Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Arts Mean Business

Posted by Jay Dick On April - 28 - 2015
Jay Dick

Jay Dick

If your city had a new construction company move to town, this would be good news – more jobs, more economic activity, and more tax revenues to be collected. How about if your city received funding from your state to widen a road? Again, you would probably welcome this news with open arms. Now, think about a new arts organization moving to town. Would you look at this group with the same economic lens that you used to look at the construction or transportation business?

If your answer was no, here’s why you should!

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) with the National Endowment for the Arts recently released their second annual report measuring the arts and culture sector’s contributions to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). This year’s report found that the arts and culture sector represented 4.32 percent of the GDP – a higher percentage than tourism (2.6 percent), transportation (2.7 percent) and construction (3.4 percent) – at $698.7 billion! Read the rest of this entry »

Advocating for the Arts? Tell a Story

Posted by Robert Lynch On April - 24 - 2015
Robert L. Lynch

Robert L. Lynch

As I reflect on the recent National Arts Advocacy Day and the several hundred visits to the offices of our Congressional representatives and senators that took place, I can think of hundreds of stories to tell. Each of the nearly 550 arts advocates from all fifty states, members of Congress, and artists who joined us in Washington, D.C. to advocate for the arts on Capitol Hill came with a story about how the arts have transformed them and the people around them. To many, the arts have brought hope and fortitude, been a partner in solving community problems, and provided Americans with role models, identity, and opportunity. Read the rest of this entry »

Taking Notes: USUAF Convenes in NOLA

Posted by Kerry Adams-Hapner On April - 10 - 2015
Kerry Adams-Hapner

Kerry Adams-Hapner

In January, the United States Urban Arts Federation (USUAF) held its winter meeting in New Orleans (NOLA). A program of Americans for the Arts, USUAF is comprised of executive leaders of the local art agencies (LAA) in the 60 largest cities in the United States. USUAF serves as a forum to have a peer-to-peer knowledge exchange around best practices and contemporary issues facing LAAs in their respective communities. We learn from each other, and meeting locations serve as case studies that demonstrate the unique role that the arts and LAAs serve in urban life. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2015

Posted by Randy Cohen On March - 13 - 2015
Randy Cohen

Randy Cohen

With the arts advocacy season fully upon us, the following is my updated “10 Reasons to Support the Arts.” Changes this year include updating #3 with the BEA’s new Arts in the GDP research, #8 to include a statement about the benefits of the arts in the military, and #10 includes the new Creative Industries data (now current as of January 2015).

This is just one of many arrows to include in your arts advocacy quiver. While it’s a helpful one, we know there are many more reasons to support the arts. What are yours? Please share your #11 (and more!) in the comments section below. What a great collection we can build together. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Measured, Matters . . .

Posted by Randy Cohen On March - 11 - 2015
Randy Cohen

Randy Cohen

BEA’s Arts in the GDP Study: What Next?

In January 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released its revised Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA)—a set of measures of arts and culture in the economy, including its share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Much has been written about the truly mind-bending sum of $698.7 billion in industry expenditures—a substantial contributor to the economy that supported 4.7 million jobs in 2012 and represented 4.32 percent of GDP. Read the rest of this entry »

Net Neutrality and the Arts

Posted by Kate McClanahan On March - 6 - 2015
Kate McClanahan

Kate McClanahan

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved new rules for enforcing net neutrality. Independent agency rulemaking might sound like a sleepy topic, but over 4 million people – a record-setting number – sent in comments. What does the rule mean for artists and arts organizations?

First, what is “net neutrality?”

It’s the idea that your Internet Service Provider (ISP), like Verizon or Comcast, doesn’t discriminate when it comes to Internet traffic—meaning throttling or blocking legal content that you want to access or share. A company also can’t pay your ISP to speed up service for certain sites. Read the rest of this entry »

A Tulsa Take on Fellowship – Listen Up Artists!

Posted by Ken Busby On March - 6 - 2015
Ken Busby

Ken Busby

Those of you who read my periodic blogs know that I have a real passion for Tulsa.  As I’ve described the Brady Arts District where the Hardesty Arts Center, Guthrie Green, Philbrook Downtown, and Woody Guthrie Center reside along with a growing number of arts-related venues, restaurants, and boutiques, I’ve received comments from a number of readers that they had no idea Tulsa had so much going on in the arts.

Today, I’m sharing with you a tremendous opportunity for early and mid-career artists – the Tulsa Artist Fellowship.  This new fellowship will cultivate Tulsa’s art scene by both supporting local artists and attracting national artists. The Tulsa Artist Fellowship provides an unrestricted stipend of between $15,000 and $40,000, free housing, and workspace. Artists will live and work in Tulsa’s Brady Arts District, participating in the local arts community. Fellowships are merit-based with a one-year term with the option to renew for a second year. In this inaugural class of fellows, the fellowship will focus on Public and/or Gallery-Oriented Visual Arts. Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. House Votes Impacting Arts Education

Posted by Narric Rome On February - 26 - 2015
Narric Rome

Narric Rome

Last night it was confirmed that the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to consider over three dozen amendments to “The Student Success Act” (HR 5), a bill to reauthorize federal education programs. This is a legislative effort last completed 13 years ago through the No Child Left Behind Act. There is a great need to improve upon that outdated legislation.

Through Friday’s floor consideration in the House, members of Congress will have an opportunity to vote on HR 5 and a Democratic alternative – but both bills are expected to receive partisan vote outcomes. Read the rest of this entry »

Introducing…”Encourage Creativity: Teach the Arts”

Posted by Kristen Engebretsen On February - 13 - 2015
Kristen Engebretsen

Kristen Engebretsen

Americans for the Arts (AFTA) believes that the arts are an essential part of preparing students for success in school, work, and life. We provide practical tools, advocacy resources, and research-based publications, such as our Field Guide and Navigator e-book series to help convince leaders of this important role the arts play in student success.

Because we work in the arts, one of most powerful forms of advocacy is using our art forms to communicate. Having artistic and high-quality materials, such as the Field Guide and Navigator e-books, is essential to how valuable these advocacy tools are. Read the rest of this entry »

Cultural Districts and Communities: Catalysts for Change

Posted by Theresa Cameron On February - 6 - 2015
Theresa Cameron

Theresa Cameron

This week’s blog salon on Cultural Districts and Communities:  Catalysts for Change explored how cultural districts are improving, engaging, and sometimes changing their communities. Kicking off the salon, I introduced our new tool – the National Cultural Districts Exchange, which is a suite of online tools and resources to provide research and information about cultural districts. This new resource is meant to be an exchange of ideas, information, and resources – and this blog salon supplemented this new tool with great viewpoints and unique perspectives on cultural districts. Read the rest of this entry »

Hôtel du Nord: You Can Check Out, But It Will Never Leave You

Posted by Tom Borrup On February - 6 - 2015
Tom Borrup

Tom Borrup

I’ve had many great opportunities to witness how different communities organize themselves through, around, or into arts and cultural districts. In September, 2014, I had the pleasure of visiting a community in Marseille (800,000 population) in the south of France, a cluster of 8 small neighborhoods that formed a fascinating and alluring heritage and creative district with an approach I hadn’t seen in the United States.

Marseille was motivated by the opportunity to serve as European Capital of Culture for 2013, an effort that brought together players across government, creative, and business sectors to build working relationships like they never had before. The now 30-year-old Capital of Culture program rotates through the nations of the EU selecting cities to show off their distinctive creative and cultural assets. A total of 75 municipal entities in the Provence region (1.8 million population) – an area with no history of regional planning and little cooperation – demonstrated unprecedented unity and cultural vitality for their year in the European spotlight. It was branded Marseille-Provence 2013 or MP2013. Read the rest of this entry »

NEA weighs in on Cultural Districts and the new Cultural Districts Exchange

Posted by Michael Killoren On February - 6 - 2015
Michael Killoren

Michael Killoren

There are two questions that I frequently hear when asked about arts and cultural districts:  what exactly does it mean to be a cultural district, and how does my community go about designating one?

These are big, complicated questions because there are so many variables! Finding meaningful and helpful answers, analysis, and insight to these questions just got easier, thanks to the National Cultural Districts Exchange, a free online resource.  Now, you can find comprehensive information on the formation of cultural districts — including DIY templates, with sample legislation, and guidelines covering all aspects of district designation – all in one place. Read the rest of this entry »

In Rhode Island, Size Often Matters… Even When It Comes to Cultural Districts

Posted by Randall Rosenbaum On February - 6 - 2015
Randall Rosenbaum

Randall Rosenbaum

Size drives a lot of policy discussions in Rhode Island.  We are, after all, a unit of measure. “That iceberg off the coast of Nova Scotia is about the size of Rhode Island.”  But for Rhode Islanders we take pride in how our small state is an intimate place, and we discuss ways we can use that intimacy to our advantage.

Twenty-plus years ago we were one of the first states in the nation to establish cultural districts in select communities.  These districts had two distinct but complimentary goals: the first was to attract an art-buying (and money-spending) public, and the second was to encourage artists to live and work in areas that would benefit greatly from their presence.  Read the rest of this entry »

Search and You Shall Find… a Cultural Destination

Posted by Reginald Jones On February - 5 - 2015
Reginald Jones

Reginald Jones

Since the inception of our work at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation (JCNI), arts and culture taken form in the development of an emerging cultural district, bringing together community members, organizations, and artists to shape both its look and character. Read the rest of this entry »

The Cultural District: The Key to a City’s Heart

Posted by Gayle Kaler On February - 5 - 2015

Gayle KalerCultural districts are the heartbeat of a city. They are the distinctive part that makes your city unique and reveals the character and spirit of your town. They are vital to the sustainability and creativeness of a city, but so often these districts are forgotten and underutilized as a tool for economic growth and viable livability.

As Mayor of Paducah, Kentucky, a city of approximately 25,000, I have seen first-hand how the rejuvenation of a cultural district can have a significant impact on the economic stability and viable livability of an area. Our local government and concerned citizens have invested in, nurtured and supported the growth of our local arts district for many years and we are reaping great rewards from that investment. Paducah has used artist relocation programs, district rejuvenation projects, fiber art attractions, and cultural organization partnerships to create an arts district that is having an impact on both the local economy and the international playing field.  Read the rest of this entry »