Janet Starke

Janet Starke

Tis the season for all things grants. Grant applications, grant reports, grant prospecting (well really, that season never ends). In the past 90 days, I have had my hand in nearly a dozen grants, mostly to corporate and community foundations, as well as (state) government.

Those of you who work in this realm or in tandem with your development team know the drill: mission, check. Need, check. Project description, check. Impact, check. Or in this one, outcomes. But wait, the other one is asking for metrics and measurements. This one is looking for more quantitative measurement. That one encourages qualitative data. And the school systems to whom I am providing services are looking to still different outcomes and measurements altogether. And while so many benevolent community funders have taken the seemingly Herculean effort to equitably support both social services and cultural (education) funding, so often then, we are asked to complete evaluation templates that are really geared towards social service sector outcomes. Read the rest of this entry »

Jeff Poulin

Jeff Poulin

As we celebrated International Arts Education Week 2015 last week, I have a renewed interest in exploring what is happening around the world in the fields of arts and education; specifically where they come together.

The first International Arts education Week was held in 2012 at the UNESCO headquarters with representatives from all sectors involved including artists, educators, NGO’s and the like. To coordinate global efforts in celebration of the power and impact of arts education, the delegates at the UNESCO general conference approved a resolution designating a week to join together as a global community to celebrate on the 4th week of May annually. This guide book is a great starting place for your celebration. Read the rest of this entry »

Ann Marie Miller

Ann Marie Miller

At times I have been asked, “How did you find your career path in the arts?” Actually, it’s more often phrased, “How’d you get in this business?” I have held a number of wonderful posts, both public and private, and am currently Director of Advocacy and Public Policy for ArtPride New Jersey, the state arts advocacy organization. My story is evolutionary, organic, and having tilled these fields for over 30 years, long. In this age of sound bites I’ll boil it down to this—“teachers and inspiring leaders.” For me and so many others, it all started with an art teacher. Read the rest of this entry »

Eric Booth

Eric Booth

Thank you Americans for the Arts for giving your Arts Education award to a Teaching Artist for the first time (me!)! I take it as a public recognition of teaching artistry’s usually-overlooked contribution to the arts education ecosystem. So let’s take a look at teaching artistry.

When is the last time you thought about the national field of teaching artistry? For the vast majority of readers, the answer is probably somewhere between “a long time ago” and “never.” Let’s poke you into thinking about it again right now. Read the rest of this entry »

Una McAlinden

Although each of us can probably recall a time when success could be defined as not losing (too much) ground, we all want to feel like our efforts have been worth the commitment and have made a lasting difference in some way.

During my ten years at ArtsEd Washington, we saw these rewards when we worked with school principals implementing the Principals Arts Leadership program to help them be effective instructional leaders for the arts. This program confirmed the importance of the principals’ role in the day-to-day provision of arts learning and also illuminated for us how difficult that role is to sustain without the context of a supportive school district publicly committed to the arts. Read the rest of this entry »

Laura Bruney

Laura Bruney

This piece by Laura Bruney of the Arts & Business Council of Miami was originally published on their blog, www.artsbizmiami.org/ArtsBizBlog.

On the 2nd of April, the Arts & Business Council of Miami (A&BC Miami) and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) hosted the 11th Annual Breakfast with the Arts and Hospitality Industry. The event takes an innovative look into how hospitality companies can attract and engage with the arts for profitable partnerships that enhance Miami’s reputation as a growing destination for cultural tourism. Read the rest of this entry »

Deb Vaughn

Deb Vaughn

Arts integration has ebbed and flowed in American schools since the 1940’s, in various forms. I read a recent grant proposal that pointed out the challenges of the arts in service of other subjects versus the arts as equal too all subjects. The tension between STEM and STEAM demonstrates ongoing discomfort with integrating subject areas. But intellectual rigor and intense creativity are not mutually exclusive. Read the rest of this entry »

Glenna Avila

Glenna Avila

What a treat to be in Sweet’s Ballroom in Oakland, home-away-from-home for Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Tito Puente, Dizzie Gillespie, Lalo Guerrero, Xavier Cugat, and so many more! And how wonderful for Sweet’s Ballroom to be a part of the Oakland School of the Arts, allowing their talented students to follow in the footsteps of the some of the greatest musicians in history.

The convening on January 30-31, 2015, was made possible by CREATE CA, which brought together over 225 arts leaders from across California for two days of listening, working, and participating in learning about CREATE CA and its release of A Blueprint for Creative Schools (funded by the California Arts Council). Spearheaded by the amazing Malissa Feruzzi Shriver and others, this important work began in 2011 as part of the Education Leaders Institute (ELI) funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Read the rest of this entry »

Lauren Hess

Lauren Hess

Public schools are full of turmoil these days. Debate over the shift to the Common Core Standards that has taken place over the last few years is causing tension. Teachers are working overtime to figure out the new standardized tests that have been created by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) to assess the new standards. People are concerned about the amount of standardized testing occurring in our schools throughout the year. Most recently, parents in some communities are taking action and pulling their children from taking the standardized tests. Read the rest of this entry »

Siobhan Kenney

Siobhan Kenney

The following piece by Siobhan Kenney was originally published on Applied Materials’ corporate responsibility blog.

As a company built on innovation, we understand the power of focusing creative minds on solving important problems … for our customers and for our communities. We recognize the tremendous benefit of bringing diverse people together to address issues, share experiences and design solutions. Read the rest of this entry »

Robert L. Lynch

Robert L. Lynch

We are in a springtime of mixed messages in America. Some graduation ceremonies feature stories of great opportunity by commencement speakers, while others are solemn events where graduating seniors are simply processed out the door toward an uncertain future. Clearly, some systems and communities are doing a better job of preparing our children for a creative, successful future. The arts can make a difference between these two outcomes–while there are certainly many other factors involved, the arts are proven to make a positive difference toward graduation and a better learning experience. That is why Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that arts education, or the lack of it, has become “a civil rights issue in America.” And The Conference Board’s Ready to Innovate study found that employers want 21st century employees who are creative; this age of innovation demands a creative workforce. At the top of the list for how to become creative is having the arts in the curriculum when the young people were in school. Read the rest of this entry »

Jay Dick

Jay Dick

For eight years now, Americans for the Arts has partnered with our nation’s Lieutenant Governors to promote arts education and other arts-related issues. I am often asked, “Jay, why do we work with the Lt. Governors?” The answer is simple. Whether they are elected directly, or on a ticket, Lt. Governors have broad portfolios including many aspects of tourism, creative economy, education, and economic development. Secondly, almost half of them go on to become their state’s next governor. Read the rest of this entry »

Jeff Poulin

Jeff Poulin

Patricia Walsh

Patricia Walsh

Across the country, the arts are changing: demographics are shifting, modes of artistic participation are becoming more diverse, and once segmented artistic practices are converging. These changes ring true for both public art and arts education, and over the past year these respective fields have been discussing their convergence.

The Public Art and Arts Education Programs at Americans for the Arts endeavor to explore this intersection, better understand the potential for collaborations, and create tools and resources for encouraging inter-sector cooperation.

As a first step, we have begun to research the shared space. There is an inherent connection between the intrinsic goals of both areas of artistic study and practice. Read the rest of this entry »

Pam Korza

Pam Korza

Alex Parkinson, researcher for The Conference Board, urges in his blog post that arts and culture leaders need to become adept at demonstrating the social impact of the arts in terms that speak to corporate leaders. I agree! But, it’s not just about arts leaders building evaluation capacity. Social responsibility and impact starts with both cultural and corporate leaders defining clear intention and acknowledging that some shifts may be needed in defining the metrics that matter when assessing arts and corporate social responsibility investments. Read the rest of this entry »

Andrea Taylor

Andrea Taylor

In our 21st century digital world, the power of storytelling has become platinum currency that many corporations use to address intractable and large scale issues. Recent findings from the Animating Democracy program of Americans for the Arts suggest that arts organizations now have a chance to reinvent corporate partnerships and engage new audiences by fully engaging corporate marketing, communication, and evaluation resources.

Corporate layoffs, limited cash resources, and employees eager to volunteer are changing the models and metrics for support of the arts. This quest for greater social impact is leading to innovative, nontraditional arts programming everywhere. At the same time, the complex, cross-cutting challenges facing local and global communities are generating more interaction between disparate cultural, economic, and social groups. Read the rest of this entry »