Thank you to the many people who have been blog contributors to, and readers of ArtsBlog over the years. ArtsBlog has long been a space where we uplifted stories from the field that demonstrated how the arts strengthen our communities socially, educationally, and economically; where trends and issues and controversies were called out; and advocacy tools were provided to help you make the case for more arts funding and favorable arts policies.

As part of Americans for the Arts’ recent Strategic Realignment Process, we were asked to evaluate our storytelling communications platforms and evolve the way we share content. As a result, we launched the Designing Our Destiny portal to explore new ways of telling stories and sharing information, one that is consistent with our longtime practice of, “No numbers without a story, and no stories without a number.”

As we put our energy into developing this platform and reevaluate our communications strategies, we have put ArtsBlog on hold. That is, you can read past blog posts, but we are not posting new ones. You can look to the Designing Our Destiny portal and our news items feed on the Americans for the Arts website for stories you would have seen in ArtsBlog in the past.

ArtsBlog will remain online through this year as we determine the best way to archive this valuable resource and the knowledge you’ve shared here.

As ever, we are grateful for your participation in ArtsBlog and thank you for your work in advancing the arts. It is important, and you are important for doing it.

What Visual and Street Artists Need to Know about NFTs and the Law

Posted by Juyoun Han, Jun 14, 2022 0 comments

Whether you are an artist, a creator, or an investor, you have probably come across the term Non-Fungible Token (NFT). Be it rumors of young artists raking in millions of dollars selling NFTs, or cautionary tales from those who have been scammed, NFTs have recently exploded in popularity. NFT art is rapidly changing the way artists are paid and revolutionizing how NFT artists can work, create new projects, and take ownership of their art. As a partner at Eisenberg & Baum LLP and a fellow at NYU Law Engelberg Center for Innovation and Technology, I represent world-renowned street artists across the U.S. and internationally, including the successful $6.75 million verdict for 21artists in the 5Pointz graffiti litigation. With NFTs now reshaping the landscape of digital art, I am committed to working with innovative artists and helping protect artists’ rights. Here, I answer questions frequently asked by artists about NFTs and how they might be an opportunity for visual artists—in particular, for street artists.

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Member Spotlight: Tamar Krames

Posted by Tamar Krames, Linda Lombardi, Jun 02, 2022 0 comments

The Washington State Arts Commission, ArtsWA, nurtures and supports the role of the arts in the lives of all Washingtonians. As the Arts in Education (AIE) Program Manager at ArtsWA, Tamar Krames oversees a variety of programs and partnerships with a focus on equitable access to quality arts learning. Krames is a multimedia artist, National Board-Certified teacher, and arts administrator. Supporting innovative, community-based practices in schools has been at the core of her work for the past 20 years. Current projects include managing Arts in Education grants, providing support for teaching artists and PreK-12 arts teachers, and amplifying the creative practices of youth and educators. Krames holds a Master in Teaching degree from The Evergreen State College and a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. 

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Four Ways The Arts Are Serving Veterans and the Military

Posted by Mr. John W. Haworth, May 16, 2022 0 comments

As the nation observes Military Appreciation Month in May, it feels an appropriate moment to give attention to arts programs that support our military-connected communities, especially Veterans. The cultural sector plays an active and meaningful role serving Veterans and their families, and it is important to put this work within a broader context of both key challenges and issues. Of the more than two million American troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, about a third have symptoms of post-traumatic stress, depression, and brain injuries. Many cultural organizations and individual artists have the capacity and interest to serve Veterans by providing them with opportunities to gain experience, new skills, and stronger ties in their home communities. For the cultural sector, the challenges of collaborating effectively with Veterans are demanding, and the work requires us to build relationships with Veteran organizations and develop specialized skills in how we serve Veterans. Given the special hardships and challenges members of the military face—including dealing with extreme stress and trauma issues and finding the wherewithal to reconnect with their daily routines, family and personal relationships, and their communities—the arts certainly play an integral role in advancing health and wellbeing. 

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Member Spotlight: Markeshia Ricks

Posted by Ms. Markeshia Ricks, Linda Lombardi, May 10, 2022 0 comments

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s Youth Arts Journalism Initiative (YAJI) introduces New Haven and Hamden, Conn. high school students to grassroots journalism through The Arts Paper, the organization’s daily publication. Program Director Markeshia Ricks is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience in newsrooms. Ricks dabbles in voice acting, blogging, podcasting, and photography. Before joining the Arts Council, she wrote for the New Haven Independent, Air Force Times, the Montgomery Advertiser, the Anniston Star, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and the Tuscaloosa News. “Teaching students how to practice journalism through the skills of interviewing and reporting is like offering them a permission slip to explore their world. While YAJI teaches these skills, what I’m really hoping students learn is that it’s OK to be curious about the world around them, to ask questions of everyone they meet but especially of those who want to lead them.”

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Counties poised to pursue solutions through Creative Counties Placemaking Challenge

Posted by Jack King, Apr 29, 2022 0 comments

The National Association of Counties (NACo) and Americans for the Arts are pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Creative Counties Placemaking Challenge, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. NACo and Americans for the Arts invited small- and medium-sized counties to assemble a team of county leaders, local artists and community stakeholders to imagine how art can be used to solve local challenges. From Potter County, Pa.’s “Highway to the Stars” through Cherry Springs State Park to the storied and breathtaking beaches of Hawai’i County, Hawai’i’s Puna district, the winners represent the geographic and social diversity of the nation as a whole. The teams will seek to address a wide array of challenges confronting their local communities, from drug addiction to climate resilience. Over the next 10 months, Americans for the Arts experts will provide virtual training and mentoring of these teams as they explore the arts as an applied strategy for meeting policy objectives. On July 25, the counties will participate in an in-person convening in Adams County, Colo., in conjunction with NACo’s 2022 Annual Conference.

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BIPOC Critics Lab Trains the Next Generation

Posted by Ms. Donna Walker-Kuhne, Apr 25, 2022 0 comments

When my career propelled me to leap from the world of dance to The Public Theater, the powerful impact and influence of reviews by critics became even more clear to me. Not only do reviews help shape the public’s perception of a theatrical production; they also can determine its future. For the most part, the critics for numerous media organizations are both male and white. My experience has been that they often misunderstand the cultural nuances of works created by artists of color. However, that landscape is changing thanks to the efforts of cultural critic Jose Solís, who has been covering theater, film, and arts for more than 20 years. Recognizing the very low numbers of theater critics of color and inspired by the movements for social and racial justice in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Jose took time during the pandemic-generated shutdown to develop the curriculum for the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Critics Lab. The goal of the 10-week program is to nurture and help develop the unique voices of future critics through a multimedia lens—written essays, traditional reviews, as well as podcasting, audiovisual, and social media platforms. Jose also has recruited theater partners who have agreed to pay program participants for whatever materials they create on behalf of those theaters at the end of their participation in the BIPOC Critics Lab.

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