The Essential Role of Youth Leadership in Arts Education Advocacy

In Fall 2017, the Baltimore City Public School district, in partnership with local nonprofit Arts Every Day, launched the Baltimore Arts Education Initiative to address more than a decade of decline in arts education. Advocates knew the realities—a student might begin studying General Music in Elementary School and never have a music class again. Another student might take Visual Art 100 in high school but have no option for advanced courses to prepare them for college or career. Thanks to the ambitious leadership of the Baltimore City Public School district and the collaboration of over 100 arts partners, educators, and district and city leaders, the Baltimore Arts Education Initiative resulted in the 2017 Arts Education Strategic Plan. As organizers, we knew barriers to access would be identified, recommendations debated, data charts created; but what did inconsistent arts access feel like to students?

Americans for the Arts Is Celebrating National Arts in Education Week September 9-15

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

National Arts in Education Week Logo
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Americans for the Arts today announced its celebration of National Arts in Education Week. During this week, the field of arts education joins together in communities across the nation to celebrate the transformative power of the arts in education. 

Americans for the Arts Partners with the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking to Develop the 2018 National Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit

Monday, August 13, 2018

Americans for the Arts will join NCCP as a Regional Partner to provide input on content; local insight to the Maryland, District of Columbia and Northern Virginia area; marketing support; and funding connections for the upcoming summit Oct. 5-7 in College Park, Maryland. 

Works by Sharon Fishel, Susan Hostetler and Nancy Sausser
Shows: August 27 - October 20, 2018
Reception: Saturday, September 8, 5 - 8 pm
Artists Talk: Saturday, October 6, 2 - 4 pm
Artists Sharon Fishel, Susan Hostetler and Nancy Sausser, investigate the various manifestations of fertility, including the airborne, the interior and the aqueous. In a Fertile World presents their shared interest in the patterns and cycles of the natural world.

In a collaboration with the Brentwood Arts Exchange, and under the direction of Professor Jason Kuo, University of Maryland art students curate, design and produce an exhibition featuring the work of local artists. 

Under the theme of transnationalism, this exhibit will feature the two and three-dimensional investigations of Victor Ekpuk, Lorenzo Cardim, and Wilfredo Valladares.  

In a collaboration with the Brentwood Arts Exchange, and under the direction of Professor Jason Kuo, University of Maryland art students curate, design and produce an exhibition featuring the work of local artists. 

Under the theme of transnationalism, this exhibit will feature the two and three-dimensional investigations of Victor Ekpuk, Lorenzo Cardim, and Wilfredo Valladares.  
Opening Reception: June 16, 5-8 pm
 

Great Art Knows No Boundaries

It is exciting and remarkable news that the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in music went to rapper Kendrick Lamar for his album DAMN. Lamar is the first composer outside of the classical or jazz arenas to be awarded a Pulitzer. And one of the critical subtexts of his win is the message that it sends about how musical boundaries are uncontained—they are breaking down. For too long we have seen art and music as a function of silos—pop here, classical over there, jazz somewhere else, you get the idea. It doesn’t work anymore. It is artificial. In fact, I would argue that the worst thing that ever happened to classical music was when it became walled off from the broader culture early in the 20th century.

Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD)

Maryland is proud to be ranked fourth in the nation in per capita spending on the arts. Maryland’s arts sector boasts a $1 billion industry, consisting of hundreds of arts organizations and thousands of artists from the Eastern Shore to the far reaches of Western Maryland Appalachia.

Arts and Gentrification: Potential for Change

In informed discussions about the role of the artist when communities undergo change, words like privilege, displacement, and tools of gentrification often come up. The point is not that the blame for the detrimental effects of gentrification lies in the artist—of course there are much larger forces at play. Rather, the arts are being used as a tool on the path to displacement. If national trends are any indication, the artists who encroach as community outsiders in fact have a stake similar to longtime residents in the process of gentrification. Across the country, the artists initially involved in neighborhood “transformations” are themselves pushed out as rents rise. Artists and arts organizations have an opportunity to recognize their place in the system, and to take responsibility in it.

SAAN By Me: The Good Arts Advocacy Work Happening in Your States

Advocacy promoting arts and arts education funding and policy doesn’t just exist at the federal level. While the federal government funds the NEA at $152.3 million, state governments invest $357.5 million into state arts agencies. However, like the NEA, state arts agencies cannot lobby regarding appropriations, law, legislation, or policy, in their official capacity. Enter the State Arts Action Network—a professional development network of Americans for the Arts comprised of 53 state arts advocacy and service organizations from 42 states. SAAN members work around the clock advocating for pro-arts and pro-arts education funding and policies in their home states. Here’s just a sample of the great work happening at the state level! Here’s just a sample of the great work happening at the state level!

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.

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 Honors Exceptional Leaders in the Arts at The United States Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting

Friday, January 26, 2018

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Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors today presented the 2018 Public Leadership in the Arts Awards to three elected officials and one artist at The U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting. The honorees have supported and promoted arts and culture in their communities, and include Larry Hogan, governor of Maryland; Mike Rawlings, mayor of Dallas, Texas; Javier M. Gonzalez, mayor of Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Michael Cerveris, two-time Tony Award-winning stage and screen actor and musician. 

Governor Larry Hogan Honored for Arts Leadership

Governor Hogan Receives Award for State Arts Leadership; Civic Leaders Receive 2018 Public Leadership in the Arts Awards at The United Conference of Mayors’ Winter Meeting

Friday, January 26, 2018

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Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors today awarded Maryland Governor Larry Hogan the 2018 National Award for State Arts Leadership. The award, along with three other arts leadership awards, was presented at The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Winter Meeting in Washington, DC. 

Enacting Change in the Performing Arts World Begins with Changing the Conservatory Culture

Twenty-five years ago American orchestras began a conversation about what would happen to excellence in performance if orchestras broadened their missions to focus on education and community engagement. The fear, unfounded, was that excellence would be compromised. The opposite was true. Today, administrators of top performing arts organizations are begging for those of us who train artists to start training like it’s the 21st century and not the 19th. More than new skills—which is certainly part of it—this requires something more difficult: a change in the mindset of musicians. We must understand we’re all in the audience development business.

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is excited to announce that this year’s Science without Borders® Challenge is in conjunction with International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) to celebrate the International Year of the Reef (IYOR).

The Arts Give us a Social Conscious

Equity issues are deeply rooted in and infiltrate our society. My understanding of equity issues in arts education has given me a context to understand inequity in a broader sense. It brought to light the impact of socioeconomic status, race, geography, and how equity is different than equality. My arts experiences nurtured a social conscious that otherwise I may not have developed and allowed me to see so clearly that my experience was a privilege. This is why the arts are so important, and this is what will keep me advocating for arts education.

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