December 13, 2010—In 1968, 7,000 companies were asked how much they give to the arts and why they give to the arts. In the original BCA Survey of Business Support of the Arts which was conducted in partnership with the National Industrial Conference Board we learned that businesses give to the arts to improve corporate image, improve sales and services, aid employee recruitment, attract other industries to the area, encourage tourism and benefit employees, community and society.
In the current study, many of these same reasons still resonate with the business community. More than three-fourths (79 percent) of businesses say that the arts increase name recognition while 74 percent say that the arts offer networking opportunities and the potential to develop new business. About two-thirds (66 percent) say that the arts stimulate creative thinking, problem solving and team building. While half agree that arts support has the potential to increase their bottom line and slightly fewer believe that the arts can offer special benefits to their employees and that the arts can help recruit and retain employees.
Also according to the BCA survey, businesses do not predict a turnaround in overall charitable giving for 2010. Just 10 percent of arts supporters will increase giving to the arts in 2010 while more than twice as many companies expect to decrease giving. Of course, this probably isn’t a surprise to many of you who are out there fundraising or working with smaller philanthropic budgets. However, with limited philanthropic budgets, businesses are making strategic decisions about who to fund and how it fits with their business priorities. Arts organizations need to effectively message to the business community about how the arts are uniquely able to partner with businesses to advance their business priorities.
What the Ballot Box Results Mean for the Arts
November 23, 2010—It’s hard to believe that the 2010 elections were 20 days ago today. For those of us who work in politics the day is akin to a holiday but just because the elections our over it doesn’t mean our work is finished – in fact we have a lot ahead of us. Now is the time when we sit down and figure out what the results from the ballot box mean for the arts and arts education.
Political junkies aren’t the only ones who should care about the election results though. What happened on November 2, 2010 will have a far reaching impact on arts and arts education organizations throughout the country.
Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs at Americans for the Arts and Executive Director of the Arts Action Fund, was kind enough to take a few moments to share her greatest insights from the 2010 election. You are encouraged to take a few moments to listen – you might find yourself caring about politics more than you think.
For members of Americans for the Arts, check out the Post-Election Impact Webinar from November 18. You can also check out the 2010 Congressional Arts Report Card to find out how legislators voted for the arts this year.
The Arts as an International Force for Change
November 18, 2010—Twenty-five Chinese Ministry of Culture executives just left my office. It was exciting to learn about Chinese cultural investment in projects -- from massive contemporary visual art colonies in Beijing and Shanghai to an exploding phenomenon of cultural festivals in cities and villages throughout their colossal country. They in turn were eager to learn how the arts industry is structured and supported in the United States. As they were leaving my office, 35 French, Belgian and Spanish business leaders arrived with the cultural officer from the French Embassy. They, too, were excited to learn how the arts industry is supported in the United States
Last month, I was brought in to speak to arts groups and government and business leaders in Amsterdam; other Americans for the Arts staff members went or will go to Brussels, London, Korea, and Germany just this fall. Each of these countries wants to learn how the arts industry in America is supported and how private sector giving to the arts works. They are especially curious about how business donations "flow" into the bank accounts of U.S. arts organizations, and to capture the compelling arguments that motivate elected officials to "shower" the arts with public dollars and supportive policymaking in America.
What is going on? World governments are increasingly excited about the economic power of the arts and the value of cultural exchange in a changing world. Because the prodigious levels of government support in Europe and Asia are diminishing, they want to better understand our American advocacy techniques. And as they observe the sea of corporate logos on the backs of most U.S. performing arts programs, they want to know America's secret to eliciting substantial business support for the arts.
However, the leaders from these other countries are often quite disappointed when I tell them that the result of our mightiest, most sophisticated advocacy efforts generates just 9 percent of the total income for U.S. nonprofit arts organizations. Equally disappointing is that private sector support in America is only 31 percent, mostly from individuals. Business support -- despite all the logos and brand recognition -- is only about 5 percent. Yet these foreign leaders and delegations keep coming because they see the breadth of creative and innovative arts organization we have here. They see the freedom of ideas, the variety and the sheer pluck and entrepreneurial spirit of America's arts community.
In September 2009, at the Sundance Preserve, Robert Redford and I convened our fourth National Arts Policy Roundtable for CEOs, elected officials and opinion leaders to discuss how the arts strengthen 21st century global communities by helping create better understanding and stronger relationships between the U.S. and the world .
Thinking about this 21st century global marketplace, four key cultural imperatives jumped out:
The arts are a global economic force.
The arts are an aggressive part of today's international competitive marketplace.
Improved cultural understanding is essential in international dialogue.
The arts make dramatic contributions to our national security.
The report complements what has been a recent growth of dialogue and interest in making a case for the strength of the arts in U.S. diplomacy and with key decision-makers. Margaret (Peggy) Ayers at the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation has pioneered groundbreaking research on our private sector's role in supporting U.S. cultural exchange. Former Congressman John Brademas, with his Brademas Center for the Study of Congress' Project on Cultural Diplomacy at NYU, is spearheading an effort to reinvigorate Congress' role in supporting the arts in our cultural diplomacy efforts.
Our U.S. State Department is making some positive moves in this direction. Earlier this year, the State Department sponsored a partnership with Brooklyn Academy of Music to take three dance companies on tour throughout the world. More recently, that agency announced a partnership with the Bronx Museum of the Arts to take the work of contemporary U.S. visual artists on tour.
These are good efforts, but more is needed on all fronts. The U.S. government must invest much more than the $10 million or so it now appropriates for use toward international cultural activity. While arts advocacy groups last year proposed that Congress add $10 million to the current amount already appropriated, that dollar amount is just a fraction of what is needed in today's world. Just peak in my office door to see who is interested from across the globe -- our competitors are on our doorstep.
For years, at the local level, city arts commissions and local and state arts councils have hosted cultural and economic delegations from throughout the world and sent similar American delegations overseas in search of economic and cultural partnerships. Sister Cities organizations have often been at the core of such local efforts. This citizen-to-citizen intimacy and the success of such efforts is being celebrated this week in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Summit & Initiative for Global Citizen Diplomacy, where former Chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts Frank Hodsoll and former U.S. Ambassador Cynthia Schneider have spearheaded an effort recognizing some of our nation's best cultural diplomacy efforts, and honoring leaders such as Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute.
So bravo to the low-budget (or no budget) individuals, communities and states that reach out, one arts action at a time, to help our nation be better understood. And thanks to our U.S. State Department leaders for taking a step toward renewed, rejuvenated partnerships with our very own United States arts resources. I look forward to even bigger leaps and even more successful participation in the future.
Robert L. Lynch, Huffington Post
NAMPC Wrap Up! Thanks for Participating!
November 17, 2010—The National Arts Marketing Conference has come to a close! A big thanks to all those who participated this year in San Jose and we hope to see you next year in Louisville!
Attendee, Grace-Sonia Melanio, summarizes her NAMPC take-aways on ArtsBlog and notes that "over the course of the conference, I’ve learned about the many ways arts organizations have cleverly responded, while becoming more nimble, thoughtful, and artistically richer as a result."
Whether you attended this year's conference or not, check out the highlights, or tune into the livestream of some conference sessions.
Let's also keep the Twitter talk going with hashtag #NAMPC.
Arts Advocacy Day 2011 Registration OPEN
November 10, 2010—National Arts Advocacy Day Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington, DC April 4–5, 2011
Next year, more than 100 new members of Congress will take office as a result of the elections earlier this month. As these newly elected congressional leaders focus on creating jobs and growing the economy, it is imperative that arts advocates help educate them to understand the profound role the arts play in federal policies such as spurring economic growth and job creation. Coordinated by Americans for the Arts, the 24th Annual National Arts Advocacy Day brings together arts, education, entertainment, and policy leaders from across the country to develop strong public policies and support for increased public funding for the arts and arts education.
LEARN how to lobby congress.
NETWORK with other attendees from your state and across the country.
BE HEARD by your members of Congress when you visit them to make the case for the arts and arts education.
Follow Us. Use the tag, #AAD2011, to spread the word about Arts Advocacy Day!
Can't Make it to NAMPC? Livestream Available!
November 05, 2010—Want to be at the NAMP Conference, November 12–15, but your travel budget won’t allow? We understand, and we are bringing part of the conference to you!
For the first time, we will be live streaming portions of the NAMP Conference. With support from Livestream.com, you will be able to participate in daily discussions, including:
There’s an App for That: Mobile Marketing Strategies on Saturday, November 13, 4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. PST
Plenary Lunch with Susan Medak on Sunday, November 14, 12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m. PST
Closing Plenary with Chip Conley on Monday, November 15, 10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m. PST
Simply visit our Livestream channel at www.livestream.com/nampconference2010 and feel like you are at The Fairmont San Jose with more than 600 colleagues. You will even be able to post questions in real time!
Want more ways to connect with the conference from your desk? Follow our Twitter talk with hashtag #NAMPC10 and watch interviews with attendees on our conference media page.
Arts Response to the 2010 Election
November 04, 2010—Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch gave the following statement on the Election Day results:
“Frustration with the nation’s lack of economic recovery is clearly top of mind among voters and candidates. Likewise, nonprofit arts organizations have also felt the sting of the recession with state and local government arts funding dropping as much as 16 percent, and private charitable gifts to the arts declining $1.2 billion in just two years. Additionally, individual artists have been experiencing unemployment at twice the rate of other educated, professional workers.
As our newly-elected leaders at the federal, state, and local levels focus on creating jobs and growing the economy, it is imperative that they understand the profound role the arts play in spurring economic growth and job creation. The nation’s 100,000 nonprofit arts organizations are part of the small business sector, and the nation’s 2.2 million professional artists are among the millions of business entrepreneurs fueling the economy. It is also important that our newly-elected leaders appreciate the connection between arts education training and the development of creative and innovative workforce skills, which are essential to future workers to compete effectively in the 21st Century global economy.
For the past four years, the House of Representatives initiated several hearings to spotlight the role of the arts in both the economy and in workforce development, yielding more than $100 million in new public investments in the arts and culture. Americans for the Arts looks forward to working with the bipartisan Congressional Arts Caucus and Senate Cultural Caucus on Capitol Hill to continue educating freshman members on how the arts fuel our nation’s economy. We want to congratulate three of the four Caucus members who were up for re-election on their convincing win last night and look forward to working closely with them in the 112th Congress. They are Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Representative Todd Platts (R-PA), and Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY). We also look forward to working with Representative Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Representative Mark Kirk (R-IL), both already champions of the arts in the House, as they move into their newly elected Senate seats.
At the state government level, several arts champions— based on their record in other public offices or platform statements—have been elected as Governor. They include Governors-elect Jerry Brown (D-CA), Tom Corbett (R-PA), Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Lincoln Chaffee (I-RI), Mark Dayton (D-MN), John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Rick Snyder (R-MI).
Locally, there were 232 Mayoral elections in cities with a population of over 30,000. Among the many new promising arts champions, Providence, RI Mayor-Elect Angel Taveras and Louisville, KY Mayor-elect Greg Fischer identified the arts as a way to harness local talent and creative energy to power the economy.
Americans for the Arts will soon begin conducting the next installment of national research to document the size, impact, and trends of the nonprofit arts industry for its Arts and Economic Prosperity IV study. The previous study demonstrated that the nonprofit arts industry generates $166.2 billion of economic activity annually, which supports 5.7 million full-time equivalent jobs.”
Americans for the Arts will be undertaking a number of comprehensive initiatives to welcome and educate new members of Congress, but we can’t do this without you! Starting today and in the next few months, we ask you to:
Send a letter of congratulations to each elected leader representing your community (federal, state, and local levels) and identify yourself or your organization as a resource on arts policy issues.
Ask all freshman members of Congress to begin thinking about joining the bipartisan Congressional Arts Caucus or Senate Cultural Caucus. We will be sending more information about this in the coming weeks.
Work with your state and local arts advocacy organizations to develop a unified message to your newly-elected state and local leaders.
Save the dates of April 4-5, 2011 to come to Washington, DC for National Arts Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. We especially need grassroots advocates representing the districts and states of newly elected Congressional members.
Become an official member of Americans for the Arts Action Fund, it’s free and it helps you stay connected to all the latest political breaking news impacting the arts.
"Why Arts Matter" Video Contest Winners
October 25, 2010—
In celebration of our 50th Anniversary, we held a video contest where we asked you to tell us "Why Arts Matter". We heard from a number of arts enthusiasts, and amidst National Arts and Humanities Month, we are happy to announce the winners.
Congratulations to the winners, and thank you for all the inspirational and creative submissions!
An excerpt of the winning video will be shown four times every hour from Monday, October 25th — Sunday, October 31st on MTV's 44 1/2 screen, the largest HD screen in Times Square. On Saturday, October 30th at 5:00pm Starting Artists is hosting a viewing party open to the public across from the screen on Broadway between 44th and 45th Streets, which students will document with their new Flip UltraHD camera. If you happen to be in New York City, stop by Time Square to show your support!
Robert Lynch Looks Towards the Future of the Arts
October 14, 2010—During a recent interview with Philanthropy News Digest, Robert Lynch, Americans for the Arts CEO, shares his thoughts about the state of the arts in America, what arts and cultural organizations can and should be doing to weather the Great Recession, and what the digital future holds in store for artists, arts organizations, and all who support them.
October 18, 2010—Every October, in honor of National Arts & Humanities Month, Americans for the Arts partners with emerging leaders from across the country to host Creative Conversations. Creative Conversations are local gatherings of emerging leaders in communities across the country and are part of a grassroots movement to elevate the profile of arts in America.
The events below are sweeping the country this week.
October 25 - Creative Action Group – Baltimore, MD
October 25 – Is Digital Art and Music Art – Columbia, SC
October 26 – Networking Event: Hampton Road’s Emerging Arts Leaders – Virginia Beach, VA
October 26 – It’s Not Scary to be a Leader – Cincinnati, OH
October 27 – Assessing Artistic Vibrancy – Cleveland, OH
October 27 – Shifting Generations in the Arts Management Workplace – Washington, DC
October 27 – Creative Conversation at Pecha Kucha – Providence, RI
October 28 – Pittsburgh EAL – Creative Conversation 2010 The Arts in Society, Education, Legislation, and the Economy. Where do you stand? – Pittsburgh, PA
October 28 – A Career in Arts Administration - Risks, Rewards, and How to Avoid Burnout – New Brunswick, NJ
October 28 – OYAA Conversation: Governance – Omaha, NE
October 28 - Disobedience and Innovation: Inspiring Change – New York, NY
October 29 - Emerging Leaders Phoenix 2010 Creative Conversation: Are You Linked In? – Phoenix, AZ
October 29 – Creative Conversations: ARTS CRAWL – San Diego, CA
October 29 – Face Off! A wild conversation with Executive Leaders – Atlanta, GA
October 30 - Global Citizenship: Promoting Education through the Arts – Dallas, TX
It's a Wrap: Arts Marketing Blog Salon Closes
October 19, 2010—With almost 6,000 views, 73 comments, 15 bloggers, hundreds of tweets and retweets, and hundreds more of Facebook likes, the salon was a perfect way to jump start the National Arts Marketing Project Conference: New. Tech. New Tools. New Times.
A huge thank you to our bloggers:
Ian David Moss
All their contributions were thoughtful, smart, relatable, and well presented. They shared their ideas with ease and honesty, and we can't wait to hear what they all have to say when they present at the NAMP Conference in San Jose, November 12-15.
National Arts and Humanities Month is Here!
October 05, 2010—Americans for the Arts wishes you a happy National Arts and Humanities Month this October! We hope you take the time to participate in some of this month’s activities that make up the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation.
We’re celebrating by partnering with emerging leaders to host Creative Conversations. Celebrate with us. Add your event!
Five simple ways you can participate in National Arts and Humanities Month:
Use the National Arts and Humanities Month Map to find activities in your community or post your own.
Host an emerging leader Creative Conversation in your community. Last year more than 1,500 emerging arts leaders met in 43 locations across the country!
Check out submissions in the “Why Arts Matter” video contest. The viewers choice winner will be selected based on number of views, so tune in before October 8 and share with your friends!
Celebrate the 45th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the 50th anniversary of Americans for the Arts by viewing the new 50th anniversary timeline which is still in development. You can zoom in or out on the timeline to view a history of national arts policy and Americans for the Arts. Soon you will be able to add your own important events and dates.
Visit the National Arts and Humanities Month webpage where you will find tools and information about celebrating the arts in your community. Discover arts tips for parents, a list of 101 things you can do to celebrate the arts in October, and much more.
Creative Spirit of Our Nation
September 24, 2010—It was almost 200 years ago, after a day and night of relentless attack by the British in Baltimore, that the flag of the United States of America stood against the morning sky and inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to the "The Star-Spangled Banner." I recently saw two widely varied interpretations of our national anthem. One was a beautifully arranged choral production by The Baltimore Choral Arts Chamber Chorus which included the not-often heard second stanza. The second was a uniquely choreographed dance production by Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble that -- through the dance steps of Americans from many ethnic backgrounds and many time periods -- illustrated the origins and history of our nation. I viewed all of this while having the privilege of gathering with 1,000 arts leaders from across the United States at the Americans for the Arts 50th Anniversary Half-Century Summit held in Baltimore.
We heard stories of spectacular public art projects in San Jose, CA; successful business and arts collaborations in Philadelphia; key arts efforts in the struggle for greener communities in places like Seattle; and ideas for how the arts have helped inform and inspire our military leaders ever since that night in 1814 when a poem, a song, and a piece of visual art -- a flag -- melded into one statement as our national anthem.
I was struck by the resilience and dedication and survival skills exhibited again and again by the arts community in our country. It was a good first-hand reminder of what I testified to last year to the United States House of Representatives Committee that oversees federal arts funding and earlier to the House Committee on Education and Labor. I had both great news and tougher news to share about the arts in our country.
The great news is that for the last 50 years, the arts have been an astounding growth industry in the United States. Some 7,000 not-for-profit arts organizations in the mid-60s have now multiplied to 100,000 dance, theater, music, visual arts, media, and other arts organizations like The Baltimore Choral Arts Chamber Chorus and Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, serving every town of every size in our nation. Add to that another 586,000 for profit arts businesses like the local music store or dance school along with Broadway and Hollywood and you have an industry that makes up 4.2 percent of all American businesses. And the good news continues in that the 100,000 not-for-profit arts organizations alone bring the gift of the arts -- the new ideas and joy and pain that experiencing a painting or a play can convey to child or a town -- to well over half of the American public each year.
But I had to testify about the tough news, too. Where do groups like the Chorus and Dance Ensemble get the funds to exist, to experiment, and to survive? In this current economic climate virtually every arts organization in America faces some kind of financial setback. The not-for-profit arts get their financial support from three main categories: 50% from earned revenue, like ticket sales; 40% from private donations mostly from individuals, plus some foundations and corporations; and then 10% from government -- mostly local government, then state, and finally a tiny but important contribution from the federal government.
In a fragile ecosystem of support, each of these sources is important. In a bad economy each of these critical sources is challenged. Consumers have less money in their pockets to spend. Private donors are a bit more cautious as their investment portfolios are diminished, and the government gets more cautious as tax revenues decline. This tough news meant devastation and closing down for many business sectors, but the arts are mission-driven, not bottom line-driven.
There have been casualties throughout the landscape of arts organizations, but not as many as I thought there would be a year ago. There have indeed been enormous sacrifices, more than would have been necessary if the private and public funding sectors were investing more in the arts. The American public through its own purchases continues to demand dance, and theater, and poetry, and music, and visual art experiences. The 50% earned-income part of the funding equation remains strong. But the traditional 40% from the private sector has been slipping for a decade and continues to slip. And government dollars, which have never been close to adequate, continue to dwindle as tax bases erode.
Yet what I saw and heard in Baltimore this past June was the sound and look of creativity, innovation, and hope in America. It was our story -- past, present, and future -- through the arts. The lack of support for the arts can and must be fixed. It takes just a few more private and public sector leaders with vision to understand what Francis Scott Key understood in the mist on that morning with a poem, and a song, and a flag, and the future in his sight.
Robert L. Lynch, Huffington Post
U.S. House of Representatives Salutes Americans for the Arts on its 50th Anniversary
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." The House Resolution was sponsored by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), longtime Congressional Arts Caucus Co-Chair, along with 28 co-sponsors including a number of Representatives who spoke on its behalf: Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA) Co-Chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI), and Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ).
The Resolution spans the 50-year history of Americans for the Arts from its origin in 1960 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to the current day and also addresses the leadership of President and CEO Robert Lynch who has led the organization for 25 years. Representative Slaughter 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."
The Resolution recognizes a number of key contributions Americans for the Arts has made to our nation including:
playing an integral role in the establishment of the National Endowment for the Arts;
providing leadership and training to a network of Arts and Business Councils, Business Committees for the Arts, State arts agencies, State arts advocacy organizations, and 5,000 community-based local arts agencies and cultural organizations across the country;
creating groundbreaking research which demonstrates that nonprofit cultural organizations generate $166.2 billion in economic activity every year in the United States supporting 5.7 million jobs; and
focusing on the importance of arts education for American's children and creating the national, high-visibility "The Arts. Ask for More" PSA campaign.
The Resolution also recognizes Arts Advocacy Day, an annual event hosted by Americans for the Arts in cooperation with the Congressional Arts Caucus which brings more than 500 people from across the country to the nation's Capitol. Also recognized was the 23-year history of the annual Americans for the Arts Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy, which is free and open to the public and has featured such notable artists and policymakers as Maya Angelou, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Leonard Garment, Wynton Marsalis, Representatives John Brademas and Barbara Jordan, Senator Alan K. Simpson, and Robert Redford.
Americans for the Arts Council Elections
September 15, 2010—Four Americans for the Arts Advisory Councils—Public Art Network Council, Emerging Leader Council, Arts Education Council, and Private Sector Council—are currently seeking nominations for new council members to serve three year terms from January 1, 2011–December 30, 2013.
Nominate yourself or a colleague. Nominations must be received by 8:00 p.m. EDT on October 5, 2010.
Councils at Americans for the Arts are formalized working bodies that represent critical sectors of our constituency. Americans for the Arts provides dedicated research, professional development, advocacy, visibility, and partnership opportunities as part of our strategic plan to inform and affect arts practice and policy in America. Advisory councils provide volunteer work in alignment with Americans for the Arts staff projects.
Advisory Council Nomination and Elections Timeline
September 15, 2010
Call for Nominations Opens
October 5, 2010
October 25, 2010
November 23, 2010
December 13, 2010
Americans for the Arts announces new council members
January 1, 2011
New council members begin their terms
New School Year, New Blog Salon
September 13, 2010—The teachers and kids are back in school. Starbucks is selling Pumpkin Spice Lattes. The air in D.C. has cooled off for the first time since March.
Of course it’s time for another Arts Education Blog Salon.
Now in its third round, Americans for the Arts is proud to host yet another week of blogs dedicated to the topic of arts education.
This time, we have a wide range of participants – from newbies who haven’t blogged before to veterans who have been with us since the first one. Altogether, we have 17 brilliant minds ready to share information and spark debate.
Our Scheduled Blog Roster:
John Abodeely, National Partnerships Program Manager, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Allen Bell, Arts Education Research & Information Program Director, South Arts Donna Collins, Executive Director, Ohio Alliance for Arts Education Sarah Collins, Master’s Degree Candidate, University of Oregon Kim Dabbs, Executive Director, Michigan Youth Arts Rachel Evans, Assistant Professor, Kean University Mimi Flaherty Willis, Senior Director of Education, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts Zack Hayhurst, Master’s Degree Candidate, American University Tim Mikulski, Arts Education Program Manager, Americans for the Arts Heather Noonan, Vice President for Advocacy, League of American Orchestras Jim Palmarini, Director of Educational Policy, Educational Theatre Association Laura Reeder, Arts Education Instructor/Graduate Assistant, Syracuse University Victoria Saunders, Arts Education Consultant, Victoria J. Saunders Consulting Barry Shauck, President, National Art Education Association Mark Slavkin, Vice President for Education, Music Center (Los Angeles County) Lynn Tuttle, Director of Arts Education & Comprehensive Curriculum, Arizona Dept. of Education Joan Weber, Educator/Arts Education Consultant, Creativity & Associates
Please join all 17 of us throughout the week on ARTSblog and feel free to utilize the comments section to ask questions, agree with the author, or spark a debate – all in celebration of our first annual National Arts in Education Week.
Reflecting on the Labor of Artists
September 06, 2010—Labor Day has come and gone again with all its incongruities. It is a day when we celebrate laborers and the work ethic... by taking a day off. It's a national day of leisure where we heap well-deserved praise on workers, many of them working all around us, many of them right there working to help us enjoy this very national holiday.
Despite extensive television and print advertising showing the ecstatic faces of school children of all ages preparing for the new academic year by purchasing shoes and electronics, kids of all ages were depressed yesterday. I was always depressed on Labor Day and, come on, almost everyone else was too. Summer is over. Labor begins. Teachers are even more depressed. I know, I come from a teaching family. It has been this way for the more than 100 years since Labor Day began.
While many have a holiday, Labor Day is a work day for the arts. Dancers dance. Musicians make music. Performances and festivals, and nightclub acts, and arts centers, are generally all open for business. And the artists and arts administrators needed for the magic are right there to make the magic happen as they are every day.
The first Monday of September is a day when arts workers are explaining to their parents and spouses just what exactly it is that they do and why they can't come to the picnic. Just like restaurant workers, nurses, police, store clerks and firefighters.
Today's holiday was for many a well-deserved day to lie back in a hammock, sip a long stemmed glass of something cool, gaze at a piece of sculpture, read a book, see a film, go to a concert or a live show.
But I hope we all remembered that the hammocks and glassware are often handmade by American craft artists, the sculptures are done by people who feel just as hot and sweaty as anyone in a metal foundry forging away. And while many of the performing artists were working, their work was preceded by the writers and media artists who created the scripts and books and technical productions they relied on. The music, and acting, and dance was made by men and women who take risks every day (and often again every night) hoping that their work will please others, but most importantly satisfy their own high standards.
Ask any artist or arts manager the last time he or she felt relaxed and you'll hear, "relaxed, what's that?" Their labors are real, but they are labors of love.
And so as we return to work, I salute the 2.2 million artists that our U.S. Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics actually count as making their living as artists. I applaud the many millions of other artists, actors, craftspeople, dancers, who don't make the federal list because they can't derive the majority of their income from their art work but from whom we benefit every day in choruses, theaters, and design. There are 2.6 million full-time equivalent jobs supported by the expenditures of nonprofit arts and culture organizations, and 5.7 million jobs when the impact of audience expenditures is counted in. That's big -- bigger than most people know.
The arts industry received and richly deserved the $50 million investment it got from Congress through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act last year, and that alone saved or generated 1,408 jobs. And these jobs have yet to be fully tabulated so they should reach close to twice that number. These are real, tangible jobs -- arts jobs -- that we can point to and list the name of the worker who was helped. These folks paid bills, bought groceries, paid taxes, just like all the other workers from the other industries that got help. Was $50 million a painfully paltry sum? Sure. It should have been a billion dollars. Did it make a difference? Ask any one of the 1,408.
My Labor Day this year was in San Diego speaking at Art San Diego 2010 where a group of community leaders are trying to start a national level contemporary art fair, to create new markets for the work of artists and new jobs in the city. The labors continue here and in cities all across the US and, once again, the arts are right there in the lead.
Robert L. Lynch, Huffington Post
Keeping the Arts Alive, Even in a Recession
August 23, 2010—Bill Radke:So if that's how the recession is hitting boards in Britain, what is the story like here, where arts funding comes from ticket buyers and -- even more than that -- private donors?
My guest is Randy Cohen, with the national nonprofit group Americans for the Arts. Welcome.
Randy Cohen: Thank you. Good to be here.
Radke: What do you think of the assertion you just heard, that the British system of government support produces risky, innovative art? Is American art less innovative?
Cohen: No, no. The art is very innovative here in the United States. And even in a down economy, we see arts organizations still doing premieres, still doing new work. I don't think we'll ever see a significant decrease in innovation in the arts. Now, that said, when contributed support to the arts decreases, you will see arts organizations sometimes going to more popular kinds of presentations. You know, you look at the typical ballet company in this country, a big piece of its revenue stream is "The Nutcracker" around the holidays.
Radke: And is that a trend, "The Nutcracker"-ization of the arts in America, in this recession?
Cohen: It's hard to say. I think you see some arts organizations keeping up a much closer eye on the public demand. I think arts organizations need to focus on "how do we increase demand to meet the existing capacity of arts organization?" And there are also arts organizations are keeping an eye on private sector giving and the trends there. We've seen actually over the last decade, a decrease in the share of business giving going to the arts. And in this recession, in fact -- obviously, the economy has hurt things -- but the finance sector has always been the strongest within the business sector of giving to the arts. And of course, they've been hit the hardest.
Radke: The finance sector, you mean Wall Street is the biggest patron of the arts?
Cohen: Yes, among corporations, finance sector's always been very strong in supporting the arts. So, it's a bit of a double hit. But overall, what we're seeing is the business sector moving their support out of the charitable giving budgets and more towards marketing-based and sponsorship-oriented budgets. And what that does, that enables businesses to support the arts, as well as advance their business, to build markets, to get greater visibility for their investment in the arts. And so it's less of a pure philanthropic contribution, it's more purposeful.
Also, though, what we're seeing is an overall shift towards social services, human needs, that type of thing. So I think that's another issue that a lot of arts organizations are facing, as they look at where the contributed dollars are going.
Radke: Well, this is part of your job, Randy, to make the case -- and I want to know how you do it -- make the case to companies that right now, in this recession, slump, that the arts, that a new opera is more important than supporting a food bank or job training.
Cohen: Well, and it's all important, and a healthy society has food and shelter, needs being met. It also has a vibrant arts community, because the arts are fundamental component of our humanity. It's not an either/or situation. That said, arts organizations are needing to help funders understand the value they bring to the community. And so, while that great opera performance, or that great museum exhibition helps improve our quality of life, it provides other benefits as well. There's 100,000 nonprofit arts organizations. That supports 5.7 million jobs in this country. If you're a company or a government worried about jobs, that makes the arts a smart investment.
Radke: Randy Cohen with Americans for the Arts. Thanks a lot.
Cohen: Thanks for having me.
Arts Groups Make the Case
August 23, 2010—Nonprofit art organizations are big business in San Francisco, employing 28,000 people and providing tens of millions in state and local revenues. And they want politicians to pay attention.
“There is nothing more important we can do than advancing art in America,” said Randy Cohen, vice president of local arts advancement at Americans for the Arts. He said the arts have a large impact on job creation and state and local government revenue. “Arts are part of the solution, not the problem. Art means business.”
Cohen and other speakers at a public forum this week challenged candidates in the fall elections to pledge their support for the arts at a gathering held Tuesday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. It was sponsored by San Francisco art and non-profit organizations including San Francisco Grants for the Arts, the San Francisco Foundation and the San Francisco Symphony.
August 18, 2010—Americans for the Arts is proud to partner with the National Association for Business Economics once again for this special scholarship.
The NABE Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) is awarding its third annual Americans for the Arts scholarship to encourage the integration of the Arts into the economic education process.
Amount of the Award: $5,000
Award Requirements: The award recipient must come from an economic disadvantaged household, have attended a public school, participated in extracurricular programs including (and/or in addition to) programs supported by the Americans for the Arts (i.e. demonstrate a long term participation in the study of, creation in and/or performance in one or more art forms, including dance, music, theatre, literary, visual/media arts), excelled academically, and formally declared the intent to study and apply economics in their pursuit of higher education and professional career. This includes the direct study of economics for policy purposes, to applications in the private and public sectors.
Deadline for Nomination: The application and attached biography of student must be received by Americans for the Arts no later than COB on Monday, September 13, 2010.
NEA Chair Plays Role in Launch of Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts
August 10, 2010—
The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County will name its new arts center in downtown Winston Salem “Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts” in honor of its current President and CEO, Milton Rhodes. Rhodes was President and CEO of the American Council for the Arts, now Americans for The Arts. While at Americans for the Arts, Rhodes started “Arts Advocacy Day” that has become the leading opportunity for more than 600 arts organizations and individuals to meet Congressional leaders to raise issues of national concern related to arts and culture. He also helped establish The Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy, a leading national forum for arts policy intended to stimulate dialogue on policy and social issues affecting the arts.
“Saying that I am honored is understatement,” said Rhodes. “Being recognized in such a significant way in the place that I call home and that has had a special place in my heart all my adult life is overwhelming. I deeply appreciate the action of The Arts Council’s Board of Trustees, and like so many people in our city and county, I can’t wait to see the doors swing open on The Center in September. In my mind, this amazing new facility is the beginning of a new era for arts, culture and community life in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.”
Rocco Landesman, Chair, National Endowment for the Arts, will be in Winston-Salem for the opening of the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, September 10-12. Landesman was selected to head the Endowment by President Barack Obama. Prior to joining the NEA, he was a Broadway theater producer.
“I cannot think of a more appropriate way to launch The Center than by having the leading figure in the nation’s arts world here with us to emphasize the role that the arts play in all of our lives and our economy, the importance of private philanthropy, and the urgent need for greater public support to nurture and sustain the arts,” said Janie Wilson, co-chair of The Center’s opening celebration.
The opening of The Center is scheduled for early September and will be celebrated by several days of events, including a gala with entertainment by a nationally acclaimed performer and two community days of free activities and entertainment.
Arts in Education Week - September 12
July 27, 2010—Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.Con.Res. 275, legislation designating the second week of September as "Arts in Education Week." Authored and introduced by California Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA), this resolution is the first Congressional expression of support celebrating all the disciplines comprising arts education. This is a very positive showing of support for arts education and comes at a key time when Congress is making plans to overhaul federal education policy.
The resolution seeks to support the attributes of arts education that are recognized as instrumental to developing a well-rounded education such as creativity, imagination, and cross-cultural understanding. H.Con.Res. 275 also highlights the critical link between those skills and preparing our children for gaining a competitive edge in the global economy. This is an important message for policy makers to acknowledge as they prepare to reauthorize federal education policy. To send a message to your member of Congress in support for arts education, please visit our E-Advocacy Center.
As a House resolution, the bill does not require signature by the President upon its passage.
Americans for the Arts is planning an Arts Education Blog Salon for the celebratory week. The Americans for the Arts Action Fund’s 50 States 50 Days initiative will also be a way underway during this time. Resources on the Arts Action Fund website help arts advocates to use their arts institutions at home to convey their message about the arts in a setting that reinforces themes of economic development; jobs in the arts; arts education; and partnerships between artists, institutions, and local policymakers.
We realize that September 12 is right around the corner, so please get the word out to make the first Arts in Education Week a successful one!
Be Seen on MTV's 44 1/2 Screen in NYC
July 21, 2010—Americans for the Arts is back on MTV’s 44 ½ to find out why the arts matter to you! The Why Arts Matter Video Contest call for proposals ad will be running on the MTV 44 ½ screen located in Times Square from Monday, July 19 through Sunday, July 25. Those of you in New York City can see the ad being playing :10, :20, :30, :40 minutes after the hour every hour. The MTV 44 ½ screen is directly across from the MTV studios.
Why Arts Matter Video Contest is created in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Americans for the Arts. Join us in celebrating the arts in America by creating a video that tells "Why the Arts Matter" to you!
To find read about contest rules and submission details please visit the Why Arts Matter Video Contest website.
Redford Speaks on Creativity in Business
July 09, 2010—Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, interviewed Robert Redford at an event on June 24 at the Philadelphia Theater Company presented by the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (an affiliate of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce) and professional services company Towers Watson. Redford spoke about his childhood, his business experiences and the importance of creativity in business.
Two Federal Funding Opportunities
July 08, 2010—On July 7, 2010, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) held a joint webinar and announced two new funding opportunities for the arts community. NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman has been spearheading negotiations with multiple federal agencies to broaden their grant guidelines to include components for arts and culture. Local arts agencies are encouraged to work with their city and county governments to apply for these new funding opportunities to create more livable communities through the arts. The two new opportunities are the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant and a combination of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program and the Sustainable Community Challenge Grant program.
The webinar covered both new funding opportunities, highlighting where nonprofit arts groups can participate. Access the full PowerPoint now, and check back at www.hud.gov/webcasts in the coming days for the full webinar. Additionally, you can read HUD’s press release.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: The pre-application deadline is July 26, 2010 and full applications are due August 23, 2010.
Half-Century Summit a Success in Baltimore
June 30, 2010—Baltimore, MD — June 30, 2010 — More than 1,000 arts professionals, elected officials, community leaders, artists, educators, students, and corporate and foundation leaders gathered from June 25-27 in Baltimore, Maryland for the Americans for the Arts Half-Century Summit, the organization’s 50th Anniversary Annual Convention. The Summit featured a number of high-level speakers and presenters including Robert Redford, award-winning actor and arts advocate; Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor of the Huffington Post; Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts; and John Waters, noted filmmaker and best-selling author.
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 Half-Century Summit included an array of professional development sessions, visionary panels and small group discussions and was preceded by arts education and public art preconferences. Participants took advantage of a number of special events including a 50-year retrospective of public art, a one-man show by John Waters, a reception at the American Visionary Art Museum, a performance by the New York Neofuturists, and arts and cultural tours of Baltimore and the region.
KID smART Wins the Arts Education Award
June 25, 2010—Americans for the Arts presents the 2010 Arts Education Award to KID smART, a New Orleans-based arts education organization. This award is given each year to an arts education program with the best program design and leadership. KID smART has been serving New Orleans for more than 10 years, serving more than 16,000 underserved students at 110 different locations. Last year alone, the program helped nearly 3,000 students. In 2006 KID smART developed a program called Arts Experiences in Schools (AXIS), which was an arts integration professional development program for teachers. This is just one example of how the program provides assistance and support for students, teachers, and administrators at the over 100 schools the program serves. KID smART uses its passionate group members and innovative ideas and techniques to transform schools using the arts and arts programming.
KID smART Executive Director Echo Olander accepted the award at the Americans for the Arts Half-Century Summit.
Judy Baca Accepts the Public Art Network Award
June 25, 2010—Americans for the Arts presents the 2010 Public Art Network (PAN) Award to community arts activist Judy Baca. This award acknowledges original and inspired involvement in the field of public art. In 1974 Baca founded the first city of Los Angeles mural program, and then two years later started SPARC: Social & Public Art Resource Center in Los Angeles where she is still the founder and artistic director. She has worked with the community to create many large scale murals in the Los Angeles area, most notably The Great Wall of Los Angeles, a representation of interracial harmony that is nationally recognized and is a combined work of 400 inner-city youth, 40 ethnic historians, and hundreds of community residents.
Baca is also a full-time professor at UCLA, and is currently working on the Cesar Chavez Memorial at San Jose State University, the Robert F. Kennedy monument at the Old Ambassador Hotel site, the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in San Diego, and a digital painted mural for the Richmond Arts Center.
June 24, 2010—Today, Americans for the Arts announces the 40 winners for the 2010 Public Art Year in Review. Each June, the Public Art Network recognizes the best works of public art debuted throughout the United States and Canada in the past year. Projects from 29 cities in 15 states are represented in this year's selections, and the works were chosen from more than 300 entries from across the country. This year’s Year in Reviewwas curated by public art artists and experts Helen Lessick and Fred Wilson.
This is the 10th year that Americans for the Arts has recognized the most outstanding and innovative public art displays from across the country.
Photos and descriptions of each award winning are available as part of the 2010 Public Art Year in Review CD-ROM, a great tool for community public art development, which can be purchased at the Americans for the Arts store.
Countdown to the Half-Century Summit
June 18, 2010—The Americans for the Arts Half-Century Summit will take place at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Friday, June 25–Sunday, June 27.
10. Last minute planners can register on site!
9. Paddleboats and Edgar Allen Poe impersonators? Does any other convention offer both?
8. More than 150 of the brightest and best minds in the arts are ready to share their ideas with you.
7. Crab cakes? Sure! But this isn’t your grandmother’s Baltimore. With a reinvented Harbor Place, cool neighborhoods, and cultural gems, Charm City is well worth exploring.
6. With special discounts on hotel rooms and Amtrak travel, the convention is a deal!
5. Be a star at late night jam sessions, in a skit by the Neo-Futurists, and at the photo booth and Wii gaming in CenterStage.
4. Take the opportunity to be creative and skirt travel restrictions—fake a cough or take a well deserved vacation day. (Just kidding!)
Americans for the Arts witnesses at the “Arts Build Communities” hearing included acclaimed actors Jeff Daniels and Kyle MacLachlan; Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; U.S. Army Brigadier General Nolen V. Bivens (ret.); Terri Aldrich, Executive Director, Minot Area Council of the Arts; Charles Segars, CEO, Ovation; and Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO, Americans for the Arts.
Also presenting testimony was NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman and Congressional Arts Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY).
Speaker Nancy Pelosi Receives Arts Leadership Award
April 13, 2010—This morning, Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors presented the 2010 National Award for Congressional Arts Leadership to U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). The award, which recognizes distinguished public service on behalf of the arts, was presented at the Congressional Arts Kick Off during Arts Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.
Speaker Pelosi receives the Congressional Arts Leadership Award for her commitment to the arts as an outspoken defender of the creative industries in her home of San Francisco and across the country. She was personally involved in securing funding to save nonprofit arts jobs during the stimulus bill debate last year. The arts community owes her debt of gratitude for the jobs that were saved and the validation it provided of the importance of arts workers to the overall national economy. Her leadership of the 111th Congress is making great strides in advancing cultural policy and federal arts funding in the United States.
National Arts Advocacy Day – April 12–13
March 15, 2010—National Arts Advocacy Day Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington, DC April 12–13, 2010
Coordinated by Americans for the Arts, the 23rd Annual National Arts Advocacy Day brings together arts, education, entertainment, and policy leaders to develop strong public policies and support for increased public funding for the arts. Hear from congressional leaders and acclaimed artists including Actor Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks, Sex in the City, Desperate Housewives) at the Congressional Arts Kick Off on Capitol Hill.
Let your voice be heard when you visit your members of Congress to make the case for the arts and arts education.
Take advantage of opportunities to network with colleagues from your state and across the country.
Increase your knowledge of how to advocate and influence decision makers.
Want to hear more about the important topics that we'll be covering at Arts Advocacy Day this year? Tune in to Americans for the Arts Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs Nina Ozlu Tunceli's ARTcast on ARTSblog.
Become a fan of Arts Advocacy Day on Facebook!
Nancy Hanks Lecture - Reserve Your Free Tickets Now!
March 15, 2010—Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy Concert Hall The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Monday, April 12, 2010
This year's Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy will feature Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., of Charleston, SC, and founder of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design. Please reserve your free tickets by Wednesday, April 7, 2010.
The Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy is a leading national forum for arts policy intended to stimulate dialogue on policy and social issues affecting the arts. It is held each year in the spring on the evening before Arts Advocacy Day.
The annual lecture is named for Nancy Hanks, former president of Americans for the Arts and chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, who devoted 15 years of her professional life to bringing the arts to prominent national consciousness.
Congress Passes Health Care Reform
March 25, 2010—Americans for the Arts commends Congress on passing comprehensive health care reform legislation. This bill ensures that the nation’s artists and arts workers will now receive increased access to the health coverage they deserve. The final legislation included major reform policies supported by Americans for the Arts and its national health care coalition of 20 other arts organizations.
The bill provides tax credits for small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 25 full-time employees and average salaries less than $50,000. The provision will have a positive impact on the nation’s 668,000 nonprofit and for-profit arts businesses in the U.S. that employ 2.9 million people and many of which are small businesses.
As the legislation is enacted, Americans for the Arts is also working to ensure that national health benefit exchange provisions include individual artists and cultural nonprofit organizations that are currently excluded for all practical purposes from employer-based insurance plans.
Lt. Governors Association Honors the Arts
March 25, 2010—The National Lieutenant Governors Association recognized the 50th Anniversary of Americans for the Arts at the group’s recent meeting in Washington, DC. Americans for the Arts and the NGLA are strategic partners and present the Lieutenant Governor Arts annually as part of the Public Leadership in the Arts Awards series.
In photo from L to R: Jay Dick, Americans for the Arts; Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton; Dorothy McSweeny, Americans for the Arts Board of Director; and Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling
Private Sector Blog Salon, Week of March 8
March 08, 2010—All this week on ARTSblog, the Private Sector Initiatives team at Americans for the Arts is leading a special blog salon. Follow the Private Sector Blog Salon from March 8-12 as more than twenty leaders from across the country discuss issues related to private sector giving and the arts.
Join bloggers Janet Brown, Colin Tweedy, Larry Thompson, Mark Brewer, Mary Trudel, John Killacky and many others in discussing why and how the private sector supports the arts. We’re hoping that these discussions will be provocative and inspire some new thinking on the future of arts support.
February 25, 2010— As a way to celebrate the successes of the past 50 years in the arts field, Americans for the Arts has collected Green Papers from a variety of national arts service organizations and peer groups representing more than 20 different perspectives and disciplines. These Green Papers are short, easy to read, visions of the future meant to inspire a nationwide dialogue on the future of the arts. You can participate in one or more conversation topics by visiting the Green Papers section of the ARTSblog at http://blog.artsusa.org/category/greenpapers/.
Green Papers are a chance for you to talk about a particular discipline or interest area in a facilitated, open forum. Each participating organization who authored a Green Paper also selected an emerging leader Ambassador to facilitate discussion about the related Paper. The Green Papers ambassadors will continue this dialogue throughout the year--capturing and synthesizing the ideas, changes, and themes that arise from online discussions. Ambassadors will be led by a group facilitator, Eric Booth, and at the end of the year, new Green Papers will emerge that will reflect the overarching changes and ideas proposed through this open forum.
Funding Changes for the Arts
February 01, 2010—Today the White House released President Obama's budget recommendations for FY 2011. Below is a statement from Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts on arts and arts education funding in the budget:
“At a time when the Americans for the Arts National Arts Index shows that because of the current economy support for the arts is at its lowest point in a decade, arts organizations have been relying on one area where funding has been on the increase—the leveraging power of federal funding for the arts and humanities. The Administration’s FY 2011 budget request of $161.3 million for the National Endowment for the Arts—while just a fraction of the $6.3 billion of direct expenditures for all arts nonprofits in the U.S.—is unfortunately a $6 million decrease from what Congress appropriated for FY 2010. We now turn to Congress to continue its investment trend in providing additional appropriations for the NEA. The FY 2011 NEA budget also includes an announcement of a new agency program called Our Town. We are excited to see that this important initiative is designed to strengthen communities through the arts. The backbone for the arts starts at the local level and having the federal government strategically invest in this kind community-based direction will spur further support for the arts. But why hamper the potential impact of this new initiative by reducing the NEA’s overall budget?
“The President’s budget also includes a number of new proposals to strengthen our education system and build a 21st workforce. However, the consolidation of the Arts in Education (AIE) program within the Department of Education’s new ‘Effective Teaching and Learning for Well-Rounded Education’ category puts us at unease and could lead to a diminished focus on arts education. This consolidation of the only identified arts-specific education program at the Department of Education seems to be in contradiction to the Administration’s previous strong vocal support of the arts. While the total available AIE grant funds are unknown at this time, it is an unbeneficial move at a time when arts education cuts are happening across the country. The arts are a proven integral part of every child’s development, preparing them for school, work, and life in the competitive 21st century global economy.
“The nation’s creative industries and arts workers are ready to continue to play their role in assisting with economic recovery, job training and creation, and the development of a well-rounded education that includes robust learning in the arts in order to provide workers of tomorrow with the creative and innovative skills they need today. The 5.7 million jobs and $166 billion in economic impact from the nonprofit arts sector alone hang in the balance. Further commitment from the federal government is needed to allow these groups to reach their full potential.”
Young Professional Development Opportunities
January 25, 2010—Americans for the Arts is pleased to announce that Chicago-based Joyce Foundation has renewed its support for Americans for the Arts' Professional Development Fund for Emerging Arts Leaders of Color. A total of five Joyce Fellows from the Great Lakes region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) will be selected to participate in this program.
Fellows will receive stipends of $3,000 to support their attendance at the 2010 Americans for the Arts Half-Century Summit, 2010 National Arts Marketing Project Conference, and Arts Advocacy Day 2011. In addition, fellows will have special opportunities to meet field leaders, work alongside mentors, and receive individualized career coaching.
In order for our sector to remain healthy and vibrant, we need to ensure that we are identifying and retaining young professionals within our workforce. Further, we need to actively cultivate, expand and support talented, culturally diverse, emerging leaders. Based upon recommendations from the Emerging Leaders Council, Americans for the Arts has been working to enable more emerging leaders to fully participate in national meetings and events for their own development and so they can connect with the broader community of arts professionals from across the country. Therefore, this Professional Development Fund has been designed to target an important segment of our workforce: emerging arts leaders of color.
First National Arts Index Measures Health and Vitality of the Arts
January 20, 2010—Americans for the Arts today announced the National Arts Index at a press conference held at the National Press Club and kicking-off its 50th anniversary year. The National Arts Index is the first study designed to measure the health and vitality of the arts industries in the United States. The National Arts Index is composed of 76 national-level research indicators produced by the federal government and private research organizations.
The National Arts Index fell 4 points in 2008 to a score of 98.4, reflecting losses in charitable giving and declining attendance at larger cultural institutions, even as the number of arts organizations grew. The 2008 downturn in the Index was not wholly unexpected. With 100,000 nonprofit arts organizations and 600,000 more arts-related businesses, 2.24 million artists in the workforce, and billions of dollars in consumer spending, the arts industries largely track the nation’s business cycle.
Want to Learn More
To read and download the full report, visit www.AmericansForTheArts.org/go/ArtsIndex.
Go to ArtsBlog to and hear Randy Cohen's blog cast
Are your an Americans for the Arts member? Sign-up for the National Arts Index webinar
Watch out for more conversation on ArtsBlog
US Conference of Mayors Honors the Arts
January 21, 2010—Today, Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors presented the 2010 Public Leadership in the Arts Awards to Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, and musician Michael Feinstein. The awards honor elected officials and artists that have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts.
Gov. Kulongoski receives the 2010 Award for State Arts Leadership for advancing both policy and budget initiatives that brand culture and creative endeavors as critical to the state’s economy and future.
Mayor Hannemann receives the 2010 Award for Local Arts Leadership for creating opportunities to use the arts as a catalyst for economic development and community revitalization in Honolulu.
Michael Feinstein receives the 2010 Award for Artist-Citizen. He is a multi-platinum selling, five-time Grammy-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” and is considered one of the premiere interpreters of American popular song.
This evening, the U.S. Conference of Mayors is also honoring Americans for the Arts with the President’s Award. The award is in honor of Americans for the Arts’ 50 years of outstanding work in promoting, serving, and advancing arts and culture throughout the country.
PSA Featured on MTV Screen in Time Square!
January 12, 2010—This week, The Arts. Ask for More. PSA campaign’s Brahms Breakfast PSA will be running on the MTV 44 ½ screen located in Times Square. This is a fantastic way to get the word out to the public about the importance of arts education in kids’ lives. If you find yourself in Times Square this week, stop for a moment and look for the ad which will be playing at :10, :20, :30, :40 minutes after the hour every hour. The MTV 44 ½ screen is directly across from the MTV studios.
New Chair of BCA Executive Board Named
January 08, 2010—Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts, announces the selection of Joseph C. Dilg, Managing Partner of Vinson & Elkins LLP, to serve as chairman of BCA’s Executive Board. The BCA Executive Board is a 14-member group of corporate leaders who provide leadership and expertise on key BCA initiatives including messaging, advocacy, and strategic alliances within the private-sector community. He succeeds J. Barry Griswell, former chairman of the Principal Financial Group and president of The Des Moines Foundation, who is stepping down after three years of service as chair.
Mr. Dilg is Managing Partner of Vinson & Elkins LLP, one of the world’s leading energy law firms and is based in Houston, TX. He joined the BCA Executive Board in 2002 and serves on its nominating committee. Vinson & Elkins was honored by BCA in 2005 as one of the inaugural BCA TEN companies for the firm’s support of the arts among its employees and service to the Houston arts community.
Councils Elect Members
December 15, 2009—The Arts Education, Emerging Leader, and Public Art networks of Americans for the Arts announce the election of new members to serve on their advisory councils.
ARTS EDUCATION COUNCIL
Ron Jones - Dean of the College of the Arts, University of South Florida - Tampa, FL
Stephanie Riven - Director, Center of Creative Arts - St. Louis, MO
Victoria J. Saunders - Victoria J. Saunders Consulting - San Diego, CA
Donna Collins (re-elected)- Executive Director, Ohio Alliance for Arts Education - Columbus, OH
Steven Tennen (re-elected) - Executive Director, Arts Connection - New York, NY
EMERGING LEADER COUNCIL
Michelle Grove - Events and Grants Manager, Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County - Silver Spring, MD
Letitia Ivins - Civic Art Coordinator, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Civic Art Program - Los Angeles, CA
Charles Jensen - Director, The Writer’s Center - Bethesda, MD
Gabriela Jirasek - Marketing and New Media Associate, Chicago Humanities Festival - Chicago, IL
Ian David Moss - Blogger, Createquity.com - Providence, RI
Scarlett Swerdlow - Advocacy and Communications Director, Arts Alliance Illinois - Chicago, IL
Bettina Swigger - Executive Director, Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region - Colorado Springs, CO
PUBLIC ART NETWORK COUNCIL
Renee Piechocki - Artist/Public Art Consultant - Pittsburgh, PA
Lajos Héder - Environmental Artist/Architect, Harries/Héder - Cambridge, MA
Martha Peters (re-elected) - Vice President, Public Art, Arts Council of Fort Worth & Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Ruth Lilly, Arts Patron, Passes Away
December 31, 2009—The Board and Staff of Americans for the Arts are saddened to share the news that Ruth Lilly, noted philanthropist and arts patron, died on Dec 30 at age 94. Ms. Lilly was a lifelong supporter of the arts, in both her home state of Indiana and throughout the country. In 2002 Ms. Lilly generously presented a $120 million gift to Americans for the Arts.
"The selfless vision and generosity of Ms. Ruth Lilly has benefitted numerous arts groups, artists, and cultural audiences across the United states. Her extraordinary gift to Americans for the Arts allowed us to greatly expand our work in serving nonprofit arts groups and local arts agencies, as well as advancing the arts for all. She will be deeply missed." said Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts.
Ruth Lilly was the last surviving great-grandchild of pharmaceutical magnate Eli Lilly. Over the course of her life, Lilly gave away the bulk of her inheritance; an estimated $800 million reported USA Today. A great deal of her philanthropic focus was given to institutions in her native Indiana. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said Lilly ''personified the family tradition of overwhelming generosity and special devotion to the state of Indiana.'' ''Her countless gifts will keep on giving for generations,'' he said.