Blog Posts for community engagement

Enacting Change in the Performing Arts World Begins with Changing the Conservatory Culture

Posted by Dr. Fred Bronstein, Dec 07, 2017 0 comments

Twenty-five years ago American orchestras began a conversation about what would happen to excellence in performance if orchestras broadened their missions to focus on education and community engagement. The fear, unfounded, was that excellence would be compromised. The opposite was true. Today, administrators of top performing arts organizations are begging for those of us who train artists to start training like it’s the 21st century and not the 19th. More than new skills—which is certainly part of it—this requires something more difficult: a change in the mindset of musicians. We must understand we’re all in the audience development business.

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Relating to each other as whole people

Posted by Tatiana Hernandez, Nov 14, 2017 0 comments

Our filter bubbles and gated communities (both suburban and barbed) divide us. In this intentional division, it is our responsibility to seek that which is different, to engage with what is uncomfortable, and to soften to our own tenderness in order to grow, together, into the promise of America. This America has not yet existed but the potential is there. How, in this time of rapid and sometimes overwhelming change, can the arts alter the face and heart of America?

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Artists’ Voices Ring Through Civic Dialogue and Municipal Engagement

Posted by Robert Lynch, Oct 31, 2017 0 comments

The role of the artist is changing. In the midst of these challenging times, civic engagement has become the focus of attention across many sectors and fields. More than ever, the arts are promoting greater awareness and understanding of community issues, contributing to shifts in thinking and in attitude. I see artists and arts organizations across the country being integrated into practices of civic engagement, and applying the power of artistic imagination to inform, inspire, engage, and motivate social action. And I continue to applaud state and municipal governments across the U.S. for embracing such collaborations.

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It’s Time for Sustainability in the Arts to be a Priority

Posted by Ms. Dee L. Boyle-Clapp, Aug 04, 2017 0 comments

Content sponsored by University of Massachusetts Amherst Arts Extension Service.

Arts organizations are leaders in their communities, and they can lead by example and inspire individuals and other organizations to also do their part in reducing the need for energy, water, and fuel. In the new 6th edition of Fundamentals of Arts Management, Sarah (Brophy) Sutton and I have mapped out a step-by-step process for how to transform your arts institution into a sustainable one, regardless of scale or budget size.

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Of Distinction: Community-engaged notions of value

Posted by Ananya Chatterjea, Jul 24, 2017 0 comments

Animating Democracy’s new Aesthetic Perspectives framework spawned multiple parallel scenarios in my head. In one, I was continuing my conversation from a few weeks ago with a foundation grant officer, who told me that their organization was “not so interested in social justice”; you simply had to “have artistic excellence.” I had presented my most cogent argument that artistic excellence is often conceptualized in dangerously narrow ways, to the detriment of appreciating arts and social justice work—only to be brushed aside. What would have happened if the framework, offering many different ways of reading “excellence” in socially engaged art, had been at my fingertips then? 

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Why Does it Matter?

Posted by Ms. Maryo Gard Ewell, Jul 14, 2017 0 comments

Content sponsored by University of Massachusetts Amherst Arts Extension Service.

Identity, cultural democracy, excellence, justice—just a few of the “whys” behind our work. We have many spiritual ancestors who can help us articulate our “why” because, as discussed in Fundamentals of Arts Management 6th edition, this work has been weaved throughout our country’s history. I urge us all to take to time to connect with our own sense of “why.”

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