Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Volunteering: Good for Business, Good for the Soul

Posted by Amy Senia On June - 28 - 2011

We all know we should be doing more of it—heading down to the local soup kitchen to ladle some cream of potato or signing up for a Habitat for Humanity build to put our hammering skills to good use. Sure, volunteering is great for society, but besides leaving us with that warm and fuzzy feeling, what are the benefits?

According to a recent study published by the large accounting firm Deloitte, many workers ages 21-35 (or “millennials”) are willingly volunteering their time. The millennials who volunteer are overall more likely to be: optimistic about their work environment, proud to work for their employer, satisfied with their career progression and more likely to recommend their company to a friend when compared to workers who volunteer very little or not at all.

If you’re picturing CPAs wearing aprons and hairnets at the soup kitchen, it’s time to rethink your definition of the word “volunteering.” Read the rest of this entry »

Engaging Corporate Citizens – ‘Begin with the Small and Possible’

Posted by hoong yee lee krakauer On June - 27 - 2011

Blogger Hoong Yee's sketch of Stephanie Madden.

Does this happen to you at a convention?

I find myself feeling being swept under by the torrent of talk, ideas, cool people to follow up with, session after session of topics I am intrigued by and of course, the beautiful San Diego weather, and views of the bay are a constant distraction as well.

The fear pounding in my heart is, “What difference can I make now, right now?”

Where to start, who to talk to, what part of the world first?

I hate when this happens. So bad for the skin.

So I was delighted to hear a poetic piece of advice cut through a cavernous ballroom, something that Stephanie A. Madden, the Arts and Cultural Manager of Bank of America, shared with us in answer to this very sentiment at a conference session at the Americans for the Arts 2011 Annual Convention in San Diego. Read the rest of this entry »

Not Just Butts in Seats…Eyeballs on Screens

Posted by Tim Mikulski On June - 27 - 2011
Tim Mikulski

Tim Mikulski

I have now successfully attended four Americans for the Arts Annual Conventions (Philadelphia, Seattle, Baltimore, and San Diego) as a member of the staff.

In my previous two roles, I worked with the dedicated members of the State Arts Action Network while in the Government and Public Affairs Department and I managed the Arts Education Network under the Local Arts Advancement Department.

While in those positions, I was happy to attend conventions as a way to get to the know our members beyond email addresses and phone numbers, but it was through Twitter that I was able to network with my new arts education colleagues from across the country before I even met them.

It’s amazing what kind of relationships you can build 140 characters at a time. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Build and Protect Intellectual Property with Uncle Sam

Posted by hoong yee lee krakauer On June - 24 - 2011

A sketch of Jean by blog post author Hoong Yee.

I love listening to smart women and being surrounded by many of them this weekend at the Americans for the Arts Convention in San Diego. There are ballrooms filled with people who are committed to working in the arts and with the arts to make life better.

Of course we know how the arts affect how we live together in this world. We are the arts people. However, I often forget that sometimes we need to think of ourselves as creative industries and creative exports especially when working in a global mindset.

After I stumbled out of the sunlight, properly caffeinated and ready to begin my conference blogging for the day, I  found myself in a session entitled, “Building Bridges: International Cultural Exchange” featuring two innovators, Jean A. Bonilla and Stephanie A. Madden.  Read the rest of this entry »

Perserverance and Imagination

Posted by Theresa Cameron On June - 24 - 2011

Theresa Cameron

Perseverance and imagination.

These are two words that successfully describe what rural and small arts organizations continually do.

I was once again reminded of this first-hand as I listened to the rural and small arts organization peer group discussion at our Annual Convention in San Diego last week.

It’s been a few years since Americans for the Arts held a rural and small local arts agencies gathering and attendees were excited to talk to, and learn from, each other. Read the rest of this entry »

Adriane Fink

Social Media. We know we need it. But are we really getting the most out of our Facebook accounts and Twitter feeds?

Corporations across the country are paying close attention to the online craze and have discovered that using social media to partner with nonprofits allows them to reach the broadest possible audience in a cost-effective way. The results show a stunning use of creativity benefiting the nonprofit world. Let me share a few statistics with you.

With over 500 million active users, one in every 13 people on earth now uses Facebook. Over 50 percent log in every day. 48 percent of 18-34 year olds check Facebook when they wake up, and 28 percent do so before getting out of bed. Not to be left behind, Twitter has also rapidly expanded, with over 200 million registered accounts and 155 million tweets per day. Read the rest of this entry »

Making the Case for the Arts Session - #AFTA11

It is now more important than ever to defend funding and preservation of the arts. This was the subject of “Making the Case for the Arts,” a session at this year’s Americans for the Arts convention.

While many reasons for supporting the arts were addressed, Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts, presented research mostly on the significance of the arts with regard to education, the economy, personal development, and healthcare.

Education. Studies show that, regardless of income level, students who are highly active in the arts are less likely to drop out of school by 10th grade (1.4 percent vs. 4.8 percent). Read the rest of this entry »

San Diego, America’s Finest City

Posted by Rich Mintz On June - 22 - 2011

One of Rich's San Diego purchases.

Growing up in Los Angeles, San Diego (long known as “America’s Finest City,” but the first I heard of that in my life was Thursday evening from a cappella singers that greeted convention goers on the way to the trolley line) was a place we didn’t go to very often.

There was the time we went to Vacation Village and my dad beached the rental sailboat in Mission Bay, and the time I drove down to Rosarito Beach in the 12th grade with a couple of friends in a vain attempt to convince ourselves we were wild American high school kids (I remember drinking a lot of Mirinda orange soda).

And a couple of other short, unmemorable visits. (On one of them, when I came from DC — which didn’t have Trader Joe’s yet in those days — a highlight was the Trader Joe’s in Hillcrest.)

But for the most part, San Diego was a place you went through on the way to Mexico, or stopped in for a couple of days without ever really experiencing much of the “placeness” of the place.

So this time, while in San Diego for the Americans for the Arts Convention, I wanted to do things differently. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Not ‘What Future?’, It’s ‘What a Future!’

Posted by Ken Busby On June - 21 - 2011

Ken Busby

The Americans for the Arts Annual Conference just wrapped up in San Diego. It was terrific!

On the plane from Tulsa, I had begun writing my blog for this week. I had just received an urgent e-mail from the Arts Action Fund that immediate action was needed to oppose any effort to terminate arts education as currently proposed in H.R. 1891, the “Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act.”

I had dutifully written my congressman, using the step-by-step process from the Action Fund website, personalizing my message with anecdotes from my organization, and adding my voice to thousands of others who have written or will write to their congressman or congresswoman on this important issue.

As I was sitting on the plane, thinking about why the arts always seem to be under attack given the mountains of data and research that we have that prove that arts education improves student behavior, keeps students in school longer, improves SAT scores by an average of 100 points, etc., I began writing this blog. It was filled with the reasons why the arts matter. Read the rest of this entry »

Sally Gaskill

My first convention was in 1983 or 1984 in Hartford, when the then National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies met with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. (Those were not only the pre-digital years, but the period when the acronyms – NALAA and NASAA – were more in alignment.)

I was a fresh-faced community development coordinator for the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. I remember what a rush it was to meet people like me from all over the country.

We did communicate back then – there were telephones, and we actually wrote letters and posted them in the mail – but there sure wasn’t Facebook or Twitter to keep us in touch with each other by the minute. So meeting up at convention was a big deal.

As the years have passed, I have been a frequent attendee of these annual meetings. Americans for the Arts has always been my home, because my work in arts administration has been grounded in community arts. Read the rest of this entry »

I Have A Problem…A Civic Engagement Problem

Posted by Danielle Brazell On June - 21 - 2011

Danielle Brazell

I run a local arts advocacy organization in a small fishing village on the west coast that’s home to 10 million people, 88 cities, and 81 school districts in a geography that spans thousands of square miles.

Yes, my little fishing village (aka Los Angeles) is massive!

Our advocacy approach has been high-tech/high-touch advocacy approach and is focused on three critical issue areas:

•    Arts Education
•    Cultural Economy
•    Civic Engagement

Within this context, I constantly ask the question: How can we connect more people to advocate for the arts in their community? I think the answer lies somewhere between community organizing and community development. Read the rest of this entry »

Basic Online Fundraising for Busy People

Posted by Rich Mintz On June - 20 - 2011

Rich Mintz

At the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, I had the pleasure of listening to Camille Schenkkan of Arts for LA giving an unusually lucid and helpful introductory summary to online tools for donor development and management.

I think those of us who work in online fundraising for a living — especially those of us who mostly work with large organizations, the kind that have a dozen or more people in the marketing department, and technical staff to handle the donor database, and so forth — sometimes forget how mystifying all of this stuff is to a lot of people.

If you’re doing three jobs at once, in an environment where there’s never any extra money lying around, with a board of directors (or a major donor, city council, etc.) breathing down your neck — sound familiar? — what you want is not a bunch of platitudes about the “next generation” and the “new normal.” You want someone to tell you the dozen or so things you need to know, and the half-dozen or so things you should try to do this month or this quarter. Read the rest of this entry »

Sending An Arts Message to the President

Posted by Sheryl Oring On June - 20 - 2011

Penny Ross eyed my “I Wish to Say” office from across the room and I beckoned her over and invited her to dictate a postcard to the President.

It was early in the morning at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Diego, and Ms. Ross clearly had something to say.

She started her postcard to the White House like this: “I live in Chandler, Arizona. Arizona has eliminated all of the funding for the arts.”

Ms. Ross went on to tell me that she’d been teaching art to junior high students for 12 years, but that her job was just eliminated. “They don’t want to spend money on art supplies,” she said. “But the annual budget was $500. And that served 1,000 students.” Read the rest of this entry »

Well, I Do Declare: Studying Arts Not A Major Mistake

Posted by Breena Loraine On June - 18 - 2011

Higher Education Peer Group Session - AFTA11

I have the great privilege of attending this year’s Americans for the Arts Annual Convention as a student representative of San Diego State University. As a student, I was excited to attend the Higher Education Peer Group.

During the session, the conversation gravitated toward the difficult decision college students face as they declare their major. In a fickle economic environment and uncertain job market, students may be deterred from choosing to major in their true passion—music, dance, theater, art, photography, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

Reporting from San Diego

Posted by Sally Gaskill On June - 17 - 2011

Sally Gaskill

Yesterday morning I happened to walk down the hall and saw a sign for a “Higher Education Peer Group” session. I am an arts administrator who works in higher education, so I hoped the session would be open to anyone, and I was in luck. I immediately recognized the person in charge: the bow-tied Ron Jones, newly appointed president of the Memphis College of Art.

In Ron’s previous position as Dean of the Arts at the University of South Florida, he had spoken out about the need for data on the people who graduate with arts degrees from our colleges and universities. He had, in fact, become a poster child for the research project I manage at Indiana University – the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project – and is quoted on the SNAAP brochure as follows:  “Accountability is our future, and SNAAP is providing data that heretofore we made up or assumed.”  Read the rest of this entry »