Blog Posts for Michigan

Climate Change Impact: Michigan with Congresswoman Debbie Dingell

Posted by Rep. Debbie Dingell, Nov 10, 2022 0 comments

A love for the arts instills important values within the community, including an appreciation of the beauty and importance of nature. Michigan is home to some of the most breathtaking waterways, coastlines, and forests, and many artists take inspiration from these natural treasures. Protecting these valuable and life-sustaining resources is critical in preserving Michigan’s vibrant art and cultural heritage. We had an art exhibit in Ypsilanti—Interdependence at the Riverside Arts Center—that demonstrated the connectedness of every person, animal, and living creature on our planet. The Huron River Watershed Council has also partnered with arts organizations like the Michigan Theatre to screen films including “An Inconvenient Sequel,” and host conversations on how we can engage at a community level to address these challenges. Communities across the nation are experiencing the effects of climate change firsthand, and Southeast Michigan is no exception. During Dearborn’s historic flooding in summer 2021, I heard from artists with flooded basements who incurred thousands of dollars of losses, not to mention the heartbreak seeing the damage to their life’s work. 

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Counties poised to pursue solutions through Creative Counties Placemaking Challenge

Posted by Jack King, Apr 29, 2022 0 comments

The National Association of Counties (NACo) and Americans for the Arts are pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Creative Counties Placemaking Challenge, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. NACo and Americans for the Arts invited small- and medium-sized counties to assemble a team of county leaders, local artists and community stakeholders to imagine how art can be used to solve local challenges. From Potter County, Pa.’s “Highway to the Stars” through Cherry Springs State Park to the storied and breathtaking beaches of Hawai’i County, Hawai’i’s Puna district, the winners represent the geographic and social diversity of the nation as a whole. The teams will seek to address a wide array of challenges confronting their local communities, from drug addiction to climate resilience. Over the next 10 months, Americans for the Arts experts will provide virtual training and mentoring of these teams as they explore the arts as an applied strategy for meeting policy objectives. On July 25, the counties will participate in an in-person convening in Adams County, Colo., in conjunction with NACo’s 2022 Annual Conference.

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Member Spotlight: Katrina M. Daniels

Posted by Abigail Alpern Fisch, Oct 26, 2020 0 comments

Katrina Daniels is the Exhibition and Gallery Sales Director at the Lansing Art Gallery and Education Center, which provides public awareness, education, and enjoyment of the visual arts by promoting the works of Michigan artists. Katrina coordinates exhibitions and public art programming working directly with artists to increase engagment between them and the Lansing community. Katrina is a co-founder of ARTpath, a program developed by the Gallery and the City of Lansing to bring artwork out of the traditional gallery setting and into the public realm. ARTpath offers more accessible opportunities for the community to engage with the work of Michigan artists. Our Member Profile series features the many Americans for the Arts members doing transformative work for arts education, public art, advocacy, arts marketing, and more. An Americans for the Arts Membership connects you with this network of more than 6,000 arts leaders and gives you access to latest professional development and research.

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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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How Public Art Programs Can Join the Movement Against Police Brutality, White Supremacy, and Anti-Black Racism

Posted by Ms. Amina Cooper, Jun 10, 2020 1 comment

On May 25, 2020, Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin brutally murdered George Floyd, an unarmed Black father accused of issuing a counterfeit $20 bill, while other police officers stood by. This tragedy, following many other recent police-involved shootings of unarmed Black men and women that have been broadcasted and protested nationwide, has sparked renewed and global visibility for the Black Lives Matter movement. This most recent wave of protests has prompted a discussion within the public art field: How can public art respond to the Black Lives Matters movement? Should it? What will we do about the public artwork that is being tagged and damaged during these protests? Public art, at its best, is an authentic reflection of our times and values. Public art should reflect the community around it, and represent the hopes, lives, and aspirations of the people in that community. What we can do as public art policy makers and administrators is uplift those voices in our communities that are calling for justice and equal protection for people of color under the law. It is time to talk about the lack of diversity within our public art commissions, artist selection panels, and our public art workforce. We need to address the elitism with which we dictate to communities which artworks are acceptable, and which persons and cultures are worth affirming with monuments and beautiful objects.

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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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