Introducing Americans for the Arts’ Inclusive Creative Economy Plan

Posted by Jessica Stern, Feb 25, 2021

For the last two years, we at Americans for the Arts have spent significant time listening, learning, planning, and in consideration to engage in a multi-pronged, multi-year effort to support inclusive creative economies at the local level, encourage stronger unification between the for-profit and nonprofit arts sectors, and pursue federal-level policies that support creative workers. With encouragement from current and former members of the Private Sector Council, a broad cross-section of local, state, regional and national advisors, and through consistent commitment from the Board of Directors, we sought to identify our unique role and where we can effect change alongside the many organizations, coalitions, and individuals doing this work. COVID-19, and its irrefutable disproportionate effect on communities of color, has only increased the urgency of these efforts. We know that we must, with intention and alongside new alliances and relationships, design strategies for the aspiration of an inclusive creative economy—recognizing that our current economy does not equitably support all people to reach their creative and artistic potential. This is an exciting and critically important journey. I’m pleased to share our plan on behalf of my colleagues, and to invite participation and feedback in it. 

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Strengthening Education & the Workforce Through the Arts

Posted by Mr. Randy Cohen, Nov 24, 2020

When the 2013 Nobel Laureate in Medicine, Stanford University’s Thomas Südhof, was asked by the prestigious medical journal Lancet to name his most influential teacher, one can only imagine the look on the interviewer’s face when the professor responded, “My bassoon teacher.” He later went on to describe how it was his music education that gave him the habits of mind that made him a great scientist—discipline and drive for excellence, creativity, communication, and a desire to innovate. As public and private sector leaders work to strengthen their education systems and the competitiveness of their workforce, the research makes clear that ensuring every student receives a quality arts education achieves both. The research points us in an unmistakable direction: If you care about students performing better academically and building a competitive 21st century workforce, use your voice to help ensure every student receives a quality arts education.

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How a Local Business Chamber & the Arts Work Together as a Vital Emergency Response and Long-Term Economic Vision

Posted by Mr. Adam Knapp, Ms. Renee Chatelain, Jul 08, 2020

Unprecedented … resilient … essential … are words we have heard much about during the COVID-19 crisis. These words, in fact, describe every artist, arts educator, and arts organization—and not just during an emergency. Each of us as human beings are heard, healed, uplifted, and empowered by and through the arts. In both unprecedented crises and unprecedented times, ART is essential. With a growing understanding of the vital role the arts play in successful communities, Baton Rouge Area Chamber has sought to better understand and formalize its relationship with the arts sector. Baton Rouge Area Chamber has been a phenomenal arts sector partner in the response to COVID-19. The Chamber has put their strategic planning process into action by looking to the arts community for responses to medical shortfalls in personal protective equipment, maintaining the gig economy, and creating campaigns which promote safety and healing for the community.

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Business Spotlight: Hotel Leverages Arts to Welcome Community and Social Transformation

Posted by Deborah Briggs, Jun 08, 2020

For over 10 years, The Betsy has been celebrated as one of the world’s great art hotels, known for a unique artist in residence program, high profile exhibitions by globally-known artists, creating and nurturing a place for poetry in Miami, and placing classical music and jazz side-by-side in daily performances by the best and brightest players in all genres. We live in challenging times. We need the arts (and artists) more than ever, but at the moment almost 62% of artists are unemployed. Even when they were working, many were in a struggle to survive. This needs to change, and here’s why: To solve the problems of our world—whether one is thinking macro or micro—we need to include individuals who think in new ways. Keeping the status quo just is not going to work when the stakes are so high. So, our challenge is to continue to advocate for the power of the arts. Even as we recognize that although artists “will always find a way” to do their work, we need to support creative enterprise at the highest levels.

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Business Spotlight: Engineer Calls for Fusion of Arts and Technology in Human-Centered Design

Posted by Domhnaill Hernon, May 07, 2020

I currently lead the art and technology program at Nokia Bell Labs. We call it Experiments in Art and Technology in honor of the seminal bringing together of engineers and artists in the late 60s and 70s within which Bell Labs played a crucial role. So, in my current role, I am a champion of the arts—especially new media art, art that involves emerging technology, and musical composition and performance. I lead our artistic collaborations and projects and act as a “curator” and “matchmaker” bringing together the very different worlds of art and technology. I believe that the arts could be (should be) more transformational in the way they inform more human-centric design. I believe that the arts should be deeply integrated into all companies but especially technology companies. I believe it is critical that the voice of the artist be heard and taken seriously in the context of business and in understanding the role that technology can play in influencing humanity.

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Summa Health Connects Patients to Art and its Healing Powers

Posted by Meg H. Stanton, Mar 19, 2020

Studies show the healing potential of the arts is powerful. It can change a person’s focus and alter a body’s physiology. Research suggests that it can lower blood pressure, improve stress management, curb anxiety and depression, alleviate pain, enhance memory, improve communication, promote wellness and relaxation, and enhance the production of proteins that accelerates healing and minimizes the danger of infection. Recognizing that a patient’s physical health is fundamentally linked to his or her emotional and spiritual well-being, in 2016 Summa Health committed to integrating the healing arts into its renowned patient care by creating a Healing Arts Leadership Council made up of senior hospital staff, benefactors, and community leaders. This Council is dedicated to bringing the healing powers of art and music into the hospital. As Summa is a community hospital, the Healing Arts Council decided early on that all artwork displayed would feature artists with a connection to Ohio, and predominantly Northeast Ohio. In addition, all art would be original, with the goal of engaging viewers with the pieces, and focusing their attention on the artworks’ unique qualities. 

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