Over the course of the last half century, together we have witnessed monumental changes in the arts in America at the federal, state, and local levels all across the country. Americans for the Arts officially kicks off its 50th Anniversary with a press event on January 20 and with the simultaneous running of sponsorship advertisements on National Public Radio. Throughout the year many activities and programming will be part of the 50th Anniversary celebration. Americans for the Arts invites you—our members and arts supporters from communities in every part of the nation—to participate in the celebration of the arts during the anniversary year. Here is a preview of what 2010 has in store.
Robert Redford, serving as honorary chair of the 50th Anniversary celebration, announced his commitment at the 2009 National Arts Awards.
The National Arts Index is a new annual measure of the health and vitality of arts in the United States covering the 11-year period from 1998 to 2008. The index is composed of 76 national-level indicators of arts and cultural activity showing the current condition and health of the arts. Go to ArtsBlog to hear a podcast.
The Half-Century Summit, Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, took place this June in Baltimore, Maryland, where more than 1,000 arts professionals, elected officials, community leaders, artists, educators, students, and corporate and foundation leaders gathered. The conference afforded a broad spectrum of leaders the necessary tools to make a positive impact on their communities back home as well as an opportunity to plan for the dynamic future of the arts in America.
The local, state, and national arts fields have seen tremendous growth and change over the past 50 years. During the Field Founders session at The Half-Century Summit (pdf, 99KB), leaders discussed legendary stories and their foretelling of the future. This session culminated a year-long research contract by Maryo Gard Ewell to create a chronology of the years that led to the founding of Americans for the Arts, and its earliest years as an organization.
Americans for the Arts 50th Anniversary Timeline captures the history of not only Americans for the Arts but also national arts policy history and we invite you to share your organizations history on advancing the arts as well. When you get to the timeline click show sources at the bottom and you can choose to have the timeline display national arts policy history, Americans for the Arts history, or both.
Why Arts Matter Video Contest is created in honor of the 50th Anniversary. We are asking you to celebrate the arts in America by creating a video that tells "Why the Arts Matter" to you! Join people across the country who are sharing their inspirations, favorite art forms, and why the arts matter in their lives.
The Americans for the Arts Action Fund wants your help to keep the arts in schools, improving the overall academic performance and test scores of our country's children and teaching them the creative skills they'll need to succeed in the 21st century. Be part of the largest grassroots arts advocacy movement in the country. In March 2010, we launched a new and improved website providing you with more information, tools, and opportunities to play your part and join the movement.
Arts Link, Americans for the Arts quarterly member newsletter will launch a re-envisioned magazine format in the spring of 2010 featuring even more tools and examples from both Americans for the Arts and your peers in the arts field to educate, equip, and inspire you and your work to advance the arts. Arts Link is a benefit to Americans for the Arts members so if you are not already a professinal member be sure to join today to receive the historic first re-envisioned edition of Arts Link.
National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is a coast-to-coast collective celebration of culture held every October and coordinated by Americans for the Arts. From arts center open houses to mayoral proclamations to banners and media coverage, communities across the United States join together to recognize the importance of arts and culture in our daily lives. The winners of the "Why Arts Matter" video contest will be announced during the 2010 NAHM in honor of Americans for the Arts 50th Anniversary. We’re celebrating by partnering with emerging leaders to host Creative Conversations.
The United States House Representatives Honors and Salutes Americans for the Arts on its 50th Anniversary
On September 23, 2010 The United States House Representatives unanimously passed Resolution 1582 by voice vote: "Honoring and saluting Americans for the Arts on its 50th anniversary." Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) spoke to the accomplishments of Americans for the Arts in her introduction to the Resolution:
"I thank Americans for the Arts and all their wonderful staff and all the people that have devoted their working careers to this noble effort and for their wonderful, fine achievements over the past 50 years. I am sure that the next 50 will be filled with even more accomplishments, and that we will all continue to enjoy the richness that the arts provide to each of our lives."