Asha Holden

Asha Holden

*achoo*A couple weeks after the festivities, this humble intern is still recovering from Makers’ fever. I caught it while attending two of the Maker Faires held in the District the week of June 12th.Last year, President Obama caught the fever when the White House hosted its first Maker Faire after submitting a Presidential Proclamation declaring June 17th a National Day of Making. This year he updated the Proclamation, declaring June 12th-18th a National Week of Making. That’s one serious case of the Makers’ bug, if you ask me! Read the rest of this entry »

Offline at AFTACON

Posted by Lara Davis On June - 26 - 2015No comments yet
Lara Davis

Lara Davis

Americans for the Arts Annual Convention (AFTACON) regularly draws thousands of members of the arts world to one location for a whirlwind four days of workshops, recognition, plenaries, and arts excursions in some of the most incredible and dynamic cities in the country. There is never enough time to attend all the sessions I’m interested in. They all offer an insight into how art influences our economy, education, and communities – and how we visualize and interpret our world.

But, just as important as attending these sessions are the conversations, connections, and friendships that are built offline and in-between “official” conference business. Read the rest of this entry »

So, What Do You Do?

Posted by Ashley McDonald On June - 26 - 2015No comments yet
Ashley McDonald

Ashley McDonald

Felicia Shaw Headshot

Felicia Shaw

Editor’s Note: Ashley McDonald, Membership Associate at Americans for the Arts, interviewed our member Felicia Shaw about her work in the arts field. At the time of this interview Felicia was in the process of transitioning from her role as interim executive director of Young Audiences of San Diego to her new role as executive director of the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) in her hometown of St. Louis, MO.

AM: Can you describe your role at St. Louis Regional Arts Commission (RAC)?

FS: My job at RAC will be to assume the leadership role of a local arts agency that has had an impressive 30-year history of growing the arts and culture community throughout the St. Louis region. I’ll be working to preserve the vitality of a successful organization that is ready to grow to the next level, particularly at a time when St. Louis is turning the corner and looking to the future. I am charged with establishing a vision for RAC and strategically moving the organization forward in a new and impactful way for the next decade and beyond. Read the rest of this entry »

Katherine Wagner

Katherine Wagner

The North Texas Business Council for the Arts (NTBCA) is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1988, by iconic business leader and philanthropist Raymond D. Nasher. NTBCA is dedicated to creating business and arts partnerships in the 16-county region that is anchored by Dallas and Fort Worth. Our programs connect business professionals to the arts through education, events, and advocacy. NTBCA’s Board of Directors is made up of executives from some of the region’s top companies. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Huff

Richard Huff

Editor’s Note: When asked to blog about his experience at and reaction to Annual Convention 2015 in Chicago, where he received the Selina Roberts Ottum Award, Richard Huff kept things short and sweet as usual:

Thank you!

Penny Balkin Bach

Penny Balkin Bach

At the Americans for the Arts 2015 Annual Convention, I was honored to accept the 2015 Public Art Network Award on behalf of the Association for Public Art (aPA) and also the early innovators who guide our work today. I am acutely aware that as the nation’s first non-profit public art organization, aPA has a unique 140+ year legacy. While we do not operate in the same environment as government agencies, I believe that recognizing our shared public art legacy can fortify our position by imparting clarity, credibility, and clout. Read the rest of this entry »

Robert L. Lynch

Robert L. Lynch

During my 30 years at Americans for the Arts, I have had the great privilege to visit and learn about a different community nearly every week. While they differ vastly from one another, there is one common strength I have observed: the arts have made a profound impact on the health of each community.

Across America, in communities of all sizes, a rising population of arts action heroes — both individuals and organizations — are stepping up, armed with the tools of their craft and a vision of how their work in the arts contributes to the well-being of a community. Read the rest of this entry »

Ann Marie Miller

Ann Marie Miller

The 2015 Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention was also my first visit to Chicago. Having arrived early, I heard that the Chicago Architecture Foundation offered outstanding tours. I arranged to join the “Must See Chicago,” tour and was not disappointed. My inner geek enjoyed learning about Daniel Burnham, bundled tube construction, and remembering the contributions to mid-century modern architecture of Mies van der Rohe from art history class. While I spent a considerable amount of time “looking up” at numerous behemoth skyscrapers, I was grounded by a treasure trove of public art. It felt like opening a new box of crayons-truly inspirational. That was only the beginning of my #AFTACON inspiration. Read the rest of this entry »

Charlie Jensen

Charlie Jensen

I was thrilled to sit in on the “Vocabulary for Arts and Arts Education” session at Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention this year. All three presenters—Christopher Audain, Kevin Kirkpatrick, and Margy Waller, along with moderator Margie Reese—were all on point for the session and I perhaps overtweeted in my enthusiasm over what they shared. Read the rest of this entry »

Kristen Engebretsen

Kristen Engebretsen

Editor’s Note: Americans for the Arts partners with VANS on their Custom Culture program. Last week in New York City was the final event of the competition, where the winning shoe design was picked. Below are remarks that our Arts Education Program Manager made during the event:

My name is Kristen, and my organization, Americans for the Arts, partners with Vans to ensure that schools all over the country have amazing arts programs, just like yours.

Custom Culture was developed to encourage high school students to embrace their creativity and inspire a new generation of youth culture. Read the rest of this entry »

Stephanie Milling

Stephanie Milling

It is an interesting time in arts education. Two distinct, relatively recent developments–the National Core Arts Standards and New Models of Teacher Evaluation for non-tested subject areas–have greatly contributed to arts education and will continue to have a positive impact on the field for years to come. These projects have provided the field with current perspectives on best practices in teaching and assessing learning in the arts. In addition to providing guidance for educators’ practices in the classroom, these developments in our field also help illustrate the positive impact of the arts in education. While these different tools provide arts educators and administrators with a means to shape valuable arts experiences in education, their relevance could also be used in current advocacy efforts. Read the rest of this entry »

Robert L. Lynch

Robert L. Lynch

This article has been co-written with Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and originally published by The Huffington Post on June 12, 2o15.

Deplaning at Chicago’s O’Hare, it’s easy to daydream of the world-famous art that awaits: the gleaming, 100-ton stainless steel Cloud Gate, Grant Woods’ iconicAmerican Gothic, historic architecture and the homegrown Chicago blues. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Huff

Richard Huff

There is never money and there’s always money. I have never met a mayor, a city manager, or a school superintendent who ever had any money, but I have never seen one who quit spending it.

A lack of money is not the key problem. In my opinion, creativity is the problem. Money follows ideas. Arts administrators need to be as creative as we expect our artists to be.

 

Justice in Education

Posted by Lara Davis On June - 5 - 20152 COMMENTS
Lara Davis

Lara Davis

Across the country, communities are calling for justice in education. High stakes testing, disproportionate discipline by race, and the mass closing of public schools in certain regions profoundly impact the lives of young people. In an environment where education reform, vouchers, charter schools, and increased accountability dominate the landscape, what does it mean to impact the very heart and bureaucratic structure of public school districts and build trust, equity, and meaningful change? Read the rest of this entry »

Jeff Hawthorne

Jeff Hawthorne

I live in a community that clearly values the arts and creativity – arts participation in Portland and in Oregon is among the highest in the country according to the NEA. Even so, private philanthropy lags significantly behind the national average.

How can we convince more Oregonians to support the arts? Anytime we launch a new private sector initiative, we turn to our government partners first. (Perhaps that’s partially because our local arts agency, the Regional Arts & Culture Council, was a city bureau until 1995.) In any event, public-private partnerships have become the standard way of growing the Portland metro region’s arts community. Read the rest of this entry »