Art in Motion: Monmouth Arts and New Jersey Transit

Posted by Mary Fouratt On April - 23 - 2015
Mary Eileen Fouratt

Mary Eileen Fouratt

Formed in 2011 and led by Monmouth Arts, the MoCo Arts Corridor Partnership is a creative placemaking initiative that brings artists, arts groups, municipal art councils, creative businesses, local and regional tourism offices, the County Economic Development, Tourism and Planning Offices, and NJ Transit together to establish coastal Monmouth County as a cultural destination. The 41 towns from Matawan to Manasquan are rich with over 50 arts organizations both large and small and include the major arts hubs of Red Bank, Long Branch, and Asbury Park as well as smaller towns with active grassroots arts groups. 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 »

Neighbors and Strangers

Posted by Caron Atlas On February - 3 - 2015
Caron Atlas

Caron Atlas

“We fought poverty, violence and blight, and we made the Southside a better place to live. We are now strangers in our own neighborhood, and it’s painful.”

These words from longtime Brooklyn resident and community leader Evelyn Cruz at a forum about gentrification in Williamsburg have stuck with me for years. I thought of them as we created Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts New York (NOCD-NY), a citywide alliance of artists, cultural organizations, and community leaders coming together to revitalize New York City from the neighborhood up. And I’m thinking about them now as I write this blog about cultural districts and communities as catalysts of change. How can we make sure that our work does not make people strangers in their own neighborhoods? Read the rest of this entry »

Arts Education: Ten Things to Remember from 2014

Posted by Jeff Poulin On January - 9 - 2015
Jeff Poulin

Jeff Poulin

I can now affirmatively say that I have been at Americans for the Arts for over a year! Woohoo! …And what a year it has been.

Each month the Arts Education Advisory Council of Americans for the Arts has a monthly call. In December, we sat on the call reflecting on the previous year and what we had all accomplished personally, collectively, and throughout the field. In my role as the Arts Education Program Coordinator, I am privileged to see a lot of things that happen on a national scale across the country, and the council often provides insight into the impacts of these trends or brings my attention to something that is up-and-coming before it has actually made a splash.

In our reflective state, we began compiling a list of the ten things that every arts-interested person should know about arts education from 2014 – it was an incredible year! Read the rest of this entry »

Freestyle Love Supreme Shows Some Love for Arts Education

Posted by Kristen Engebretsen On December - 10 - 2014
Kristen Engebretsen

Kristen Engebretsen

Freestyle Love Supreme. It sounds a bit like a funk band from the 70’s. It’s not. It’s an improv group that uses freestyle rap as its style. The group has been described as a mashup between the Wu-Tang Clan and Whose Line is it Anyway. They’re featured on a new reality show on Pivot TV, where they take their freestylin’ to the streets and schools of NYC.

As part of all new content created at Participant Media (the parent company of Pivot TV and producers of An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman, and The Help), the company uses its social platform, TakePart, to encourage readers to take action around a cause inspired by the content. In this case Freestyle Love Supreme inspired an action campaign about the importance of arts education called Love Arts Ed. Since we here at Americans for the Arts do indeed Love Arts Ed, we caught up with the leader of Freestyle Love Supreme, Anthony Veneziale, to ask him about his passion for improv, and how it connects to arts education. Answers are edited for brevity. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s volunteerism anyway? A recap of ABCNY’s Arts Volunteer Fair

Posted by Kellyn Lopes On December - 4 - 2014
Kellyn Lopes

Kellyn Lopes

The Wix Lounge, an impressive space for communal offices in Chelsea, Manhattan, is usually bustling with young tech entrepreneurs, artists, and freelance professionals. On Tuesday, November 18th, the Arts & Business Council of New York transformed the space into a new community: a networking event for arts organizations and business professionals interested in volunteerism. Almost twenty arts organizations, ranging from Carnegie Hall and the Bronx Museum, to TaDa! Youth Theater and ProjectArt, shared volunteer opportunities for professionals looking to get involved.

At the event, I was able to get the scoop about trends in arts volunteerism and the types of volunteer opportunities available. Here’s what I found:

The arts are a catalyst for volunteer work

Diane Conroy, Manager of Corporate Programming at Free Arts NYC, told me a fantastic story. Free Arts NYC provides arts educational and mentorship programs free of charge to underserved youth and families in New York City. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s time to Replace the “Broken Window” with a “Scaffold Up.”

Posted by Amy Sananman On November - 21 - 2014
Amy Sanamman

Amy Sanamman

A year ago, New York City voted in its first new mayor in 12 years. The city council election resulted in new members in almost half of the 51 seat council. It was an exciting time for the progressive communities—for all those that have fought for social change through the fields of education, immigration reform, fair wages, affordable housing or, of course, the arts. While the Mayor’s new platform addressed many of these items, it did not include an arts agenda or integrate a strategy to use arts and culture to support a more just and equitable city for all. Over the past few months, I have seen NYC—its new administration and city council—struggle with finding new frameworks. I have been thinking about how the aesthetics of language and framing influence how we understand our communities, their challenges, opportunities, the role of arts, and how policies may be considered. One example of this is how NYC is grappling with the broken windows theory and its legacy. Read the rest of this entry »

A Brute in America: Poetry and an Interrogation of Violence

Posted by Patrick Rosal On November - 19 - 2014
Patrick Rosal headshoast

Patrick Rosal

I’ve been in a bunch of fistfights. I fought many years into my adult life. After brawling, me and dudes in my crew would slip from the scene, hit a diner, order burgers or late-night breakfasts, then tell stories of what just went down. We recalled the damage. We reconstructed the fragments of how the fight started and who was where and what happened in what order.  We talked about what startled us and even what amazed us or made us laugh. Mostly, fear, sorrow, and regret went unsaid. Then, we all went home.

The inner life for people of color contains whole landscapes. Read the rest of this entry »

Rebuilding Fort Worth’s Business Volunteers for the Arts Program

Posted by Wendy Taliaferro On November - 11 - 2014
Wendy Taliaferro

Wendy Taliaferro

For those readers who may not know a ton about Fort Worth, our city has an incredibly unique and growing arts and culture scene. Approximately 40 minutes from Dallas, Fort Worth has a little bit of everything. From world-class museums, eclectic gallery spaces, and an emerging music scene, this city has a fantastic variety for arts lovers.

As an employee of the Arts Council of Fort Worth, I work in the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, a public space that promotes the talents of local artists, musicians, actors, and dancers. During my time at the Arts Council, I have quickly learned that public programs and spaces are a vital piece to Fort Worth’s cultural success. With that said, I started my job at the Arts Council of Fort Worth over six months ago with an inactive Business Volunteers for the Arts® (BVA) program on my desk. In the past, our BVA program had blips of success, offering assistance to local arts organizations here and there. However, I began looking into the chapters in larger cities and noticed that this program could and should have a greater impact on our community with the amount of artists and business professionals working closely together. Read the rest of this entry »

What the Midterm Elections Mean for the Arts: Summary of 2014 Election

Posted by Nina Ozlu Tunceli On November - 6 - 2014
Nina Ozlu Tunceli

Nina Ozlu Tunceli

Narric Rome

Narric Rome

In this year’s midterm elections, Republicans took back the Senate, kept control of the House and won governorships in 31 states and counting. What does that mean for you and for us, as strong advocates of the arts and arts education? Here we break down the national, state, and local results – and their potential impact on the arts:

 

In Congress

The U.S. Senate will be Republican-led. This means all Senate committees will see new chairmen, and since those committees control and recommend federal spending, these new chairmen could have significant impact on federal arts funding. Read the rest of this entry »

A Sea Change in the Volunteer Landscape

Posted by Amy Webb On October - 24 - 2014

Adapting to a shift in the volunteer landscape is one of the exciting challenges that the Arts & Business Council of New York (ABC/NY) and many arts organizations now face. As a new team running ABC/NY, my colleague Caleb Way and I are putting our heads together to come up with innovative ideas to expand and modernize our local volunteer matching program. To give some context, the Business Volunteers for the Arts® (BVA) program was founded by ABC/NY in 1975 with the mission of serving to connect nonprofit arts organizations with pro bono volunteers. However, as web-based volunteer matching services such as VolunteerMatch and Taproot have taken off, and businesses expand their volunteer or corporate responsibility (CSR) programs to include more expansive and flexible options for employee engagement, the old model of staff-managed volunteer matchmaking is simply not enough. ABC/NY’s new strategic direction combines the idea of volunteer matching with a much broader menu of employee engagement options. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Dismiss Digital Experiences

Posted by Aaron Bisman On October - 7 - 2014
Aaron Bisman

Aaron Bisman

  1. The average American adult spends 11 hours per day with electronic media.
  2. 58% of adults in the United States own a smartphone and 40% own a tablet. Cellphone adoption transcends race, location, and income level.
  3. 73% of adults use at least one social media channel.

These facts help to establish a truism of life today. We live in an augmented reality; for more and more of us, we value and desire digital experiences alongside “real world” ones. And one need not negate the other. Our lives do not only take place in the physical world; why should our experiences with art and culture? Read the rest of this entry »

The Cohort Club

Posted by Sean Daniels On October - 6 - 2014
Sean Daniels

Sean Daniels

For Geva Theatre in Rochester, NY, I created an engagement group that has significantly impacted the way we interact with patrons and stakeholders, it’s called The Cohort Club.

I started with four ideas:

1)   Education breeds excitement.

2)   People wanna see how the sausage is made.

3)   If you want people to come see your shows, you need to speak their language, or teach them yours.

4)   “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”—Chinese proverb. Read the rest of this entry »

Caleb Way

Caleb Way

Last Wednesday morning, New York City’s newly instated cultural commissioner, Tom Finkelpearl, greeted representatives from numerous local institutions for the Crain’s Arts & Culture Breakfast: A New Future for New York’s Culture Industry. Finkelpearl, formerly the executive director of the Queens Museum, opened the event with comments on the current landscape of the arts in New York City, a few of the challenges it is facing, and some of the “cultural perks” his office plans to introduce to address them. The commissioner touched on the roll-out of new Municipal ID Cards, saving the finer details for the Mayors announcement on Thursday, and commented on the newly allocated $23M to arts and cultural education throughout the city. Read the rest of this entry »

NEA Supports Creative Youth Development

Posted by Terry Liu On September - 19 - 2014
Terry Liu

Terry Liu

As an Arts Education Specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts, I am fortunate to see new blooms in the field of education.  Earlier this year, I was honored to join more than 200 national, state, local, and community-based youth arts leaders for the National Summit on Creative Youth Development in Boston, sponsored by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the National Guild for Community Arts Education.

It’s exciting to have a quorum of leaders who are committed to taking creative youth development to the next level.  We came with decades of experience in this field, and we left with a clear policy and advocacy agenda that our respective organizations could implement at the local, state, and national levels. Read the rest of this entry »