Artist Legislator

Posted by Mr. John R. Killacky, Jan 09, 2020

I believe my artistic practice parallels legislative actions. Moving bills from drafting to committee deliberations onto floor votes in both the House and Senate also is an iterative collaborative process informed by myriad voices: stakeholders, advocates, community members, and other legislators, in addition to the governor. Bills constantly evolve and change. Compromise may be the best that can be achieved, given conflicting input, needs, and resources. In politics, as in art, vexing problems are best tackled from multiple perspectives with stakeholders involved. Resiliency and adaptability are also essential for best outcomes in life, art, and politics.

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The 10 (plus two!) most read ARTSblog posts of 2019

Posted by Ms. Ann Marie Watson, Jan 06, 2020

As we ring in 2020, it’s the perfect time for a little hindsight (get it?)—so let’s get the year started with a look back at the most-viewed ARTSblog posts from our last trip around the sun. I know what you’re thinking: “It’s 2020 … you still have a blog?” We do, dear reader! Competition for online attention is fierce, and most virtual conversations (civil or not) seem to be happening in the comments of social media posts—and yet, ARTSblog clearly is still a valued place for our field to share experience and expertise as we navigate the varied complexities of what it means to work in the arts. There is no better place to learn from your peers, whether you’re an artist, administrator, educator, city planner, arts marketer, or countless other careers that intersect with the arts—and we’re grateful for all of the writers and readers who continue to make ARTSblog both a vibrant and practical space.

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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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The Shooting Star of Arts Education Research

Posted by Mr. Narric Rome, Nov 12, 2019

Yesterday, an Education Commission of the States staff member with the memorable name of Claus von Zastrow published a blog reporting the findings of an art education question included in the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in Math. It’s a substantial discovery—akin to when new stars are detected in a constellation, or a new species of insect is identified. His blog post and the accompanying data tables are a must-read. Longtime Department of Education watchers know that since 1995, there have been just two kinds of arts education research by the federal government, and not one of these tests over 25 years has ever captured arts education data on a state-by-state basis. So when eagle-eyed Claus spotted in the Math NAEP released in October 2019, among the 40 multi-part questions asked of the eighth grade test takers, that Question #21 was about art education—he must have been floored. As I am. This question, put to the 147,000 students that were a part of the 2019 Math NAEP sample, must be the single largest arts education data point in the history of federal education research.

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Arts Advocacy through a politician’s lens

Posted by Mr. John R. Killacky, Oct 29, 2019

Since being elected to the Vermont House of Representatives last fall, my perspective has dramatically changed as to how best advocate for the arts and, in fact, how siloed arts organizations and their funders are. My legislative work focuses on economic development, tourism, heath, education, affordable housing, environment, and agriculture, as well as vulnerable populations: veterans, prisoners, the homeless, those suffering from substance use disorders, and survivors of physical and sexual abuse. Art is barely present in these conversations, but is so needed.

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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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