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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How Hospital Art Collections Became Very Personal

Posted by Elysian McNiff Koglmeier, Sep 19, 2019

My son, Odin, surprised me and my husband at birth with a rare genetic syndrome—Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS). It affects the development of the bones and soft tissues in the face. Most affected individuals have underdeveloped facial bones, very small jaws, cleft palates, and no outer ears. Odin was rushed to Children’s Hospital Colorado on his 3rd day of life; his stay lasted for three months. I am not going to sugarcoat it—those three months were hard. I witnessed my son undergo two intrusive surgeries. For days I couldn’t pick him up and hold him. I had to put away his layette and my going-home outfit I had packed before his arrival. I gave away my nursing clothes. His nursery at home sat empty. Our own home became a truckstop—a pass-through for us to rest and eat. We practically lived at the hospital. Pablo Picasso once said, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” If that’s true, my soul during those three months was covered with the thickest mud. 

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Arts & Military Connections: Missouri American Legion Tom Powell Post #77 Celebrates 100 years

Posted by Ms. Jill Tutt, Jul 02, 2019

In September 1919, American Legion Tom Powell Post #77 in St. Louis was the first of its kind to become chartered as an all African American Post, decades before the military would desegregate. Post #77 takes pride in having members who served with distinction with the Tuskegee Airmen, Buffalo Soldiers, Montford Point Marines, and many other distinguished military units. Post members also have a proud history of assisting disabled and unemployed veterans, and a strong legacy of providing community youth arts programs. Tom Powell Post #77 was instrumental in bringing the concept of competitive marching music to the community through the development of the Spirit of St. Louis senior drum and bugle corps, and mentored the famed American Woodmen Cadets junior drum and bugle corps programs. The Tom Powell Post Junior Drum and Bugle Corps was organized on September 1, 1935, to help curb juvenile delinquency in and around the neighborhood and to provide music to the Post members marching in the American Legion parade held in St. Louis. The Corps as a competitive group won many honors, including perennial Missouri State championships and placing in the top 10 of numerous national conventions. The Corps was the only Black Corps in the country participating in American Legion competition.

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The 10 most read ARTSblog posts of 2018

Posted by Ms. Ann Marie Watson, Jan 22, 2019

ARTSblog once again was a vibrant space for sharing and learning across all sectors of the arts field in 2018. All told, we published more than 215 blogs by authors working in public art, healthcare, government, marketing, local arts agencies, the private sector, and at Americans for the Arts, plus artists, arts educators, leaders at every stage of their careers, and many more. We hope you got your fill of your favorite topics and posts—but if you’re looking for a quick snapshot of the year that was, here are the 10 most viewed ARTSblog posts from 2018.

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Feeling the Love in February: The National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military

Posted by Marete Wester, Feb 08, 2019

This February reflection takes me squarely into the midst of the incredible people working at the intersections of arts, health, and the military. One of the fastest growing networks at Americans for the Arts is the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military (NIAHM) Facebook Group. I am feeling the love for everyone who shares their programs and stories regularly in the NIAHM group, whose contributors represent a dynamic mix of individuals and organizations, state and local arts agencies, VA programs, arts and veterans service organizations—representing all branches of service, and all forms of art and art-making. Each day brings new postings of happenings across the country, new programs, new milestones, new art, and new inspirations. Our member postings run the gamut of understanding the deep historical roots of the arts in the military, to examples of how today’s veteran artists are carving out the unique history of the 21st century through their art. A sampling of the postings from just the last two weeks tells a rich story of the history and diversity of the arts as part of the military culture.

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10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2019

Posted by Mr. Randy Cohen, Feb 25, 2019

The arts advocacy season is upon us once again. It’s time to meet with your legislators to help them understand the value of investing in the arts. How to prepare? Start with this list of “10 Reasons to Support the Arts.” It can feel intimidating walking into a legislator’s office—even to experienced advocates. To always feel prepared, I break the advocacy process down into three simple questions: Who gets the message? What is the message? Who delivers the message? Remember the Golden Rule: No numbers without a story, and no stories without a number. The arts are all about stories—often small, always meaningful. Share yours. It’s engaging and draws your listener in—and then pair it with the research-based findings in “10 Reasons to Support the Arts.” Yours will be an advocacy visit that is not soon forgotten.

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