The Importance and Impact of Planning for Public Art

There is a growing interest in public art from across the country. In the Public Art Programs Fiscal Year 2001 report, Americans for the Arts estimated 350 public art programs across the U.S. The 2017 Survey of Public Art Programs identified more than twice as many. With this growth it is important to understand the various ways public art is planned for and implemented in different communities. In this post, we provide an overview of three papers published by Americans for the Arts that speak to the diverse needs of public art programs across the country, and how local institutions are approaching the topic in innovative ways. With a focus on planning for public art from a municipal perspective, growing public art programs in small to mid-sized cities, and recognizing grassroots and folk art in rural communities, these papers show that successful public art values local context and the public art programs are as unique as each community.

Americans for the Arts Presents 2018 Public Leadership in the Arts Award for State Arts Leadership to California Senator Ben Allen

Friday, December 7, 2018

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In partnership with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Americans for the Arts is pleased to present California Senator Ben Allen with the Public Leadership in the Arts Award for State Arts Leadership. The award honors state officials who effectively lead the arts advancement movement in their region. The ceremony took place this morning at the NCSL Capitol Forum in Washington, DC.

Move Well with Communities

When we think of health and wellness, we think about the mind, body and spirit. We imagine wholeness. … Why? Because every day, we have the opportunity to make conscious decisions about what we allow into our bodies. This includes not only what we eat, drink, watch, and listen to, but also our thoughts. To us at heidi duckler dance (HDD), wellness is how we realize our self image, and as artists, it is the overall practice we promote in our daily lives. HDD transforms non-traditional spaces, provides learning opportunities by engaging diverse communities, and promotes the concept that the arts can change our vision of the world and of ourselves. Through working with HDD’s Artistic Director, Heidi Duckler, I have had the pleasure of seeing firsthand the power of utilizing all types of venues while simultaneously using arts from across different disciplines to uncover powerful stories. This process has allowed me to see how I, as an artist and an administrator, can incorporate wellness into our work. 

Creative Strategist Initiative: Embedding Artist in the Bureaucracy

This summer the LA County Arts Commission (LACAC) kicked off the artist-in-residence Creative Strategist Initiative. One of seven recommendations from the Cultural Equity & Inclusion Initiative that were funded by the LA County Board of Supervisors in 2017, the AIR Creative Strategist Initiative places individuals with artistic expertise in County departments to assist in the implementation of special County projects. Creative Strategists are placed as artists in residence (CS-AIR) for a minimum of 12 months, and work alongside department staff. Together, the department and CS-AIR collaborate with project partners and community stakeholders to effect change and impact a specific project or initiative. The Arts Commission implemented extensive field research and months of conversations with these departments to prepare for artist placement, uncovering critical lessons through the process.

The Arts Say Thank You to Our Veterans and Active Duty Military

As we celebrate both Thanksgiving and National Veterans and Military Families Month this year, we honor the service and sacrifice of America’s more than 18 million veterans across the country. Arts and humanities events and programs remind us of the contributions that veterans and active duty military and their families have made and the power of joining together through the shared experience of art. We recognize the growing number of state and local-level arts and military initiatives that are creating greater access and more opportunities across the country. These programs unite us, bridging the civilian/military divide in a non-partisan way that only the arts can, in communities both large and small. And these efforts aren’t just one-time events; they represent long-term commitments from artists and arts groups to serve those who have served.

Celebrate National Shop Local Artists Week 2018

Be part of the nationwide celebration December 2-8, 2018

Thursday, November 8, 2018

From December 2 to 8, 2018, the initiative encourages the creative field to join together in communities across the country to promote the sales of the work of local artists, and to promote to all consumers that art—including tickets to events and organization memberships—makes great holiday gifts.

Mad River Theater Works sets deep roots in their songwriting and storytelling while exploring the valiant and courageous personalities in American History. While focusing on culture and community, Mad River Theater Works strives to challenge racism and intolerance thorough their performances. Audiences take a glimpse into the past as Mad River Theater presents “Wings of Courage” an unbelieved story of Eugene Bullard, an African-American boxer, jazz musician and World War I flying Ace.
 

Arts For The Schools presents: Nation Beat
Borrowing, mixing and adapting musical traditions is at the heart of music. Nation Beat singularly conjures up this elemental musical charm, drawing on the source of rhythm that lit up jazz. From the Brazil drumming, propelled by sounds of New Orleans-flavored brass, this music makes you dance! Nation Beat’s mission is to unite the rural music of Brazil maracatu and NOLA roots to all audiences with their joyful Carnival-style rhythms.
 

Arts For The Schools presents: Okaidja Afroso

Join genARTS Silicon Valley for their annual Creative Conversation and participate in the national initiative started by Americans for the Arts to bring communities together in the month of October (National Arts and Humanities Month) to discuss issues of importance in the local arts and culture sector.

This year, our panel conversation will explore topics of advocacy FOR the arts and advocacy IN the arts. Learn and discuss how everyone can use their power to advocate for the arts in their local community, or how to use art as a catalyst for change.

Join genARTS Silicon Valley for their annual Creative Conversation and participate in the national initiative started by Americans for the Arts to bring communities together in the month of October (National Arts and Humanities Month) to discuss issues of importance in the local arts and culture sector.

This year, our panel conversation will explore topics of advocacy FOR the arts and advocacy IN the arts. Learn and discuss how everyone can use their power to advocate for the arts in their local community, or how to use art as a catalyst for change.

An internationally renowned powerhouse for dance, Ririe Woodbury Dance Company offers exquisite performances of contemporary repertory by diverse choreographers that allows an experience the audience can interpret as their own. A daring reconsideration of light, space, movement Ririe Woodbury Dance Company movements comment to dance while advocating the philosophy that “dance is for everybody”.
 

The first all-women full ensemble Mariachi Group Flor De Toloache is a diverse, bilingual band that fuses jazz, blues and other forms of Latin American music to illuminate world-renowned stages while preserving traditions of Mariachi. Taking Mariachi to old places and new, their limitless possibilities transcend the stereotypical as they as add intensity, color and exuberance to their music. 

Emi Sunshine, a 14-year-old prodigy from East Tennessee and a true vocal stylist, brings storytelling to her audience of all ages. While her music has been described as old timey, she adds her own unique blend with a sprinkle of vivid emotion. She plays the guitar, mandolin, and ukulele and combines her youthful, bubbly disposition with deep, meaningful song content.

Emi Sunshine, a 14-year-old prodigy from East Tennessee and a true vocal stylist, brings storytelling to her audience of all ages. While her music has been described as old timey, she adds her own unique blend with a sprinkle of vivid emotion. She plays the guitar, mandolin, and ukulele and combines her youthful, bubbly disposition with deep, meaningful song content.

Americans for the Arts Introduces the Arts + Social Impact Explorer

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Today, Americans for the Arts unveiled the Arts + Social Impact Explorer, an interactive online tool that draws together more than 1,000 data points on how the arts impact and integrate into 26 different sectors ranging from education and innovation, to health and wellness, immigration, faith and environment. The tool provides quick top-line research, example projects, core research papers, and lists service and partner organizations doing this work, as well as provides printable PDF fact sheets to share with decisionmakers.

Spark a Creative Conversation During National Arts & Humanities Month

Happy National Arts and Humanities Month! Each October, millions of people across the country celebrate the transformative power of the arts in their communities. National Arts and Humanities Month is a “coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America,” with the goals of: FOCUSING on the arts at local, state, and national levels; ENCOURAGING individuals and organizations to participate in the arts; ALLOWING governments and businesses to show their support of the arts; and RAISING public awareness about the role the arts and humanities play in our communities and lives. During National Arts and Humanities Month, some truly amazing celebrations of arts and culture take place across the country. One of the big initiatives for the month is Creative Conversations, which gather community leaders to “discuss local arts, culture, and creativity to generate partnerships and increased energy around the grassroots movement to elevate the arts in America.” 

Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2018: An In-Depth Look at Perceptions and Attitudes About the Arts in America

In a society struggling to find equity and social justice, Americans believe the arts improve the quality of our communities. How do we know? We asked. Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2018 is the second in a series of national public opinion surveys conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Americans for the Arts. One of the largest ever conducted, it gauges the public perspective on (1) personal engagement in the arts as audience and creator, (2) support for arts education and government arts funding, (3) opinions on the personal and well-being benefits that come from engaging in the arts, and (4) how those personal benefits extend to the community. Here are some findings of the survey. 

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