Blog Posts for connect

Creating the Conditions for Arts & Culture to Thrive: How can Arts Service Organizations Help Lay the Groundwork?

Posted by Ms. Megan L. Van Voorhis, Aug 29, 2018 0 comments

A few weeks ago, Genesee County, Michigan voters approved a millage to support their arts and cultural assets. Words can’t express how proud I am of Genesee County voters for investing in one of their greatest assets; however, they can express this: their collective investment has the potential to be a real game changer for Genesee County, the people who live there, and their arts and cultural community. How do I know this? Because that’s what happened in Cleveland following passage of one of the largest local option taxes for arts and culture in the country. Here are a few insights drawn from the work we did to stabilize our arts and culture sector and position it for greater influence in our community. Think of these as tips for fertilizing the soil to ensure arts and culture can thrive and grow in your city.

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“How” is Just as Important as “What”: Bringing Audiences Together Through Uncommon and Engaging Experiences

Posted by Matthew VanBesien, Aug 24, 2018 0 comments

It’s that time once again. Many of us across the performing arts realm are hanging on to the last remnants of summer, while also turning our attention to (and girding our loins for!) the new season ahead. For the University Musical Society, this officially begins on Sept. 21, a couple of weeks after the University of Michigan commences its fall semester. One of the things I value most about UMS and my new role here is the great care and attention we give to not just WHAT we present, but HOW we present it. This is an important lesson for all of us, each and every day, as we endeavor to grow the energy, focus, and evolution of our institutions. I’m proud to say we’re digging deep to answer many fundamental questions about who we are and what we want to be in the future.

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From Ballet Dancer to Small Business Owner

Posted by Ms. Gloria Kutternig, Aug 23, 2018 0 comments

I truly believe that my background in the performing arts has taught me the fundamentals in discipline, focus, and drive to achieve great heights of success. Tasting it is only sweeter because I have climbed the ladder to get there. There were always controversies, financial difficulties, mistakes, failed romances, criticisms, indecisions, and the eternal journey of growing up and identifying who you are. Despite these difficulties, I chose to dance because I believed I had a gift to share. Twenty-eight years ago, I also believed that I could be an asset to my husband as his business partner. I have no college degree to boast of, but I am an owner of a very successful, thriving small business.

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Learning to Listen: The Transformative Power of Collaboration and Nashville’s Learning Lab Artist Training Program

Posted by Ms. Van Gill Maravalli, Aug 16, 2018 0 comments

At the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, we like to think of ourselves as a type of strange municipal glue. Meaning, we create points of connection between things that previously existed independent of one another in order to make something new. This also means we spend a lot of time explaining that artists have a unique skillset that can be an asset in any field, not just the arts. When we start these conversations with non-arts organizations we hope to collaborate with, our message is often met with confused faces. Could an artist do more than beautify a physical space? How could an artist work within the juvenile court system or at a public health facility? We ask these questions because we believe public art can be a community investment tool for neighborhood transformation, creative workforce development, and equitable practices throughout our city.

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Minneapolis: At the Corner of Arts and Justice

Posted by Katherine Peinhardt, Aug 15, 2018 0 comments

It is true what people say, that art can heal. But what if art can do more than that? Above and beyond that old maxim, a platform for the arts can bring a whole community to the table. The Hennepin Theatre Trust is exploring the intersection of public space, social justice, and local creativity as it works to improve the historic Hennepin Theatre District. Surpassing even the most ambitious examples of creative placemaking, the Hennepin Theatre Trust made a journey from “talking the talk” to truly “walking the walk” of community-building through the arts. Making Hennepin Avenue safer and livelier was not only a question of engaging theatre-goers; it was a matter of actively including the voices of local people experiencing homelessness who rely on Hennepin Avenue to be a safe haven. Through this project, HTT began to lift the curtain on who uses public spaces in West Downtown Minneapolis, and why.

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Risks Aren’t Just for Artists (We’re looking to you, Government)

Posted by Amanda Carlson, Aug 15, 2018 0 comments

At the end of 18 months of conversation, debate, creation and synthesis, the City of West Hollywood had its cultural plan. Five principles guided The Plan’s recommendations, among them #5: Experimentation. Sharing information from the cultural plan became the opportunity to develop a project new to the City—a data visualization project—in the form of digital media and temporary art installations. Guided by the experience of the City’s Public Art Coordinator Rebecca Ehemann, our call was an open one, requesting qualifications rather than proposals, and providing a fixed commission. Rather than bring on a single artist, we sought out three, ensuring that no stand-alone vision would control the data’s narrative. Artists Maria Lamadrid and Sean Noyce, and artist group YoMeryl were selected. The resulting projects—ArtEverywhereDream Cloud, and The City of Creative Delights—were partnerships between the City and the artists that allowed for new ideas to surface and West Hollywood’s public art to reach new altitudes. 

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