Reflections on Blagojevich, the economy, and the New Year

Posted by Scarlett Swerdlow, Dec 24, 2008 3 comments

With the New Year approaching and my mood being reflective, I've been thinking about the challenges we will face in 2009.

How will we turn the economy around and strengthen the American spirit?  How will Illinois reclaim its political process and reshape its identity?  How will we support and protect the most vulnerable despite diminishing resources?  How will I lose 5 pounds when Sharon brings me chocolate cookies covered with chocolate-covered cherries?

To talk more about the challenges that the arts face - specifically, the impact of the downturn in the economy on the arts - I sat down with my fearless leader, Illinois Arts Alliance Executive Director Ra Joy.

Before I begin my interview with Ra, I'd like to share my take on Illinois' unique economic and political reality.

[slideshare id=868868&doc=20081215-powerpoint-1230075483955757-1&w=425]

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Art As Shared Experience, Part I

Posted by Alan Nunez, Dec 20, 2008 3 comments

I enjoyed Adam's (first) post, 'Arts as a Hub' very much. As an arts educator with a new visual arts center in Harlem, we're constantly thinking about how we can make ourselves a resource to the community that slowly and surely embeds itself into its fabric. It also goes along with Shane's blog that postulates, 'What Is Your Worth?'. These are hard questions for any organization to ask itself and I'm not sure whether it's more challenging since we're only five months in. Part of me actually thinks that it's not any more difficult, just that the pool that we get our answers from are very different. It has much less to do with history and tradition, and much more to do with innovation and need.

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Art As The Hub

Posted by Adam Thurman, Dec 19, 2008 7 comments

My name is Adam Thurman and I'm honored to be joining the ranks of Americans for the Arts bloggers.

As my way of getting the party started, my first post will look at what is often missing in the relationship between artists and their audience.

Hopefully it will help you see your work in the arts in a slightly different light . . . or maybe it will cause you to send me an email about how I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.

Either one of those reactions is fine with me.

So let's see which one it will be . . . right after this brief intro

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Arts Ed and the New Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Posted by John Abodeely, Dec 18, 2008 0 comments

Arne Duncan, Chicago Public Schools Superintendent, will be put forward by Obama as Secretary of Education - the head of the US Department of Education. The Washington Post summed him up like this: "In seven years as chief executive of the Chicago school system, Arne Duncan earned a reputation as a leader who pushed for strong measures to improve schools but also reached out to the teachers union and the community." Meh.

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