Ask Yo-Yo Ma About Arts Education

Posted by Kristen Engebretsen On April - 3 - 2013
Yo-Yo Ma (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)

Yo-Yo Ma (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)

Have you ever chatted with someone about the importance of the arts in our schools? Would you like the chance to discuss it with Yo-Yo Ma?

Yo-Yo Ma will deliver the 26th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy on April 8 at 6:30 p.m. EDT and, for the first time, Americans for the Arts will stream the event live from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (courtesy of Google), so you can watch regardless of whether or not you made it to National Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC.

Drawing on his training as a musician and what he has learned traveling the world for more than 30 years as a touring performer, Ma will discuss where in nature, society, and human interactions we can find the greatest creativity, and what we can all do to help students grow up to be contributing and committed citizens.

And, if you have a burning question that arises during the lecture, you can ask Yo-Yo the next day. On April 9, Yo-Yo will take a break from his Arts Advocacy Day visits with members of Congress to participate in a Google Hangout video chat about arts education with Matt Sorum (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer for Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, Co-Founder of Adopt the Arts in California); Damian Woetzel (Former Principal Dancer at New York City Ballet and the director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program); Lisa Phillips (Author of The Artistic Edge and CEO of Canada’s Academy of Stage and Studio Arts); and, Bob Lynch (President & CEO of Americans for the Arts).

We’ll be collecting questions before the Hangout via Twitter and email. You can either tweet using #AskYoYo or send an email to with #AskYoYo in the subject line and your question in the body. We’ll take questions anytime from now until the Hangout.  Read the rest of this entry »

The How-and-Whys of Our Top 10 Most Viewed Posts of 2012

Posted by Tim Mikulski On December - 19 - 2012

Tim Mikulski

Everyone loves a top 10 list. Sure, it seems the lists are everywhere this time of year—to the point that you’d think that we’ve over-saturated the market for them, right? Wrong.

The best evidence that I can give you to prove that top 10 lists bring people to your site is that four of our top 10 most viewed posts this year contain the number 10 and, as you will see below, our top 3 new posts published in 2012 contain the number, too.

Thankfully, though, that’s not all we’re about here on ARTSblog.

So, the Top 10 Most Viewed ARTSblog Posts created in 2012 are:

1. The Top 10 Skills Children Learn From the Arts

2. Ten Years Later: A Puzzling Picture of Arts Education in America

3. 10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2012

4. Former President Clinton Supports Arkansas Arts Education Program

5. Overcommitment: Taking the ‘I Shoulds’ Out of Your Life?

6. What Do We Really Know About People Who Get Arts Degrees?

7. What’s Actually Keeping Your Audience Away?

8. President Obama’s Budget Request for the NEA: The Fine Print  Read the rest of this entry »

Top Contenders (Pretenders?) to be the Next Facebook

Posted by Tim Mikulski On May - 30 - 2012

Tim Mikulski

CNN’s What’s Next blog recently published a list of current social media outlets/apps that could take over as the “next Facebook” if everything falls into place.

While there has been wild speculation in the past that other products would have replaced the big blue ‘F’ by now, it hasn’t happened; however, I’m pretty sure that I never thought MySpace would be replaced either (p.s. have you checked out what Friendster has become?).

So, here’s a quick rundown that CNN provided with links and my added commentary in bold after each description:

Highlight (number of users unpublished): This “social discovery” app was the buzz at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive, a conference in Austin, TX, that makes or breaks many tech start-ups. Essentially, the app aims to give people real-time information about the people all around them. “San Francisco is a city of 800,000 strangers,” Highlight founder Paul Davison told Time. “You sit on the bus next to each other. You stand in line next to each other. You go to bars and meetups to meet each other. You walk by each other on the street. And you don’t know anything about anyone you see.” This app seems move intrusive than Foursquare, so I’m not sure people will give it a shot.

Path (3 million users) Founded by ex-Facebooker Dave Morin, Path has a couple things going for it that Facebook doesn’t: It’s mobile-first, which is important in a world where people tend to network on their phones more and more than on their desktop computers; and it’s intimate. Path caps users’ friend lists at 50 people, ensuring that you’re actually communicating as the real you with people who you really know in real life. An app redesign won Path a new wave of support from the early-adopting tech public, but a privacy snafu in February, during which it was revealed that Path stored users’ phone contact lists, may have eroded the trust of some people. Morin apologized for that data slip, saying it was accidental and had been remedied. Privacy concerns aside, it seems like it’s what everyone intended Facebook to be—a more limited circle—and that could prove to be a draw for people like me who had to friend his entire high school class for reunion planning purposes. Also, there is an Instagram-like photo feature with Path that adds some value. This might be my pick as the next potential Facebook. Read the rest of this entry »

Google Out-Doodles Itself Again

Posted by Tim Mikulski On May - 23 - 2012

The geniuses at Google are at it again.

Today’s doodle on, honors the late Dr. Robert Moog on his 78th birthday. Moog invented the electronic synthesizer, so the doodle is an interactive musical instrument that will help those of you who are musically inclined to kill some time during your workday.

According to Mashable, “The Google Moog has 19 full-functioning knobs, one wheel, a switch and four tracks that let you record up to 30 seconds of overlaid audio. As with the Les Paul Guitar doodle, you can play, record and share, via a link or Google Plus.”

Not only that, The Bob Moog Foundation is holding a contest on their blog for the most creative composition which will be awarded with a special set of DVDs and software ($300 value) made by Arturia.

If you are talented enough to create a composition today, make sure to post a link to it in our comments!

Have you ever wondered if it’s worth your time to start that Pinterest page for your organization or business? Is it important that you know what Digg is?

Thankfully, has pulled together a fantastic infographic that will help you determine if Facebook is better for your message or if you should hurry up and start that Twitter account.

By gathering social media demographic info and putting it together in an arts-friendly way (a solar system of social media info), you can take a quick look at the social media universe and then decide if you’re on the right path or if you should be heading toward another orbit.

Here are some facts I gleaned from the resource (as posted on Mashable):

  • FACT: Facebook users visit the site 40 times per month and average over 23 minutes on the site per session.
  • OPPORTUNITY: That creates an opportunity to really engage with Facebook users. If you can get an article or link to your site on a Facebook user’s newsfeed at the right time, you will have them hooked…for at least that day. A study covering 2007-2010 Facebook use says that the peak use time is Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. ET and daily it is at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 8:00 p.m. ET.
  • FACT: 82 percent of Pinterest users are female.
  • OPPORTUNITY: The arts are already female-skewing, but if you want to reach out further into the demo, you’ll want to sign up for an account and try it out soon.
  • FACT: 71 percent of Google+ users are male and 43 percent are single men.
  • OPPORTUNITY: The arts are already female-skewing, but if you want to reach out to older, single men who may bring dates, girlfriends, and/or mothers to your gallery or performing arts center, you might want to dabble and see where Google+ takes you. Read the rest of this entry »

Google Doodle Celebrates Leap Day with Frogs & an Italian Composer

Posted by Tim Mikulski On February - 29 - 2012

Known for often celebrating the lives of historical figures and holidays, Google once again set out to honor this extra day of the year with a new Doodle (their homepage logo) marking the occasion and combining it with a celebration of Italian composer Gioachino Rossini.

The Doodle makes the leap from February 29 to Rossini thanks to a classic cartoon where Michigan J. Frog, later the mascot for the defunct WB TV network, first appeared as a The Barber of Seville aria singing-frog (go to the 5 minute mark) that frustrates the heck out of the man who discovers him.

Once again the creative and innovate team at Google shows us their artsy side.

To find out more about how businesses can better partner with the arts, check out our latest campaign—The pARTnership Movement!


A New Concept for Marketers?: Context War

Posted by Laura Kakolewski On October - 5 - 2011

Laura Kakolewski

If you want your brand want to win this war or survive this global phenomenon, it is time to relocate from Madison Avenue to Silicon Valley.

Many of you have probably heard of Gary Vaynerchuk, video blogging sensation and social media savant. I can’t help but be attracted to Vaynerchuk’s notorious high level of energy as he discusses the shift from creating brand content to creating CONTEXT in his new video:

Let’s sum up Vaynerchuk : last week, Google+ grew 1269%, Facebook expanded its platform, and “Word of Mouth” became the buzz words in the marketing world again. Read the rest of this entry »

Google Out-Doodles Itself

Posted by Tim Mikulski On September - 6 - 2011

Yesterday, Google UK unveiled a new homepage Doodle that was so great that it was added to our version today.

A little “Yellow Submarine”-esque animation combines with the Google logo to pay tribute to legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, who would be celebrating his 65th birthday.

You can check out the YouTube version below or visit for the true experience.

Moving in Circles with Google+

Posted by John Cloys On August - 12 - 2011

John Cloys

In only one month, Google+ has become the fastest growing social network site in history. With twenty-five million users, Google+ is comprised of a diverse demographic user base, ranging from celebrities, political figures, and the average social media junkie.

As an active user, I see a great deal of potential for the personal branding, network mapping and collaboration that Google+ offers to its users. Google+ has presented itself as a one-stop hub, combining functions used in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Recognizing Google+ as a unique way of connecting and sharing information, and appropriately utilizing its numerous functions will help you advance your overall marketing and social media strategy.

How is Google+ different, you ask? It is a one-stop shop.  Read the rest of this entry »

Google Celebrates Martha Graham

Posted by Tim Mikulski On May - 11 - 2011

Google's Logo for 5/11/11

Google’s creative employees often take the opportunity to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, etc., by making special logos, aka Doodles, on their main page.

Some special Doodles in the past included an interactive Pac-Man game, a royal wedding celebration, and an ode to Marc Chagall .

Today is no exception as they put together an animated version utilizing a dancer in honor of the legendary Martha Graham, who would be celebrating her 117th birthday today.

Blakeley White-McGuire, who has been with the Martha Graham Dance Company since 2002, served as the model for the Doodle and she has been kind enough to share the video of that with ARTSblog:   Read the rest of this entry »