A Tale of Two Industries: Art and Steel, Part 2

Erie, PA has embarked on a renaissance of both art and industry through a project that leverages Erie’s industrially-rooted identity. The Art & Industry project convenes local manufacturers to share trends and career opportunities with students from Erie County Technical School, reinforcing skills students need to excel. The students then designed, fabricated and installed public art that is a lesson in the history of Erie’s people, helping to foster pride in industrial heritage that extends to the products created locally today.

2016 Speaker Series: The Convergence of Arts + Technology

Creativity is the driving force of innovative technologies. The Arts & Business Council of New York dedicated its annual speaker series on November 15, 2016, to exploring the intersection of arts and technology by showcasing companies that have developed and utilized new technologies to tap into the creative economy—transforming how the arts are accessed, produced, and funded.

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A Tale of Two Industries: Art and Steel, Part 1

In May of 1919, National Geographic magazine brandished Erie industry as being among the finest in the U.S., even likening it to that of Chicago. Nearly a century has passed since then, but that does not mean the city has lost its luster of yore. In fact, it would seem that the Gem City has instead embarked on a renaissance of both art and industry. The industrial buildings that were once the epicenter of Erie’s gritty core are undergoing a complete makeover. They have been revitalized and transformed into distinctive microbreweries, upscale urban housing, and, most recently, ideal sites for public art installations.

The Therapeutic Healing of Art Among Veterans

Studies have proven that a designed interior with emphasis on color and art provides a therapeutic experience without stress to the client/patient, and is an ideal setting to gain the best outcome from a visit to the medical office or clinic. Unfortunately, there are those who see art as a luxury or an unnecessary expense, rather than as a therapeutic healing supplement to enhance the greater purpose and to improve both internal and external health. This is one of the reasons I created The Veterans Art Venue, with a mission to exhibit, to provide, and to empower through art, beyond words. Our art evokes a thought, a reflection and a therapeutic embrace.

The Arts are a Strategy to Build Racial Equity

Today we are in the middle of an historic change moment in our country, our cities and our role in the field of the arts. Not since the 1950’s when highways connected and crisscrossed our land have we seen such a massive influx of population in our cities and immigration nationally and internationally. At a time when racial equity and social and environmental justice is being challenged at a national level we affirm our commitment to this work and stand in solidarity with our communities.

The Arts in Austin Need our Commitment and Support at this Critical Time

Austin’s title as the Live Music Capital of the World is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the value of the arts here. It is a city where you can explore the work of designers, painters, sculptors, writers, photographers, filmmakers, dancers and musicians, at any time of year, any day of the week, in a variety of venues. Creativity, however expressed, is something to be treasured, but we can take it for granted at the same time we’re worried about losing it. At this critical time, we must commit to the arts and support what we love about Austin.

Our Beta Exploration: Can Creating Art Increase Your Profits?

Organizational culture research points to significant financial benefits for companies that invest in giving. In his article for Harvard Business Review, “In the Company of Givers and Takers,” Adam Grant, Professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, states that “higher rates of giving were predictive of higher unit profitability, productivity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction, along with lower costs and turnover rates. When employees act like givers, they facilitate efficient problem solving and coordination and build cohesive, supportive cultures that appeal to customers, suppliers, and top talent alike.”

So why aren’t more companies investing in creating cultures of givers? One answer is simply that they don’t know how.

Giving Voice Through Art

I am an artist and a military spouse. I create artwork that expresses the fragile strength of life as an Army wife.  I have found that if I can express my challenges and frustrations through my art, the message is less finite or specific. The artwork is not just about me. And it’s not only cathartic to me, but it leaves room for the viewer to bring his or her own experience and voice to the visual conversation as well—in ways that words and writing can not. 

Supporting the Health of Our Veterans with the Arts

As Veterans Day approaches, we wanted to take pause to reflect on the transformative power that access to the arts has on veterans, their families, and the communities they call home. Today and tomorrow, we will be publishing blog posts exploring the impact that access to the arts and creative arts therapies has had on veterans’ recovery and reintegration—and sometimes even redeployment. But for every veteran and service member, as well as their families and loved ones, who has felt and benefitted from the transformative power of the arts, there are some decision-makers who need to be convinced. 

Robert L. Lynch Speaks of Hope, Unity, and Resilience at the End of This Presidential Election

President-Elect Trump has said, “…supporting and advocating for appreciation of the arts is important to an informed and aware society. As President, I would take on that role.” Americans for the Arts hopes for a White House and administration that supports the nonprofit arts community, the local and state arts support infrastructures, as well as independent artists and creative entrepreneurs. We will work hard to advance pro-arts policies and strengthen our efforts to transform communities through the arts. It is more important than ever that we use the arts to help the economy, our communities, families and children, and our nation to seek hope, opportunity, and ultimately to come together.

Inside the Culture Wars Maelstrom of the 1990s

In 1994 while working at Walker Art Center, I presented Ron Athey’s Four Scenes in a Harsh Life. The sold-out performance was well received by an audience of about 100. Post-show discussions with the artist, attended by eighty people, were thoughtful and engaging. Theatre and dance critics had been invited—none chose to attend. Three weeks after the event, a visual art critic from the Minneapolis StarTribune called, wanting to verify someone’s distorted, fantastical version of the performance. She did not want to meet in person, and warned me to look for her lead story on the front page the next morning.

There are More Than 31 Ways to #ShowYourArt

National Arts and Humanities Month was a perfect time to try new ways to engage with you, our members and stakeholders, as well as the general public through our ever-growing social networks including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. This year, we upped the stakes of our traditional social media sharing campaign, #ShowYourArt, by creating 31 arts-related themes—one for each day of the month—and challenging you to show us your art on Instagram each day in October. If I’m being completely honest, I was nervous as Oct. 1 approached. I wasn’t sure if anyone would hear our call and respond. Or if they did, would the enthusiasm last?

Celebrating Businesses That Partner with the Arts at the BCA 10 Gala

Now in its 12th year, this black-tie gala presented by Americans for the Arts’ Business Committee for the Arts brought an evening of stories and musical performances that showcased the great gain in the business and arts communities coming together. The companies recognized this year join an illustrious list of honorees who are transforming their businesses and their communities by partnering with the arts to foster innovation, engage employees, and contribute to the health and quality of local life.

National Creative Conversation on Facebook

Creative Conversations started in 2004 as a program through the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network, bringing together individuals in their communities to talk about the arts & culture and creativity, with a goal to generate partnerships and increase energy and awareness around grassroots efforts. Meeting people where they are is a key focus of local work and of particular interest in fostering space for conversation and gathering. Knowing that organizational budgets and individual resources can be limited or non-existent makes in-person national dialogue difficult. So how could we easily meet people “where they are” on a national scale? 

The Stories of National Arts and Humanities Month

National Arts and Humanities Month is a celebration of the creative work that reaches and translates our stories to communities across the country. The month-long celebration represents a collective collaboration between Americans for the Arts, local arts agencies, artists, and individuals to build an archive of creative actions and give individual and community stories a national platform.

Using Data to Advance the Arts: A Legislator’s Perspective

If it’s true, as some say, money is the mother’s milk of politics, then I would argue that data, anecdotes and experience are the meat and potatoes of good policy. And since policymakers are driven to do the right thing and want to meet the expectations and needs of their constituents, they will choose the will of their voters over those of special interests whenever they have the data, anecdotes, and experience to back up those decisions. This is especially important when advocating for the arts. Americans for the Arts’ Research Department has made policymakers’ jobs a bit easier by placing a variety of tools and services literally at our fingertips.

And the Award Goes To...

We all know those hard working teachers who get up extra early and are in their classrooms long before students have arrived, preparing for the day’s lessons. These are the same teachers who spend their own money on extra supplies for their students. They stay after school advising various clubs to provide students more experiences in the arts. They go the extra mile to take their students on field trips to hear the local orchestra, or attend the art museum in their community. These are the amazing educators who love and care about the welfare of their students. How do we honor these individuals? I suggest an Awards Alternative.

We Love You: Photographer Bryon Summers Honors 1,000+ Black Males

Photographer Bryon Summers is traveling around the country with his camera in hand, taking intimate portraits of more than 1,000 Black males of all ages for his We Love You project. Summers aims to dispel the often dehumanizing and negative stereotypes of Black males portrayed in mainstream media. Summers wants to remind Black males of all ages that they belong, they are seen, and most importantly, that they are loved.

Pointers for Investing in Emerging Technologies

How can an arts marketer keep on top of the emerging tech while staying strategic, mission-centric and goal-oriented?

Why Data is Essential for Marketing Success in The Arts

The reason gathering data is so important is because it can help your organization understand your community needs, interests and how to better target your marketing efforts. With the rise of social media, there are more ways to reach your constituents than ever before, but it also means there is more data available than ever before.

Is Arts Marketing Knowledge Being Marginalized?

Frequently, those with less marketing knowledge are able to influence organizational decisions about which photographs to use, what copy should communicate, where paid ads are placed, what is posted on social media, and so on. And marketing staff is often blamed for ineffective marketing over which they had less than total control.

Innovation in the Digital Arts

The most important part of content today (besides telling an incredible story) is how audiences are able to engage. Engagement is one of the primary keys that has bolstered the success of digital content. 

Great Public Art Has the Power to Change Communities

Artistically, we want to provide Spartanburg residents and visitors with unique and dramatic experiences while redefining public spaces, reducing crime, re-energizing our neighborhoods, educating, and fostering greater pride of place.

Making Connections through Radical Hospitality

City Lights Theater Company treats patrons, artists, staff, and board members with the utmost warmth, respect, and what we call “radical hospitality.” Since we have established this core value, we have seen a significant increase in ticket sales, season-pass holders, individual contributions, and board engagement. 

Tooting Our Own Horns: Sharing Campaign Success Stories

Let’s talk about all the work you’ve put in during the last year. Your successes. Your failures … er … learning opportunities. I can’t stress enough how valuable this information is to your peers. If you’ve found something that works, let the sector know! 

Is Your Organization More Maverick than Iceman? Tips on Avoiding the “Danger Zone”

Simply by attending this year’s NAMP Conference, you’re already identifying yourself and your organization as interested in being at least a bit more like Iceman: you are undoubtedly interested in picking up some best practices on how to run your organization or department better over the long term. 

Are the Arts in America Really for Everyone?

Despite the fact that minority communities are the emerging majority, diversity in the arts isn’t growing at the speed of reality. This paints a very troubling picture of what can be the “future” of arts in America—a future which, if trends continue, is less diverse than the American public.

Social Media Is Your Mission. Your Mission Is Social Media.

As an arts marketer, if you're not getting great at social media, you are cheating yourself, your organization, and your audience. Saying that the interfaces and jargon aren't relevant is comparable to blowing off email in the 90s, the fax in the 80s, or telephones before that.

The Audience of the Future: <strike>Out</strike> In With the Old, In With the New

Only when arts organizations seek to grow the loyalty of every person who walks through the door—from the first-timers to the long-timers—will we see the sustainable revenue that allows us to innovate and grow.

Marketing in Pursuit of Purpose

Many nonprofit arts organizations would say they are just like REI—driven by values, and focused on the community. But as a unique co-op retail business, REI has succeeded in showing their members what it really means to belong to something bigger than themselves.

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