Art Performs Life on the 10th Anniversary of the Fukushima Disaster

Posted by Mr. John R. Killacky, Mar 12, 2021

Ten years ago, on March 11, 2011, Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants suffered massive damage in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami. A dance artist, Eiko Otake, long familiar to audiences at the Flynn Center in Burlington, Vermont where I live, felt compelled to perform in the irradiated disrupted landscapes. “By placing my body in these places,” she says, “I thought of the generations of people who used to live there. I danced so as not to forget.” Joining her was a colleague from Wesleyan University, William Johnston, professor of Japanese history. The two co-teach a class on Japan’s nuclear disasters, with Fukushima now added into the curriculum along with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Johnston, also an esteemed photographer, journeyed along to document Eiko’s performances as an artistic collaborator. Art performs life in this luminous project, reminding us that the role artists play in commemorating losses can never be underestimated. 

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Supporting immigrant artists and building a network of support

Posted by Alicia Ehni, Nov 20, 2019

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), founded in 1971, empowers artists at critical stages of their creative lives. One of the ways NYFA serves our mission is through our Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program (IAP) that has served more than 460 mentees since 2007. A large part of the success of this program is the fostering of communities and networks that enables participants and consultants to connect and collaborate to create more opportunities for artists to showcase their work and push their practice to new levels. A clear example of this is a recent NYFA/New York Live Arts (NYLA) collaboration initiated by Yanira Castro, a Puerto Rican, Bessie Award-winning artist based in Brooklyn, and Martita Abril, a performer, choreographer, teaching artist, and mentor of the IAP Program. With the goal of reflecting on the multiplicity of their experiences, identities, practices, and politics, these artists also speak to what holds them in common: the experience of displacement and disorientation, and the work of communicating/finding/forming community. 

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Putting Art in Every Step: A Conversation with Rollie Nation Founder Vince Lebon

Posted by Vince Lebon, Aug 09, 2019

When I envisioned Rollie from the very beginning, I aspired to create a brand that was bigger than me, a brand for the people, and designed alongside other creatives to challenge myself and what is the norm in the industry. This allowed us to create our own unique point of view and USP (unique selling proposition). Being a creative business owner, working with other creatives, felt very natural and empowering to me and the value in doing so was immediate. Our first collaboration came two days after launching the brand; it was with the founder of an award-winning design agency who was simply fascinated by the product and brand story. We collaborated despite not having the funds, with the common understanding to create something we were both proud of; we came runners up for Australian Print ad of the year with our first campaign. The lesson here is that there are other currencies than money.

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HundrEDs of Good Ideas for Arts Education

Posted by Ms. Argy Nestor, Dec 19, 2018

Imagine yourself among over 100 educators from throughout the world whose conversations are focused on innovation! Pinch me—is this real? Over and over that question entered my mind as I traveled to Helsinki, Finland to attend the Innovation Summit planned by HundrED during the first week of November of this year. It was an honor to be invited to participate in the summit. HundrED is a non-profit organization that discovers, researches, and shares inspiring innovations in K12 education, and was born from the notion that in a world becoming increasingly connected and globalized, education can still be very local and isolated in its practices. HundrED has identified 100 innovators for 2019 and highlighted their work so others can learn and apply ideas to their own work. Some of the innovators are working against all odds. But the one thing they have in common is starting with a seed of an idea and figuring out how to impact the learners in their communities.

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Aesthetics of Process in a City Master Plan in Western Sydney, Australia

Posted by Gretchen Coombs, Jul 27, 2017

The Future of Penrith/Penrith of the Future came out of the C3West initiative (community, commerce, contemporary art), and demonstrates how partnerships between artists, city councils, urban planners, architects, and businesses have resulted in positive social outcomes where communities reimagine urban life, establish relationships to place, and experience what art can be and do outside the museum. The C3West model challenges the orthodoxies of community art by bringing in civic and business partners, tapping into sources of money that would not normally be available to artists.

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Expanding the Arts Ecosystem in Malawi

Posted by Viktorya Vilk, Aug 01, 2017

Malawi has no shortage of artists. What’s needed is a more robust arts ecosystem in which artists can grow and thrive. There is no question that the arts are critical to fostering human development, establishing identity through shared cultural heritage, bolstering democracy, and protecting human rights. It is high time that international donors and the Malawian government realized that one of the country’s greatest resources—arts and culture—remains largely untapped.

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