Blog Posts for Louisiana

Climate Change Impact: Louisiana with Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser

Posted by Billy Nungesser, Nov 15, 2022 0 comments

Louisiana is on the forefront of climate change in the United States. The frequency and intensity of storms are increasing. Coastal land loss is increasing. More inland, cycles of drought and extreme precipitation is increasing. For every temperature degree warmer, we are seeing 7% more water falling from the sky. As a result, we are seeing more flooding. The Louisiana Folklore Society began the Bayou Culture Collaborative (BCC) in 2018 to provide a means to connect those interested in the human dimension, especially the impact of climate change on our culture. Louisiana participates in in SouthArts disaster preparedness programs and also has Creative Relief, a statewide system to respond to disasters. Each regional arts council has a means to receive donations to support arts organizations and artists. Within the Division of the Arts grants department, conversations have begun around the topic of requiring some of the larger (according to budgets) arts organizations to have disaster plans in place as a requirement for eligibility. This may take a few grant cycles to implement. Arts councils have also provided arts activities at evacuation sites. Dialogues with the Governor’s Office are beginning concerning how to help artists and arts organizations that have to relocate and how to help communities relocate together in order to support community connections and culture.

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How to Secure a Local Proclamation for National Arts & Humanities Month

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Sep 08, 2020 0 comments

Proclamations are a wonderful way that your mayor, city council, or your city (or county) in general can easily show its support for the arts and culture. Each year, Americans for the Arts encourages advocates to work with their local and state elected officials to issue a proclamation declaring October National Arts & Humanities Month in their city, county, or state. They allow elected officials to easily demonstrate their support for the arts, offer a written document for advocates to use year-round to demonstrate the value of the arts and culture, and serve as a tool to engage other arts advocates in their local communities. For those who have never done this before, I thought that I would offer a how-to guide help you understand the process of obtaining a proclamation.

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Spotlight on 2020 Johnson Fellowship Nominees: The Power of Cultural Roots to Ground & Enlighten

Posted by Ms. Pam Korza, Jul 14, 2020 0 comments

Musical traditions hold a unique power in cultural belonging and identity for the communities and cultures from which they grow. Preservation and performance can be a political act of cultural self-determination, expression, and continuity. The stories, meaning, and sounds embodied by traditional music can gain new power for new audiences and broader communities, when linked to contemporary issues and concerns. The four extraordinary musicians featured in this installment of our blog series celebrating nominees for the 2020 Americans for the Arts Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities draw upon cultural traditions and sometimes stretch and merge them with other forms to embrace a broader holistic view of culture and humanity. These musicians are: Dom Flemons, American roots ambassador; the Reverend John Wilkins, a bearer of blues-influenced gospel of Mississippi hill country; Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, a Black Indian and jazz-rooted genre-blind innovator; and Tiokasin Ghosthorse, master player of the ancient red cedar Lakota flute. 

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How a Local Business Chamber & the Arts Work Together as a Vital Emergency Response and Long-Term Economic Vision

Posted by Mr. Adam Knapp, Ms. Renee Chatelain, Jul 08, 2020 0 comments

Unprecedented … resilient … essential … are words we have heard much about during the COVID-19 crisis. These words, in fact, describe every artist, arts educator, and arts organization—and not just during an emergency. Each of us as human beings are heard, healed, uplifted, and empowered by and through the arts. In both unprecedented crises and unprecedented times, ART is essential. With a growing understanding of the vital role the arts play in successful communities, Baton Rouge Area Chamber has sought to better understand and formalize its relationship with the arts sector. Baton Rouge Area Chamber has been a phenomenal arts sector partner in the response to COVID-19. The Chamber has put their strategic planning process into action by looking to the arts community for responses to medical shortfalls in personal protective equipment, maintaining the gig economy, and creating campaigns which promote safety and healing for the community.

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Spotlight on 2020 Johnson Fellowship Nominees: Women Musicians Elevating Black Culture, History, & Contemporary Music for Change

Posted by Ms. Pam Korza, Jun 16, 2020 0 comments

In this blog, we feature Courtney Bryan and Ashleigh Gordon, two of the 11 music artists who were the exemplary nominees for the 2020 Johnson Fellowship. As consummate musicians in contemporary genres, each thrives on the stimulation of artistic collaboration with fellow musicians, poets, writers, and dancers, but also drives the collective work that builds strength as socially engaged artists. These artists advance self-representation and advocate for cultural equity in the music field, creating music and curating programs that showcase and elevate Black culture and excellence. Importantly, themes of racial justice serve as sources of inspiration and a reservoir of strength in their ongoing support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Committed to spirit and always to beauty, Bryan’s music responds to the present, confronting contemporary social injustices in her home city of New Orleans and across the globe. In her home community of Boston, Gordon is a musical force whose goal is to foster cultural curiosity about, and celebrate the music of, Black composers.

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A Strong Equation: How State Arts Advocacy Efforts are Paying Off!

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Feb 21, 2020 0 comments

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) recently published their FY 2020 State Arts Agency Revenues Report. By any measure, the report paints a very positive picture for state funding of the arts, with year-to-year appropriations increasing by more than 37% to a grand total of almost $495 million in total legislative appropriations. Because the economy is doing well, it stands to reason that SAA appropriations would be higher. While it is true that a strong economy makes increases more likely, a strong economy alone cannot explain this year’s massive increase. There in an interesting equation at work: If your state has a State Arts Agency that is engaged in thoughtful programming, a strong statewide arts advocacy organization, and advocates who are proactively engaged with your state’s existing political leadership, more funding/pro-arts policy are possible! 

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