Meg Salocks

Meg Salocks

The Farnsworth Art Museum is a small art museum in Rockland, ME – approximately 70 miles north of the state’s capital – that is really anything but small. Founded in 1948, the museum’s collection was designed specifically to celebrate “Maine’s role in American Art.” With this in mind, it is not at all surprising that the Farnsworth Art Museum’s current focus is building “life-long connections” with all the diverse and divergent audiences in Maine’s mid-coast region. Read the rest of this entry »

Jeff Poulin

Jeff Poulin

In the Arts Education world, Chicago has been in the news a lot lately. To best understand what has gone on the past 2 or so years, we have compiled a concise list of events, news stories and reports to tell the tale for all of us non-Chicagoans.

1. Chicago’s Cultural Plan

In February 2012, a celebration was held to mark the release of the City of Chicago’s Cultural Plan. Developed in conjunction with advocates, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the plan called for specific attention on Arts Education within Chicago Public Schools (CPS). After one year in effect, the several studies have been completed, data has been compiled and analysis is beginning. Read the rest of this entry »

Narric Rome

Narric Rome

If you have a generally pessimistic view of how our federal government works, and have been distressed about lack of productivity by Congress in recent years, read this quote from Senate education committee chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and then you can stop reading this blog post.

I know that there will have to be 60 votes to move out of the Senate, 60 votes to go to conference, and 60 votes to pass a bill in the end. That takes working with all senators here, including those on the other side. I also know … that if we want it to be a law, it takes a presidential signature and that president today is President Obama.”

With a U.S. Senate of 56 Republicans and 46 Democrats and Independents, a GOP House and a Democratic Administration, it’s hard to see how federal education reform legislation can be successfully passed with this divided government.

However, if you enjoy a good policy debate, then welcome to a new round of Reauthorizing the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA)! Read the rest of this entry »

Josh Russell Headshot

Joshua Russell

As a long-time re-granting organization, Silicon Valley Creates knows how critically important money is to our arts and culture ecosystem. Organizations will also prioritize funding before any other form of support.

But when Arts Council Silicon Valley, a 30-year old United Arts Fund, merged with 1stACT Silicon Valley, a community catalyst, to form Silicon Valley Creates just over a year ago, we opted to take a new approach to how we strengthen our creative ecosystem–which was one of four main goals in our strategic plan.

So we developed a framework (pdf) of what we believe to be the key elements to a sustainable artist or arts organization in Silicon Valley. Read the rest of this entry »

NancyNG1

Nancy Ng

The typical structure of 99% of U.S. non-profit arts organizations includes segregated artistic, administrative, and development departments. My colleagues who work in such segregated institutions experience chasms between departments and waste time bickering and competing for an even share of resources. Aside from the intention of human resource efficiency, I have never understood the acceptance of this structure.

Upon leaving graduate school I was fortunate to co-lead a small organization, Asian American Dance Performances, where there was no division between the artistic and administrative staff. I happily danced and choreographed while writing my first grants and figuring out excel spreadsheets. I always loved math and spatial relationships, which were the modalities I used to learn dance. After completing a graduate program where my portfolio included a written thesis, performance thesis, and written and oral comprehensive examinations, I was able to talk and write about dance with ease. I could make a case for my artistic work and the work of my fellow artists. Read the rest of this entry »

Meg Salocks

Meg Salocks

Welcome to our mini-series on #ArtsEd in #MuseumSpaces!

Over the past year, we have spent a lot of time discussing and promoting a healthy arts education ecosystem in communities across every town and state in the country. The Shared Endeavor model is garnering more support everyday as schools and communities work together to share the responsibility of providing a high-quality arts education to their students. Schools are taking up the banner to find creative solutions to integrate arts into classrooms. We’ve heard from teachers and teaching artists in our Teaching Artists Blog Salon this past March, and in our webinar “Arts Education: A Shared Responsibility” just last month.

But what about beyond the school? Read the rest of this entry »

Deb Vaughn

Deb Vaughn

True confession: I am not a strategic evaluator. Anyone else want to come clean? Try this easy quiz:

  • Do you churn out Survey monkey questionnaires the day before your workshops begin?
  • Do you frantically google “student evaluation rubric” as the touring van pulls out of the theatre loading dock?
  • Do you regularly practice post-event justification, working backwards through your program as you rush to complete a final report for a funder the night before it’s due?

If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, you might need an evaluation intervention. Read the rest of this entry »

Crystal Benavides

Crystal Benavides

Inspired by the shift toward outcome-driven art projects, I was struck by arts potential to be used as a technique for data collection. When we look at art, we tend to focus primarily on its aesthetic and emotive qualities. We think about art as the result of an action and not as a conduit or vehicle leading up to a result. For example, the creation of a painting begins by gathering materials (canvas, brushes, and paint) and using these materials to create a painting. Read the rest of this entry »

Jeff Poulin

Jeff Poulin

I can now affirmatively say that I have been at Americans for the Arts for over a year! Woohoo! …And what a year it has been.

Each month the Arts Education Advisory Council of Americans for the Arts has a monthly call. In December, we sat on the call reflecting on the previous year and what we had all accomplished personally, collectively, and throughout the field. In my role as the Arts Education Program Coordinator, I am privileged to see a lot of things that happen on a national scale across the country, and the council often provides insight into the impacts of these trends or brings my attention to something that is up-and-coming before it has actually made a splash.

In our reflective state, we began compiling a list of the ten things that every arts-interested person should know about arts education from 2014 – it was an incredible year! Read the rest of this entry »

Jordan Shue

Jordan Shue

Nearly 40 years after its founding by the Arts & Business Council in 1975, the Business Volunteers for the Arts® network is holding strong, according to the 2014 BVA survey results.

Business Volunteers for the Arts® (BVA) is a national skills-based management consulting program operated by a network of organizations across the country under the leadership and coordination of Americans for the Arts. It pairs nonprofit arts groups with specially trained business executives who volunteer their time and skills to assist with distinct management projects. Though the number of active BVAs has fallen slightly in the past year, those still operating them are running robust programs that seek to fill an active need in the communities in which they operate, both for the arts organizations receiving pro bono support and the businesses that encourage their employees to give their time and skills to the arts. Read the rest of this entry »

Reflections for the New Year…

Posted by Ken Busby On December - 23 - 20141 COMMENT
Ken Busby

Ken Busby

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” ~ Margaret J. Wheatley

As we approach the final days of 2014, it’s natural and important to stop and reflect on the accomplishments of the year. But we are quicker to think about the New Year – its promise of exciting things to come. And we resolve to make so many things happen: create new programs, find new donors, develop new partnerships – the sky’s the limit!

But before we cast aside this year, let’s take stock of what we already accomplished and consider lessons learned that could help guide us in the New Year. Read the rest of this entry »

Erin Ronder Neves

Erin Ronder Neves

As a new mother dedicated to fostering a creative and arts filled environment for my daughter, I consistently attend a variety of art, gym, swimming, etc. classes for her that promise to increase her social, physical and emotional growth. My daughter is 14 months old. That’s right- 14 months old. Who knew that such high expectations would be put on my daughter at such a young age?! A recent experience with a music class has made me wonder if arts programming in particular for the very young (6 months- pre-K) should have less structure and more freedom in order to help a child develop at his/her’s own pace and interest level. After all, aren’t the arts inherently differentiated? The arts let us focus more on process versus product, so is there a need to structure one’s creativity when so young? Read the rest of this entry »

Laura Bruney

Laura Bruney

The 2014 edition of Art Basel week this December in Miami featured the perfect marriage of arts and business. Beyond the dozens of satellite fairs and thousands of gallery booths catering to collectors, Miami Art Week offered a far more compelling benefit for businesses eager to court potential clients. Pacesetters from all industries and brand power houses swooned at the reach of art week. Developers, financial investment companies, tech start-ups, luxury car brands, and more cleverly leveraged the arts as a strategic imperative for business. These companies know the arts mean business. Read the rest of this entry »

Mary Ann Mears

Mary Ann Mears

As a life-long advocate for the arts in Maryland, I am thrilled, as are my colleagues and friends of education and the arts, with the break-through opportunity for arts education we now have in our state. On September 16, 2014 our Governor’s Leadership Council, which is a Prek-20 group of state leaders in education and business, unanimously approved a task force report on arts education. I co-chaired the task force and had the privilege of working with an exceptional group of educators, artists, and people from the business sector. Read the rest of this entry »

Kellyn Lopes

Kellyn Lopes

The era of relying on logos and catch phrases to cultivate strong brands is over. Our 21st century, tech-saturated lives require more from companies to capture our attention. The demand for more creative branding is growing. Consumers more and more respond to personal connections with businesses, which is why creating associations with ideas and feelings is essential for building a dynamic brand. In fact, millennials are engaging more extensively and personally with brands than previous generations.

The arts capture and create what brands strive to harness: emotion, vibrancy, cultural identity, relevance, community development, and human conditions, to name a few. Partnering with the arts generates competitive brands. In fact, 79% of businesses who partner with the arts agree that the arts increase name recognition.

Utilizing the arts in ad campaigns and sponsoring arts events are quick, simple, and effective ways for businesses to take advantage of the brand-enhancing capacity of the arts. Arts-centric campaigns help to build market share, attract new consumers, and provide visibility for both businesses and the arts. A win-win situation indeed!

Read the rest of this entry »