Blog Posts for advocate

Colorado Representative Leslie Herod Advocates for the Arts in General Assembly

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Nov 03, 2022 0 comments

Americans for the Arts, in partnership with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), presented Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod with the 2021 Public Leadership in the Arts Award for her work in advancing arts and culture, especially during the pandemic to help artists and arts organizations survive. As Chair of the Colorado House Appropriations Committee, she has used her influence to ensure that arts and culture are not only seen as economic engines but are treated with the respect they deserve. Rep. Herod is fond of comparing the economic impact of the state’s arts and culture sector to its ski industry. Aware that everyone in Colorado knows that the ski industry is huge in the state—supporting jobs and bringing in tax revenue—she notes that the ski industry is $4.8 billion dollars, while arts and culture is a $14.4 billion dollar industry, generating about three times more than the ski industry. Rep. Herod believes that the arts bring diverse groups of people together to inspire connections, create change, and support economic vibrancy. She believes that the shortest distance between people are their stories, and the arts open doors to conversations that define us as a community and address complex issues to create greater understanding. 

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Cooperative Economics: Balancing (in)equitable advocacy in Black art communities

Posted by Ms. Keya Crenshaw, Oct 27, 2022 0 comments

Whether or not you practice Kwanzaa, the celebration's Seven Principles apply to all areas of life, including the arts, industry and economics, healthcare, and education. These actions can look like developing community-wide initiatives, such as those that center on art; creating community-led and focused direct impact service organizations; establishing businesses; educational and cultural events; and other enterprises that celebrate and center sustainable economic growth for and within the Black Diaspora. Like the art we create—be it murals during protests, artist community services rebuilding after a natural disaster, micro-grants for entrepreneurship, or any of the multiple ways creatives show up and produce work—Ujamaa, or Cooperative Economics, teaches us that this fundamental drive should grow out of the communal concept that it is for the betterment of our communities. Nobody should be under- or misrepresented, exploited, or oppressed; no one person, business, corporation, nonprofit, or organization holds the power to an unequal distribution of wealth, opportunity, recognition, or expression. As a practice within and among Diasporic populations, this principle asks us to understand that when we share our talents for growth and continued development of our environments, we establish the blueprint for how we survive and thrive.

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Arts Education Advocacy in a Post-Pandemic World

Posted by Mr. Tooshar K. Swain, Sep 12, 2022 0 comments

National Arts in Education Week is upon us, and it is a wonderful time to reflect on where arts education has been and where it can go with impassioned arts advocacy. K-12 arts students and educators have endured a rocky road through the pandemic, and their perseverance must continue as we head into a new normal of education in the United States. The arts improved the social and emotional well-being of students during the pandemic. In 2020, at the outset of the pandemic, 125 national groups including Americans for the Arts endorsed the Arts Education is Essential Statement affirming the need for all students to have access to equitable arts education opportunities in dance, media arts, music, and theater. The statement was prompted by concerns that cutbacks in staff, funding, and scheduling would put K-12 arts education subject areas at risk, particularly for the traditionally underrepresented, those with special needs, and students from low-income families. While schools throughout the country have resumed in-school learning and arts education programs are thriving in some communities, quality arts programs continue to be limited or not available at all in many schools. The renamed Arts ARE Education statement is a now full-fledged national arts education campaign recognizing that all pre-K through grade 12 students have the right to a high-quality school-based arts education in dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts. 

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Can Art Help Fight A War?

Posted by Mrs. Iryna Kanishcheva, Sep 08, 2022 0 comments

Russia’s assault on Ukraine began on February 24, 2022, with a series of missile attacks and the use of long-range artillery. My mother called me from Ukraine in the middle of the night, crying. I assured her that everything will be alright. The next day I was headed south from my home in Florida for a ribbon-cutting event and the idea of war seemed to be surreal. How can we celebrate a new mural when people are being killed by invaders from a neighboring country? I thought of Shepard Fairey because he is well known for his involvement in social issues. He had some political ideas for a mural but it never happened because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When asked to paint a mural for Ukraine, he replied that he couldn’t but was releasing the Make Art Not War design for free for non-commercial purposes to support Ukraine, and allowed me to execute the mural using local resources. As a result of this project, money was raised and sent to some individuals in Ukraine directly, just to provide some immediate support. Even in a small town like Gainesville, Florida, a small group of people was able to collect some funds and help to buy a helmet, shoes for the frontline soldiers, and also contribute to fixing the damaged roof of an apartment complex. Maybe it is just one insignificant action, but there are many of us and we are powerful together.

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From the Elected Official’s Perspective: Why Arts Advocacy Matters

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Mar 25, 2022 0 comments

There is a great deal of information on arts organizations’ websites about why and how arts advocacy is important, along with suggestions for best practices for advocates. Here is an opportunity to switch up the perspective from the arts advocate and learn about the elected officials’ thought process. I recently interviewed Iowa Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg (R), whose relationship with Americans for the Arts through the National Lieutenant Governors Association has helped him understand that the arts are everywhere in our economy, how they play a huge role in education and rural development, and the ways they can support other areas such as health care and community cohesion. We discussed the importance of building relationships with elected officials in order to educate and advocate for issues that matter, how the arts make an impact in all 99 of Iowa’s counties, why it’s crucial for advocates to come together and work toward a common cause, and more.

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10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2022

Posted by Mr. Randy Cohen, Mar 21, 2022 0 comments

The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, empathy, and beauty. The arts also strengthen our communities socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even during a pandemic that has been devastating to the arts. The following 10 reasons show why an investment in artists, creative workers, and arts organizations is vital to the nation’s post-pandemic healing and recovery. The arts are a proven contributor in keeping us mentally healthy—reducing depression and anxiety and increasing life satisfaction. Just 30 minutes of arts activities daily can combat the ill effects of isolation and loneliness associated with COVID-19—and 78% of hospital CEOs say the purpose of their arts programs is to aid in the emotional and mental healing of patients Those data points nail it. The arts are all about stories—often personal, always meaningful. This advocacy season, find your stories and pair them with the research-based findings in “10 Reasons to Support the Arts.”

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