are those who “get it.”Read More
Today marks the 45th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts as on September 29, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the law that created the cultural agency.
Here is a list of facts regarding the Endowment that they provided in honor of the event. For more information, visit http://www.nea.gov/news/news10/NEA-45.html.
A compendium of statistics on the National Endowment for the Arts on the occasion of its 45th Birthday
September 29, 2010
Total dollar amount of NEA grants awarded to nonprofit organizations
in 45-year history: $4 billion (>130,000 grants)i
Economic activity generated by the nonprofit arts sector Ueach yearU: $166 billionii
Number of cities participating in NEA's Mayor's Institutes on City Design since 1986: 600iii
Average ratio of matching funds to NEA awards: 7:1iv
Rate at which arts participants volunteer compared to non-participants: 2:1v
Languages translated into English through NEA Literature Translation Fellowships: 61viRead More
Each year when we announce the opportunity to nominate yourself or a colleague to serve on an Americans for the Arts advisory council, the staff liaisons to those councils tend to get a wide variety of great questions from the field. Questions such as:
A question we rarely get, and would love to answer, is: Why should I nominate myself or someone else for an advisory council? Here are a few thoughts to consider if you’re contemplating this opportunity:
Being on a national council is a great way to be able to provide resources and in depth knowledge to your community. Americans for the Arts council members work on issues that affect the field as a whole. This work can help spark ideas for solutions that you can bring back to your own organizations and communities.Read More
I wonder what makes a product, a store, an experience, an artwork a HIT. I am particularly curious about how certain products make it big when they aren’t playing by the rules.
Why is Target a beloved low-price big box store when most big box retailers are demonized for displacing the business of mom-and-pop shops?
Why is In-N-Out Burger a revered fast-food chain when fast food is unhealthy?
How is Blue Man Group still selling out performances with anonymous performers who don’t talk? Without a celebrity to anchor the show (such as Tony winners Scarlett Johansson and Denzel Washington), why should anyone pay attention?
While I am no branding expert, here are a few possible answers.Read More
Salina Arts and Humanities Commission in Salina, Kansas used AEP III to let people know the impact of arts on their local economy
Arts advocates don’t want to talk about jobs and tax revenue. We want to talk about the fundamental value of the arts…how they foster beauty, creativity, originality, and vitality…how they inspire us, soothe us, provoke us, involve us, and connect us. But elected officials want to hear about how the arts and culture create jobs and contribute to the economy.
The deadline to join our fourth national economic impact study, Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, is quickly approaching. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in the most comprehensive study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture ever conducted. In our Arts and Economic Prosperity III report, over 150 communities and regions participated in the studies, which continue to be among the most frequently cited statistics used to demonstrate the impact of the nation’s nonprofit arts industry on the local, state, and national economy.
The City of Seattle Office of Cultural Affairs, who participated in this most recently completed national economic impact study, provides the perfect example of what this report can provide. The results were published in June 2007. Here’s what happened next:Read More
As cited in the Green Pages: Does the intense federal focus on “evidence-based” practices results in a premature dismissal or disregard for therapeutic practices that are beneficial to many populations?
Let’s face it, value placed on evidence-based practices is not just because of federal funding but a cultural bias that values scientific method, in an attempt “to prove” or “validate” what is real. The economic origins of this long-standing bias are beyond the scope of this blog but none-the-less the question remains: How does art therapy fit in this model? Well, not so well due to its very symbolic nature. And why should it?
Although there have been great efforts to promote and conduct evidence based treatment (EBT) and research in art therapy, it may be said that art therapy (or any therapeutic relationship for that matter) is a symbolic process, which is embedded in a relation-based therapeutic practice. So when symbols or people in a relationship are taken out of context they lose their meaning. For example, it would be like taking two people in love and removing one person in the couple and plopping them down with someone else and expecting the same amorous feelings – this is clearly absurd. Sociologist, Durkheim discusses the advantages of being in a relationship as a reduced risk factor to suicide. However, when an art therapist is actually working with a patient, the statistical risk factor is far less important than the qualities and meaning of the relationship. And it is those relationship qualities that are so elusive to measure. Elkins debunks the validity of empirically supported treatments, by uncovering the insidious economic gains for the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. And Seife points out, in his soon to be released text, Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception, “Our society is now awash in proofiness. Using a few powerful techniques, thousands of people are crafting mathematical falsehoods to get you to swallow untruths”. Who is to say that what is being conveyed by the statistics of EBT are even measuring what they are claiming?Read More
For decades, Berkeley Rep has been discussing diversity in American theater.Read More
Chip Conley, hotel guru and a speaker at this year's 2010 NAMP Conference in San Jose, CA, talks with our panelists Ron Evans and Matt Campbell. Chip focuses on the importance of good customer service, but not just to customers, also to your board, staff, funders, and patrons. Chip shares wisdom from his book PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow and outlines how these concepts can be applied to arts and cultural organizatons. This is a great chance to get a preview of his NAMP Conference presentation.
FYI, Maris was on assignment for this episode, and we look forward to her joining us in the next one. Also, Ron was using a bluetooth headset that made him sound like a far-off robot, and he has since started to use said bluetooth as a doorstop, because that's about all it is good for. He sends his apologies!
Outro music: “Fly Fly Fly'” featuring singer/songwriter Adrina Thorpe. Find out more about this artist via her homepage: www.adrinathorpe.com or her page on the Podsafe Music Network: http://bit.ly/aDbyJK