Blog Posts for Robert Lynch

Through the Power of their Creativity, Veterans Continue to Serve

Posted by Robert Lynch, Nov 11, 2015 0 comments

During a recent trip to Denver to join in presenting a national award for state arts leadership to Governor Hickenlooper, Deborah Jordy, Executive Director of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, approached me. "There is someone I'd really like you to meet." Curtis Bean was his name.

A remarkable community activist, an entrepreneur and an artist, Curtis is doing transformational work through the arts. He is also a Veteran. Straight out of high school and over the course of five years and two tours in Iraq, he completed his military service as an Army sniper.

Like many others, Curtis returned home with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He planned on being a fireman, but anger and nightmares were interfering with his life. His girlfriend, an art student, suggested he try painting when counseling wasn't enough, and that's when something clicked. Healing started to happen -- and a new doorway was opened.

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Resilient Roads and Community Visions

Posted by Clayton Lord, Nov 04, 2015 0 comments

In 1995, as you surely know, Oklahoma City was the site of a bombing. A man drove a truck up one of the streets in downtown, pulled into a parking lot, went into a church and prayed, left, drove another block and parked in front of a federal building. Then he got out and blew the truck up, killing over 140 people including a bunch of children who were in a daycare in the building.

I got to see the memorial that was built on the site of the bombing. That road is now a glassy slip of water bounded on each end by gates. Where the building was, there are now ornamental chairs—smaller for children, larger for adults—to commemorate each life lost. Across the street, a gigantic, swooning tree that survived the blast stands guard. And throughout the city, at all of the street intersections that became makeshift helipads when responders rushed to the scene, there are deep red and tan bricks laid in resonating circles that pulsate out. The tragedy and the resilience of the place have literally been embedded in the roads, and the vision and perseverance of the people has been memorialized through art.

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The Importance of the Arts in our Communities: Robert L. Lynch and Laura Zabel

Posted by Robert Lynch, Nov 02, 2015 0 comments

October means something very important to the arts world and to communities throughout the United States -- National Arts and Humanities Month, now in its 30th year. Citizens of Minnesota have celebrated through numerous events that proudly showcase the state as an eclectic and dynamic artistic community, rich in cultural heritage.

It is fitting, then, that our capital city be the starting point for a nationwide dialogue exploring the future of local arts in America and the ways that community members can shape that future.

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Powerful and Surprising Arts and Business Partnerships: Enriching Workplaces and Communities Nationwide

Posted by Robert Lynch, Oct 22, 2015 1 comment

Imagine that you are arriving to a job interview at a tech company. As you wait, you take a look around you, and notice beautiful, thought-provoking works of art displayed on the walls, plus sculptures in the public and outdoor spaces. Imagine working for a manufacturing firm, when one day you receive an announcement of an exciting new art contest for employees. Or, attending your national insurance firm's annual meeting, knowing that you'll soon be able to take the stage for a company-wide battle of the bands and sing and perform your heart out. In these three examples, you would actually be at Microsoft, Ford, or Aetna, respectively, but in reality it could be any one of thousands of businesses that are harnessing the power of the arts...because it is good for business.

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Join Me in Celebrating National Arts in Education Week!

Posted by Robert Lynch, Sep 15, 2015 0 comments

Throughout my 30 years at Americans for the Arts, I have seen first-hand the profound impact that the arts have on children's lives. Just the other evening, a YoungArts alumna, singer/bassist Kate Davis, performed before a crowd of national policy leaders, senators, members of Congress, and famous artists, for an event honoring the U.S. National Medal of Arts and Humanities honorees in Washington, D.C. I first met this young lady just a few years ago and she was a high school student who so impressed me that Robert Redford and I invited her to our National Arts Policy Roundtable, where she in turn impressed the leaders of President Obama's President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. The next thing you know, she is sharing her art and ideas at the White House. Magic can and does happen all the time through the arts and arts education.

As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Congressionally designated National Arts in Education Week over the next few days, I want to share just a few of the experiences I have had in the arts with students as I travel the country, with the hope that these will bring to mind experiences of your own that you will share with others.

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On Vacation? Rise and Shine -- Explore the Arts All Around You!

Posted by Robert Lynch, Sep 02, 2015 0 comments

It's almost Labor Day and in my family, growing up, that meant vacation. It was always the time for travel and discovering new places, which of course is now an activity we call tourism. It is still the time I choose for getting away and as I write this, I am on my way to Morocco. I'm looking forward to many new arts, music, culture, craft, architecture and people discoveries.

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