Blog Posts for Maryland

Enacting Change in the Performing Arts World Begins with Changing the Conservatory Culture

Posted by Dr. Fred Bronstein, Dec 07, 2017 0 comments

Twenty-five years ago American orchestras began a conversation about what would happen to excellence in performance if orchestras broadened their missions to focus on education and community engagement. The fear, unfounded, was that excellence would be compromised. The opposite was true. Today, administrators of top performing arts organizations are begging for those of us who train artists to start training like it’s the 21st century and not the 19th. More than new skills—which is certainly part of it—this requires something more difficult: a change in the mindset of musicians. We must understand we’re all in the audience development business.

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The Arts Give us a Social Conscious

Posted by Mary Dell Erba, Sep 14, 2017 0 comments

Equity issues are deeply rooted in and infiltrate our society. My understanding of equity issues in arts education has given me a context to understand inequity in a broader sense. It brought to light the impact of socioeconomic status, race, geography, and how equity is different than equality. My arts experiences nurtured a social conscious that otherwise I may not have developed and allowed me to see so clearly that my experience was a privilege. This is why the arts are so important, and this is what will keep me advocating for arts education.

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Advocate: At All Levels—At All Times—For All People

Posted by John Schratwieser, Jul 17, 2017 0 comments

Day in and day out, we work on behalf of so many that we may never meet. Whether a student in an art class or school chorus, a senior citizen in a quilting guild, a potter fashioning pieces for an Empty Bowls food pantry fundraiser, or a writer or composer bringing important subject matter to the page or the stage—they are relying on us to move the needle in public discourse about the power of the arts. 

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Arts & Economic Prosperity 5: How the Nonprofit Arts & Culture Industry Impacts the Economy in Your Community

Posted by Randy I. Cohen, Jun 17, 2017 0 comments

When recently asked how best to advocate for the arts in the current environment, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (NM)—co-chair of the Senate Cultural Caucus and chief sponsor of the CREATE Act—was unequivocal: “Start by telling every one of your Senators about the economic benefits of the arts.” This familiar refrain is one we have heard for decades from city council chambers to governor mansions to the halls of Congress—and it works. Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 does just that. It changes the conversation about the arts from that of a “charity” to one about an “industry” that provides both cultural and economic benefits to the community.

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Thanks and Gratitude for My Arts Advocacy Village

Posted by John Schratwieser, Jun 12, 2017 0 comments

I have worked with hundreds of volunteers, be they board members, letter stuffers, wine servers, budget testimony panelists, and more. We do not achieve status as members of the “beloved community” by singing our own praises, and ignoring the commitment and dedication of those who volunteer their time with us. We do not achieve this by saying “our doors are open to all” and then sitting inside those open doors and waiting for “them” to come. Without those who give of their time and resources freely, we are nothing but another cog in a wheel.

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When Trying Hard Isn’t Good Enough: Alignment, Action and Accountability

Posted by Mary Dell Erba, Apr 19, 2017 0 comments

Bridging the gap between reality and results for arts education in schools requires multi-sector, cross-agency leadership making aligned efforts and contributions. Moving from talk to action requires collaborative leadership—the ability to make decisions and take action together in service of the result. This type of leadership requires experimentation, trust building, and a fair amount of risk. It breaks down the boundaries of hierarchical leadership and looks across organizational boundaries. When we work collaboratively, we acknowledge that no one program, agency, or organization can produce population-level results.

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