Blog Posts for creative workforce

Creativity is the Connection to Corporations

Posted by Michelle Mann, Nov 18, 2011 0 comments

Michelle Mann

Over the past 7 months, as a loaned executive from Adobe to 1st ACT, I have gained a new appreciation for the difficulties arts organizations face when raising money.

In the heart of Silicon Valley, with its corporate giants and start-up millionaires, there is very little investment in the arts and culture ecosystem. That’s because 70-80% of Silicon Valley’s wealth leaves the region.

I probably shouldn’t have been surprised -- understanding the global nature of business. But I am disappointed that more of my peers and former colleagues in corporate philanthropy don’t include arts and culture in their giving portfolios.

Study after study have demonstrated the link between creativity and the arts to higher academic achievement, to attainment of 21st century skills, to brain development and early literacy, and social and emotional development.

Corporate leaders talk about creativity being an essential skill for the 21st century workforce. They want  to hire people who are problem solvers, are flexible and can adapt quickly to new situations, are culturally competent and open to working with others.

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Investing in Arts Education to Ensure a Strong Future Workforce

Posted by Harvey White, Sep 13, 2011 0 comments

Harvey White

During the "Heating Up STEM to STEAM" session at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention this past summer, I engaged Massachusetts Senate President Pro Tem Stan Rosenberg in a tête-à-tête about workforce development. Below is the first half of a conversation we had on the panel (You can access the full session via Convention On-Demand):

"This [educational] system that we have today was created by industry to create the workforce they needed. We’re going to need to get business leaders [involved], as it happened in Massachusetts. If you [arts education advocates] want to talk to somebody other than your arts friends or your educator, talk to your business man—that if you’re going to have the workforce that you want, you need to have the kind of education system that will give you that workforce.

This [expanded arts education] will not, in my opinion, happen if it does not get embraced by business. And I could go on for a long time about what I think that may mean. But talk about wanting to expand this—the next person you want to talk to besides your neighbor and your arts advocate [is the business man]...

Why do business people not embrace this? And [not] give money to it? What I saw was that individual business people give a lot of money. From a philanthropic standpoint, most every community prospers from the rich people from the business world that give money. But businesses don’t. Why is that? I think it’s really very simple…it’s called quarterly earnings.

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The Intersection of Local Businesses, School Districts, & Arts Education

Posted by Victoria Plettner-Saunders, Sep 13, 2011 2 comments

Victoria Plettner-Saunders

I'm a consultant in San Diego who specializes in capacity building for nonprofit arts organizations and the people who run them. I also do a fair amount of work in the realm of arts education, including currently serving as chair of the Arts Education Council at Americans for the Arts and the co-founder and chair of the San Diego Alliance for Arts Education.

It was with my "arts education hat" on that I attended a one-day symposium in San Diego called “Powering Innovation Economies” last week. One of the sessions was about the role of arts education, innovation, and the workforce.

Sarah Murr (my fellow blogger/Boeing's Global Corporate Citizenship community investor responsible for corporate giving to the arts in Southern California) was invited to be one of the panel members. Murr is well known in Southern California’s arts education community for the huge investment she’s made on Boeing’s behalf in supporting arts education in the Orange County area. She is also an active board member of the California Alliance for Arts Education.

Unfortunately, she was ultimately unable to participate and I got an email asking if I knew of someone in the local corporate community who could take her place.

As I sat there thinking about which local corporations support arts education as part of their community investment policy for strengthening workforce development, I came up empty handed.

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I.Q. Scores Rising, Creativity Scores Falling

Posted by Sarah Murr, Sep 12, 2011 5 comments

Sarah Murr

While research studies show that Intelligence Quotient (IQ) continues to increase with each new generation, creativity scores are decreasing. This fact should alarm everyone.

In fact, it has already gotten the attention of American business that desperately wants to – needs to – hire the brightest and the best to generate the next innovative ideas for products or services that will keep our businesses competitive in a global marketplace.

You may ask, "why are creativity scores decreasing?"

One possible answer comes from Sandra Ruppert, director of the Arts Education Partnership, a national coalition of arts, business, education, philanthropic, and government organizations who said, “We have a whole generation of teachers and parents who have not had the advantage of arts in their own education.”

So what does being creative have to do with an innovative workforce?

IBM's 2010 survey of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the number one leadership competency for the workforce of the 21st century. However, tight state budgets and a lack of appreciation for what an arts education provides a young mind, and subsequently an adult mind, have resulted in the abandonment or near abandonment of arts programs across the nation.

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Partnerships: Envisioning Our Interdependence

Posted by Sahar Javedani, Jul 26, 2011 1 comment

Sahar Javedani

As Director of Educational Programming at Pentacle in New York City, I am constantly seeking opportunities to partner with organizations that share our mission of educating students on career opportunities in the performing arts through our “Behind the Scenes” program.

Last year, we welcomed a new relationship with Exploring the Arts, Tony Bennett and Susan Benedetto’s nonprofit charitable organization. We have our long-standing relationship of eight years with Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (Exploring the Arts’ original partner school) to thank for providing the foundation for this new partnership.

I believe that we've created a successful model of arts education where the collaboration of a school, funding partner, and arts education provider can come to the table with a common goal of better preparing students for entering the creative workforce through hands-on and experiential learning.

I recently had the opportunity to ask Susan Benedetto, co-founder and board president of Exploring the Arts to share her perspective on cultivating relationships with new partner schools and arts education providers:

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Well, I Do Declare: Studying Arts Not A Major Mistake

Posted by Breena Loraine, Jun 18, 2011 1 comment

Higher Education Peer Group Session - AFTA11

I have the great privilege of attending this year’s Americans for the Arts Annual Convention as a student representative of San Diego State University. As a student, I was excited to attend the Higher Education Peer Group.

During the session, the conversation gravitated toward the difficult decision college students face as they declare their major. In a fickle economic environment and uncertain job market, students may be deterred from choosing to major in their true passion—music, dance, theater, art, photography, etc.

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