Blog Posts for for artists

Introducing the Artists & Communities Conversation Series

Posted by Alicia Gregory, Jan 25, 2016 0 comments

Americans for the Arts is excited to debut a new conversation series, Artists & Communities, highlighting the voices of artists and arts practitioners working across sectors and within communities. Over the next ten months, we will publish ten conversations between pairs of established and emerging community arts leaders as they share their visions for, experiences with, and challenges to making healthy, equitable, vibrant communities through arts and culture. As community-based work receives more recognition, and intersections and collaborations become stronger, these conversations illuminate just how artists and community arts leaders can work to sustain and maintain healthy communities through their practice.

First up: Liz Lerman, choreographer, performer, writer, educator, speaker, and founder of Dance Exchange, and Deana Haggag, Director of the Baltimore-based nomadic museum The Contemporary.

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The role and responsibility of the arts

Posted by Erik Takeshita, Dec 10, 2015 0 comments

“The arts are like a little black dress; right for every occasion, but one size doesn’t fit all.” - Commander Moira McGuire, Clinical care coordinator; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Jamie Bennett, President of ArtPlace America, recently shared this missive with me and I couldn’t agree more. The arts are unique in their capacity to inspire, motivate, connect, give voice, and, all in all, lead to great things.  And, to quote another great source, Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.” 

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Strength in Numbers

Posted by Sofia Perez, Dec 01, 2015 0 comments

How does a hardworking artist become an economically thriving one? In today’s art world, talent alone is rarely enough. Without sufficient financial support, most artists will struggle to get ahead—or even stay afloat—but direct funding for the arts is getting increasingly harder to come by. In 2014, individual artists received less than 5% of the grant dollars awarded by nonprofits or state arts agencies for arts-related work [Sources: The Foundation Center; National Assembly of State Arts Agencies]. What’s more, the vast majority of support that individual artists receive from non-governmental institutions is filtered through fiscal sponsors, a step that not only creates an additional obstacle for artists, but also cuts into the total dollar amount that they receive.

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The Impact of the Arts in the Innovation Era

Posted by Ms. Stacy Lasner, Oct 22, 2015 0 comments

In 1883, John Michael Kohler, who was in the business of making cast iron farm implements and cemetery crosses, looked at a watering trough and realized he could add four ornamental feet to transform it into the company’s first bathtub. 120 years later, that same innovative spark is what turned a simple dorm room project into Facebook, a $200 billion company that changed the world and ignited a new era in entrepreneurial innovation.

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The Artist at the Center

Posted by Jennifer Oliver, Sep 02, 2015 0 comments

This year’s Americans for the Arts (AFTA) conference, held in Chicago, proved to be a great success with almost 1,500 people in attendance.  For me, the conference began when Theaster Gates took the stage and spoke about empowering the voices inside communities through art.  I have so many thoughts from this lecture, but what stays with me now is the role of Theaster as a mentor, as a leader.  I was awe-struck by his dedication to serving his community and his presence and availability to us, his audience. 

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Vancouver, Canada: Artists Explore Year of Reconciliation

Posted by Karen Henry, Aug 25, 2015 0 comments

We live in interesting times. In Canada, Aboriginal rights are becoming a primary part of the political landscape. We are embarking on a long journey to recognize injustice and develop new partnership and governance models. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was a five-year project established to witness the stories and address the harm done by Indian Residential Schools and to set the country on a path of healing. In the spirit of this project, the City of Vancouver established a Year of Reconciliation from June 2013 to June 2014, working in partnership with Reconciliation Canada. 

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