Blog Posts for Arts & Business

How Do We Get Decision-Makers Directly Involved?

Posted by Michael R. Gagliardo, Mar 01, 2010 3 comments

I am now a little over four days removed from attendance at an event that reinforced my belief in my profession.  Not that I really needed any reinforcement – I have always believed in the work that we do – but every once in a while it’s nice to experience a moment that solidifies all of the thoughts and reasons we have for our work.

I spent last week in Santa Clara, California, with 120 high school students from 32 states.  The event was the National High School Honors Orchestra, and I had the honor of serving as the chair for the event.  With the help of a hand-picked staff of eleven of the best music educators (and dear friends) from all over the country, the guidance of the phenomenal Maestro Raymond Harvey, and lots of administrative assistance from the talented ASTA staff, we brought these 120 individuals together on Tuesday afternoon for a week that one student would later refer to as “one of the best experiences of my life.”

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The Creative Economy (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Mitch Menchaca, Feb 24, 2010 3 comments

Over the past few months, questions about the creative economy have lit up the phone lines at Americans for the Arts. Members are interested in learning of examples of communities where efforts are thriving; others want to build successful initiatives to engage their local community in the support and promotion of the creative economy; and some members are just wondering what the "creative economy" is all about.

The discussion on the the topic has taken on a high profile around the country (and around the globe) over the past decade. In 2002, Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class highlighted the need for creativity as an asset in the economy. Communities across the country face challenges in attracting and retaining highly skilled workers, developing creative industries, as well as expanding for creative products and services.

A creative economy is dependent on a creative workforce and the presence of creative industries—for-profit and nonprofit businesses involved in the creation or distribution of the arts. They are businesses that we participate in for enjoyment (seeing a movie, attending a concert, or reading a novel); engage in for business (architecture, design, musical instrument manufacturing); and invest in to enrich community livability (museums, public art, performing arts centers). Creative industries contribute to economic growth by attracting a dynamic workforce, serving as a destination for cultural tourism, and creating exportable cultural products.

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Arts Education: Make Congress Sing and Act!

Posted by Merryl Goldberg, Feb 23, 2010 2 comments

This month is proving to be one heck of a roller coaster ride for arts education advocates. On the up side, a U.S. Department of Education “stakeholders” meeting on the reauthorization of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was ground breaking in that it was the first time that the national arts education community had been invited to specifically address the reauthorization policy efforts. On the other hand, on the heels of that meeting, the White House unveiled an education budget that eliminated the 40 million that was allocated specifically to arts education.

While it will be argued that arts education is not eliminated from the budget, just reassigned under other programs, we cannot let this pass by without pause. Reassigning arts education to broader categories and taking the words “arts education” off the budget pages, effectively is a signal of importance–or rather lack of importance in the minds of the officials who have oversight of the budget. This is a terrible move, and one which cannot no go unaddressed. Arts education is core to NCLB, and thus must remain core to the budget and how the budget is outlined in print. But beyond rhetoric, arts education is truly core to how we are as a people in society and how our children will learn to be engaged citizens. 

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HUB-BUB artists-in-residence

Posted by Alix Refshauge, Feb 19, 2010 1 comment

I'm crawling out from a mountain of artists-in-residence applications to post my very first Green Paper blog entry and further introduce myself and HUB-BUB.  If you've read my bio, you know that I've spent the last 3 blissful years running the AiR Program at HUB-BUB.  Blissful because each year I really get to know 4 of the most interesting and talented emerging artists/writers in the country who are in residence at HUB-BUB.  During their time here, it's my job to accommodate their needs, get them connected in our community, learn from them, be their friend, and help them make the most of this awesome experience.  Blissful because my colleagues in the HUB-BUB office are not only the most passionate and talented people I've ever known, but they are good friends who are open to ideas and make working 50-60 hour work weeks fun.  Our volunteers and board members are a huge part of the happy HUB-BUB family that makes my world go round.  Blissful because Spartanburg is a town that encourages citizen involvement - it is possible to have a tremendous impact here.  And blissful because the field of artists-in-residence programs is full of good, capable, passionate people who make a difference everyday in the lives of the artists who they work with and the communities that they work in.  The residency field is fortunate to have the Alliance of Artists Communities and their dedicated staff and board who help connect us, educate us, and keep us happy.  Is what I am trying to say is - life is good.

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