Art in the News - 2015
Read the latest arts news
Americans for the Arts mourns the passing of visual arts pioneer Ellsworth Kelly at age 92. Mr. Kelly was a groundbreaking artist whose work defied categorization. Mr. Kelly, who shaped his distinctive style of American painting in the years after World War II, showed influences of Picasso and Byzantine mosaics.
During the week of December 14, 2015, the New York City Department of Education released the Annual Arts in Schools Report for the 2014-2015 school year. The report reflected the first year of data that was available since the city implemented its $23 million annual arts education funding initiative.
In a study released on December 16, 2015, Metro Schools’ collaborative Music Makes Us initiative is credited with increasing musical participation among Nashville students, as well as supplying them with the soft skills and character traits that will set them up for success in academics and life. The study shows growth in music programs at every level, particularly in the important middle school years, and 100 percent music participation at the elementary level.
Earlier this year, Texans for the Arts successfully executed the legislative strategy that secured a new appropriation of $5 million from the 84th Texas Legislative Session for the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA), with support from and in partnership with the Texas Cultural Trust. The new funding was dedicated to TCA’s Cultural and Fine Arts Districts program, Arts Respond Cultural District Project, for the 2016-2017 biennium.
The Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law last Thursday, includes the arts alongside math and language arts in its definition of a "well-rounded education." That ensures that arts education programs and teachers are eligible to receive federal funds through provisions such as Title I, which supports disadvantaged students, and Title II, which supports teachers.
On Wednesday, December 9, the Senate passed the Every Student Succeeds Act 85-12, on the heels of its passage in the House last week.
After Missouri’s annual Capitol Christmas tree decorating ceremony on December 8, Missouri Citizens for the Arts delivered 1,006 letters to Governor Jay Nixon asking for increased budget consideration for the Missouri Arts Council (MAC). The organization's initial goal was to drop off 500 letters but quickly surpassed its target as letters poured in from across the state in support of the arts.
The Little Rock Board of Directors unanimously passed on December 1 a two cent tax increase on hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfasts, and short-term vacation rentals to help fund cultural projects. While the hotel tax increase will not require voter approval, voters will decide on February 9 how the money will be allocated for improvements to MacArthur Park, the Arkansas Arts Center, and the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History.
Indiana State Board of Education unanimously rejected a proposal from the Indiana Career Council in early November, which would have limited arts education for Indiana students.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education have selected the Education Commission of the States (ECS) to serve as the new host organization for the Arts Education Partnership.