Blog Posts for arts advocacy day

Alec Baldwin: "When I saw 'West Side Story,' I wanted to dance like a gang"

Posted by Tim Mikulski, Apr 19, 2012 0 comments

Here is another portion of the Nancy Hanks Lecture given by Alec Baldwin on April 16 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

This time he addresses the evolution of his appreciation for dance:

Thanks again to our friends at Ovation for providing us with the clip.

You can also listen to Alec's interview with National Public Radio's Morning Edition on April 17 as a podcast on that program's website.

Here's a sample of his wisdom:

HOST STEVE INSKEEP: Why do you think arts funding is periodically a political lightning rod?

ALEC BALDWIN: It was easier before, and I think now you still have these kind of vapors in the air from old battles, which when there were individual grants and you could say those hot button words, like Karen Finley. And you could say Mapplethorpe and you could talk about individual grants that went to people...

INSKEEP: Artists whose work (unintelligible) were considered obscene in many cases.

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The Power of Local Arts Leadership

Posted by Ursula Kuhar, Apr 19, 2012 1 comment

Ursula Kuhar

Local. Public. Value. Arts.

Try creating a cohesive, comprehensive sentence that reflects our field using these four words.

These simple words that occupy so much complexity within our industry, and an entire day of dialogue at the first Americans for the Arts Executive Directors & Board Member Symposium held on April 15.

It was an exhilarating experience to participate in a peer exchange with diverse leaders from organizations around the country including Americans for the Arts President & CEO Bob Lynch, Jonathan Katz of the National Association of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), and Mary McCullogh-Hudson of ArtsWave.

In order to frame our work as arts leaders forging into a “new normal” in the industry, Bob shared the history and context of the local arts movement in America, rooted in the discovery of the Americas to the first established arts council in 1947 by George Irwin in Illinois, to the evolution of today’s local arts enabling organization that provide cultural programming, funding, community cultural planning, and of course, advocacy activities.

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Changing Participation in the Arts: Leading by Example

Posted by Elizabeth McCloskey Miller, Apr 05, 2012 4 comments

Liz Miller

Elizabeth McCloskey Miller

The changing face of cultural participation has been much discussed in recent years. This has been especially true since the publication of the National Endowment for the Arts’ most recent Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, which showed a decline in arts attendance for every category except musical plays.

“Cultural Participation in a 2.0 World” was the topic of EALDC’s Creative Conversation in October. It was clearly a subject that resonated across our local network—the event was one of our most well-attended to date, with a standing room-only crowd.

The attendees at our event debated what kind of cultural participation most appealed to them, with many expressing boredom with the tried-and-true efforts at arts engagement. It was not that post-show talkbacks or program inserts were not appreciated; they just were not enough to make people excited.

Adapting to changes in traditional arts participation is a major issue for arts and culture organizations today. Here in the D.C. area, we have seen some innovative efforts at engaging people in the arts, such as the Hirshhorn Museum’s ARTLAB+ space for teens and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s Connectivity initiative (explained on the HowlRound blog).

How can we, as emerging leaders, better encourage participation in the arts? I would venture to say that we must begin by modeling the behavior we hope to see in others.

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You Made It to Graduate School…Now What? - Part Two (An EALS Post)

Posted by Vennesa Yung, Mar 23, 2012 2 comments

You've made a decision, and perhaps a leap of faith, to go to graduate school. You do your research, visit some schools, talk to faculty and current students, apply, and get accepted into your dream program. Voila.

You are now a student in an arts management program (in my case, at American University in Washington, D.C.)!

Now what?

There is no perfect recipe for success that works for everyone, but here are a few more tips (get the others here) and advice from some brilliant and passionate arts professionals as well as from my personal (well, professional) experience:


Are you more of a listener and need a little warming up before you feel like networking? You have got plenty of options as well!

Look for conferences, symposiums, webinars, and colloquia online and ask around for recommendations. Good places to start looking are the websites of Americans for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums, and other graduate programs in your area.

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