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.

Painting By Numbers: How Cities Can Use Data to Support the Arts

Posted by David Andersson, Feb 25, 2022 0 comments

Although cities increasingly rely on data to help shape policy and identify service gaps, there is often skepticism from both the creative sector and government about whether metrics can meaningfully capture the impact of the arts. In a field where variety of creative expression is fundamental, how do you count what really counts? For cities that recognize their artists and cultural institutions as a critical part of the economy and essential to quality of life for residents, arts data can be a powerful tool to advocate for culture alongside other city services. Data can also help city leaders understand who is and isn’t being served by government arts dollars and expand access to arts experiences in every community. Through best practices and case studies, Arts Data in the Public Sector: Strategies for Local Arts Agencies aims to help arts agencies and city leaders show measurable impact, identify priority policy areas, and establish more equitable and inclusive practices to promote access to the arts across communities.

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CERF+ — The Artist’s Safety Net: Providing Emergency Relief for the Cultural Sector

Posted by Mr. John W. Haworth, Feb 24, 2022 0 comments

The work of CERF+ is vital within the larger context of the complex challenges cultural organizations and individual artists have managing—and surviving—disasters and emergencies. As emergency planning has become an ever-higher priority for cultural facilities throughout the country, CERF+ puts key strategic questions on the table: How do local cultural communities prepare for the enormous challenges of floods, fires, earthquakes, and storms? How do we meet the economic and human costs of such life-changing circumstances? With major support from foundations and other funders, local arts agencies across the country have developed programs to provide grants to individual artists. Though much of this support is earmarked for creative work, there is a growing recognition of what is required to sustain creative careers over many years or a lifetime. CERF+ is committed to helping artists sustain their careers and develop the tools and support to protect and preserve their livelihoods, studios, and creative output.

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Simone Eccleston Celebrates Black Genius

Posted by Simone Eccleston, Linda Lombardi, Feb 22, 2022 0 comments

I see Black genius as the soulful expression of the extraordinary creativity, intellect, and ingenuity of African Diaspora people. It is about how we incite the imagination, move the crowd, and stir the soul. There’s a spirit to Black genius that needs to be awarded. It’s not solely the moments of inspiration, but also the deep dedication and commitment to craft, the ways in which we locate ourselves within a tradition and traditions. The Black Genius Foundation is committed to transforming the conversation around genius by placing Black artists and the Black Creative Ecosystem at the center. The Black Genius Foundation is our opportunity to sing a praise song for new generations and advance the legacy that our ancestors and elders have so boldly created for us to carry forward.

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Cultural Asset Identification & Building Inclusive Creative Economies

Posted by Jessica Stern, Jan 20, 2022 0 comments

In early 2021, we published an outline of the goals and commitments Americans for the Arts is making towards supporting the development of an inclusive creative economy nationally and in local communities. This work in 2022 will focus on helping communities build awareness of their cultural assets and how to equitably strengthen, value, and utilize them. In partnership with and under the guidance of Cézanne Charles and John Marshall, principals of rootoftwo, LLC, we will embark on a year-long process to devise a set of tools, guides, evaluations, and trainings—with ample opportunities for participation from the field in the development of these tools—that will support local arts leaders in their efforts to identify and define their unique creative economies, and help communities to identify cultural assets and understand the health of those assets. 

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Member Spotlight: Priscilla Hopkins-Smith

Posted by Linda Lombardi, Dec 20, 2021 0 comments

Priscilla Hopkins-Smith is the Programs and Communications manager for Arts Ed NJ (previously the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership), the unifying organization and central resource for arts education information, policy, and advocacy in New Jersey. Hopkins-Smith is also the Director of the NJ Governor’s Awards in Arts Education, which is the highest honor that can be received in arts education in New Jersey. With over 15 years of experience in nonprofit communications and administration, Hopkins-Smith’s expertise lies in social media, events, outreach, and community engagement. As programs and communications manager, she works to propel arts education initiatives forward through the #ArtsEdNow campaign, strategic plans, programming, and collaboration.

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Champions of Change Makers: Follow Your Leader

Posted by Miriam King, Dec 15, 2021 0 comments

Read on for takeaways from the November Arts Marketing Coffee Chat “Champions of Change Makers: Follow Your Leader,” where senior marketing leaders explored how to reaffirm purpose and passion for their work as leaders of change-making in the arts.

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