Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Scenes From San Diego (#afta11)

Posted by Candace Clement On July - 13 - 2011

Candance Clement

In mid-June I flew from my tiny western Massachusetts town all the way to San Diego for the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention (click here for information on how to buy the Convention On-Demand). Though I have been to their annual advocacy day in D.C. before, this was my first AFTA event that wasn’t focused exclusively on policy. And though I may be able to slap the label “artist” on my life for all those hours I clock playing music in the DIY scene, I’m no “arts professional.”

That meant that I did a lot of listening for three days. As someone who tends to be a bit of a talker when I’m in my element, there’s something to be said for sitting quietly, absorbing, and identifying themes.

The conference brings together about 1,000 people from the arts world – most of them administrators from local and state arts councils, but many serving double duty in the world as artists, too. Read the rest of this entry »

Shepherding Public Art: The 2011 Public Art Network Year in Review

Posted by Liesel Fenner On July - 13 - 2011

Public art sheep takes a coffee break (Photo by Jed Berk)

You’re walking to your morning coffee shop passing by the regulars sitting at outdoor tables reading and sipping coffee. But wait, something is different. A guy is seated at a table with a sheep. Not a live sheep, but a white fluffy sculptural object placed on the chair next to him. Huh?

Ahhh…the beauty, surprise, and often, humor of temporary public art in spaces where one wouldn’t normally encounter art.

Who was behind this sheep ‘spotting’ moment? The City of San Jose Public Art program – the 2011 Public Art Network Year in Review Program of the Year!

A Champion Flock of Weed Eaters created by artist Jed Berk was reported and digitally recorded  being spotted around the city of San Jose. A temporary public art project for the San Fernando light rail corridor, it was a partnership between the city and the 01SJ Biennial.

Weed Eaters was an anchor artwork on the front lawn of the Diridon Station where a makeshift ‘barn’ housed the flock of sheep and their ewe, a four foot tall ‘Mother Sheep’ complete with an internal computer sculpturally placed in her ‘belly’. Read the rest of this entry »

Taking the Hassle Out of Giving

Posted by Roger Vacovsky On July - 12 - 2011

Capital One No Hassle Giving Widget

As many of you know, Capital One has recently partnered with Alec Baldwin and Americans for the Arts to promote nonprofit arts funding with their No Hassle Giving Site.

Now, you can get potential funders closer to the GivingSite and supporting the arts with a Capital One Custom Charity Widget on your webpage, Facebook site, etc. It’s an easy and effective way to allow those that believe in our cause to advocate for the arts help to support us in these seemingly tumultuous economic times for artists and arts professionals.

Show that you believe in Americans for the Arts’ and Mr. Baldwin’s unified vision to keep  arts funding of the utmost public importance by following just a couple of quick steps. Read the rest of this entry »

Inspiring Your Inner Artist

Posted by Michael R. Gagliardo On July - 12 - 2011
Mike Gagliardo

Mike Gagliardo

Quick – raise your hand if you got into your job in the arts for the money.

That’s what I thought.

Now raise your hand if you spend a majority of your work day worrying about and dealing with your budget, stressing over where the cash to fund the next big project is going to come from, or simply wondering where and how hard you’re going to have to squeeze to make payroll.

Hands down.

The truth of the matter is this – we’re so damned consumed with trying to scrape together every penny that we’ve forgotten why we got into this “business” in the first place.  And I call it a business because, for better or for worse, that’s what it’s become.

The arts have seemingly become a part of the business of survival. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s All About Your Network

Posted by Tara Aesquivel On July - 11 - 2011

Tara Scroggins

Networking is important, especially to emerging leaders (EL). Climbing the career ladder, creating new partnerships, and even social events can all be enhanced by who you know.

A combination of knowing who to connect with and how to approach them will transform an ordinary contacts list into the much-revered Golden Rolodex.

I’ve just made a transition in my approach to networking that seems to be part of the “emerging” process:  instead of a laser focus on prospective employers, I’m fostering career-long relationships with my peers. Read the rest of this entry »

Josh Groban Sheds ‘Light’ On Arts Education

Posted by Tim Mikulski On July - 8 - 2011

Josh Groban

Singer-songwriter Josh Groban was a strong supporter of the arts and arts education long before gaining the attention of the music industry in 1998. His initial foray into charitable causes has always included arts education, in addition to a number of other causes.

However, Groban also recognizes that access to quality arts education has been declining and he wants to do as much as he can to help students be exposed to, and trained in, music, theater, dance, and visual arts.

Yesterday he announced that he is refocusing his charitable efforts on arts education under a new name, the Find Your Light Foundation.

Seeking to make a difference in schools across America and around the world, the foundation will focus on providing instruments and funding for arts programs in schools. Read the rest of this entry »

NEA Takes 13 Percent Cut in FY 2012 House Budget Bill

Posted by Tim Mikulski On July - 8 - 2011

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Interior Subcommittee approved a measure that sets next year’s initial funding level for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) at $135 million.

That amount is a $20 million reduction as compared with this fiscal year’s budget, and it would be the deepest cut to the agency in 16 years.

To make matters worse, the 13 percent cut for both the NEA and National Endowment for the Humanities is much more severe than the 7 percent cut to the overall Interior Appropriations bill.

It is expected that the full House Appropriations Committee will consider this legislation next Tuesday and it could be sent to the full House Floor for a vote before the August recess begins.

Stay tuned to ARTSblog for more information as the budget process moves forward and please consider taking two minutes to contact your Members of Congress about this issue.

What a Gift!

Posted by Blair Cromwell On July - 7 - 2011

Blair Cromwell

Surreal is a good word to describe how I feel working for the Bentonville Convention and Visitors Bureau these days.

Why you ask? Well, in just five short months I will be just blocks away from the works of Thomas Hart Benton, Marsden Hartley, Andrew Wyeth, Asher B. Duran, and John Singer Sargent to name a few.

These are the guys that I fell in love with in my Art History 101 class my freshman year in college, and now, some of the actual paintings printed in my college text book will be feet away from me as I stroll through the galleries of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

On November 11, 2011, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will open its doors to the public, changing the face of Bentonville and the state of Arkansas forever. Read the rest of this entry »

The Dutch Initiate a Colorful Stand for the Arts (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Anette Shirinian On July - 6 - 2011

An example of one Artbomb project.

On June 24, clouds of colorful smoke exploded throughout various arts locations across the globe in protest against the alarming budget cuts facing arts communities worldwide.

After the Dutch government proposed to cut nearly 40 percent of arts and cultural funding, arts activists in the Netherlands decided to call attention to this viral issue within the larger international community. They initiated Artbomb, a “peaceful art intervention” calling upon all individuals to set off bombs of colored smoke at their local arts and culture centers.

All participants were asked to submit their documentation to Artbomb’s official website as “a token of solidarity and a symbol of strength” for the world to see.

As written in their press release, “this visual act will be a sign of resistance against the growing disdain for the arts within societies and governments worldwide, and a sign of support for colleagues who face major cutbacks.” Read the rest of this entry »

Arts Integration Isn’t Enough

Posted by Katherine Damkohler On July - 6 - 2011

Katherine Damkohler

Integration across academic disciplines can strengthen a child’s learning. When teachers reinforce content through a variety of approaches it helps children retain information and fully appreciate academic concepts. However, one academic discipline cannot fully convey the fundamentals of another.

For instance, a History teacher cannot expect to effectively relate the scientific processes of an electrical current to students by teaching them the historical biographies of Nicola Tesla and Thomas Edison. And yet, many educators apply this approach of substituting subject instruction to the artistic disciplines.

I have seen too many schools refrain from hiring an arts teacher because they have been lulled into thinking that training a classroom teacher to integrate the arts into their lessons serves as an acceptable substitute for bringing a full-time arts instructor on staff. Read the rest of this entry »

Alec Baldwin: A Critical Time for Arts Funding

Posted by admin On July - 5 - 2011
Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin speaks at Arts Advocacy Day 2011.

Hello. I’m Alec Baldwin.

Over the past few months, you may have seen me on television doing a series of commercials for Capital One.

What you may not know is that I am donating all of the proceeds from this work to cultural charities, including some of the organizations with which I’m involved: Guild Hall of East Hampton, The New York Philharmonic, Roundabout Theater, the Hamptons International Film Festival, and of course, Americans for the Arts.

But these spots are not about me getting money and then giving it to charity. Actually, Capital One is partnering with me.

That’s right. Capital One has partnered with me to help the arts by letting these advertisements serve as a platform through which I can raise awareness about the need for public funding of the arts and arts education.

In these tough economic times, I don’t want people to forget about the arts and arts education. People need to understand what’s at stake. Read the rest of this entry »

Freedom from Budget Cuts

Posted by Justin Knabb On July - 1 - 2011

Fourth of July celebrations started early for several states this week, as arts advocates scored major victories in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and South Carolina.

Ohio Citizens for the Arts is reporting that the state arts council will enjoy a 30.5% increase in funding for the 2012-13 biennium – 62.1 percent more than Governor John Kasich had proposed. The current allocation for FYs 2010-11 is $13.2 million, with the governor proposing only $10.6 million for the upcoming biennium. However, legislatures decided to increase that number to $17.2 million, and the governor agreed!

In Pennsylvania, the House of Representatives had proposed a 70% reduction to the $9 million budget of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts- a stark contrast to Governor Tom Corbett’s request for essentially flat funding. The Senate did not concur, and reinstated the funding: $8.2 million for arts grants, and $866,000 for arts agency administration. The House acquiesced, and the amended budget was sent to the governor for approval.

Finally, the New Jersey Legislature was pushing for a 27% cut to the $16 million budget of the state arts agency, but Governor Chris Christie removed language in the final budget that would have enacted those cuts. And, as most are already aware, South Carolinians scored a major victory as the legislature voted to override Governor Nikki Haley’s line-item veto of arts funding, thus preserving the $1.9 million allocation to their arts commission. Read the rest of this entry »

Regrets of a Former Arts Funder – Part 2

Posted by John R. Killacky On July - 1 - 2011

John R. Kilacky

Culturally specific arts have to evolve, too

Many culturally specific creative organizations founded in the 1970s were centered on an identity politic of its core artists. While essential in its time, this focus ultimately limited an organization’s potential as time, issues, and the political landscape changed. Artists, too, constrained themselves if art practices were myopically identity-based. So much aesthetic change happens from the fringe; history continually bears this out.

Therefore philanthropy should always be seeding the future along multiple frontiers. But after awhile, if an artist or artist organization does not get traction in its community, then perhaps aesthetic Darwinism should prevail.  Read the rest of this entry »

Old School New School, A New Documentary

Posted by Steven Fischer On July - 1 - 2011

Steven Fischer

Snag Films has released Old School New School, an educational documentary on the nature of creativity.

The movie explores the mystery of creativity with a cast of artistic heavyweights including celebrated actor Brian Cox (known for standout work in King Lear, X-Men, and Manhunter – Cox was the first to play Hannibal Lecter), innovative jazz pianist McCoy Tyner (Four-time Grammy® Award winner and pianist for the John Coltrane Quartet), and six-time Oscar® nominee William Fraker (the cinematographer who created the memorable photography of Bullitt, Rosemary’s Baby, WarGames, and Tombstone.)

In the movie, an independent filmmaker (me) questioning how he can realize his full creative potential travels the United States in search of answers. The journey takes him into the lives and homes of some of today’s most accomplished and illuminating artists. Their conversations explore three central themes: finding one’s voice, risk, and the definition of success in the arts.  Read the rest of this entry »

Regrets of a Former Arts Funder – Part 1

Posted by John R. Killacky On June - 30 - 2011

John R. Killacky

As Program Officer for Arts and Culture at the San Francisco Foundation, I and philanthropic colleagues often bemoaned how fragile many culturally specific organizations were. How was this possible in a community that has no “majority culture,” that has had a Hotel Tax Fund giving decades of operating grants to culturally specific arts organizations, and a Cultural Equity Program since 1993 created to redress inequities in funding?

And sadly, at the national level, arts organizations from disenfranchised communities are no more stable. Few African American, Latino, or Asian theater companies founded in the 1970s are still in existence, or if they are alive, they do not appear to be as artistically vibrant.

As changed demographics transform the country, we should be seeing a burgeoning renaissance for artists working within specific cultural traditions in communities of color. But where is that renaissance? Is our society so racist that these artists and organizations cannot thrive? Read the rest of this entry »