A Perspective on Accessibility
I’ve long held that audiences with disabilities, including deaf audiences, would benefit from being considered from a marketing perspective and understood from a multi-cultural standpoint, rather than a strictly legal requirement/service perspective.
Engaging a Mid-Size Community with Digital Content
When you work for a non-profit arts organization outside of a metropolitan area, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that what works for the big organizations won’t work for you—even when you know your mission is BIG.
This is Not Your Grandmother’s Arts Scene.
Or maybe it is? Or maybe it isn’t. The challenge that arts marketers face is navigating the changing landscape and being mindful of the identity and personality of the organization balancing against welcoming the whole community.
Do we want to foster the arts or do we want to foster creativity?
Way before immersive theater or virtual reality were trendy, Robert E. Gard spoke to the idea of an experience that is creatively valuable because the experience of the “audience” becomes the story itself. We see this in role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, as well as new forms of immersive theater like Sleep No More or Then She Fell, in which the experience of participating becomes its own creative energy. I think these creative endeavors resonate with people because they are grounded in each participant’s lived experience (rather than universal plots or a reflection of someone else’s perspective) and, as such, they cannot help but be authentic.
Arts Education Helps Train Tomorrow’s Workforce: A strong arts education helps prep kids for the
To build the workforce of tomorrow, let’s invest in arts education for our youth today. Studies show that early arts engagement for students from low socio-economic backgrounds significantly increases their likelihood of college attendance and graduation. Increased graduation rates lead to increased employability, and studies also show these students demonstrate increased volunteerism and political participation. Exposing young people from all backgrounds to the arts is an investment not only in their future, but in a collective future with an employed and engaged next generation.
Researching the Benefits of Art Museums—A Nationwide Study
One of the most pressing needs in the cultural sector is to identify the difference that art museums make in people’s lives and to demonstrate this value with evidence that can withstand intense scrutiny. Without research-based data, art museums and art educators will not succeed in convincing policymakers and civic leaders that museums are vital to civic life, leading to the significant reduction or even absence of opportunities to engage with original works of art as an integral part of education and community experiences. That museums are more than nice—they are necessary. To begin to answer the question, The National Art Education Association (NAEA) Museum Education Division and the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) joined forces to conduct a nationwide, four-year intensive research study on the impact of single visit art museum school programs.
UPDATED! Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts for National Arts & Humanities Month
October is National Arts & Humanities Month, a time to celebrate and champion the arts locally and nationally. The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts bring us joy, help us express our values, and build bridges between cultures. The arts are also a fundamental component of a healthy community—strengthening them socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even in difficult social and economic times. The effective arts advocate needs a full quiver of case-making arrows to articulate the value of the arts in as many ways as possible—from the passionately inherent to the functionally pragmatic. To help fill your quiver, I offer an updated Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts.
Impact Investing in the Arts: Bringing arts and business together for economic and social impact
Arts organizations are situated in a prime spot in society for changing community outcomes, but are not recognized or leveraged by impact investors as a critical resource. Can you imagine a world in which capital is connected with arts organizations that dually function as social entrepreneurship firms, B Corps, and employee-owned co-ops? This very well could be the future of social impact investing. There is a rising tide of organizations working to facilitate the interaction between investors and arts organizations that create a social and financial return, both in the USA and abroad. We could be finally witnessing the genesis of a trend that whittles away the wrongly perceived line dividing artists from economic contributors.
A New School Year Means New Opportunities for Arts Education in Schools and Communities
As the new school year has officially begun across the country, I feel a renewed sense of possibility for the role the arts can play in learning, in all subjects, in the year ahead. Even greater, I feel a new sense of opportunity for the role the arts can play in cultivating new awareness and understandings for students of all ages, across our communities.
Daily Inspiration to Fight the Good Fight: Gard’s “To Change the Face and Heart of America”
As many of you are aware, the Wisconsin Idea at public universities is under attack in many states—one of them sadly being Wisconsin. Allocations by states to their universities are either reflecting this ideology or simply the tough choices created by fiscal reality. Lacking the affluent alumni and profit-generating research, arts and humanities departments in particular are in peril. This flies in the face of Gard’s own legacy in Wisconsin. There is a forgetting, as Gard points out, that the arts “enable the individual to explore the creative potential of his intellectual and emotional self, and … can result in new understanding of the human environment.”
Why We Celebrate: The Power of Youth Voice
We don’t empower young people for the simple concept of empowering young people—but instead because it is the right thing to do. How dare we sit around as adults to discuss the future of arts education without the young people who participate and benefit from that arts education present? Additionally, I know that from experiences like advocating publicly, we are building the leadership skills of the next generation through intergenerational dialogue and cyclical mentorship. We learn just as much from young people as they do from us. Lastly, we know that decision-makers respect the power of authentic youth voice, speaking from experience. So, my message this National Arts in Education Week is simple: Let us take the lead of our youth to support a shared vision for the future of arts education in America.