Our DC

On Friday, March 9, 2018, twelve 4th-8th graders from four Turnaround Arts: Milwaukee schools boarded a plane for Washington, DC—a city largely defined to them by what is depicted on television, on the internet, or in a textbook. Their purpose: to perform in the Turnaround Arts National Talent Show at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Many of these twelve had never performed before on a national stage—let alone a stage at all, for those whose schools don’t employ arts educators and have only what we refer to as a gym-a-cafe-torium. Some of them have discovered their passion and love for the arts as a means to motivate them to higher academic and social levels, while others had been selected knowing this would be their first time ever performing! Regardless of experience, we held all the students to high expectations—not only to practice, prepare, and perform, but to represent their school, district, city, and state. 

Incubating Art for Social Impact: An Interview with Halcyon Arts Lab in Washington, DC

This spring break season has seen an increase in the numbers of students, teachers, and arts advocates choosing civic engagement over a hedonistic week at the beach. As engagement in the arts for positive impact towards civic engagement and social justice continues to trend up, community building around organizations and practitioners working in social practice becomes increasingly important. So I reached out to Nicole Dowd, Program Manager of Halcyon Arts Lab—a newly launched residency and incubator program for artists working in social justice in Washington, DC—to learn insights gained from the first full year of the program. With local influences and resources ranging from Capitol Hill to an actively engaged tri-state area with interests in arts, policy, civic engagement, and everything in between, visiting artists to the Halcyon Arts Lab are welcomed into a profoundly energetic creative environment.

I know you’ll agree that the arts help communities heal, learn, and grow. All year long, I work to advance and lead the organizations that are important to me, like YoungArts, American Ballet Theatre, Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, New World Symphony and so many others. And that’s why I support Americans for the Arts: because they help make it possible for arts organizations and artists in communities all over the country to do what they do better.

The Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation is hosting its 9th annual conference in partnership with the Georgetown Art Law Association on Friday, April 13, 2018 at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. 
Regsiter at http://culturalheritagelaw.org/2018-Conference

March 15 - May 6
 
Celebrate spring and the cherry blossom season with SAKURA YUME // Cherry Blossom Dream, a large-scale seasonal installation at ARTECHOUSE. Inviting visitors of all ages, this immersive installation encompasses five unique activations where elements of Japanese culture and tradition become experiences at the intersection of art and technology.
 

Preparing Your Organization and Your Donors for Shifts in the Charitable Tax Deduction

On January 1, the 2018 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act went into effect, a substantial change to the U.S. tax code which has the potential to negatively impact arts and culture nonprofit organizations in a variety of ways. One of the most significant impacts will come in changes related to the thresholds and amounts associated with the charitable tax deduction. This 100-year-old provision was designed to stimulate giving to charities and other organizations serving the public good by providing an opportunity to claim a deduction as a reduction in an individual’s tax burden. While the repercussions of the federal tax code changes are still emerging, and corresponding shifts in state-by-state tax policy may impact your situation, the notes that follow are an introductory primer. If you have questions about state-level implications, we recommend you reach out to your state comptroller or state association of nonprofits.

Strength in Numbers

In advocacy, there’s enormous value in the large numbers of voices coming together, unified around an issue. Arts Advocacy Day brings together more than 500 individuals who are passionate about the policies that support artists and audiences in their communities. Those who visit Washington, DC each spring roam the halls of Congress, meet with Congressional members or their staff, and follow up with thank you letters and stories. We bombard lawmakers with a lot of information, facts, and anecdotes, bringing a wave of enthusiasm for pro-arts policy-making. But what happens throughout the rest of the year in DC?

Arts Advocacy Day Is Coming

Although years may really just be a number, in its 31 years, Arts Advocacy Day has seen six different U.S. presidents spanning both political parties. It’s witnessed sixteen different congressional sessions and eight different Speakers of the U.S. House. Through it all, every year, attendees hear that “the arts are bipARTtisan.” Because, no matter who’s in office, arts advocacy matters. Funding decisions are made every year. Who’s deciding this year may not be deciding next year. Who’s to remember what happened before? Who’s to know why it matters? Who’s to learn from each other? The answer is us. All of us. All of us together.

Americans for the Arts Joins Federal Amicus Brief in Support of Free Speech Rights of Congressional Art Competition Student Artist

Americans for the Arts joined 17 national, state, and local arts service organizations urging reversal of a ruling that permitted Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers to remove a painting by St. Louis high school student David Pulphus from a Congressional Art Competition exhibit at the U.S. Capitol. His allegorical post-Ferguson painting depicts a civil rights demonstration and includes two police officers with boar heads; one is pointing his gun at a protester with the head of wolf. The painting was removed under pressure from a small group of Congressmen, with the contention that the exhibition was “government speech” which the government could censor at will. 

Visually and aurally mesmerizing, this exhibition in the first solo retrospective exhibit for internationally acclaimed Turkish art studio Ouchhh.

What would the holidays be without a generous helping of whipped cream? Nothing delivers creamy aural delights better than Strauss, Lèhar, Friml, and Herbert's lilting music. Enticed by songs from The Merry Widow, The Vagabond King and more, lose yourself in a glamorous world of romance, where even broken hearts beat in waltz time. Directed by Nick Olcott and Frank Conlon with an all-star cast at GALA Hispanic Theatre in Washington D.C. Plus, you can join the cast for a toast after every performance.

Dec 7 - Jan 7

 

November 1 - November 26
 

Storytellers is an annual program that showcases the exemplary talents and ideas of some of our country’s brightest and most groundbreaking veterans. Each year around Veterans Day, the country comes together to celebrate the accomplishments of our veteran Storytellers and become #VetInspired by their stories of leadership.

Advocate with Grace

I had the honor of creating the Kennedy Center Youth Council (KCYC) in Spring 2016 with a specific mission of investigating how the Kennedy Center can positively impact and be positively impacted by youth. The KCYC founding was inspired by the Kennedy Center’s yearlong celebration of the centennial of John F. Kennedy’s birth, which included the exploration of citizen artistry, defined as using the arts for positive social impact. One of our most extraordinary KCYC members, an embodiment of the citizen artist ideology, is Grace Dolan-Sandrino. Grace, a 16-year old senior at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, has accomplished more than seasoned professionals twice her age.

Through the Artist’s Lens: A Conversation with a Young Actor, Writer and Illustrator

Arts education means so much to so many people, it seems counterintuitive that its continuation in school communities and beyond is constantly under threat. I know that I would not be the person I am today, a successful and happy museum professional employed by the Smithsonian Institution, had I not had the opportunities in my youth to explore the vast world of visual art provided by my schools and local youth orgs. For the future of all our children, we must defend arts education every opportunity we get. With that in mind, I was extra delighted for the opportunity to get to know my colleague’s spirited and quite profound daughter better through this interview.

TBD Immersive treats Washington, DC to a fully-immersive theatre experience that begins as soon as the audience arrives. Set in the 2020s, the popular, anti-establishment Cabaret in the heart of DC has become a thorn in the side of the government. On one end, you can simply sit and watch the mainstage cabaret (the show within a show); on the other, you can race around the venue solving puzzles, connecting storylines and accomplishing tasks given by performers.

In this two-day healing workshop, we will explore stress relief techniques, practice qigong, yoga and meditation, work with grief and loss in small groups, and use ritual to process. We will use art, writing, and movement as tools to find our voice and purpose through creativity. We will connect with and draw from the healing power of nature. The format of this group work is based on Healing Circles principles to build companionship, support, and trust in the inherent wisdom and compassion of each individual and of the group. Women ages 20-55 at any stage are welcome.

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