Blog Posts for Arts Education

Member Spotlight: Sasha Dobson

Posted by Linda Lombardi, Jan 25, 2021 0 comments

Sasha Dobson has been the outreach coordinator for the Lied Center for Performing Arts since 2012. She serves as the primary project manager for the Master Classes for university students and community members, Pre-Performance Talks, and the Performance Fund program, which offers free tickets to youth in the community and their summer high school programs (Lied Center Triple Threat Broadway Intensive and the Lied Center Piano Academy).

This series features the many Americans for the Arts members doing transformative work for arts education, public art, advocacy, arts marketing, and more. An Americans for the Arts Membership connects you with this network of more than 6,000 arts leaders and gives you access to latest professional development and research. 

Read More

The 10 most read ARTSblog posts of 2020

Posted by Ms. Ann Marie Watson, Jan 13, 2021 0 comments

“How do you measure … measure a year?” I won’t even try to measure the sum total of the dumpster fire that was 2020. But looking back on one of the most difficult years of our lifetime through the readers of ARTSblog paints an illuminating—if not entirely unexpected—picture. In a year when social media was often loud and angry (though also entertaining—if only our blog could skateboard to Fleetwood Mac while drinking cranberry juice!), ARTSblog remained a steadfast space for our members and the arts & culture sector to learn from each other, share our struggles and successes, and most of all stay connected in an unbelievably isolating time. The year’s most read blogs reflect how 2020 shaped the field’s fears and furies, but also our hopes and optimism for the present and future of the arts.

Read More

Strengthening Education & the Workforce Through the Arts

Posted by Mr. Randy Cohen, Nov 24, 2020 0 comments

When the 2013 Nobel Laureate in Medicine, Stanford University’s Thomas Südhof, was asked by the prestigious medical journal Lancet to name his most influential teacher, one can only imagine the look on the interviewer’s face when the professor responded, “My bassoon teacher.” He later went on to describe how it was his music education that gave him the habits of mind that made him a great scientist—discipline and drive for excellence, creativity, communication, and a desire to innovate. As public and private sector leaders work to strengthen their education systems and the competitiveness of their workforce, the research makes clear that ensuring every student receives a quality arts education achieves both. The research points us in an unmistakable direction: If you care about students performing better academically and building a competitive 21st century workforce, use your voice to help ensure every student receives a quality arts education.

Read More

Member Spotlight: Rosine Bena and Ananda Bena-Weber

Posted by Abigail Alpern Fisch, Nov 09, 2020 0 comments

The Sierra Nevada Ballet (SNB), a professional ballet company based in Reno, Nevada, will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2021. The SNB’s founder and artistic director is former professional ballerina, Rosine Bena. SNB is made up of professional dancers from Nevada and from other areas of the country augmented by talented trainees and apprentices from the northern Nevada community. Among these professional dancers is Ananda Bena-Weber, Rosine’s daughter, who is also a founding member of the company and a principal dancer. SNB continues to expand and to encourage talented students at its Academy to remain in the Nevada area to pursue their careers and inspire others in the area to take advantage of the cultural enrichment. The mother and daughter duo spoke with us about the work of SNB, their artistic collaborations, and why they enjoy being members of Americans for the Arts: “Especially during these challenging times, it is such an important organization.” 

Read More

How the Arts Can Help Combat Bias and Injustice

Posted by Ms. Donna Walker-Kuhne, Nov 02, 2020 0 comments

Since the tragic killing of George Floyd earlier this year, there have been scores of news reports about the hundreds of millions of dollars pledged and/or donated to organizations committed to fighting for racial justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, or to address unconscious bias. I believe a portion of this money should be shared with arts organizations to help facilitate and foster the social changes necessary for transforming this era of racial injustice into an era of recognition and respect for the dignity of all people. Why give money to the arts? Throughout every pandemic—and racial injustice is indeed an epic pandemic—the arts continue to define, shape, and sustain the narrative of the general population. Artists are natural innovators who can provide insight and help us consider solutions to the challenges we are confronting. Their work stimulates collective imagination; stirs our sense of possibility and has been shown to inspire us to action.

Read More

Why the Arts are Valuable in Business School Curriculum

Posted by Alexandria Kotoch, Oct 06, 2020 0 comments

When you think of MBA coursework, you think of core classes in marketing, finance, economics, operations, decision sciences, strategy, and so on. You don’t think of color theory, collaborative drawing, or watercolors. But at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, we do. Unlike traditional business schools that collect and present art, we make it. In addition to core curriculum that encompasses fundamental business areas, for the past two years Kellogg has offered students an opportunity to participate in artist-led, hands-on workshops that focus on a variety of arts-themed topics. I attribute the success and popularity of these workshops to filling a much-needed void in MBA curriculum—one that stimulates the right brain, which supports creativity and intuition. Exercising these functions encourages important skills for aspiring business leaders. Interactions with art develop observation, collaboration, communication, narrative building, and critical thinking skills. They also emphasize empathic thinking, creative ideation, implicit bias awareness, and recognizing the nature of objectivity/neutrality. Leaders are made and trained, not necessarily born. Exercising empathy, knowing how to communicate effectively, and having the ability to think creatively through complex issues all help leaders manage effectively. 

Read More