From the Elected Official’s Perspective: Why Arts Advocacy Matters

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Mar 25, 2022

There is a great deal of information on arts organizations’ websites about why and how arts advocacy is important, along with suggestions for best practices for advocates. Here is an opportunity to switch up the perspective from the arts advocate and learn about the elected officials’ thought process. I recently interviewed Iowa Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg (R), whose relationship with Americans for the Arts through the National Lieutenant Governors Association has helped him understand that the arts are everywhere in our economy, how they play a huge role in education and rural development, and the ways they can support other areas such as health care and community cohesion. We discussed the importance of building relationships with elected officials in order to educate and advocate for issues that matter, how the arts make an impact in all 99 of Iowa’s counties, why it’s crucial for advocates to come together and work toward a common cause, and more.

Read More

Member Spotlight: David Ross

Posted by David Ross, Linda Lombardi, Mar 08, 2022

As creative placemaking coordinator for The Arts Commission in Toledo, Ohio, David Ross is a community artist turned advocate for youth and creativity. An alum of The Arts Commission’s Young Artist at Work program, he has been a member of the creative placemaking team since 2020, working to connect visual art and social issues. Ross also chairs the City of Toledo Human Relation Commission’s Stop the Violence Committee, co-chairs the Toledo Racial Equity & Inclusion Council, and is the founder of a local celebrity basketball charity contest, Dunkin 4 Donations. “Creative placemaking is the answer to social justice artistically filling in the gaps and barriers in equality and opportunity. Not knowing how to express yourself or not having pride will make you not see the value of the land or opportunity to flourish. Creative placemaking directly addresses those issues with a creative and sustainable approach.”

Read More

Turning Your Community into a Classroom

Posted by Tessa Gaffney, Oct 31, 2019

Inspired by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a nationally recognized speaker and early childhood expert, Summit Education Initiative has started an Akron Play Book of its own. In collaboration with ArtsNow and The University of Akron’s EX[L] Center, SEI established an internship in which students were to design and implement simple, educational art installations that families with young children could interact with as they go about their daily activities. They would be installed in North Hill, a racially and ethnically diverse community, on September 8, 2019 during First Serve, an event that brings together over 800 individuals of different faiths and backgrounds to volunteer on service projects across the city alongside each other. Art doesn’t have to take place on a stage or in a gallery, with a clear boundary between art and audience. It can be an interruption from everyday life. It can instill lessons and develop skills. It can be a Laundromat theatre, or a grocery store card game, or even a bench.

Read More

Lynne McCormack's Farewell Note to the City of Providence Office of Cultural Affairs

Posted by Lynne McCormack, Oct 21, 2015

Dear friends and colleagues,

I'm writing you to share the news that tomorrow is my last day as the director of Art, Culture + Tourism for the City of Providence.

Today I write to thank you for all that we have accomplished together in re-creating Providence. 

Read More

The Case for Culture in the Promise Zone: Connecting Federal Initiatives with Place-Based Culture

Posted by Ms. Lindsay So, Aug 19, 2015

Philadelphia is known for a lot of things: Rocky, Will Smith, dedicated sports fans, cheesesteaks…

We’re also a city where:

  • Approximately 3 out of every 10 residents are eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • 18% did not graduate high school
  • 7.8% are unemployed (well above the national, state, and regional levels)
  • We have the 6th highest homicide rate among nation’s 10 largest cities

 (Pew State of the City 2015)

Read More