Blog Posts for Events

Thank you to the many people who have been blog contributors to, and readers of ArtsBlog over the years. ArtsBlog has long been a space where we uplifted stories from the field that demonstrated how the arts strengthen our communities socially, educationally, and economically; where trends and issues and controversies were called out; and advocacy tools were provided to help you make the case for more arts funding and favorable arts policies.

As part of Americans for the Arts’ recent Strategic Realignment Process, we were asked to evaluate our storytelling communications platforms and evolve the way we share content. As a result, we launched the Designing Our Destiny portal to explore new ways of telling stories and sharing information, one that is consistent with our longtime practice of, “No numbers without a story, and no stories without a number.”

As we put our energy into developing this platform and reevaluate our communications strategies, we have put ArtsBlog on hold. That is, you can read past blog posts, but we are not posting new ones. You can look to the Designing Our Destiny portal and our news items feed on the Americans for the Arts website for stories you would have seen in ArtsBlog in the past.

ArtsBlog will remain online through this year as we determine the best way to archive this valuable resource and the knowledge you’ve shared here.

As ever, we are grateful for your participation in ArtsBlog and thank you for your work in advancing the arts. It is important, and you are important for doing it.


Posted by Mr. George P. McLeer, Jr., Apr 18, 2014 0 comments

George Patrick McLeer George Patrick McLeer

As we sat down with our Congressmen this past March during National Arts Advocacy Day, one message kept coming out of my mouth, “In my community, we don't just 'fund' the arts, we use the arts.” I didn't arrive in Washington with that phrase in my mind. I didn't even think about it until after our “advocacy sessions,” the day before we visited Capitol Hill.

What alarms me the most about our annual trek to Capitol Hill is that our ask never seems to change— “We would like our Representative/Senator to support funding the NEA/Arts Education at this specific level.” We mention the ability to leverage the arts for economic impact, improve education, and make our lives more fulfilling, but at the end of the day we ask for money—either from the federal government or private citizens via tax policy shifts.

We need to stop asking for money and instead ask for a new vantage point.

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What Every Junior Board Should Know

Posted by Jess Kaswiner, Apr 04, 2012 2 comments

Jess Kaswiner

Jess Kaswiner

On February 28, Emerging Leaders Network Chicago hosted a wildly successful panel conversation and networking event simply titled “Junior Board Mega-Mixer.”

Weeks before the event, we had over 50 RSVPs and 7 local sponsors, including Changing Worlds, Steppenwolf Theatre, Urban Gateways, Snow City Arts, Auditorium Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, and Links Hall.

Our dedicated ELN team worked swiftly to spread the word, sharing the event announcement via email, Facebook,, and word of mouth. Participating panelists—including junior board chairs, general-body members, and representatives from sponsor organizations—weighed in on what it takes to incubate and sustain a successful junior board.

Below are seven key takeaways from this event, in addition to a few additional creative suggestions and how to host your own junior board mixer.

1) Efficiency is key – Young professionals are very busy between work, play, and volunteering. When planning your meetings, always send an agenda ahead of time.

2) Be nimble – Although your organization may have a very clear idea of what you want the organizational structure to look like or what type of events you want your junior board to plan, it’s important to first evaluate your capacity. As Dana Adams of Urban Gateways mentioned, “Think about the type of event YOU enjoy attending, and go from there!”

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Shopping Around Arts & Business Partnerships

Posted by Ms. Kate Marquez, May 18, 2011 1 comment

Kate Marquez

There is no question the arts are essential to build community in dynamic, lasting ways. However, arts organizations are constantly defending this concept. Unfortunately, in today’s economic climate it seems the best way to keep the arts alive is to attach monetary terms to their worth.

Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) has found there is more to gain than lose by venturing down this avenue and building lasting partnerships with businesses, for the sake of preserving art and supporting artists and musicians.

When local government funding was no longer available, due to budget cuts, SAACA turned to the business community to collaborate on events and programs. SAACA began to build arts-related partnerships, creating benefits for all parties that continue to unfold and grow. 

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