A new “Warrior’s Circle of Honor” at the National Native American Veterans Memorial

Posted by Mr. John W. Haworth, Nov 07, 2022

Designed by Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma), the National Native American Veterans Memorial is located on the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall and was commissioned by Congress to give all Americans and our international visitors the opportunity to learn more about the proud and courageous tradition of service of Native Americans in the Armed Forces of the United States. As a tribute to Native heroes, this work of public art recognizes, for the first time on a national scale, the distinguished service of American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian veterans in every branch of the U.S. military. Given that Native Americans have a long history of service dating back to the Revolutionary War, and also serve at the highest per capita level of participation of any demographic, it is especially appropriate (and it’s about time!) for Native American veterans to be honored with this memorial. Public art in the 21st century is playing a key role in creating meaningful places for gathering and contemplation. Many memorials created in the not-so-distant past are figurative statues of heroic and historical figures. By contrast, both the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the National Native Americans Veterans Memorial are abstract works that are meditative in tone and rich in symbolism. The National Native American Veterans Memorial also serves as a place of reverence and honor, a commemoration of people who served with honor, and a site of celebration.

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How to Secure a Local Proclamation for National Arts & Humanities Month

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Sep 08, 2020

Proclamations are a wonderful way that your mayor, city council, or your city (or county) in general can easily show its support for the arts and culture. Each year, Americans for the Arts encourages advocates to work with their local and state elected officials to issue a proclamation declaring October National Arts & Humanities Month in their city, county, or state. They allow elected officials to easily demonstrate their support for the arts, offer a written document for advocates to use year-round to demonstrate the value of the arts and culture, and serve as a tool to engage other arts advocates in their local communities. For those who have never done this before, I thought that I would offer a how-to guide help you understand the process of obtaining a proclamation.

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Spotlight on 2020 Johnson Fellowship Nominees: Creating Space(s) to Activate Artistic and Cultural Movements

Posted by Ms. Pam Korza, Jun 30, 2020

Venus De Mars and Luke Stewart are among the 11 exemplary music artist nominees for Americans for the Arts’ 2020 Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities featured in our ongoing ARTSblog series. At different career stages, these artist-activists may be considered by some on the musical fringes. What they hold in common is a steady and deliberate dedication to bringing their communities out of the margins and advancing and improving conditions for them to thrive. As a punk rock singer-songwriter and transgender woman, Venus’ performances, speaking, and compassionate presence have created spaces of affirmation and communion for transgender people and fostered openness and understanding among audiences across the gender spectrum. Luke moves effortlessly between artist communities in jazz, DIY punk rock, and, most of all, improvised music. He uses his improvisation skills to be alert to and advance conditions that will allow musicians across these genres to create, perform, and learn from one another, while expanding appreciation and audiences for their work.

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Why You Need to Be in Washington, D.C. this June!

Posted by Mr. Clayton W. Lord, Ms. Patricia Walsh, Mar 02, 2020

In 2020, the convergence of Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention with the refreshed and expanded Public Art & Civic Design Conference will spark a new level of conversation and thinking. The new shifts in format and structure that we’re setting up this year will make for an even more interactive and energizing conference, with over 50 sessions, more than 1,000 professionals from across a variety of sectors, and more opportunities to learn and network with colleagues from all 50 states and around the world. These two annual events—happening June 26-28 in Washington, D.C.—are the best place to come together with the full spectrum of people who are working to center the arts in equitable community development and creative placemaking. We are excited about holding these meetings in Washington, D.C. because the city and surrounding communities are about much more than national politics. It is a great place to engage in really deep and meaningful conversations about how we all work to make our communities the best they can be.

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A Strong Equation: How State Arts Advocacy Efforts are Paying Off!

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Feb 21, 2020

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) recently published their FY 2020 State Arts Agency Revenues Report. By any measure, the report paints a very positive picture for state funding of the arts, with year-to-year appropriations increasing by more than 37% to a grand total of almost $495 million in total legislative appropriations. Because the economy is doing well, it stands to reason that SAA appropriations would be higher. While it is true that a strong economy makes increases more likely, a strong economy alone cannot explain this year’s massive increase. There in an interesting equation at work: If your state has a State Arts Agency that is engaged in thoughtful programming, a strong statewide arts advocacy organization, and advocates who are proactively engaged with your state’s existing political leadership, more funding/pro-arts policy are possible! 

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Creative Summer: Intern Experiences at Americans for the Arts

Posted by Abigail Alpern Fisch, Aug 19, 2019

“What is justice?” In my first year of college, I had a research assignment to choose a case study related to this question. I wrote about the need to increase equitable access to arts education in the United States as a means for social justice, and used resources from Americans for the Arts for my research. With previous experience as a visual arts student as well as an art teacher for students from underserved schools in the Washington, D.C. area, I knew the transformative power that the arts could have to empower individuals and communities. My classmates were eager during my presentation to hear more about the case for the arts as a matter of social justice, as many of them reflected that they had never thought about arts in the context of social impact or equity. Since then, I have wanted to be an advocate for the arts wherever I go, knowing that it is so intertwined with issues of equity and social justice. I have pursued ways to integrate my interests in the arts with my professional goals of advocacy and related communications fields. This summer, I had the perfect opportunity to integrate my interest in the arts with my professional goals as the Marketing and Communications intern at Americans for the Arts.

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