Blog Posts for Tennessee

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.

Read More

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! 

Read More

Business Spotlight: CEO Shares the Language of Music

Posted by Dr. David V. Mastran, Sep 26, 2019 0 comments

I am both a businessperson and an artist, which helps expand my perspective and set my business apart. The challenge, on the business side, is that because profit motive is the driving force, the most creative work often doesn't receive the recognition or appreciation it deserves from businesses. The tendency for most businesses is to stick to a proven, profit-driven formula. I'm not saying that profit-driven formulas are wrong, but we should also be allowing room for creativity, innovation and growth—not just in the arts, but in every aspect of business. Businesses should want to hire creative people, people who can create solutions without predefined answers. We need businesses to understand that the arts can and will help them achieve their objectives—even if those objectives are not always related to the arts. We need to frame the arts in a way that businesses can find value in them as well. Having this business background helps me be a better advocate for the arts.

Read More

Trust the Process: Temporary Exhibition, Permanent Impact

Posted by Mr. Tré Hardin, Aug 13, 2019 0 comments

Nashville is a city known for the way we engage our community; we’re famous for our southern hospitality, our musical roots, our booming art scene, and enough decent restaurants to satisfy anyone. However, we also are a swiftly growing city with a deep cultural history that is often overshadowed by the more recent trends of rideshare scooters, bachelorette parties, and changing neighborhoods. With the city growing rapidly and the historical narrative of Nashville’s communities in jeopardy, we’ve had to reevaluate our responsibility to our communities’ past, present, and future through the lens of our public art program. In 2017 Metro Arts released a Public Art Community Investment Plan to alter our overall approach to public art in the city of Nashville. The plan emphasizes the importance of community centered public art and offers a number of recommendations and best practices to implement. One recommendation challenged us to shake up the way we engage with our community by hosting a curated temporary public art exhibition.

Read More

August Arts Advocacy Challenge!

Posted by Lauren Cohen, Jul 31, 2019 0 comments

So far, 2019 has been a banner year in the world of federal arts advocacy. Throughout the spring, we saw promising bipartisan benchmarks for support of an increased budget for the NEA in FY 2020. However, our work advocating for pro-arts policies doesn’t stop with funding for the NEA. Americans for the Arts, along with national coalition partners, has pursued more federal legislative priorities this year than ever before. From tax policy to transit, healthcare to education, we’re working to ensure expanded arts access and opportunity throughout the country. You can get more information and send a message to your congressional delegation about any of these bills through our Action Center.

The U.S. Congress will take its traditional month-long recess in August. Members of Congress will be in their home states and districts holding town halls, making visits to local organizations and businesses, and taking meetings in their local offices. Wondering how to continue your arts advocacy momentum during the long recess? Participate in the August Arts Advocacy Challenge to stay involved and make an impact.

Read More

The U.S. Census and the Arts

Posted by Mr. Clayton W. Lord, Jul 11, 2019 0 comments

At the Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention this past June, quite a few members voiced concern about the upcoming U.S. Census. In many communities, there is worry that an inaccurate count could negatively impact towns, cities, regions, and even states, and disproportionately affect people who are already marginalized. This blog is meant to give information on the Census, its impact, and what arts and culture agencies across the United States are doing to ensure a comprehensive and equitable count. The U.S. Census is a consequential tool for distributing time, attention, and money in all sorts of ways—including ways that are deeply impactful on the arts. It is also an increasingly politicized tool, and as we round the corner into the 2020 U.S. Census, it is important to understand what the U.S. Census is, what it influences, what the implication of certain proposed changes could be both generally and for the arts, and how arts and culture agencies and organizations are mobilizing to ensure a fair, full, and unthreatening U.S. Census count.

Read More