Candace Kita

Candace Kita

When was the last time that you were told to “play harder”? Unless you happen to work at an extremely progressive workplace such as this one—where employees can mentally recharge in a gallery-turned-ball pit—the possibilities for play tend to disappear as we grow older. While arts nonprofits tend to acknowledge that creative thinking and experimentation propel innovation, resources are rarely allocated towards opportunities for staff to regularly weave play with work. Read the rest of this entry »

Olga Garay

Olga Garay

As I have segued from my nearly seven year stint as the Executive Director of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and resumed my former role as a local, national, and international arts consultant, I have submerged myself once again in building bridges between the U.S. arts sector and the Latino/Latin American arts communities. Though these communities continue to take on more central roles in the U.S. dialogue, they are still marginalized. Read the rest of this entry »

Elena Muslar

Elena Muslar

In more recent times, the arts administration field has begun to recognize the importance of cultivating tomorrow’s leaders. Professional development opportunities have begun to spring up for the “next-gen” or “emerging” leader. These buzzwords have essentially become synonymous with being a “millennial” in this field. Yet the term itself tends to be defined with certain characteristics of being detached, entitled, liberal, and tech savvy – most of which don’t always bode well for a young person trying to emerge into a predominately “baby boomer” arena. Read the rest of this entry »

Abe Flores

Abe Flores

Arts administration needs a bit of revolutionary thinking for the continued health of the sector. The future of the arts is already here, being ushered in by arts leaders who test norms, continuously evolve, and keenly anticipate tomorrow.

New audiences, technologies, and competition require successful arts leaders to implement new models, develop cross-sector partnerships and allies, and stay focused on their vision. The revolutions in our field do not appear to be complete departures from what we are doing. That is to say most of the fundamental work functions of arts administration remain (e.g. production, marketing, and fundraising). What is in flux are how these functions are carried-out. These new methods and considerations require some revolutionary minds. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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.

Alyce Robertson is Executive Director of Miami’s Downtown Development Authority. The Great Recession wreaked havoc on downtown Miami, with empty condos and a surplus of office space that even the most bullish economists thought would take a decade to absorb. But the turn-around has been quicker and better than imagined. A 24-7 community has emerged as thousands of new residents and business professionals flood the district seeking a more urban lifestyle. Today, Miami has reversed course and emerged as a true metropolis and international destination for commerce, tourism, and arts & culture. Alyce shares her views with us on the value of the arts to downtown Miami. Read the rest of this entry »

Eric Delli Bovi

Eric Delli Bovi

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is a common refrain for describing the world’s most successful people and history’s most brilliant ideas and discoveries. Perseverance in the face of adversity can lead to major breakthroughs. Unfortunately in our hyperactive, high-stakes world of standardized testing, making time in the classroom for discovery, revision, and reflection without fear of judgment is now considered an unaffordable luxury. Read the rest of this entry »

Doug Israel

Doug Israel

Urban school districts, such as New York and Chicago, are taking bold steps to expand the school day curriculum and once again invest in arts education. After years of budget cuts, and a narrowing of curriculum at public schools across the country, cities are taking action.

Owing largely to mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, school districts of all sizes spent recent years focusing educational goals very narrowly on improving test scores in just two subject areas—English Language and Math. This focus came at the expense of the arts, music, and other subject areas that were not being tested.

Fortunately, the tide may be turning, and arts education may be making comeback. Read the rest of this entry »

So What do You Do?

Posted by Caitlin Holland On March - 30 - 2015No comments yet
Leslie Ito

Leslie Ito

This blog post is an extended interview from the Spring issue of Americans for the Arts member magazine Arts Link. Americans for the Arts’ Emerging Leader program celebrates its 15th anniversary this year in 2015. Leslie Ito was one of the founding members and she is interviewed by another founding member, Graham Dunstan, Americans for the Arts vice president of marketing and communications.

Featured Americans for the Arts member: Leslie Ito

Position: president and CEO, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center

Please tell our readers about your organization.

The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) was founded in 1972 and is a two-acre campus in the Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles. We have a five-story building that houses different nonprofit organizations, but we also manage a professional gallery space, a tea room, a ukulele café and store, a large plaza designed by renowned artist Isamu Noguchi, and the 880-seat Aratani Theatre.
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Kellyn Lopes

Kellyn Lopes

There have been a slew of discussions lately centered around the potential in combining art and technology, two sectors that operate differently but ultimately share many similarities. A recent article in the New York Times by Alice Gregory questioned if in the physical world, the arts and tech are clashing cultures, or “parallel universes that rarely intersect.” Stephen Tanenbaum, on the other hand, noted that “arts and tech are not in competition with each other,” but are at a juncture that offers exciting opportunities for collaboration and growth, pointing to San Francisco in particular.

Perhaps instead of asking: “Are the arts and tech in competition?” we ask: “How can the arts and tech partner to foster the next wave of culture and technology?” Read the rest of this entry »

Mary Palmer

Mary Palmer

I have launched my own version of a television show… for an audience of one. Henry, my first grandchild, has been my avid collaborator for over 2 years.  Although we are separated by thousands of miles, we are “close” thanks to frequent video conferencing.  Tours of my house and yard, co-reading books, playing with puppets, singing songs, playing instruments, counting oranges or abacus beads, and just chatting are part of our “together time.”  The huge difference between my TV show and “prime time” TV is that mine is tailored to the interests and needs of Henry.  He has an integral role in the choice of content as well as the pacing and types of interaction in which we engage. Read the rest of this entry »

Dalouge Smith

Dalouge Smith

Dr. John Iversen

Dr. John Iversen

Music is a central part of life for many of us, whether we listen, dance or play. It makes us feel good, or transports our imagination, but what is going on in our brain? Can music be used to help an ailing brain, or boost a learning one? An emerging field of Music Cognition is studying these important questions using new tools such as brain imaging that allow us to examine how the brain is changed by music. In this post we would like to tell you about one study we are doing that is trying to answer some of these questions. Read the rest of this entry »

Stephen Marc Beaudoin

Stephen Marc Beaudoin

They’re often left behind.

Left out of the discussion. Forgotten. Not on the stage or missing from the page. Frequently not even in the room.

I’m talking about students experiencing disability, or special education students.

In the swirling national dialogue on arts education and cognitive development, it is surprising to see how infrequently students experiencing disability are included as part of the research and discussion.

As K-12 schools everywhere are realizing that, if well implemented, inclusive classrooms can lead to better student outcomes, it is critical that the voices and talents of students experiencing disability are included. Read the rest of this entry »

Barbra Weidlein

Barbra Weidlein

The more I learn from the ongoing research on adolescent cognitive development, the more I realize the degree to which high school students are expected to make major decisions for which their brains are not quite ready. It’s no wonder that the college decision process, as well as the consideration of careers, is so overwhelming for many if not most 17- and 18-year-olds. I remember my son at that age: he couldn’t imagine going into any field other than music. Yet the plethora of choices and decisions without clear guidelines to facilitate the process proved to be highly confusing and enormously time-consuming for him. In fact, it became the inspiration for the creation of MajoringInMusic.com, in an effort to ease some of that angst for other students – and their parents.

According to the American College of Pediatricians, young people’s brains are, “under construction….The frontal lobe, the judgment center or CEO of the brain, allows the individual to contemplate and plan actions, to evaluate consequences of behaviors, to assess risk, and to think strategically. It is also the ‘inhibition center’ of the brain, discouraging the individual from acting impulsively. However, the frontal lobe does not fully mature until approximately 23 – 25 years of age.” The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry goes on to say that the significant differences in how adolescents’ brains deal with decision-making and problem-solving compared to adult brains can even be seen in “pictures of the brain in action.”

How, then, can we support college-bound arts students as they face decisions and choices they’re not developmentally ready to make? Read the rest of this entry »

Rebecca Burrell

Rebecca Burrell

When you take a look at the numbers, it’s clear that in coming years our public schools will enroll more English Language Learners than ever before. According to research by the Pew Charitable Trust, by 2050 34% of children under age 17 in the United States will be either immigrants or children of immigrants.

We also know that public school teachers are by and large white—over 80% as of the 2011-12 school year—leaving vast cultural and language gaps between teachers and their students. (Read more about that on page 20 of this report.)

So, what is the arts’ role in helping teachers reach English Language Learners? Making the arts a central part of any classroom can help deliver content in powerful new ways to excite more kids. Read the rest of this entry »