Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

i3 Grantee Lessons: District 75, New York City

Posted by Peggy Ryan On July - 15 - 2011

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation competition awarded District 75 (New York City’s special education district) and Manhattan New Music Project (MNMP), a $4.6 million, five-year grant to develop and implement Everyday Arts for Special Education (EASE).

EASE is a professional development program designed to improve student achievement in the areas of communication, socialization, academic learning, and arts proficiency through integrated, arts-based approaches.

EASE gives teachers tools and experience with arts-based instruction, and participating teachers learn skills and strategies across multiple arts disciplines (music, dance, visual arts, and theater) in order to integrate the arts into classroom instruction. This makes learning more accessible to special education students who struggle with more conventional instructional approaches. Read the rest of this entry »

i3 Grantee Lessons: Beaverton School District

Posted by Peggy Ryan On July - 15 - 2011

In an effort to bring Arts for Learning Lessons to 12,850 Beaverton School District (BSD) students in grades 3-5, the Beaverton School District, with project partners University of Washington, Young Audiences Arts for Learning, and Young Audiences of Oregon & Washington, was awarded a $4 million, five-year grant in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation fund.

Arts for Learning (A4L) is a literacy program that uses the creativity of the arts to raise student achievement in reading and writing, and to develop learning and life skills. A4L lessons had been implemented in classrooms around the country prior to the Beaverton School District’s i3 grant application, with the added resource of some independent evaluations of these existing lessons. Read the rest of this entry »

Narric Rome

Many Americans for the Arts members and friends may be most familiar with the grant programs of the National Endowment for the Arts, which distributes about 2,400 grants annually to arts organizations. But less familiar are the grants located at other federal agencies that represent a more non-traditional source of funding that can benefit arts organizations as well.

Over the past few years we’ve tried to capture some of these non-traditional sources by providing Federal Resource Guides that examine different agencies and grant programs that are either hidden deep in the bureaucracy, or appear to be so off topic that any time spent investigating would be a fool’s errand.

Currently there are two federal programs at the U.S. Department of Education that are relatively new and present clear and immediate possibilities for the right approach in providing support for the arts in an educational setting. Read the rest of this entry »

Are Federal i3 Grants Right for My Arts Education Program?

Posted by Kristen Engebretsen On July - 15 - 2011

Kristen Engebretsen

As I had been preparing some blog posts on the topic of Investing in Innovation (i3), I decided at the very last minute to sit in on an Education Week webinar about i3.

It turns out that it was very worthwhile, as one of the featured speakers was John Bridges from Beaverton School District in Oregon, highlighting their Arts for Learning program.

The webinar accomplished much of what I had hoped to do with my blogs – disseminate information from last year’s awardees about what made their application successful and encourage (or discourage) people to apply.

It’s tough to wade through that amount of paperwork, so I hope some of the information I gathered can help you self select whether or not your program is a good fit for i3. Read the rest of this entry »

Investing in Arts Education = Investing in Innovation

Posted by Kristen Engebretsen On July - 14 - 2011

Kristen Engebretsen

During our recent Arts Education Council meeting in San Diego, the council members suggested posting some blogs about the federal grant Investing in Innovation (i3) in preparation of the deadline for the next round of applications. So, for the next couple of days, Americans for the Arts will be encouraging a spotlight on the i3 program.

Expect to see some lessons learned from last year’s arts-focused grantees and links to helpful resources if you’re finishing up your application or wanting to resubmit your application from last year.

During that same meeting, the council had the pleasure of hearing Rachel Goslins, executive director of the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities (PCAH), speak via Skype about their recent Reinvesting in Arts Education report. Read the rest of this entry »

Full House Committee Approves $20 Million Cut for NEA

Posted by Gladstone Payton On July - 13 - 2011

Last night, the full House Appropriations Committee passed their initial FY2012 Interior Department funding bill by a vote of 28-18.

This legislation contains a $20 million cut for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), passed last week by the Subcommittee, from FY2011’s $155 million level.

The NEA was not mentioned specifically during the debate which largely centered around changes to the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory authority as that agency’s funding is being cut most dramatically and controversially in this bill.

Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim Moran said the following in his opening statement:

“This bill is about more than our natural resources and the environment, and while the cultural activities and institutions are a small portion of the bill they are a vital part of our communities and enhance our quality of life.” Read the rest of this entry »

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 »