From Blues to the “Peanutcracker,” Government Support for the Arts Helps Create Access for All
It’s easy to rattle off numbers, but what does this increase in funding really mean? Great projects across the country will now get to continue. Last year, the NEA recommended more than 2,400 grants in nearly 16,000 communities in every congressional district in the country. A review of NEA grants shows that the majority go to small and medium-sized organizations, and the diversity among these grant recipients is unmatched by any other U.S. funder. One grant program, “Challenge America,” is dedicated to reaching underserved communities—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.
Driving Workforce Engagement Through the Arts
ABC/NY’s spring panel and networking reception brought together cross-sector experts to discuss how the arts and intentionally-designed spaces can build competitive advantage and address core retention, engagement, and creativity challenges in the workplace.
Are You as Connected as You Could Be? Introducing our Member Briefing Series
On February 8, Americans for the Arts launched our Arts Mobilization Center, which serves as a hub for all of our position papers. The Mobilization Center is available to the public and is intended to be a tool to help you advocate for the arts. Then, to help our members be the most effective advocates they can be, we launched a regular member briefing series on March 23. These are 30 minute calls available exclusively to members around a specific issue statement, topic area, or program update. During each call, Americans for the Arts senior staff members and I provide background on a given topic, then we take your questions live!
Leveraging the Power of the Arts: Collaboration Between the Arts and Business is Transforming Palm
A few weeks ago, Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce released the results of a comprehensive cultural industry impact study. Florida, with 3.3 percent growth, is in the top five states for the fastest-growing arts and culture job markets in the nation. The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County has made it a priority to harness this economic power and put it to work to build more robust cultural facility infrastructure, promote arts districts, and cultivate an ever-stronger community of artists.
Creating the Right Visual Hierarchy for Your Website
The ugly truth is: over the past 15 years, our patience has decreased. If you structure your web content into logical patterns, the chance of the average visitor leaving your site will decrease!
The Art of Science
Too often, the realms of art and business are separated from one another—dismissed as being two entirely different worlds that don’t belong on the same plane. There are those, however, who see the importance of building bridges between these two realms, and see how these bridges can better the two sides, if they are partnered together in the right way. Roche Tissue Diagnostics (known locally as Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.) in Oro Valley, AZ is one such company that seeks to join the worlds of art and business.
Arts + Youth Living with Cancer: A Thoughtful Approach
Successfully working with children and teens living with cancer and other chronic, serious health issues takes a multi faceted, creative approach. This special population requires flexibility—learning photography in a rigorous out-of-hospital photography program like Pablove Shutterbugs (that has sometimes been compared to a high school level fundamentals course) may seem inconsequential for families who tirelessly care for their children in some of the most challenging life circumstances anyone could ever face. However, research has shown that the arts have the ability to unify and empower, and with cancer patients, the arts can be a critical piece to improving quality of life.
Advocacy & Arts: Have You Seen the Ads?
Elected leaders care deeply about the areas they represent and the views of their constituents who elect them every few years. They may not agree with what they think, but they do care to know what they think—and it is certainly one key factor that weighs on how they cast their votes, what issues they focus on, and what areas they deepen their knowledge. Since we know that ads bring attention to issues, inspire and educate the public, and mobilize grassroots, they are one great way to invite data and impact stories that can lead to policy change. And, we know that legislators read their local newspapers, so the message gets through.
Helping Veterans Build Connections Between Creative Arts Therapy Programs and Their Local Arts
The past five years have been a renaissance for those of us who incorporate the arts into our work with Veterans. However, as professionals who deeply engage in this work each day, we are aware that gaps remain in the continuum of care provided to Veterans. One such gap is in the transition from clinic to home-based care. Many service members and Veterans receive intensive therapy, including creative arts therapy, following an injury or illness and then return to their own corners of the world, which are disproportionately rural and isolated.
The Mission of Theater: The Contract of Showtime
There are basic contracts theater makers enter with each other when they start a project. These unwritten rules govern the creation of a piece of theater. We understand that what is shared at a performance is only between those who are there, and although the performance disappears forever once the lights are dimmed, what was shared remains and is carried by the audience. For the veterans who tell their stories through theater, their burdens can become a little lighter, a little more bearable—and that can make the pain of telling worthwhile.
Maine’s Statewide Census in Arts Education
An amazing collaboration in the state of Maine occurred when the Maine Arts Commission enlisted Noel Paul Stookey (the famed singer-songwriter) of Peter, Paul, and Mary to champion the statewide arts education census. The year-long effort achieved a stunning 95% response rate—making it the highest voluntary response rate on record nationally for a survey of this type. Responding principals noted that an important outcome of the census would be to advocate for assessment polices for arts education in order to gather Maine-centric, rather than national, data points that demonstrate the impact of arts education on student performance.