Recognizing Leadership and Innovation in the Arts Happens Every Day

Each fall, many of us in the arts world look forward to hearing the names of the National Medal of Arts recipients for the year. Awarded annually since 1985, this highly anticipated honor seems to have been put on hold beginning in 2016. Similarly, the National Humanities Medal ended a 26-year-long streak with their slate of 2015 honorees, and October’s National Arts & Humanities Month—which expanded from a week-long celebration proclaimed by President Reagan in 1985, to a month-long celebration of the arts and humanities in 1993—has yet to see a presidential proclamation since October 2016. Americans for decades have appreciated nationally recognized awards and a presidential proclamation every year as a show of support and encouragement to unleash creativity and reach for new heights. This year that hope was no different and I have been asked again and again for my thoughts on what has become of these high-profile awards.

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.” 

Central PA Arts Coalition will hold its first meeting of arts nonprofit leaders from organizations stretching from Lancaster to York to Harrisburg, and beyond, to work together in coalition to strengthen the arts in Central PA.
Part of the meeting agenda will include a World Cafe style discussion of Creative Conversation, as part of the National Arts and Humanities Month focus through Americans for the Arts. 
RSVP is required.

Celebrating National Arts and Humanities month and in anticipation of MidAtlantic Opera's PRAYER FOR PEACE: THE POWER OF ONE VOICE concert at NJPAC on Oct 27 soprano Allison Charney and violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins will present Israeli composer Moshe Knoll's lush setting of Psalm 133.

What women leaders said about the arts during a Creative Conversation held at McMurry University

On October 19, 2016, The Center for Arts Excellence (CAE) at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, hosted a Creative Conversation as a way to celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month. The CAE gathered women leaders together from the Grace Museum, Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, United Way, Paramount, Hunt Direct Marketing and McMurry University to discuss the arts in Abilene. More specifically, this group focused their discussion on three distinct areas: arts and community, access to the arts, and possible community arts partnerships.

There are More Than 31 Ways to #ShowYourArt

National Arts and Humanities Month was a perfect time to try new ways to engage with you, our members and stakeholders, as well as the general public through our ever-growing social networks including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. This year, we upped the stakes of our traditional social media sharing campaign, #ShowYourArt, by creating 31 arts-related themes—one for each day of the month—and challenging you to show us your art on Instagram each day in October. If I’m being completely honest, I was nervous as Oct. 1 approached. I wasn’t sure if anyone would hear our call and respond. Or if they did, would the enthusiasm last?

National Creative Conversation on Facebook

Creative Conversations started in 2004 as a program through the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network, bringing together individuals in their communities to talk about the arts & culture and creativity, with a goal to generate partnerships and increase energy and awareness around grassroots efforts. Meeting people where they are is a key focus of local work and of particular interest in fostering space for conversation and gathering. Knowing that organizational budgets and individual resources can be limited or non-existent makes in-person national dialogue difficult. So how could we easily meet people “where they are” on a national scale? 

The Stories of National Arts and Humanities Month

National Arts and Humanities Month is a celebration of the creative work that reaches and translates our stories to communities across the country. The month-long celebration represents a collective collaboration between Americans for the Arts, local arts agencies, artists, and individuals to build an archive of creative actions and give individual and community stories a national platform.

Reflections on SXSL: Art, Technology and Possibility

When the arts are used to connect the work being done on the edge of science, government, and technology, this is how change begins. This is the sense that the first South by South Lawn (SXSL) inspired in many of those who attended. 

Lessons Beyond the Playa: Bringing Burning Man Home

Fundamentally, as we celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month in October, we celebrate creativity and what it means to be human today. We celebrate everyday creative expression in all of its forms—from the amateur to the master artist and his/her craft. Burning Man celebrates that, too.

In accordance with National Arts & Humanities Month, Mayor of Joplin, Mike Seibert, will officially proclaim the month of October as National Arts and Humanities Month at Spiva Park (4th and Main Street) on Thursday, October 6 at 5:00pm.

Celebrating National Arts and Humanities Month with an Eye to a New Cast of Characters

We are at the edge of a changing political tide, whereby elected leaders and administrations will change and support mechanisms for the arts will necessarily evolve. We have one last shot in 2016 to show our future elected leaders the importance of the arts in America.

 

Earlier this year, President Obama traveled to South by Southwest® for a conversation on civic engagement. In Austin, he called on creative thinkers and entrepreneurs from across the country to help tackle our toughest challenges. On Monday, October 3, we're celebrating that spirit of innovation at South by South Lawn, a White House festival of ideas, art, and action.

The Art of Creative Conversations

There are a lot of different ways to have a Creative Conversation—you can do brown bag lunches, panel discussions, longer workshops, and even full day symposia—but the most important thing is to have one!

Americans for the Arts Celebrates National Arts and Humanities Month

Americans Are Encouraged to Explore the Role of Arts in Their Communities

Friday, September 30, 2016

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Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America, invites all Americans to celebrate October as National Arts and Humanities Month. The month-long celebration is the country’s largest collective celebration of arts and culture. 

Meet the Team

Ruby Lopez Harper

Ruby is the Director of Local Arts Services for Americans for the Arts. She is the Co-chair for the National Coalition on Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response, serves as Co-chair on the Support for Individual Artist Steering Committee for Grantmakers in the Arts and serves on the WETA Community Advisory Council. She is also on the board of the Gard Foundation. Prior to joining AFTA, Ruby was the Director of Grants and Services at the Greater Columbus Arts Council in Columbus, OH.

The Importance of the Arts in our Communities: Robert L. Lynch and Laura Zabel

October means something very important to the arts world and to communities throughout the United States -- National Arts and Humanities Month, now in its 30th year. Citizens of Minnesota have celebrated through numerous events that proudly showcase the state as an eclectic and dynamic artistic community, rich in cultural heritage.

It is fitting, then, that our capital city be the starting point for a nationwide dialogue exploring the future of local arts in America and the ways that community members can shape that future.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Adopts National Arts & Humanities Month Resolution

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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The Pennsylvania House of Representatives adopted HR 537, “A Resolution recognizing the month of October 2015 as 'National Arts and Humanities Month' in Pennsylvania,” on Tuesday, October 20. Introduced by State Representative Stan Saylor, the noncontroversial resolution had 45 co-sponsors and states “...therefore be it RESOLVED,The House of Representatives recognize the month of October 2015 as "National Arts and Humanities Month" in Pennsylvania, call upon residents to celebrate and promote the arts and culture in our nation and encourage greater participation by residents of this Commonwealth in the arts and humanities in their local communities.”

For our October Creative Conversation, we are talking about the transition from emerging leader to experienced leader. Is it a matter of skills, confidence, or a bit of both? Our panel of arts professionals will give insight into the moment that they decided to take their careers to the next level. Whether you're thinking about a career change, anxious to advance, or just unsure of your path, this session will give you plenty of food for thought.

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