Copyright and You!

Posted by Luke Blackadar, Jan 23, 2020 0 comments

As an arts lawyer, I often advise on a variety of copyright issues. Many artists realize copyright law is crucial to protecting the value of their work, but beyond that, the details of how exactly to use copyright gets lost in the shuffle. I’m hopeful this post will clear up some common areas of confusion! Copyright is an intellectual property right, or an intangible, nonphysical right. Put another way, copyright is separate and distinct from the personal property right to a physical work of art. Fortunately, copyright protection is easy to obtain: As soon as you create a work of art, that work is automatically protected by copyright! The key here is that, for your work to be protected by copyright, it must be “fixed in a tangible medium of expression.” In other words, your work must be committed to some tangible, perceivable, reproducible form. This “fixation” is required because copyright protects the expression of an idea, not simply the idea itself.

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The Art of Social Change

Posted by Patricia Nugent, Jan 21, 2020 0 comments

One can only wonder what Marshall McLuhan, who coined the phrase “The medium is the message,” would have thought about the Rest Stop Theatre Project, a novel outdoor mobile experience that takes place in the back of a beat-up pickup truck. Produced by Benjamin Rexroad and Kyle Jozsa of Wandering Aesthetics (an Akron, Ohio-based storytelling theatre company), Rest Stop Theatre featured a cast of four actors running through compelling non-partisan scenes designed to increase local voting participation in the 2016 presidential election. The rollicking performance included a bit of improv, sketch comedy, and audience participation—which Wandering Aesthetics has earned a reputation for. They put on 10 performances across different parking lots and neighborhoods in Akron, exploring the many facets that make up the culture of voting.

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Collaboration in the Classroom and Beyond

Posted by Ms. Argy Nestor, Jan 15, 2020 0 comments

Recently I’ve been reflecting on my long career in education and am grateful for the many and varied opportunities. I’ve always been intrigued by collaboration in education, and if I had to select something that has the greatest influence on my work, intertwined with every job, it has been collaboration. About 10 years ago, I realized how much focus is put on collaboration and how little intentional action/planning/understanding is put into it. We expect adults and students to collaborate, but we don’t unpack that as a group or individually to make a greater impact on the success of the work. One guide for preparing students for the world is most often directed today by “the 4C’s” which includes critical thinking & problem solving, creativity and innovation, communication, and collaboration. I think it’s time to put some effort into unpacking collaboration before jumping into a partnership or expecting students to work in a group.

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The Arts Expand our World. So Why Define Arts Narrowly?

Posted by Dr. David V. Mastran, Jan 15, 2020 0 comments

Let’s start with an irrefutable statement: The arts broaden our perspective and enhance the world around us. No one should disagree with that. Now for a simple follow-up question: If the arts—which include all of music, the visual arts, performing arts, and more—are so very broad and so very expansive, why do we insist on using restrictive labels to define them? The term “Fine Arts” is used across all educational levels to cover the spectrum of arts offerings. Fine Arts is a very narrow definition that is too restrictive. We should stop doing it. We should leave the term back in 2019. Our goal in the new decade, at least as it concerns our ability to appreciate the aesthetic, economic, educational, and human impact of the arts, should be to expand our view of the arts, not restrict it. The arts are limitless in their potential to reach, teach, motivate, and energize. Why put limits on something that is limitless?

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How cinema can become a catalyst for social change

Posted by Laura Briedis Tomko, Jan 10, 2020 0 comments

While many people go to the theater to relax and be entertained after a busy day, the moviegoers at The Nightlight Cinema go there not to get away from it all—but instead are seeking community engagement. Opened in 2014 in Akron, Ohio, this art house’s mission is to create a place where cinema and community exist in tandem. Open nightly, it provides a classy nightspot where patrons can enjoy the cinematic art form and explore new ideas as part of a thoughtful community. For instance, after the screening of Inside Akron’s Tent City, a locally produced documentary that premiered at the 43rd Cleveland International Film Festival, The Nightlight Cinema added extra show dates at its theater to keep the homelessness crisis at the forefront of people’s minds. The film resonated with the city in many ways and helped people empathize with those who are homeless.

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Artist Legislator

Posted by Mr. John R. Killacky, Jan 09, 2020 0 comments

I believe my artistic practice parallels legislative actions. Moving bills from drafting to committee deliberations onto floor votes in both the House and Senate also is an iterative collaborative process informed by myriad voices: stakeholders, advocates, community members, and other legislators, in addition to the governor. Bills constantly evolve and change. Compromise may be the best that can be achieved, given conflicting input, needs, and resources. In politics, as in art, vexing problems are best tackled from multiple perspectives with stakeholders involved. Resiliency and adaptability are also essential for best outcomes in life, art, and politics.

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