Blog Posts for connect

Four Ways The Arts Are Serving Veterans and the Military

Posted by Mr. John W. Haworth, May 16, 2022 0 comments

As the nation observes Military Appreciation Month in May, it feels an appropriate moment to give attention to arts programs that support our military-connected communities, especially Veterans. The cultural sector plays an active and meaningful role serving Veterans and their families, and it is important to put this work within a broader context of both key challenges and issues. Of the more than two million American troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, about a third have symptoms of post-traumatic stress, depression, and brain injuries. Many cultural organizations and individual artists have the capacity and interest to serve Veterans by providing them with opportunities to gain experience, new skills, and stronger ties in their home communities. For the cultural sector, the challenges of collaborating effectively with Veterans are demanding, and the work requires us to build relationships with Veteran organizations and develop specialized skills in how we serve Veterans. Given the special hardships and challenges members of the military face—including dealing with extreme stress and trauma issues and finding the wherewithal to reconnect with their daily routines, family and personal relationships, and their communities—the arts certainly play an integral role in advancing health and wellbeing. 

Read More

Counties poised to pursue solutions through Creative Counties Placemaking Challenge

Posted by Jack King, Apr 29, 2022 0 comments

The National Association of Counties (NACo) and Americans for the Arts are pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Creative Counties Placemaking Challenge, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. NACo and Americans for the Arts invited small- and medium-sized counties to assemble a team of county leaders, local artists and community stakeholders to imagine how art can be used to solve local challenges. From Potter County, Pa.’s “Highway to the Stars” through Cherry Springs State Park to the storied and breathtaking beaches of Hawai’i County, Hawai’i’s Puna district, the winners represent the geographic and social diversity of the nation as a whole. The teams will seek to address a wide array of challenges confronting their local communities, from drug addiction to climate resilience. Over the next 10 months, Americans for the Arts experts will provide virtual training and mentoring of these teams as they explore the arts as an applied strategy for meeting policy objectives. On July 25, the counties will participate in an in-person convening in Adams County, Colo., in conjunction with NACo’s 2022 Annual Conference.

Read More

2022 Trends: Money, Money, Money

Posted by Mr. Clayton W. Lord, Apr 22, 2022 0 comments

As the price of goods rises, costs will likely flow as far downstream as possible—which means cultural organizations and artists will continue to get hit with rising costs while arts patrons are likely to have more expenses that eat away at disposable income. At the same time, the slowly closing spigot of relief and recovery funding, mistimed to the needs of our field where things are still solidly behind where they were prior to the pandemic, poses serious risks to independent workers, creative entrepreneurs, and arts organizations. Will public policy solutions like Universal Basic Income (and related large-scale public policies around unemployment and healthcare access) scale enough to make the difference? It’s hard to imagine—but even two years ago it would have been hard to imagine multiple major cities running UBI pilots specifically designed to support and maintain a creative class.

Read More

2022 Trends: Digital Goes Mainstream

Posted by Mr. Clayton W. Lord, Apr 21, 2022 0 comments

It was going to happen eventually, but the pandemic drove digital engagement of one type or another into almost every aspect of life. As we progress forward, how will that engagement make things better—and how might it make things worse? There is so much promise and peril for the arts sector and artists when it comes to the digital space, cryptocurrency, and the metaverse. The rules of much of this space are still being written, so one argument goes that it may end up being a more egalitarian and open space in which entrepreneurial creatives of all stripes can control more of their own destiny. On the other hand, accessibility issues and repeating patterns of colonization of the space by the same monied, privileged few who have been able to colonize elsewhere have people concerned. Whatever the outcome, these formerly sci-fi concepts have solidly moved into the realm of reality and will take up increasing brain space (and revenue) for both artists and arts organizations in the coming years.

Read More

2022 Trends: Global (and Local) Unrest and Dysfunction

Posted by Mr. Clayton W. Lord, Apr 20, 2022 0 comments

The planet is heaving, as are the human populations living on it. Whether we’re talking major weather events and icebergs the size of cities, the threat of global war, oppressive legislation at home, or a looming election amid governmental stagnation, much feels topsy-turvy these days. Climate change is already affecting the living habits of millions of people in ways large and small, and in the coming decades it will affect where we can have homes (and studios and performance venues), how much it costs to maintain internal climates that are comfortable, the availability of materials, and more. Similarly, burgeoning violence, invasion, and occupation are affecting systems and costs globally and locally, and likely will soon spark migrations that may impact cultural organizations and foster engagement by and with artists. On these scales, the potential impact of elections and state and national policy are closer and clearer, and accessibility to culture for millions of people may be affected.

Read More

2022 Trends: Shifts in Labor, Work, and Training

Posted by Mr. Clayton W. Lord, Apr 19, 2022 0 comments

In ways large and small, the way we work continues to change as we carry into the rest of 2022 and emerge from two years of seismic change. A true tussle between those who want it to go back to how it was, and those who want something new in the relationship between workers and work, is about to come to a head. For our sector, the implications of this shift in work are, and will be, profound. The hardship of the pandemic created exoduses of artists leaving the arts field, either temporarily or permanently, and have opened new job training employment opportunities for creative workers and organizations. For those staying in the arts, collective organizing offers the promise of better wages and quality of life. 

Read More

Pages