Blog Posts for Annual Convention

Presenting Historical Works of Art in the #MeToo Era

Posted by Jessica Stern, Danielle Iwata, Jun 13, 2018 0 comments

Recently, we saw a performance at the Met Opera of the classic Mozart opera Cosi Fan Tutti, restaged and mounted with a new production set in the 1950s. In the program, the director stated it was restaged so that it would be “[easier] to buy into the conceit” of the show. It was so real, in fact, that it was easy to draw comparisons to every man who has ever persistently ignored a woman’s denial and blamed rejection on the woman. So real, that when the women are literally saying they are frightened and terrified of the unwanted men sneaking into their rooms, it was easy to think of the hundreds of thousands of women who said #MeToo. As such, we began questioning the role of cultural institutions, particularly large and leading organizations to which others look for inspiration or leadership. What is their responsibility in reconciling classic works in modern times?

Americans for the Arts will continue this conversation at our upcoming Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado June 14-17, 2018, during the session “The Arts Community in the Time of the Women’s March and #MeToo.”

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Great Minds See Alike

Posted by Teresa Castaneda, Jun 12, 2018 0 comments

I am a Colorado native and a third-generation artist. I work in illustration, photography, jewelry, lapidary, painting, printmaking, sculpture, assemblage, and installation art. I’m also the founder of ReArranging Denver, a ten-year-old zero use self-sustaining project that has engaged over 50,000 people, connecting communities to their local business and neighboring cities through creative reuse workshops, installations, and events. I also travel to universities, libraries, art coalitions, and low income and private schools, giving living artist lectures. I always had the impression that most artists died before seeing success, so I decided to start seeing myself as a living artist sharing my secrets of success. As the Americans for the Arts staff learned more about my work, they asked me to share my story with them, with you, and with those about to join forces in Colorado at Convention.

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Reflections on Over 20 Years of Americans for the Arts Conventions

Posted by Gary Steuer, Jun 11, 2018 0 comments

In 1993 I became the Director of New York Programs of the Arts & Business Council Inc., and as head of a national partner arts service organization of Americans for the Arts, I began what has become a very long association with the organization and its Annual Convention, literally attending the first Convention under the Americans for the Arts name—and nearly every one since. I have watched the organization, and its signature convening, grow and evolve over time—responding to the field’s changes and the external environment we all operate in. Now in my role as president of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation in Denver, Colorado, I have become one of the hosts and funders of the 2018 Annual Convention in Denver. We are so excited to be hosting this conference, and know that the content will be informative and inspirational, and that the City and its cultural assets will enchant. 

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A Shared Vision

Posted by Brad Erickson, Jul 01, 2016 0 comments

Why don't more private foundations fund arts advocacy? Worse, why are we seeing funders across the country moving away from the supporting the arts at all? These were key questions that the leadership of the State Arts Action Network brought with us to Boston for the 2016 Americans for the Arts Convention.

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We Failed Before We Succeeded

Posted by Laura Perille, Jun 30, 2016 0 comments

In a lively discussion at AFTACON, one participant shared that a school in her area tells its students the word “Fail” stands for “First Attempt in Learning.” I embrace this interpretation. Failure can be an opportunity to fall back and regroup—and then come back at the challenge with renewed energy, a sharper strategy, and perhaps and a bigger megaphone

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It’s All About our Base

Posted by Ms. Barbara S. Goldstein, Jun 29, 2016 0 comments

Like most urbanized parts of the U.S., Boston’s demographics have changed dramatically in the last 30 years and so has tone of conversation. Anyone who attended this year’s Americans for the Arts conference could see and feel the change. 

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