Getting to Know Mary Anne Carter: Q&A with NEA’s New Chairman

Posted by Mary Anne Carter, Dec 09, 2019

I’ve always been involved in public service, working alongside governors, senators, and other public leaders. My passion for the arts really derives from my daughter’s experiences. My daughter has dyslexia, and struggled when it came to traditional methods of teaching and learning. But she became a completely different student when arts were integrated into the classroom. She began to thrive instead of struggle. As a parent, there’s no greater gift than to see your child reach their full potential. As chairman, I hope to make sure all Americans have the same opportunities for success that my daughter has had. Our agency wants to ensure every American in every community in every state has the opportunity to participate in and benefit from the arts.

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National Shop Local Artists Week Continues to Spark Commerce Through the Arts

Posted by Ms. Kim Bergeron, Nov 14, 2019

What started as a small, local celebration of arts and artists in December 2016, and grew to a statewide Louisiana initiative in 2017, is now entering its second year as National Shop Local Artists Week, an arts advocacy event embraced and promoted by Americans for the Arts. Considering that communities understand the importance of “Shop Local” and “Small Business Week,” creative professionals often are overlooked, other than when organizations need donations of time and talents for fundraisers. National Shop Local Artists Week events are designed to broaden awareness of the importance of supporting creatives, advocating for artists of all genres as small businesses, and recognizing arts organizations as instrumental components of the local culture. Consumers are encouraged to personalize their holiday gifting by purchasing visual arts, works by local authors, music recordings and concert tickets, attending performing arts presentations, and supporting local arts organizations and museums via memberships.

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UPDATED! Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts for National Arts & Humanities Month

Posted by Mr. Randy Cohen, Oct 02, 2019

October is National Arts & Humanities Month, a time to celebrate and champion the arts locally and nationally. The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts bring us joy, help us express our values, and build bridges between cultures. The arts are also a fundamental component of a healthy community—strengthening them socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even in difficult social and economic times. The effective arts advocate needs a full quiver of case-making arrows to articulate the value of the arts in as many ways as possible—from the passionately inherent to the functionally pragmatic. To help fill your quiver, I offer an updated Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts.

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Welcome to National Arts & Humanities Month!

Posted by Cristyn Johnson, Oct 01, 2019

It’s officially October, which means National Arts and Humanities Month has arrived! We’re excited to have you with us for the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation. NAHM is coast-to-coast recognition of the importance of arts and culture in the United States. Launched by Americans for the Arts more than 30 years ago as National Arts Week, this celebration began in honor of the 20th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the tremendous work that they have done in every congressional district across the country. In 1993, the week was reestablished as a month-long celebration, and we want you to get involved! We’ve worked hard to make participating in NAHM easy for you. Read on for ways that you can be involved as an individual, an organization, or a community, including joining in our special NAHM events, and for inspiration from communities across the country that are celebrating. 

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Joliet, Illinois Establishes an Arts Commission: Voices From the Cultural Community

Posted by Mr. Erick D. Dorris, Aug 16, 2019

On July 16, 2019, the Joliet City Council voted unanimously to establish a Joliet Arts Commission. At over 170,000 residents, Joliet is the third largest city in the state and was, until recently, the largest city in the Illinois to not have an Arts Commission or Arts Council—and the community felt this void. On August 6, 12 of the 17 members of the arts commission were appointed. The process of starting an arts council (or local arts agency) was not an easy one and involved input from many voices from the community. Here are a few voices of the artists, educators, and community members who have been advancing Joliet’s cultural and artistic landscape leading up to this milestone.

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Pathways to Freedom: We Put the ‘Public’ Back in Public Art

Posted by Mrs. Laura Conrad Mandel, Aug 15, 2019

The Jewish Arts Collaborative was new to public art when we commissioned Julia Vogl to create Pathways to Freedom in 2018. Our priority was to take the Passover Exodus story and make a universal story of freedom, exile, and immigration—relevant to all in the Greater Boston community in a major way. It was a bigger undertaking than our staff of five really understood, but we knew that Julia’s commitment to digging into individual stories and beautifully featuring them was just what was needed in our community. We took a leap of faith on a project of this size and cost—and this is what we learned.

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