Member Spotlight: Katrina M. Daniels

Posted by Abigail Alpern Fisch, Oct 26, 2020

Katrina Daniels is the Exhibition and Gallery Sales Director at the Lansing Art Gallery and Education Center, which provides public awareness, education, and enjoyment of the visual arts by promoting the works of Michigan artists. Katrina coordinates exhibitions and public art programming working directly with artists to increase engagment between them and the Lansing community. Katrina is a co-founder of ARTpath, a program developed by the Gallery and the City of Lansing to bring artwork out of the traditional gallery setting and into the public realm. ARTpath offers more accessible opportunities for the community to engage with the work of Michigan artists. Our Member Profile series features the many Americans for the Arts members doing transformative work for arts education, public art, advocacy, arts marketing, and more. An Americans for the Arts Membership connects you with this network of more than 6,000 arts leaders and gives you access to latest professional development and research.

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Member Spotlight: Kathy Hsieh

Posted by Abigail Alpern Fisch, Sep 28, 2020

Kathy Hsieh is the Cultural Partnerships and Grants Manager at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, overseeing investments funding, and racial equity opportunities for community. Hsieh has transformed the City of Seattle’s arts funding program and helped the agency earn the Seattle Management Association’s first Race and Social Justice Management Award. Kathy shared with us her insights about how she became involved with the arts, her office's response to COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as her recommendations for arts leaders looking to promote cultural and racial equity in their work. 

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Making art in person with community: Is it worth the risk in a pandemic?

Posted by Julia Vogl, Sep 23, 2020

Whenever you make public art, there are risks—usually financial. But today with monuments being challenged, politics, history, and community emotions are often also at play. Oh, and we are in a pandemic. When everything was halted in March, I fell into a depression. The prospect of making art with community, if we could do it safely, felt like a mental health salvation. Our Neighborhood Rolls became a beautification project to cover the cinder block wall at the side of a building, but primarily it was envisioned as a point of pride that, in the making, would build community-a meaningful, fun, educational, and engaging project for local kids and residents in Kingston, NY. At a time when everyone is evaluating what risks are worth taking for the greater good, maybe making art with people in public sounds like an unnecessary hazard. However, after my experience in Kingston, I would argue it was an essential action. It greatly impacted my mental health, and visibly demonstrated the importance of placemaking and tangible engagement for community in these apocalyptic times.

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Member Spotlight: Franiya Tiffany

Posted by Isaac Fitzsimons, Aug 17, 2020

Franiya Tiffany is an actress, entertainer, and innovator from Florida. At only 10 years old, she is one of Americans for the Arts’ youngest members. A musician and performer, Tiffany is launching a nonprofit, Love Your Art Project, to help reduce poverty and empower her generation. We were excited to have a conversation with her about how she got her start in the arts, her experience as a guest on NBC’s Today Show, and her perspective on how we can all make a difference in our communities. "The future is ours. Without us using our voices now we will continue to see a repeat of the unchanged problems that will keep affecting every generation, one after another. When young people use our voices and stand tall, we can fix and unite the world in ways that will bring lasting love and change." 

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Festival Aims to Empower Artists to Improve Their Health

Posted by Holly M Kelly, Aug 13, 2020

The idea to exchange visual art and musical performances for healthcare was hatched in a conversation over a beer between a Kingston, NY, dentist and a painter. From that creative brainstorming session a small group of underinsured artists and providers was formed to found the first O+ (pronounced O Positive) Festival in 2010. The inaugural festival featured a parade, paste-up murals, and concerts in empty storefronts, and volunteer providers built a small pop-up clinic to care for the participating artists and musicians. Their simple idea of exchanging “the art of medicine for the medicine of art” acknowledged the value that everyone brought to their community. The festival was a way to both celebrate that and bring attention to the inequities of the American healthcare system. At the heart of the festival is the Artists’ Clinic and Greenroom. Participating artists, musicians, and volunteers receive care from volunteer nurses, doctors, bodyworkers, and mental health professionals in a clinic we install in a community hall and from dentists in their offices. An insurance navigator from The Actors Fund is on hand to provide information and guidance. The hall also houses our Greenroom, a place for participating artists, musicians, volunteers, and healers to relax over a home-cooked meal.

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Adaptation and Reimagination: Engaging Youth in Arts and Social Justice Virtually

Posted by Rena A. Cohen, Jul 30, 2020

As public health guidelines limited social gatherings and encouraged social distancing, arts education and social justice programs needed to reconsider their traditional in-person activities—creating a collaborative activist mural, for example, or performing an original play—for the safety of their communities. How did they bring together young people in meaningful, socially engaged arts experiences without being together physically? I had the opportunity to speak with representatives from three organizations who have fearlessly navigated the complicated world of re-envisioning onstage performances, keeping students of various ages engaged over Zoom, and creating a sense of community among young people who may have never met in person. In their interviews, each leader explained how their organization has adapted and reimagined programs to engage youth in arts and social justice virtually and offered insight on how your community can do the same.

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