Blog Posts for Minnesota

Climate Change Impact: Minnesota with Commissioner Toni Carter

Posted by Toni Carter, Nov 01, 2022 0 comments

Minnesota, known for its cold weather, snow, and ice, is now rapidly warming—particularly during winter months. It is also becoming much wetter. Twin Cities winter traditions, including our Saint Paul Winter Festival and Minneapolis Aquatennial events—tooled and refined over time as cold weather events—must accommodate weather that melts traditional ice sculptures and castles, and often makes snow largely unavailable for hosting sled and sleigh creations or for snow scavenger hunts—all a part of our winter cultural expectations. Accustomed to festivals, parades, Pow Wows, and such activities over summer months, people in our communities are finding more frequent rain disruptions or cancellations—and more sweltering days, dangerous particularly to elderly artists and observers. Both the more frequent rain and more severe heat episodes are also a challenge for outdoor tapestry maintenance and longevity. With summer temperatures over the last two years more regularly registering over 90 degrees Fahrenheit the amount of time artists can spend outdoors installing or creating artwork is becoming more limited. And paradoxically, with more tolerable (warmer) winter weather, some attractive outdoor spaces for artmaking are now occupied by people in tent encampments, which rose in number during the pandemic.

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Arts Leaders and Americans for the Arts Members Getting Out the Vote

Posted by Abigail Alpern Fisch, Oct 22, 2020 0 comments

As the 2020 election gets closer and many voters are already voting by mail or in-person, arts organizations around the country are doing their part to help voters make their vote count. This election is crucial to electing leaders at each level of government who will ensure that funding for the arts is protected and accessible for all. In this month’s Member Briefing, Americans for the Arts members Sheila Smith, executive director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and Nate McGaha, executive director of Arts North Carolina, discussed using the arts to Get Out the Vote. They shared their experiences conducting voter outreach in their communities including their candidate forums, messaging about important voting deadlines, and partnership with other local, and national organizations including ArtsVote. If you missed the briefing live, a recording of the event is available now on ArtsU. Member Briefings are our quarterly opportunity to talk to you about what’s happening now, so mark your calendars to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at Americans for the Arts and across the sector. 

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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: Creating Space(s) to Activate Artistic and Cultural Movements

Posted by Ms. Pam Korza, Jun 30, 2020 0 comments

Venus De Mars and Luke Stewart are among the 11 exemplary music artist nominees for Americans for the Arts’ 2020 Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities featured in our ongoing ARTSblog series. At different career stages, these artist-activists may be considered by some on the musical fringes. What they hold in common is a steady and deliberate dedication to bringing their communities out of the margins and advancing and improving conditions for them to thrive. As a punk rock singer-songwriter and transgender woman, Venus’ performances, speaking, and compassionate presence have created spaces of affirmation and communion for transgender people and fostered openness and understanding among audiences across the gender spectrum. Luke moves effortlessly between artist communities in jazz, DIY punk rock, and, most of all, improvised music. He uses his improvisation skills to be alert to and advance conditions that will allow musicians across these genres to create, perform, and learn from one another, while expanding appreciation and audiences for their work.

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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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