Blog Posts for Massachusetts

Community Leadership from the Inside Out

Posted by Julia Dixon, Apr 17, 2017 0 comments

Berkshire County in western Massachusetts is an incredibly rich place for the arts. It contains such a critical mass of artists, arts institutions, and arts resources that in 2016 the county was named the 12th most arts vibrant small- to mid-sized community in the nation by the National Center for Arts Research. With this abundance of creative activity comes a necessity for arts leadership, although here, these positions aren’t reserved for executive directors and upper management of large institutions. A new generation of community arts leaders in North Adams is surfacing as junior employees and other non-executive workers are beginning to cultivate leadership roles outside of work.

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College and Career Ready—Are We Building Vertical Pathways for Arts Students?

Posted by Myran Parker-Brass, Mar 08, 2017 0 comments

Preparing students who are “college and career” ready is a common goal for success for high school students across the nation’s school districts; “post-secondary readiness” is included as an indicator for school quality or student success in the Every Student Succeeds Act legislation. Our state education departments and local school districts all have working definitions and metrics for this readiness. So, how prepared are we, the arts education community, to engage in this discussion? Are we building solid college and career pathways in the arts with our higher education partners, institutions and employers? Are we engaging and supporting our families and students in understanding that the arts provide viable college and career opportunities?

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The Origins of the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Program: Try, try again...

Posted by Stan Rosenberg, Feb 07, 2017 0 comments

This is the story of how the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Program came into being. It’s a story created through patience, persistence, and opportunity. It began as the mid-1990s approached, as a result of a constituent request for state assistance by the founder of the Yiddish Book Center, a nationally known cultural resource located on the campus of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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STEM to STEAM

Posted by Stan Rosenberg, Dan Hunter, Dec 27, 2016 0 comments

Business needs a creative workforce to compete in the global economy. But our schools are locked into 20th century priorities. We are testing mastery of content when the Internet delivers content in 0.7 seconds. If the only public measure of a school’s progress is standardized testing, then schools have every incentive to “teach to the test.” With limited resources, teaching the arts is dropped, diminished, or dismissed.

Testing establishes the educational priorities. So, how do you measure creativity? How do you test for the A in STEAM? In Massachusetts, we began discussing the concept of a Creative Challenge Index.

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It’s Time to Engage and Listen to Millennials

Posted by Stan Rosenberg, Dec 20, 2016 0 comments

It’s not uncommon for our media and popular culture to generalize Millennials as lazy and narcissistic, with an outsized sense of entitlement, interested only in their next opportunity to take a selfie. But this is the largest, best educated and most college debt-ridden generation in Western history. Based on a growing body of research, Millennials have emerged as creative, adventurous, civic minded, tech savvy, socially aware, and consider themselves global citizens, to name a few of their positive characteristics and drivers.

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Our Beta Exploration: Can Creating Art Increase Your Profits?

Posted by Elizabeth Thys, Nov 17, 2016 0 comments

Organizational culture research points to significant financial benefits for companies that invest in giving. In his article for Harvard Business Review, “In the Company of Givers and Takers,” Adam Grant, Professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, states that “higher rates of giving were predictive of higher unit profitability, productivity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction, along with lower costs and turnover rates. When employees act like givers, they facilitate efficient problem solving and coordination and build cohesive, supportive cultures that appeal to customers, suppliers, and top talent alike.”

So why aren’t more companies investing in creating cultures of givers? One answer is simply that they don’t know how.

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