The Giving Library and #GivingTuesday - Share to Give!
November 27, 2013—
Give towards advancing the arts in America this Holiday Season - without spending a dime!
Americans for the Arts is honored to be one of the featured nonprofits on The Giving Library, an online video archive that connects donors to nonprofits. In this season of Thanksgiving and holiday merriment, The Giving Library is kicking off a $100,000.00 "Share to Give" campaign on #GivingTuesday, the national day of giving, which falls this year on December 3rd. The campaign will run from December 3 - December 31, or when the $100,000.00 is exhasuted - whichever comes first.
This is a way for you to support Americans for the Arts and advancing the arts in America without spending any more money yourself this holiday season! All you have to do is view Americans for the Arts video on The Giving Library (linked here) and then share our video with your friends on facebook and twitter. The Giving Library will donate $5.00 to Americans for the Arts for every share!! It's that simple.
How to Share:
1. Click any of the links above to be taken to Americans for the Arts' video on The Giving Library
2. Click the "share now" button
3. Create an account if you don't already have one
4. Click "share on Twitter" or "share on Facebook"
4. Share either the default message or a message of your choice with your friends/followers
5. Americans for the Arts will receive $5.00 per share!
Please mark your calendar and take a minute for the arts on #GivingTuesday, December 3, 2013. All you have to do is log on to the Giving Library and share our video. Thanks for your support!
Randy Cohen on C-SPAN Discussing National Arts Funding
November 30, 2013—
Americans for the Arts' Vice President of Research, Randy Cohen, joined the National Endowment for the Art's Sunil Iyengar for C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” on Friday, November 29 to talk about federal arts funding. This 30-minute “America by the Numbers” segment focused on National Endowment for the Arts' recent survey on public partipation of the arts, which is conducted and released every few years. SPPA.
Randy and Sunil spoke about how U.S. government funding of the arts ranked among other domestic programs and internationally, changes in public arts participation, public policy and the arts, and positive outcomes associated with arts education and participation.
If you missed it, watch the video on C-SPAN's website HERE - and you can still comment on the segment or tweet questions directly to Randy @artsinfoguy on Twitter.
Arts Destination Marketing Award Recipients Announced
November 25, 2013—
During the opening keynote of this year’s National Arts Marketing Project Conference, Americans for the Arts and Destination Marketing Association International announced the recipients of the 2013 Arts Destination Marketing Award. This year’s winners are Bloomington, IN and Memphis, TN.
The award honors two local arts agencies and convention and visitors bureaus that have collaborated successfully to improve tourism in their community. It is intended to reinforce the importance of a strong relationship between a community's destination marketing organization and its cultural-heritage and arts agencies.
Congratulations Bloomington and Memphis! Keep up the great work!
Google Hangout: Arts and Health in the Military
November 18, 2013—
Have you been following the National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military, and want to learn more about how the arts can help heal our veterans and active duty military members? Maybe you've read our White Paper: Arts, Health, and Well Being Across the Military Continuum - a product of this initiative - but have questions.
Americans for the Arts is hosting a Google Hangout on Arts, Health, and the Military tomorrow, Tuesday, November 19th, at 4:00 p.m. EST. The following expert panelists will join our CEO and President, Robert Lynch, in discussing how these sectors can collaborate - and have been collaborating- to better our country as a whole.
Ron Capps (Army), Veterans Writing Program
Roman Baca (Marines), Exit 12 Dance Company
Gayla Elliot, Art Therapist, Camp Lejeune North Carolina, an active-duty, Marine Corps training facility
Rachel Brink, Chief of VA—PRRC (Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center), Tampa; partners with the locally-based African American Theatre company, Carpetbag Theatre, on the production of “Speed Killed My Cousin,” the story about an African-American female soldier’s struggle with PTSD and “Moral Injury.”
If you have your own questions for these speakers, please tweet them @Americans4Arts using the hashtag #artsandmilitary, and we will ask them live!
Steps to join/view/participate in tomorrow's Google Hangout:
If you want to chat on the Google hangout (participate live, as opposed to just watching on YouTube) go to the Hangout page and login to your gmail account (which you need to participate)
To join the event, click the “yes I’m going” button after following the link to the hangout: http://bit.ly/17wA1qX(also linked numerous places above)
We look forward to discussing these important advancements in arts and healing with our military members tomorrow!
CEO Robert Lynch in Chile; Op-Ed in Pulso
October 15, 2013—
Our CEO and President, Robert Lynch, is in Chile this week to speak about arts and the economy to the Chilean-American Chamber of Commerce, the Minister of Culture, and other various entrepreneurs at a luncheon on Wednesday. Prior to his visit, he penned this opinion editorial for the Chilean business publication Pulso, which was published this morning. Posted here in English, but link to article in Spanish below:
Businesses are constantly seeking new ways to build their competitive advantage and expand their reach. Those in-the-know are increasingly turning to the arts to help them achieve these goals. Buy why? What do they know that other businesses do not? Here are my top reasons for businesses to support the arts:
Recruit talent. A vibrant arts scene is essential to the health of any community seeking to draw employees who want to live and work in a creative and vibrant community. When businesses partner with the arts, they help make their communities more attractive to current and future employees.
Put businesses in the spotlight. The arts help businesses build market share, enhance their brand, and reach new customers. In fact, 79 percent of American businesses believe that the arts increase name recognition, and 74 percent believe they offer opportunities to develop new business.
Advance corporate objectives and strategies. The arts help businesses get their message across in engaging ways. The arts can educate the public and company employees about core business issues such as informing them about products or teaching them to make better choices.
Promote creativity. Reports by the Conference Board show that 72 percent of business leaders say creativity is the number one ability they seek in a job candidate. And additional Conference Board research shows that business leaders believe that the arts help foster critical thinking, problem solving and team building.
Engage employees. The arts challenge employees to be their best. Studies show that millennials who frequently participate in workplace volunteer activities are more likely to be proud, loyal and satisfied employees.
Embrace diversity and team building. In the 21st century, a diverse network of lifestyles, beliefs, values, practices and ethnicities are already thriving in our communities. The arts are the best tool we have in our arsenal for connecting, bridging and creating understanding between, and even within, all these communities.
Say thanks. The arts allow businesses to show appreciation for their employees. Providing access to arts experiences is the perfect way to inspire employees and say “thanks.”
The arts are an economic engine. Investment in the arts supports jobs, generates tax revenues, promotes tourism, and advances a creativity-based economy. In the United States, nonprofit arts organizations generate $135 billion in economic activity annually, supporting 4.1 million jobs and generating $22.3 billion in government revenue.
Recap: 2013 National Arts Policy Roundtable and Executive Leadership Forum
October 03, 2013—
“The country is so wounded, bleeding, and hurt right now. The country needs to be healed – it's not going to be healed from the top, politically. How are we going to heal? Art is the healing force.” - Robert Redford, 2012 National Arts Policy Roundtable
From September 18-21, over 50 select top level decision makers and thought leaders from the fields of business, government, the social sector, education, and the arts gathered together at two events held at the Sundance Institute: Americans for the Arts’ 2013 National Arts Policy Roundtable (NAPR) and our Executive Leadership Forum (ELF).
The National Arts Policy Roundtable (NAPR) was launched in October 2006 by Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Robert Redford, founder of the Sundance Institute to reflect and discuss issues that affect the arts, and thus, society at-large. This year’s topic, Arts and Healing: Body, Mind and Community, explored the role that the arts play in building healthier people and stronger communities. There is a growing awareness among the medical, public health, government, civic, and military communities about the arts' capacity to heal mental and physical traumas. Research has shown that incorporating the arts has numerous benefits not only for the patients, but also for their families, their caregivers, the hospitals, the communities, and our economy. Check out the complete
In addition to rigorous discussion, The 2013 National Arts Policy Roundtable included presentations of best practices, listening to those engaged in the work, participating in arts and healing demonstrations, and brainstorming how to best further the role of the arts as a tool for rejuvenating our nation and our world. In addition to a powerful group of leaders including Acting Surgeon General of the United States, Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak; General George W. Casey, Jr., 36th Chief of Staff, US Army, Retired; Commander Moira McGuire; Program Manager, Warrior Clinic and Director, Creative Arts Program, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center; Dr. Tommy Sowers; Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs; US Department of Veterans Affairs; artists Ben Folds, Vijay Gupta and Darden Smith, we annually award a National Arts Policy Roundtable Fellowship to recent high school graduates who are alumni from the Youngarts program of the National YoungArts Foundation. These stellar young people add an important voice to the conversation and are committed to carrying the issue for years to come. This year's National Arts Policy Roundtable fellows were:
·Liisi LaFontaine; 2013 YoungArts Winner in Voice, graduate of Los Angeles High School of the Arts, CA
·Peter Eom; 2013 YoungArts Winner in Music and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, graduate of Highland High School, Gilbert, AZ
The Executive Leadership Forum (ELF), held simultaneously with Americans for the Arts’ National Arts Policy Roundtable,gathered eighteen executive directors of Local Arts Agencies from Alaska to Florida to strengthen their leadership skills and contribute to a dialogue on policy and trends facing the field. They covered a wide range of topics, including diversity, cultural districts, the art of healing, and navigating change through discussions, presentations, and screenings. Read Ken Busby's post on ARTSBlog about his favorite session of the 2013 ELF: “Thinking Past Urgent: Organizational Assessment, Decision Making, and Change.”
Robert L. Lynch Named to Independent Sector Board of Directors
October 02, 2013—Americans for the Arts is proud to announce that President and CEO Robert L. Lynch has been elected to Independent Sector’s Board of Directors.
For many years, Americans for the Arts and Independent Sector have had a strong partnership, and Bob’s election to the board serves to deepen the work the two organizations will do in the future. Indeed, Bob’s election to the Independent Sector board represents an important recognition of the critical and significant part that the arts sector can and does play in offering solutions to the core social and economic issues with which we are grappling as a nation.
We are excited about and very much look forward to continuing our work with Independent Sector team as well as the other nonprofit leaders, philanthropists, and visionary thinkers that comprise its board to advance cultural policy and support the work of the nation’s non-profit organizations.
White Paper on National Arts and Health in the Military Released
October 01, 2013—
In partnership with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), Americans for the Arts launched The National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military in January 2012. This Initiative advances the arts in health, healing, and healthcare for military service members, veterans, their families, and their caregivers. The arts have proven to be a successful way of managing pain and stress, promotion self expression, and reconnecting military personnel and veterans to the community – which leads to healthier patients, lower healthcare costs, and a long list of individual, social, and economic benefits.
Since its founding in 2012, the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military has held two national convenings: the Arts and Health in the Military National Roundtable (November 2012) and the National Summit: Arts, Health, and Wellness Across the Military Continuum (April 2013). From these meetings came a series of recommendations in the areas of research, practice, and policy, detailed in the seminal report we are proud to release today: Arts, Health, and Well-Being Across the Military Continuum - White Paper and Framing a National Plan for Action. Check out our webpage for a summary on the key themes of this study and goals of this initiative, and keep an eye out for a post on ARTSBlog tomorrow by our Director of Arts Policy, Marete Wester.
Celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month this October!
October 01, 2013—October is National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) in America. NAHM is a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture and the arts in America. It is designed to encourage all Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of active participation in the arts and humanities. On September 30, 2013, President Obama made an official Presidential Proclamation for National Arts & Humanities month and you can read it here.
From hosting a Creative Conversation or arts center open house to securing a mayoral (or Presidential) proclamation or better newspaper coverage of the arts, people in every community across the United States can celebrate NAHM by helping to recognize the contributions of cultural organizations in their region.
This national celebration of the arts could not come at a more prescient time. The current government shutdown has the potential to drastically impact the arts sector in myriad of ways, and the ripple effects resulting from just a few days of closure could be significant.
For more information visit the NAHM webpage, featuring events you can attend in your community as well as a toolkit to create your own. Also, become a fan of our NAHM Facebook page and follow @Americans4Arts on Twitter (hashtag #NAHM) for timely updates and stories on how local organizations are celebrating this month.
Tim McClimon and Bob Lynch Honored in NPT Power & Influence Top 50
October 01, 2013—
President of the American Express Foundation and Americans for the Arts' board member Tim McClimon (pictured) accepts his Nonprofit Times Power & Influence Top 50 award. Bob Lynch, Americans for the Arts' President and CEO, also received the honor. Presented at the 16th annual Nonprofit Times Power & Influence Top 50 Gala this September, the award celebrates executives who are moving and shaping the nonprofit world and paving a sustainable future for the sector.
The show discussed public art’s role in placemaking and community building. She appeared alongside Angela Anderson Adams, public art administrator for Arlington Economic Development, and Roger Lewis, architect, “Shaping the City” columnist at Washington Post, and Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Maryland College Park.
To learn more about Americans for the Arts public art work, click here.
Americans for the Arts in 2-3 Minutes! NEW VIDEO
September 23, 2013—
Americans for the Arts is honored to be selected as a recipient of Houston-based Laura and John Arnold Foundation's grant supporting a project called The Giving Library, an online resource created by the Arnold Foundation to help philanthropists make informed decisions about their contributions to nonprofit organizations.
The Giving Library ultimately features a 2-3 min overview video about each nonprofit, and 7-10 min of video responses to 10 questions about the organization's goals and impact. While Americans for the Arts' overivew video has already been created with Vice President of Research and Policy, Randy Cohen, as our spokesperson - the longer Q&A video won't be available on The Giving Library until December. In the meantime, please check out the overview video as a concise and engaging reminder of the work we do here at Americans for the Arts!
2012-13 United Arts Funds Research & Revenue Trends
September 17, 2013—
United Arts Funds (UAFs) are private organizations that raise money in a combined effort, much like United Way, to broaden support for the arts. There are 59 UAFs nationwide, a decrease from 2003 when there were 66. Americans for the Arts' 2012-13 UAF Statistical Research and Revenue Trends provides the most currently available campaign totals for the nation's United Arts Funds. The 50 UAFs that participated reported aggregate FY2012 campaign totals of 97.5 million. Individual and corporate donations accounted for the majority of UAF campaign revenue. Americans for the Arts updates these figures continually - check here for more information and other Arts and Businesses resources that might be useful to you.
2013 National Arts Index Findings Revealed
September 16, 2013—
The significance of arts and culture to American life makes the vitality of the arts a matter of pressing interest. After all, the nation's nonprofit arts and culture organizations generates billions in economic activity every year. Further, the arts contribute not only to aesthetics and creativity, but also to prosperity, innovation, and social capital. Because it is important to understand the breadth, depth, and character of this industry, Americans for the Arts created the National Arts Index. And today, Americans for the Arts issued the Index’s latest findings.
The 2013 Index reveals that the arts industry effectively leveled off in 2011 maintaining the gains it sustained in 2010 as it recovered from the effects of the Great Recession. The Index also shows that Americans by and large increased their engagement and participation in the arts in 2011; however, dwindling public funds for the arts threaten the industry’s full economic recovery. In fact, decreases in public funds contributed to an increase in the percentage of nonprofit arts organizations closing the year with an operating deficit in 2011.
For more details and analysis, you can read a copy of the press release.
2013 Americans for the Arts Network Council Elections
September 11, 2013—It’s election season here at Americans for the Arts! Nominate yourself or a colleague to become a member of one of our four Network Councils: Arts Education, Emerging Leaders, Private Sector, and Public Art Network.
Please remember that nominees must be members of Americans for the Arts and Advisory Council members serve a three-year term, from January 1, 2014–December 31, 2016. Nominations open Friday, September 20, 2013 and close Wednesday, October 9, 2013. Click here for the nomination form.
Voting opens Monday, November 4, 2013, so look for the election ballot e-mail in your inbox! Remember, only members of Americans for the Arts can vote! Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Americans for the Arts Joins National Coalition Revising the National Standards for Arts Education
September 09, 2013—Americans for the Arts has joined the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) leadership team revising the national voluntary learning standards for dance, music, theatre, visual arts and media arts for grades preK-12. The new standards will be released in March, 2014.
When the standards were initially drafted in 1994, Americans for the Arts led the initial advocacy effort in all 50 states to adopt them . The organization will collaborate with NCCAS leadership in a similar capacity, this time activating its State Arts Action Network—which consists of arts education leaders in all 50 states—to drive state-level advocacy efforts to endorse, adopt and adapt the 2014 National Core Arts Standards as the recognized model of quality arts education throughout the United States.
A review of the draft K-8 standards was completed in July; NCCAS will be issuing a call for public review of the draft high school standards on September 30. Interested individuals should visit the coalition’s website at or the NCCAS Facebook page at to learn how they can participate in the review process, and for other information about the project.
Americans for the Arts Announces 2013 National Arts Awards Recipients
September 09, 2013—
Every year, Americans for the Arts recognizes artists and arts leaders who exhibit exemplary national leadership and whose work demonstrates extraordinary artistic achievement with the National Arts Awards. This year’s recipients are:
Dakota Fanning – Bell Family Foundation Young Artist Award
B.B. King – Isabella and Theodor Dalenson Lifetime Achievement Award
John and Mary Pappajohn – Eli & Edythe Broad Award for Philanthropy in the Arts
Joel Shapiro – Outstanding Contributions to the Arts Award
Alberto Carvalho – Arts Education Award
Grammy Award-winning blues musician and National Medal of Arts honoree Buddy Guy, Glenn Lowry, director of the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, philanthropist Eli Broad, and Jeff Fleming, director of the Des Moines Art Center will be among the award presenters.
Americans for the Arts’ Artists Committee member, former National Arts Awards honoree for Artistic Achievement, and international art world figure Jeff Koons, designed the award itself—a balloon bunny—in 2009 specifically for the annual event.
Our press release announcing this year’s award recipients further details the awardees' artistic achievements. The awards will be presented on October 21 at a benefit in New York City.
NABE Scholarship: Applications Being Accepted 9/9-10/18
September 06, 2013—
The NABE Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) is awarding its sixth annual Americans for the Arts scholarship to encourage the integration of the arts into the economic education process. We believe that good economic strategy is inherently dependent on our ability to come up with out-of-the box solutions to the challenges that we now face. Our hope is that we enable those with the gift of creative problem solving to further the profession of economics through their unique understanding of the world.
The amount of the award is $5,000.
The award recipient must come from an economically 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 of and/or performance in one or more of the following art forms: 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 a professional career. This includes the direct study of economics for policy purposes, to applications in the private and public sectors. The scholarship is open to both recent high school graduates and current college undergraduates who are majoring in economics and/or the arts. Students who have not graduated high school but matriculated into an undergraduate program, graduate students, and Ph.D. candidates are not eligible.
To be eligible, scholarship applications must be received by October 18, 2013.
Americans for the Arts Announces BCA 10 Honorees
September 05, 2013—Today Americans for the Arts announced those companies selected by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) as The BCA 10: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America for 2013. This honor recognizes ten U.S. companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships and board membership.
The 2013 BCA 10 honorees are:
• Aspen Skiing Company, Aspen, CO • Atlantic Salt, Inc., Staten Island, NY • Bacardi USA Inc., Coral Gables, FL • M & T Bank, Buffalo, NY • Microsoft, Redmond, WA • PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA • Premier Bank, Dubuque, IA • Scholastic Inc., New York, NY • Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., Atlanta, GA • Yum! Brands Inc., Louisville, KY
In addition, Michael B. McCallister, chairman of the Board of Humana Inc. (Louisville, KY), will receive the 2013 BCA Leadership Award, and Northwestern Mutual (Milwaukee, WI) will be inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame.
Our press release announcing this year's honorees discusses the philanthropic work these companies have done on behalf of the arts. All honorees will receive their award on October 2, 2013, at a black-tie gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City.
AFTA Board Member Mary McCullough-Hudson to Retire as President of ArtsWave in 2014
August 30, 2013—
On August 22, Mary McCullough-Hudson, Board Member at Americans for the Arts and President/CEO of ArtsWave, announced her intent to retire as CEO at the end of the current fiscal year in August 2014. Alecia Kitner, currently Chief Operating Officer (COO) of ArtsWave, is expected to be promoted as President and COO. McCullough-Hudson will continue as Chief Executive Officer. She stated that after 35 years of leadership with ArtsWave, it's time to prepare for a transition and that Kitner "represents and emerging generation of new arts leaders and will continue to help ensure that arts in our community are strong, collaborative, and community-focused."
Aspen Seminar 2013 Wrap-Up
August 28, 2013—
On August 8-10, Americans for the Arts partnered with the Aspen Institute Arts Program to convene the sixth annual Americans for the Arts Aspen Seminar for Leadership in the Arts. Every year, the seminar brings together a select group of 25-30 artists, philanthropists, corporate and foundation leaders, and arts practitioners in an engaged dialogue that explores how we can create a more vibrant role for arts and culture in American society.
The 2013 topic was The Arts and the Military: A Strategic Partnership. Participants worked to answer a key question: How can the arts play a more active, meaningful role in addressing a vast array of critical issues across the military spectrum?
The seminar kicked off with an opening dinner, which featured a performance by students from the Aspen School of Music, followed by a day of presentations and discussion focused on issues relevant to members of the military, their families, and the medical professionals who work with returning servicemen and women suffering from traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress. Bob Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Commander Moira McGuire, Program Manager of the Warrior Clinic & Director of the Creative Arts Program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, began with an overview of the history of arts integration into the military as well as a debrief on Americans for the Arts’ ongoing partnership with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as co-leads of The National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military.
This presentation was followed by a panel on creative approaches to healing, which featured multiple artists and art leaders, and lastly a presentation by Ret. Brigadier General Nolen Bivens, US Army on the potential for the arts to contribute to cultural diplomacy and U.S. national security. All of the presentations yielded proactive and productive discussions amongst all participants about the role of the arts in helping our military community and their families heal from the physical and psychological wounds of war.
The final day of the seminar focused on drilling down the discussion into action steps and policy recommendations. A report on these vital recommendations will be synthesized into the upcoming work of the National Arts Policy Roundtable at Sundance, which in turn will yield a series of policy recommendations that will be published and used to help move ideas into action.
In Memory: Rick Lester
July 31, 2013—
Americans for the Arts pauses to remember Rick Lester, a dear member of our National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) community and former CEO of TRG Arts, Colorado Springs, CO. We will always be grateful for his incredible contributions as a featured writer and NAMP speaker. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his loved ones, friends, and TRG family.
The arts industry shall forever be indebted to Rick for his unwavering dedication and his influential thinking about patron loyalty, ticket pricing, and metrics for evaluating institutional health. He will be greatly missed.
Board of Commissioners of Broward County, Florida Receive 2013 National Award for County Arts Leadership
July 21, 2013—
Americans for the Arts, in partnership with the National Association of Counties (NACo) presented the 2013 National Award for County Arts Leadership to Broward County, FL’s Board of Commissioners on July 21, 2013.
The National Award for County Arts Leadership honors an elected county board or individual leader who has significantly advanced the arts in the communities they serve. Americans for the Arts established the award in 1999 to recognize the positive role county government leaders play in improving arts programs, increasing funding to the arts and making the arts accessible in their communities.
The Board of Commissioners has created seven Vision and Goal Statements in its 20-Year Plan for the County including one that focuses on arts and culture: A Community with Accessible, Vibrant Arts and Culture, Recreation and Learning Opportunities.
Further, the Board of County Commissioners also worked on an initiative called CreativeBROWARD 2020, a 10-year community cultural plan for cultural and economic development in Broward County. The plan examines the cultural tapestry of Broward County through its diversity, and connects specifically to the creative economy, cultural tourism, and public art and design. Through a steering committee and various task forces, more than 100 residents, businessmen and women, artists, architects, cultural leaders and residents helped shape this visionary plan.
“At a time when the arts have been closely scrutinized, along with all the other assets of communities across America and the globe, it is reassuring to know that good work, in the right places can have measurable results—through this award,” says Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca.
We applaud the Board of Commissioners of Broward County, Florida for their leadership in making the arts an accessible and integral part of their community.
Photos: David Hathcock Photography
Public Leadership in the Arts Award Winner: Lt. Governor Sheila Simon
July 17, 2013—
Americans for the Arts and the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) presented Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon with the Public Leadership in the Arts Award for State Arts Leadership, which honors a public official who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts at the state level. Lt. Governor Simon recieved her award at the NLGA’s Annual Conference in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, July 17.
Since taking office in January of 2011, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon has been a strong and vocal champion for the arts, culture, and arts education in Illinois. As Governor Pat Quinn’s point person on education reform, Lt. Governor Simon has helped spearhead efforts to strengthen arts education. Most recently, in June of 2013, Lt. Governor Simon helped launch the Illinois Arts Education Advisory Committee, a diverse and experienced group of leaders tasked with developing a new state-level policy agenda for increasing arts education access, equity, and quality in Illinois.
A musician and artist in her own right, she sings and the plays the banjo and bassoon with her band, Loose Gravel, an eclectic blues and boogie based band with traces of folk, rock, country, funk, and lush vocal harmonies, formed in 1998.
“When students have access to arts education, they are more successful in and out of the classroom,” said Lt. Governor Simon. “It is important that Illinois leaders work together to stabilize the public pension system, preserve funding for education, and allow students to express themselves through art, music, theater, and other programs.”
Thank you, Lt. Governor Simon, for being an arts leader and advancing the arts for the state of Illinois!
The Loss of Leonard Garment
July 22, 2013—Statement by Robert L. Lynch
WASHINGTON, D.C. - At a time when our nation seems stymied by partisan gridlock, I’m greatly saddened by the passing of Leonard Garment, a charming, modest, and gifted leader who was known for working across the aisle and bridging divides.
As a top advisor to President Nixon—who had voted for John F. Kennedy in 1960— Len’s portfolio was domestic policy, which included civil rights and arts and culture. In 1969, he was charged with finding the successor to Roger Stevens, the founding chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and looked to Nancy Hanks, then president of the Associated Councils on the Arts, the name Americans for the Arts was known by at that time. During the five years of Nixon's presidency, Len worked closely with Nancy as NEA Chair to increase the agency's annual appropriation from $9 million to $80 million, the largest percentage increase ever received by that agency under one administration.
Because of his career as a successful Washington power lawyer, many people are unaware of Len’s own arts background and considerable musical talent. A jazz musician who mastered the clarinet and saxophone, he performed alongside some of the jazz greats of the 1940’s before embarking upon his legal career. Throughout his long and distinguished life, he occasionally melded his love of the arts with governance and public policy by jamming with Russian musicians in Moscow in 1969, serving as chair of the Brooklyn Academy of Music in the 1970’s, and founding the National Jazz Museum in Harlem in 2002.
He was known for writing and speaking eloquently on the role of the arts in society and received the National Medal of Arts from President Bush in 2005 for his advocacy and patronage of the arts.
In his delivery of our 1989 Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy, he said: “It is then no mystery why I was so sure in 1969 that the arts deserved more substantial federal recognition and support. My life had shown me beyond doubt that the arts were both a private need and a public good, that the arts existed for themselves and for their role in society, and that artists and artistic institutions could certainly use the money. And by God, that was that.”
On behalf of those of us who work in the arts who had the pleasure of knowing him and of his critical role in establishing a stronghold for federal arts funding, his voice will be sorely missed.
Local Arts Salary Survey Findings Released by Americans for the Arts
July 16, 2013—
WASHINGTON, D.C. —Americans for the Arts has just released findings from a national study of the salaries, benefits, other compensation structures and demographics of Local Arts Agency (LAA) employees. Local Arts Agencies Salaries 2013 outlines findings from respondents who anonymously provided salary data on their positions inside LAAs. The survey was conducted in March 2013, with requests for information going out to more than 2,100 of the 5,000 LAAs in the United States. The findings serve as a snapshot of salary and compensation data for the local arts agency field and paint a picture of the high levels of education and demographic composition of these local arts leaders.
Of the 753 total respondents, 267 were CEOs. These local arts agency heads made an average salary of $78,394 per year in 2012—an amount that has kept pace with inflation. When Americans for the Arts conducted its last salary survey study in 2001, the average CEO salary was $54,309.
The report indicates a high rate of Caucasian employees among the CEO respondents (92 percent), nearly identical to the national averages of all nonprofits (93 percent).
Women in the survey were more likely to hold the CEO position (69 percent), which is a slightly higher ratio than nonprofits nationally (62 percent). However, the authors found that women were less likely to hold a CEO position at the larger local arts agencies. In part, because of their underrepresentation at the largest agencies, women CEOs earned an average of $16,000 less than their male counterparts.
Similar to all nonprofits nationally, more than 60 percent of local arts agency CEOs are in the 45-65 age category.
While LAAs are largely Caucasian at the CEO level, the report highlights a much greater race and gender diversity in the non-senior LAA ranks. Of the14 non-CEO staff positions examined in the survey, 12 have higher rates of diversity than the CEO role. In more than half of the non-CEO positions, women are earning more than men. These findings indicate a possible shift to come in future leadership of the sector.
“The survey suggests that the younger professionals in our sector’s ranks are more diverse than current senior leadership,” said Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts. “To ensure arts organizations maintain remain relevant to their communities, it is essential that we keep these younger leaders engaged and create opportunities for them to grow their careers in the arts.”
“At Americans for the Arts, we are working to ensure the field embraces staff diversity and parity in all forms,” said Robert Lynch, President and CEO of the organization. “Through private and public sector partnerships, as well as programs including our Emerging Leaders Network, we seek to help the arts in America foster a diverse next generation of leaders to ensure equal pay to arts administrators and access to art for everyone. Through expanded field education and leadership efforts in the coming year, we will continue to empower exemplary administrators within our field of all genders, backgrounds, ethnicities, and creeds.”
Alessandra DiGiusto Elected to Americans for the Arts Board of Directors
July 09, 2013—
WASHINGTON, D.C. —Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, announced today that Alessandra DiGiusto has joined its Board of Directors. Elected to the Board of Directors on June 18, DiGiusto has already begun her service with Americans for the Arts. On June 20, she was a featured speaker at the release of the BCA National Survey of Business Support for the Arts.
“We are thrilled that Ms. DiGiusto is joining our Board of Directors,” said Bob Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “Her leadership at Deutsche Bank, the Arts and Business Council and with the arts community in New York shows a commitment to the arts locally and a true understanding of the vital role they play in communities across the country.”
Alessandra DiGiusto has held the positions of chief administrative officer and director of Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation since 2003. She oversees DB Fine Art Americas and the grantmaking activities for the Foundation responsible for all marketing, public relations, legal, compliance, operations, financial and tax planning. She also manages the art sponsorships and grantmaking for the Americas.
Ms. DiGiusto received a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.B.A. in finance and marketing from the Stern School of Business at New York University. She is the recipient of the Citibank Service Excellence Award, Oberlin College Outstanding Alumni Service Award, Deutsche Bank Diversity Leadership Award. She is a board member of the Bronx Museum and Arts and Business Council, and serves on Deutsche Bank’s Steering Committee for Women. She formerly was a board member of Greenhope Services for Women and West Side YMCA, Executive Member of the Financial Women’s Association, and served on the Executive and the Admissions Advisory Boards for Oberlin College.
Study Released on Postsecondary Arts Education
June 27, 2013—Findings from a national study released by the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project show that a postsecondary arts education affords some unique advantages for women, minorities and disadvantaged students. However, significant gaps remain and inequalities persist related to school debt, racial diversity within artistic occupations and disparities in earnings by gender.
The report, An Uneven Canvas: Inequalities in Artistic Training and Careers, details findings from more than 65,000 arts alumni of all ages from 120 institutions in the United States and Canada. Participating schools include public and private institutions: research universities, colleges of art and design, conservatories, liberal arts colleges, and arts high schools.
The Art Institutes and Americans for the Arts Announce Poster Design Competition Winners
June 24, 2013—The national winners of The Art Institutes and Americans for the Arts Poster Design Competition 2013 traveled to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, June 19 to accept their scholarship awards at a Congressional Reception on Capitol Hill. Whitney Lanier of Statesboro, GA, was the grand prize winner in the high school senior category of the competition. She earned a full tuition scholarship to The Art Institute of Atlanta. Morgan Stevens of Athens, IL, was selected as the grand prize winner in the high school graduate category. She earned a $10,000 tuition scholarship to The Art Institute of St. Louis.
“Art has been my passion ever since I was little,” said Lanier. “I just genuinely love to create and design, and I’m so eager to follow my dream of being an animator or concept designer.”
The competition, which is sponsored by The Art Institutes education system and Americans for the Arts, challenged students to create original poster designs that best expressed the theme, “You Can Create Tomorrow.” Students were judged locally and then nationally in two categories: high school senior and high school graduate.
“This year’s winners show impressive talent and imagination,” said John Mazzoni, president of The Art Institutes. “Here at The Art Institutes, we are committed to providing our students with the opportunity to develop their talent and passion with an education that prepares them for creative careers.”
President and CEO of Americans for the Arts Robert L. Lynch agreed, “This competition is a wonderful opportunity for students to show their interpretations of creating tomorrow. Americans for the Arts applauds their commitment to the creative and applied arts.”
Visit The Arts Institutes’ website for complete information on all winners and the Poster Design Competition.
Business Support for the Arts Increases
June 20, 2013—Business support for the arts was up between 2009 and 2012, with cash plus non-cash giving increasing18 percent according to a new survey released today by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts. The BCA National Survey of Business Support for the Arts report examined the giving habits of 600 small, midsize, and large U.S. companies that gave philanthropically between 2009 and 2012. The report shows that business support has climbed back to 2006 levels, which is not surprising given the improvement in the country’s economy.
"It is rewarding that the private sector regained such strong support for the arts during the turbulent economic climate of the past few years," says Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "Building successful partnerships between the arts and business communities benefits everyone involved and just makes good sense."
To learn more about the survey, Americans for the Arts will host a webinar on July 18, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. EST. In this discussion led by Dr. Mark Shugoll, participants will learn about trends in business support for the arts from the newly released report. Experts in corporate giving from the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy will also discuss how these trends fit into the current landscape and how you can leverage this information. To register, visit bit.ly/11Rewr9.
Americans for the Arts Hands Out 2013 Annual Local Arts Leadership Awards
June 14, 2013—Americans for the Arts will honor six arts leaders with the 2013 Annual Local Arts Leadership Awards this week at the Annual Convention in Pittsburgh, PA. Presented each year, these awards recognize the achievements of individuals, organizations or programs committed to enriching their communities through the arts. This year’s recipients are:
Wendy Feuer, New York, NY -- Public Art Network Award
Abe Flores, Los Angeles, CA--American Express Emerging Leaders Award
Jon Hinojosa, San Antonio, TX--Arts Education Award
Kate D. Levin, New York, NY--Selina Roberts Ottum Award for Arts Leadership
Barbara Sexton Smith, Louisville, KY--Michael Newton Award
Tommy Usrey, West Monroe, LA--Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award
"These Local Arts Leadership Awards honor the very best partners, colleagues, and friends to the arts in America," said Robert Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "The awardees are all trailblazers who are each implementing innovative and transformative programs to strengthen the communities they serve and thus building recognition for the important work of the arts.”
The Selina Roberts Ottum Award for Arts Leadership and the Public Arts Network Award will be presented on June 14 during the opening keynote of the Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention in Pittsburgh, PA at 12:00 p.m. The American Express Emerging Leaders Award, Arts Education Award, Michael Newton Award, and Alene Valkanas State Arts Agency Award will be presented on June 15 during the Convention Town Hall Luncheon also at 12:00 p.m. Both presentations will be livestreamed with details at http://convention.artsusa.org.
Americans for the Arts and Sundance Institute Release 2013 Report from National Arts Policy Roundtable
June 11, 2013—Sundance Institute and Americans for the Arts released a report based on findings from the annual National Arts Policy Roundtable (NAPR) led by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute founder and president, and Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. Together with a group of leaders from government, business, and the arts they met for a weekend of roundtable discussions at the Sundance Resort and Preserve in Utah late 2012 to examine the topic of how the arts can survive and thrive in this era of dramatically accelerating change. Although the topics and participants of this annual convening change from year to year, the primary goal remains constant: envisioning new ways to advance the arts and their important role in all aspects of our society.
The NAPR participants: artists, public officials, private and public sector leaders, from a variety of geographic regions, discussed the topic Leveraging the Remake: The Role of the Arts in a Shifting Economy and proposed that the arts can serve as both a model and catalyst for change on the pressing societal challenges that face our nation. The group generated specific, actionable policy recommendations to be shared with leaders in public and private organizations. Those recommendations included the need for organizations to recognize our nation’s demographic changes and build partnerships across the breadth of a diverse America, including ethnic, gender, age, and economic groups. There was also a call for artists to be given the tools and training to be true leaders in their communities and for them to become part of the brain trust that helps the country move forward in this new economy. The roundtable analyzed “bright spot” programs across the country as a model for best practices.
Remembering Beverley Taylor Sorenson, Arts Leader, Philanthropist, and Advocate
May 28, 2013—Americans for the Arts is saddened by recent news that Beverley Taylor Sorenson, advocate for arts and education, passed away peacefully at age 89, surrounded by loved ones at her family home. Sorenson devoted much of her time and energy to restoring arts education to elementary schools throughout the state of Utah, especially through the work of the Sorenson Legacy Foundation, which she founded with her late husband, James LeVoy Sorenson. Through a series of grants and endowments, Sorenson also supported arts education programs at the top universities in Utah, including a $12 million donation in 2008 to the University of Utah for the construction of the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts and Education Complex. This remains the largest individual donation the university has received in support of both its fine arts and arts education programs.
Sorenson’s decision to focus her philanthropic energy on arts education dates back to 1995 when she paid a visit to Lincoln Elementary School in Salt Lake City. Lincoln Elementary was considered the most troubled school in the area, but Sorenson saw firsthand how the school’s strong visual arts program was building bridges across the cultural, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds of the students. Sorenson decided to dedicate her time and resources to developing Art Works for Kids, a teaching model that integrates art into the core curriculum by placing arts specialists in the school to work side-by-side with classroom teachers to create lesson plans. For her tireless philanthropy and advocacy, Americans for the Arts presented her with the Eli and Edythe Broad Award for Philanthropy in the Arts, presented at the 2011 National Arts Awards. Her presence, passion, and dedication will be deeply and sadly missed.
Responding to Yesterday’s Tragedy in Oklahoma
May 21, 2013—Dear friends and colleagues,
As we continue to hear more news about the devastating tornado that passed through the town of Moore on the outskirts of Oklahoma City yesterday, we at Americans for the Arts send our thoughts and prayers to the artists, administrators, and all those affected. When natural disasters strike, there is no way to fully comprehend or process the pain they inflict. They are arbitrary, and yesterday’s horrific storm makes us feel powerless. As we try to contact friends and colleagues in the area, and know that many of you are doing the same, we realize that while we can’t stop these tragedies from happening, we can join together to help others pick up the pieces. Moore and Oklahoma City are resilient, creative communities, and we are here to support them as best we can. Americans for the Arts staff have been in touch with many of our partners and colleagues in the area, including the immediate-past Chair of our Board of Directors, Ken Fergeson of Altus, OK, and continue to monitor the situation. We hope to be able to share more information soon, and in the meantime, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us directly.
Oklahoma, you are in our thoughts today. I have included below some emergency resources to help you start on the long road to recovery, and know that we are always here to answer questions, to help, and to send you our hopes for a brighter tomorrow.
Emergency Response Resources:
The Essential Guidelines for Arts Respondersis an immediate resource to help you determine your organization's response and work in the weeks ahead. It is an abridged version of a longer, more detailed handbook (now in development) that's designed to help local and state arts agencies, organizations, foundations, and other arts groups plan and administer a coordinated disaster mobilization system within their service area. We hope that it helps you, and we welcome your comments and additions.
We also encourage you to visit our National Coalition Partners: CERF+ and ArtsReady for resource links and more disaster relief information.
Please let Theresa Cameron, Local Arts Agency Services, know how you are doing and if you have other information you would like to share. In these days after the tornado, our thoughts are with you, your families, friends, and colleagues.
Bob Lynch, President and CEO Americans for the Arts
Missed Arts Advocacy Day? Visit Our Recap Page for Videos, Pictures & More
April 23, 2013—The 26th annual Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC, brought together a cross section of America's cultural and civic organizations, along with more than 500 grassroots advocates from 40 states, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts and arts education.
If you missed out on our first live stream of the Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy or Google Hangout, those videos are available on the recap page along with interviews featuring Congressional Arts Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer Matt Sorum, musician Cristina Pato, and dancer Lil' Buck. In addition, a Flickr photo stream, related ARTSblog posts, and major news coverage of the events can be found on the page.
While our recap doesn't do the full event justice, it provides a sense of the energy and excitement that arts advocates bring to Washington each year.
Vote Today! Vans Custom Culture Narrows Field to Top 50 Shoe Designs
April 22, 2013—As a Vans Custom Culture national charity partner, Americans for the Arts is proud to work closely with the brand to reinforce the importance of arts education in schools across the country.
With the launch of the 2013 Vans Custom Culture competition on January 2, budding artists and designers entered to become the first 1,500 U.S.-based public or private high schools to enter. And now that field has been narrowed to the top 50 schools and designs in five regions: California, Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast.
The five schools as determined by online voting will be notified on May 14 and provided with a travel budget to fly to New York City for the finals later this summer with the winning school receiving $50,000 for its art program!
To find out more about our partnership with Vans Custom Culture and to check out our Arts Education Navigator e-book series visit http://bit.ly/vanscc.
Bob Lynch Addresses Sequester Cuts & Federal Funding on "PBS NewsHour"
April 15, 2013—Bob Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, was interviewed by Jeffrey Brown last week for the PBS program NewsHour's Art Beat segment discussing how the federal government sequestration is affecting the arts in the United States.
Bob describes in detail how funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is leveraged across the country on a state and local level. They also talk about the history of funding for the NEA and President Obama's proposed FY2014 budget. See the full segment below:
April 10, 2013—Americans for the Arts will participate in the 2nd National Summit: Arts, Health and Well-Being Across the Military Continuum hosted by the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is a by-invitation event focusing on the benefits of arts exposure, active art-making, and issues related to research, policy, and practice in arts and health across the military continuum. The summit is part of the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military, a collaborative effort to advance the arts in health, healing, and healthcare for military service members, veterans, their families, and caregivers. Over 200 leaders from the military and arts community will be in attendance to share their experience, findings, and solutions for moving forward. The results of the discussions will be summarized and included as part of the findings of the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military White Paper, to be released in late Spring, 2013.
Also, the entire Hanks presentation is currently available for archival viewing on our YouTube channel.
Americans for the Arts to Livestream Nancy Hanks Lecture and Host Google+ Hangout on Arts Education
April 03, 2013—For the first time in history, Americans for the Arts will livestream the annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy, at 6:30 p.m. EDT from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (courtesy of Google).
This means you can watch the Lecture on YouTube regardless of whether or not you're in Washington, DC, for National Arts Advocacy Day! The Lecture, delivered this year by Yo-Yo Ma, will address what kind of education will best enable today's students to develop creativity, flexibility, and the ability to innovate and work collaboratively.
And, if you have a burning question that arises during the Lecture, you can ask Yo-Yo Ma the next day.
On April 9 from 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m EDT., Yo-Yo Ma, along with Matt Sorum (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer for Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver and Co-Founder of Adopt the Arts in California) and Damian Woetzel (former principal dancer at New York City Ballet and the director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program), will participate in Americans for the Arts’ first Google+ Hangout. They will discuss the need to develop strong public policies for arts education and field questions from Google+ Hangout attendees. Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, will moderate the event.
To submit a question for the Hangout, please send a Tweet using #AskYoYo, or send an email to email@example.com. Just write #AskYoYo in the subject line and then write your question in the body of the email. We'll take questions anytime from now until the Hangout.
Register Now for the 2013 Americans for the Arts Convention!
This year, arts leaders from across the country will gather in Pittsburgh, PA from June 14-16 to find ways to improve the story of how the arts build better lives, communities, and workplaces. A series of exciting speakers and arts innovators will discuss why the arts are the best kept secret when it comes to building healthy, diverse, and engaged communities. Our Annual Convention also provides an opportunity for peer groups interested arts education, cultural diversity, emerging leaders, public art, fundraising, and more to meet each year to connect and share their work.
In addition, three preconferences offer attendees a chance to dig deeper:
The Public Art Network Preconference explores critical issues facing the field and includes case study tours illustrating how Public Art contributes to Pittsburgh’s distinction as America’s most livable city. The Public Art Network Preconference is generously sponsored by McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory.
Our first ever Cultural/Arts and Entertainment Districts Preconference examines Pittsburgh in depth—and is your opportunity to see up-close how arts & entertainment and cultural districts work. The Cultural/Arts and Entertainment Districts Preconference is generously sponsored by The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Emerging Leaders Preconference teaches participants to adapt at the individual level in order to more effectively lead change in their communities. The Emerging Leaders Preconference is generously sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University Master of Arts Management Program.
Sixty organizations submitted their projects to be judged through votes by Ovation community members and viewers on Ovation's Facebook page. The site received an average of 25,000 votes a day over the course of the two-and-a-half-month voting period. Northside Workshop, which highlighted its "Beautification of Vacant Space" program, was the clear winner.
Northside Workshop's "Community Build the Arts" initiative includes the "Beautification of Vacant Space" program, which teaches middle school students to develop creative strategies for addressing urban abandonment in their community by incorporating into their curriculum socially engaged art and education courses like studio art, beekeeping and gardening. In addition, Northside Workshop created "The Year of Listening Project," which consists of a creative survey to help identify community needs by listening and sharing stories in order to co-generate ideas that have the potential for the most positive impact.
Ovation, the only multi-platform network devoted to artists and every kind of artistic expression, developed the innOVATION Grant Program to fund and recognize the impact of artists and the arts in communities’ revitalization efforts in partnership with Americans for the Arts.
Don't Miss the Deadline to Nominate Someone for the Annual Field Leadership Awards!
March 21, 2013—Time is running out to nominate the great work of an individual, organization, or program in your community for one of the 2013 Americans for the Arts Annual Leadership Awards:
For more information about the nomination process as well as award rules and regulations, click here.
Board Member Liz Lerman Launches National Civil War Project
March 05, 2013—Liz Lerman, renowned choreographer and Americans for the Arts board member, is launching a new project commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
The National Civil War Project begins on March 6 and events will take place throughout the DC/Baltimore Metro area for the next two years.
The Baltimore Sun's coverage of this exciting event follows:
"It's been a century and a half since the Civil War split the United States, and to mark the 150th anniversary of the country's bloodiest conflict, Baltimore choreographer Liz Lerman has founded a multi-sided commemoration called the National Civil War Project.
Lerman, a MacArthur Fellow, partnered with the University of Maryland, Center Stage, and Harvard University, among others, for the project, which launches Thursday with a presentation in Washington and continues with numerous events through 2015. It aims to raise questions about the war and its repercussions.
'This is an opportunity for Americans to reflect on our own history and present,' Lerman said, 'that it might make us more compassionate to what is happening around the world or open to the possibility to understand it in a different way...I know how powerful it is to bring people of different disciplines together, so I had a feeling artists and scholars would be fantastic.'
American culture has gone through remarkable shifts, such as the civil rights movement, since the Civil War's last major anniversary in the 1960s, Lerman said.
'It was 50 years ago that we were in the midst of the civil rights era, so the whole take on the war is different,' Lerman said.
Center Stage teamed up with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center to present a day-long civil rights symposium September 6, along with a performance commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, said Paul Brohan, director of artistic initiatives at the center. The event will include speakers in partnership with the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, he said.
'It's a snapshot of where we are in relation to the historical aspect of civil rights and where we have yet to go,' Brohan said.
A commissioned piece opening in May 2015 will include music and spoken word, Brohan said.
A commissioned play at Center Stage will look at the war from a global—particularly British—perspective, according to Gavin Witt, the theater's associate artistic director.
George Washington University and Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater will host events including panel discussions, a national conference in December to discuss the civil war in Washington and a dance theater piece by Lerman about the civil war as well as wars today.
The project also has counterparts in Atlanta and Boston, with Emory and Harvard universities and other arts organizations in those areas participating."
Submit Projects for 2013 Public Art Year in Review
March 11, 2013—Since 2000, the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network's Year in Review has annually recognized outstanding public art projects through an open call submission and curation/selection process.
Up to 50 projects are selected through an open call application process and selected by three jurors. The 2013 jurors are: Justine Topfer, Curator, Out of the Box Projects and Project Manager, San Francisco Art Commission, CA; Norie Sato, Artist, Seattle, WA; and John Carson, Artist and Head of the School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.
Eligible projects must have been completed or debuted in calendar year 2012. There is no limit to the number of projects an applicant can submit, but nominate soon as the call closes on April 5, 2013!
*For specific questions about Year in Review and project submissions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For technical questions regarding the application and uploading of media and documentation please contact email@example.com.
NABE Foundation and Americans for the Arts Award College Scholarship to Paul Vancea
Vancea is currently a junior at Brandeis University, majoring in Economics, Business and Film. Upon graduation, he hopes to find a way to combine Economics and Finance with Film, whether this means making videos promoting certain policies or socially conscious businesses, short economics educational tutorials or a meaningful feature film depicting and encouraging new, more socially responsible business models.
In 2007, Vancea moved from Romania with his family and settled in San Diego. While in high school, he became involved with the San Diego Youth Council, learning about advocating for youth rights and issues. He still works with the group as a Youth Media Consultant. This experience has carried over into his film work including a documentary about Eli J. Segal, whose passion for citizen engagement led to the creation of The Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program. In fact, he was one of the 2012 Fellows in the program. Vanca has also produced and directed videos for various departments at Brandeis for in-house use—a fitness video to motivate his fellow students to maintain an active lifestyle and a pilot video for a YouTube series.
Vancea will accept his award today during a luncheon at the NABE Economic Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. Americans for the Arts Board Member and BCA Executive Board Chairman William T. Kerr, president & CEO of Arbitron, Inc., will present Vancea with his award today at the luncheon.
SphinxCon-Empowering Ideas for Diversity in the Arts
February 21, 2013—SphinxCon was created by the Sphinx Organization to convene a critical mass of performing arts leaders and practitioners on the topic of diversity and create a space for discussion and sharing. Leaders at SphinxCon presented a broad view of how diversity is happening in all disciplines. Robert Lynch participated in SphinxCon by speaking about the work of Americans for the Arts focusing on the broad spectrum of leaders who have inspired and informed his work over the years. The Sphinx Organization is a national non-profit founded in 1996 by Aaron P. Dworkin, a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and the University of Michigan (B.B. and M.M) and Carrie A. Chester, a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.A. in Multicultural Studies and M.A. in Elementary Education). A violinist himself, Mr. Dworkin founded the organization to help overcome the cultural stereotype of classical music, and to encourage the participation of Blacks and Latinos in the field. Ms. Chester currently teaches at Burns Park Elementary in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. She is a strong proponent of public education and actively works to eliminate predictable racial disparities in our schools.
Americans for the Arts Salutes Launch of Congressional STEAM Caucus
January 30, 2013—A bipartisan team of members of Congress have launched the Congressional STEAM Caucus. The STEAM Caucus, a popular acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, which "aims to change the vocabulary of education to recognize the benefits of both the arts and sciences—and their intersections—to our country's future generations. Caucus members will work to increase awareness of the importance of STEAM education and explore new strategies to advocate for STEAM programs."
Robert Lynch, Americans for the Arts President & CEO, saluted this newly formed caucus, stating, "Thanks to the leadership of Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D–OR) and Aaron Schock (R–IL), the message of how the arts can help launch creativity and innovation among our nation's students will have a proper place in the halls of Congress. Having worked with both of them on these issues, we were excited to assist in establishing this new congressional policy effort in education."
Through its professional and advocacy programs, Americans for the Arts works to advance the cause of arts education at the federal, state and local levels. The Congressional STEAM Caucus, like the Congressional Arts Caucus, will serve as another point of contact for members of Congress dedicated to improving education and how the arts can be a part of their policy solutions.
Americans for the Arts Celebrates the Inauguration
January 24, 2013—On January 22, Americans for the Arts celebrated the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the success of ArtsVote2012, and the ongoing efforts of Americans for the Arts and the Americans for the Arts Action Fund to advance the cause of the arts and arts education with an intimate gathering of arts supporters and national arts leaders.
White House Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO Tom Cochran, Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser, NASAA's Jonathan Katz, Public Broadcasting Service President and CEO Paula Kerger, NEH Chairman Jim Leach, Ovation President Charles Segars, and Acting NEA Chairman Joan Shigekawa were among the myriad guests who attended the gathering.
Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch and Chairman of the Americans for the Arts Board Abel Lopez each provided remarks, and Devon Martinez entertained the crowd with her vocal stylings.
January 24, 2013—Know of a business with exemplary support of the arts in your local community? Work for one? Nominate them now for The BCA 10: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America!
The BCA 10 recognizes businesses of all sizes for their exceptional involvement with the arts that enrich the workplace, education, and the community. Nominations close Friday, February 15.
Past winners include Alltech, a leading animal health care company who partnered with the University of Kentucky’s Opera Theatre department to create the largest vocal scholarship competition in the world, First Community Bank who developed the annual South Texas Photo Contest and commissioned artwork for their local branches, and Earl Swensson Associates, Inc., an architectural firm who provided pro-bono design services within their community and sponsored a mentorship program for low-income and at-risk middle and high school students.
Winning businesses will be honored at the BCA 10 Gala in New York City on October 3, 2013.
Americans for the Arts and U.S. Conference of Mayors Present Public Leadership in the Arts & Citizen Artist Awards
January 17, 2013—Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors today announced that Grammy Award®-Winning Musicians John Legend and The Roots will receive the 2013 Citizen Artist Awards. In addition, Santa Fe, NM Mayor David Coss, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley will receive the 2013 Public Leadership in the Arts Awards.
The awards honor elected officials and artists who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts. Recipients will receive the honor on Friday, January 18 at The United States Conference of Mayors' 81st annual winter meeting in Washington, D.C.
Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors have given out the awards annually since 1997.
Americans for the Arts Names Clayton Lord VP of Local Arts Advancement
January 15, 2013—Today, Americans for the Arts named Clayton Lord as its new Vice President of Local Arts Advancement.
In this role, Lord will be responsible for developing and executing all Americans for the Arts programs and services that strengthen and validate local arts agencies and the many other individuals and organizations that advance arts, culture and artists at the local level.
Lord comes to Americans for the Arts from Theatre Bay Area, one of the largest regional arts service organizations in the United States. As the organization’s director of communications and audience development, he oversaw marketing, communications, audience development initiatives, and research and business development. In addition, he spearheaded several research initiatives that investigated major issue areas in the American arts field, including impact measurement, diversity, strategy, advocacy, public goodwill, perception, and the psychology of artsgoing, including the landmark publication “Counting New Beans: Intrinsic Impact and the Value of Art.”
We’re very excited to welcome him to the Americans for the Arts team!
Americans for the Arts Strengthens Private Sector Programs & Services
January 14, 2013—Americans for the Arts is deepening its services for the advancement of private sector support for the arts and arts education by more fully integrating the programs and administration of two of its divisions: the Arts & Business Council of New York, a division of Americans for the Arts since 2005, and the Americans for the Arts Private Sector Initiatives division. Together, these resources and programming initiatives will form a more powerful, streamlined private sector advancement effort both in New York and throughout the United States.
Private sector support for the arts from individuals, foundations and corporations represents a critical piece of the arts funding puzzle in America. However, the larger private sector relationship with the arts has changed dramatically in recent years. Since the economic downturn and subsequent recession, fewer U.S. companies are making philanthropic contributions to the arts.
"The arts in America need enhanced and consolidated advocacy in the business community," said Robert L. Lynch. "By demonstrating how the arts can help businesses achieve business and community goals through enhancing the critical thinking, team building and creative skills of the corporate workforce while also enhancing communities to attract and retain employees, arts organizations have a tremendous opportunity to build successful, lasting partnerships with the business community and boost their standing as a charitable cause."
Standing Up for the Ovation Television Network
January 10, 2013—On the steps of Brooklyn’s Borough Hall earlier today, Americans for the Arts Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs Nina Ozlu Tunceli joined Academy Award nominated actress Rosie Perez and New York City Councilman Robert Jackson for a rally to call attention to the fact that Time Warner Cable eliminated Ovation from their cable television line-up on December 31.
While speaking at the podium during the Bring Back Ovation Rally in New York today, Nina was joined by actress Rosie Perez (pictured on the far left) and New York City Councilman Robert Jackson (over Nina's left shoulder).
As a national organization representing more than 250,000 arts advocates and local and state arts agencies in every city and state across the country, Americans for the Arts is very concerned about this action since Ovation is currently the only dedicated arts channel in the United States.
The mission of Americans for the Arts is to increase the American public’s access to high-quality arts in our communities, schools, and homes. Ovation has been an incredible partner in helping advance that mission thus far, but we also need Ovation to remain strong and accessible on the television airwaves. There’s nothing that will fill the void created by Time Warner Cable’s decision.
Vans Custom Culture Contest Offers $50,000 for School Art Programs
January 07, 2013—As a Vans Custom Culture national charity partner, Americans for the Arts is proud to work closely with the brand to reinforce the importance of arts education in schools across the country.
With the launch of the 2013 Vans Custom Culture competition on January 2, budding artists and designers are racing to have their teachers fill registration slots open to the first 1,500 U.S.-based public or private high schools (more than 650 have already entered!).
The program, in its fourth iteration, pushes students to compete and create a work of art from a blank pair of Vans shoes. Each blank shoe must be designed by using the following themes: Art, Music, Action Sports, and Local Flavor.
Students will have until April 5 to complete the shoes and submit their images online. The Custom Culture competition will generate $50,000 for the winning school’s art program at the final judging in New York this summer while simultaneously drawing attention to the importance of art as an integral part of a well-rounded education.
Artists, fashion designers, athletes, and local news anchors are all being tapped to create their own custom shoes as Ambassadors of the program. Eager to provide inspiration wherever possible, Ambassadors are tweeting images (#VansCustomCulture) of their own custom designs. Some of our favorites can be found on ARTSblog and on the Vans Custom Culture site.