Blog Posts for Community Engagement

Maintaining and Cultivating New Audiences During COVID-19 and Beyond

Posted by Kristie Swink Benson, Aug 24, 2021 0 comments

Breaking down barriers for our audiences to engage with our organization should be a top priority as we navigate today’s ever-changing landscape. Our new and existing audiences will thank us with continuous support, which helps us thrive as arts organizations. 

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Collaborations, Mentorship, and Support for Native Artists on a National Scale

Posted by Mr. John W. Haworth, Jul 28, 2021 0 comments

The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) is the only national philanthropic organization focused exclusively on Native arts and cultures with a deep commitment to supporting Native artists in a spirit of advancing equity and cultural knowledge for American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native communities. NACF is especially active in supporting artists responding to economic justice and environment issues. Its SHIFT – Transformative Change and Indigenous Arts program gives artists opportunities to work with communities to examine complex issues from a Native perspective, while LIFT – Early Career Support for Native Artists encourages artists to develop projects that advance positive social change at the community level. And through Mentor Artist Fellowships, emphasis is put on opportunities for contemporary Native artists working both in traditional and contemporary practice to deepen their connections to the artistic traditions and heritages of their tribal communities.

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Think!Chinatown Uses Public Art to Help Local Restaurants

Posted by Yin Kong, Jul 13, 2021 0 comments

ASSEMBLY for CHINATOWN was launched in collaboration with A+A+A Studio to build outdoor dining spaces at no cost to Chinatown businesses. We design, source materials from Chinatown vendors, and construct Department of Transportation (DOT) compliant dining barriers for restaurants. Artists beautify and personalize the space for the restaurants with the help of volunteers who come (socially distanced) together in a help-a-thon to sand and paint the wood barriers. The mural project came into play with our first artist, Kat Lam, who reached out to ask if we wanted her to paint one of the barriers. Her style matched with the business owners, so we moved forward. She contributed her vision as a muralist and we decided to do that for all the barricades to enliven the space and the neighborhood. People want to be part of this community project. Painting is such a gratifying way to work together. Whenever the volunteers walk by, they feel ownership and want to patronize the business. 

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Native Arts and Cultures Foundation: A national leader supporting Indigenous artists and engaging Native communities

Posted by Mr. John W. Haworth, Jun 25, 2021 0 comments

Founded in 2008, with start-up funding of $10 million from the Ford Foundation, NACF supports Indigenous artists, culture bearers, and Native-led arts organizations through fellowships and project funding. Betsy Theobald Richards (Cherokee), who served as Ford’s Program Officer in Media, Arts, and Culture from 2003 to 2010, provided key leadership in establishing NACF. Other Native leaders and artists were involved from the get-go: the civil rights lawyer Walter Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), poet and musician Joy Harjo (Muscokee-Creek), museum director and artist Elizabeth Woody (Yakama Nation Wasco descent and Citizen of Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs), and singer, artist, and educator Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree First Nation of Canada), among others. It’s powerful to have such dynamic and creative national and community-based leaders setting the stage for NACF’s work. The organization is currently in the early stages of developing a major cultural facility and new headquarters: the Center for Native Arts and Cultures in southeast Portland, Oregon, with a vision to create a “vibrant gathering place” for Indigenous artists as a convening ground for cultural ceremonies and celebrations; as an incubator for Native artists to create; and as a venue for presenting contemporary exhibitions and performances, workshops, and seminars.

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You Need a Community to Build Your Community

Posted by Dr. Brea M. Heidelberg, Jun 22, 2021 0 comments

The work of rebuilding community, or building community with new partners, cannot be done in isolation. Establishing a strong foundation by choosing to repair or deepen engagement with a specific community and focusing on what’s important to that community, not just your organization’s bottom line, is work best done with others.

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Member Spotlight: Allyson Esposito

Posted by Linda Lombardi, Jun 14, 2021 0 comments

Executive Director of Creative Arkansas Community Hub & Exchange (CACHE) Allyson Esposito is an arts administrator, lawyer, and dancer with more than 12 years of change management experience in philanthropy. Launched in 2019, CACHE supports Northwest Arkansas’ creative community—elevating local creatives; connecting the region with world-renowned leaders; and developing robust, culturally diverse hubs to create. Current initiatives include providing financial support to nonprofits in the wake of COVID-19, a weekly online creative variety that deep-dives into the world of artists, and multiple programs that enrich the region’s music scene. CACHE acts as a proud ambassador of the culture-bearers, makers, entrepreneurs, and collectives to intersect our region with the world. 

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