Blog Posts for connect

Art Performs Life on the 10th Anniversary of the Fukushima Disaster

Posted by Mr. John R. Killacky, Mar 12, 2021 0 comments

Ten years ago, on March 11, 2011, Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants suffered massive damage in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami. A dance artist, Eiko Otake, long familiar to audiences at the Flynn Center in Burlington, Vermont where I live, felt compelled to perform in the irradiated disrupted landscapes. “By placing my body in these places,” she says, “I thought of the generations of people who used to live there. I danced so as not to forget.” Joining her was a colleague from Wesleyan University, William Johnston, professor of Japanese history. The two co-teach a class on Japan’s nuclear disasters, with Fukushima now added into the curriculum along with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Johnston, also an esteemed photographer, journeyed along to document Eiko’s performances as an artistic collaborator. Art performs life in this luminous project, reminding us that the role artists play in commemorating losses can never be underestimated. 

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Buy Fine Craft to Invigorate your Local Creative Economy

Posted by Erika Juran, Mar 09, 2021 0 comments

For me, handmade objects have “sparked joy” long before Marie Kondo became a household name. A fine craft collector invests in the artist and the story of the artist. The artist’s journey to learn their craft is a part of that object. As many of us re-learned in 2020, our conscious choices to purchase local and handmade have reverberations through our community and country. I serve the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen (PGC) as its Executive Director. Founded in 1944, and headquartered currently in Lancaster, PA, the PGC is one of the oldest and largest professional craft guilds in the country. The PGC was born out of an effort to promote wider awareness of the contributions that craft can bring to a community through the stimulation of achievement and enrichment of cultural, aesthetic, and educational interests. Its very existence was inspired by the recommendation of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to find ways of transferring wartime skills to peacetime work. Our state’s fine crafts are not just beautiful, useful objects; they also demonstrate Pennsylvanian practicality and authenticity, speaking to our state’s historical Quaker roots.

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The Intersection of Place and Process

Posted by Christy Bolingbroke, Feb 26, 2021 0 comments

As the second choreographic center of its kind in the country, NCCAkron often asks what it means to be a “national” center that is neither in the physical center of the country nor the perceived center of the dance universe. Being based in Akron affords us (and by extension, the artists with whom we work) the emotional, mental, and physical space to create from a place of abundance inherent to our Northeast Ohio stomping grounds. Being national in our scope allows us to stretch—to engage artists from all over, to hold even more capacity for ideas larger than ourselves, and to be the connective thread between communities. We refer to this as operating in both the hyperlocal and the national spaces. I felt a spirit of possibility immediately upon arrival in Akron, and try to underline it in everything we do.

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Shifts for Arts Marketers in 2021

Posted by Mr. Tom O’Connor, Feb 23, 2021 0 comments

Over the past year, arts marketing as a discipline has weathered as many changes as the industry we support. From the work that we do, to the roles that we occupy within organizations, and the ways that we relate to one another—everything is in the process of evolution right now.

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Spotlight on Nolen V. Bivens, Interim President and CEO

Posted by Linda Lombardi, Jan 29, 2021 0 comments

A Director Emeritus and former Board member of Americans for the Arts, Brigadier General Nolen V. Bivens, U.S. Army Ret., is currently serving as our Interim President and CEO. He serves as Chair, National Leadership Advisory Council for the National Initiative for Arts & Health Across the Military, and Military community advisor for the National Endowment for the Arts Military Healing Arts Network Creative Forces program, among other roles. “As a senior military leader, I had to find answers to problems that traditional military training didn’t prepare me to deal with. Getting service members to address personal trauma was one of those problems. Following tours in Iraq and training to return, it became apparent to me that service men and women weren’t always taking care of themselves. Individuals who encountered some great trauma were not taking advantage of medical resources and it was showing up in all sorts of ways—from ever increasing suicides to family violence. They weren’t taking advantage of the traditional therapies available for various reasons such as fear of losing their clearances or being stigmatized as a weak leader. I found that many of them simply wanted to engage in activities which would free their minds of the stress they were experiencing. The arts were a way to do this without telegraphing the need for help.” 

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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.

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