Happy New Year from Americans for the Arts!

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Jan 05, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

In 2012, Americans for the Arts resolves to invigorate political discourse and the nation by continuing to spotlight the importance of the arts in America. Artists, teachers, arts managers and p九龙高手水心论坛精选, lawmakers, administrators, and advocates are integral to this mission.

This election year, the urgency is growing to have political candidates and office holders understand how arts are vital to our communities. We ask that you make your own resolutions this year by responding to this question:

How can the arts energize the political dialogue in your community this election year?

Here are some insightful responses to get you thinking. Add yours in the comments below!

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Congressional Arts Staffers: Your Partners in Change for the Arts

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Mar 08, 2012

Rep. Louise Slaughter and Rep. Todd Platts testify at an Arts Advocacy Day hearing.

For 25 years of the Congressional Arts Caucus¹ 30-year history, arts advocates have convened for one day on Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Hill to flood the halls of Congress to share their views regarding arts initiatives.

On this day, such active engagement by the arts community provides our representative government with a first-hand account of the state of the arts in our country. The opportunity to meet with our constituents and businesses with a personal connection to the arts helps to put a face (and a talent) to the idea of supporting the arts at a federal level.

Arts Advocacy Day (AAD) is a day to celebrate the vibrancy of the arts and the wide array of talents here in the United States of America. There is no better place to embrace the great diversity of our country’s artistic identity than in the nation’s capital.

For the thousands of you who have participated in AAD, chances are you have met with a congressional staffer or two (or 435). As the staff members that manage the Congressional Arts Caucus on behalf of its Co-Chairs, believe us when we say these meetings have a tremendous effect on gaining the attention of your Representatives and help to keep the arts community in the Members’ thoughts throughout the year.

Because of this, arts staffers are your greatest allies in making positive change for the arts with federal investments.

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A Busy Summer for the Arts Action Fund

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Sep 20, 2012

The Americans for the Arts Action Fund, in partnership with NAMM: National Association of Music Merchants, The Recording Academy (GRAMMYs), and The United States Conference of Mayors partnered together to sponsor programs at both the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention with the help of the respective local arts agencies in Tampa and Charlotte (Arts Council of Hillsborough County and the Arts & Science Council).

It all began with two events in Tampa for the Republican National Convention.

The first was ArtsSPEAK, a policy forum on the future of the arts and arts education. The second was ArtsJAM, an intimate concert performance featuring national recording artists celebrating the arts.

To kick things off, Arts Action Fund President Bob Lynch welcomed RNC delegates to ArtsSPEAK in Tampa:

Later, he was joined by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who moderated the panel of elected officials, advocates and arts leaders. Featured speakers included: Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert; Mesa (AZ) Mayor Scott Smith; Hillsborough County School Board Member Doretha Edgecomb; Tampa Bay Times Marketing Director Kerry O'Reilly; and Jazz Musician/Former New York Yankee Bernie Williams.

You can listen to the full event via SoundCloud:

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Well-Rounded Curriculum in the Spotlight as ESEA Re-Write Gains Momentum

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Jun 07, 2010

By Heather Noonan, Vice President for Advocacy for the League of American Orchestras and Co-Chair of the ad-hoc National Arts Education Policy Working Group

How will the next version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) support access to the arts as part of a well-rounded education for every child? This month the Administration, Congress, and arts education advocates have advanced the conversation. Now is a critical time for arts advocates to engage in the real heart of the debate.

Speaking before the national Arts Education Partnership forum on April 9, US. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan delivered his view, declaring that the arts “can no longer be treated as a frill,” and reported that, during his national listening tour, “almost everywhere I went, I heard people express concern that the curriculum has narrowed, especially in schools that serve disproportionate numbers of disadvantaged students.”

The March 13 Obama Administration blueprint for re-writing ESEA lays out the Department’s view on federal education policy. Three areas of the blueprint emerged in Duncan’s remarks:

  • Proposals would allow states to incorporate assessments of subjects beyond English, language arts and math in their accountability systems.
  • The current Arts in Education funding program would be merged with other funding areas so that districts, states, and non-profits would apply for competitive grants to support the arts among other eligible non-tested core academic subjects of learning.
  • New resources for afterschool and extended day learning could open the door for support for arts education.
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Baltimore Staff Picks: Best Cultural Activities

Posted by Americans for the Arts, May 26, 2010

American Style Magazine goes ga-ga about Baltimore in its May issue listing favorite picks. The Americans for the Arts staff and colleagues in the region have put together some of their Baltimore favorites too--to help attendees at this year's Annual Convention. This first blog post covers Cultural Activities in Baltimore:

Bird Plaza at the American Visionary Art Museum
  • Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum and a pint for history’s sake at Annabelle Lee Tavern, shrine to all things Edgar Allen Poe
    --Kate Gibney, Americans for the Arts

  • Visiting the Baltimore Museum of Art or attending the city’s Artscape
    --Sara Hisamoto, Visit Baltimore

  • Touring the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also called the Baltimore Basilica. It's considered the masterpiece of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the "Father of American Architecture."
    --Theresa Cameron, Americans for the Arts

  • Get there early on a Saturday you can see a show in the center of the Harbor. Normally magic, clowns and singers.
    --Angel Baker, Americans for the Arts

  • Walter's Art Museum (one of the best decorative arts collections in the world)
    --Karen Newell, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation

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Emerging Leader Survey Results – What do they Mean to You?

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Apr 27, 2010

by Emily Spruill and Stephanie Evans

As the Americans for the Arts’ Emerging Leaders Council started to develop our focus for the coming years, we kept asking ourselves, who is our audience?  What do they need?  So before we start assuming how we can help emerging leaders, we decided to ask you.  The Emerging Leaders Council spent 2009 drafting the questions for an Emerging Leaders Network Field Survey.  By January 2010, 554 of you had let us know about yourself and what’s on your mind.

The survey confirmed a lot of what we thought to be true:  Most of you are very active in seeking out professional development – either within your community or at national convenings.  The majority of you (over 75%) are also very involved with advocating for the arts at the local and/or national level.

While the survey results indicate that emerging arts leaders want and need professional development, only 31% of you indicated that there is a budget line for professional development in your organization’s budget. It is clear that organizational support for employee’s professional development has been reduced or eliminated entirely in 2009/2010 budgets.

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Philanthropy News Digest's Interview with Robert L. Lynch

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Oct 21, 2010

Robert L. Lynch

Recently, Philanthropy News Digest spoke to Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, about the state of the arts in America, what arts and cultural organizations can and should be doing to weather the Great Recession, and what the digital future holds in store for artists, arts organizations, and all who support them.

Philanthropy News Digest: For many years now, arts groups around the country have been working to develop new, younger audiences while retaining their core, older supporters. How are they doing?

Robert Lynch: Some have done it very well, and others are struggling. To a large extent, it's about marketing. Performing arts organizations have a product, but audiences have a variety of interests and ways in which they can receive information. Arts organizations that understand that, that understand the needs of multiple audiences and either market or deliver their product in a variety of ways, are building audiences. The ones that rely on the product to sell itself are having more difficulty.

PND: Are particular art forms or disciplines doing better than others? Are symphonies doing better than dance companies, for example?

RL: It's too easy to generalize. But an example of an organization that has done a good job is the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. It has a variety of mechanisms, many of them based on new technologies, for reaching a range of audiences. Similarly, many theaters, including for-profit theaters, have diversified their performance times with an eye to an older audience. And though we read a lot about the graying audience for classical music, I don't know if that's universally true. A 2008 survey by the National Endowment for the Arts found what looks like fewer people attending performances, but when I look at our own National Arts Index I see a huge increase in the downloading of classical music. My colleagues at the League of American Orchestras also tell me they are seeing a lot of positive trending in their studies of audience development. So, while we read about certain art forms that may be in trouble, let's keep in mind how difficult the economy has been for the arts in general.

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The Arts as a National Security Asset

Posted by Americans for the Arts, May 25, 2010

Brigadier General Nolen Bivens, U.S. Army, Ret.

Back in April, Brigadier General Nolen Bivens, U.S. Army, Ret., testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies to voice his support of National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funding.  Recently, Gen. Bivens wrote a post entitled The Arts of War...and Peace on the NEA's blog highlighting why he believes the arts are important to the United States government’s ability to deal with the national security challenges it faces.  From his blog post:

Our armed forces are adjusting to an enemy that practices asymmetrical warfare. This threat demands creative and innovative responses: understanding local culture and protection of valuable and sensitive cultural treasures, such as those looted in the Baghdad Museum, can go a long way in helping our forces win the hearts and minds and maintain support among the citizenry; investments in cultural diplomacy can enable the arts community to partner with other U.S. government departments and agencies to prevent or prepare for post-conflict situations, and support stabilization; and support for our veterans in their healing and post-service via creative outlets can help support their path and transition to a civilian life.

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Jamie Foxx Invites You to Experience 'Thunder Soul'

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Oct 12, 2011

Jamie Foxx here, writing you to share the good news about Thunder Soul – a very special film that is close to my heart. This film is a rare gem – more than just a “must-see” it’s a “must-experience” for all ages.

I am so inspired by this movie – the true story of how one person makes a profound difference in the lives of others – that I am asking for your help to make it as successful as it is special. Most people know me as an actor, singer and comedian, but few know that none of that would’ve been possible had it not been for my Granny, Estelle Talley, who gave me the gift of music at a very young age.

It was important to Granny that I received an excellent education--which thankfully always included music. Studying instrumental music gave me discipline, skill, and creative expression. But far beyond that, having mentors, like Granny and great music teachers, believe in me from a young age laid the foundation for my success as an entertainer and, more importantly, as a person. That is the indomitable spirit at the heart of this powerful movie—and why I know you will love it.

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Reel Creativity

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Oct 05, 2011

Dr. Bill Bronston

As part of National Arts and Humanities Month, we are featuring stories about some of the events people are holding around the country. Sacramento-based nonprofit Tower of Youth, an organization dedicated to organize and promote digital literacy, education system modernization, a world class media workforce, economic and community development through its training, partnership networking and media showcase programs, will hold its 15th Annual North American All Youth Film & Education Day October 7. Dr. William Bronston, CEO of Tower of Youth, had this to say about the event and the importance of youth media art:

Youth media art is the ultimate challenge to the status quo in the education system. District and education industry leaders seem unable to guide us into a truly 21st Century 24/7 individualized and customized learning system. The digital toolbox is limitless. It is revolutionizing all our lives! It is imagination and competence, visionary leadership, school redesign courage that are desperately needed by our children who seek connection, wisdom and inspiration, by instinct, in their lives.

Our youths best movies, from across North America, show, over and over, for the 15 years we have produced these showcase events, their hunger for value, vitality, problem solving, wonder, antidotes to fear and dangers to body and soul they seriously struggle with. Their movies tell the whole story and do so with absolute creative wonder and originality. Visual media jobs and career growth rates dominate the economy but are officially uncounted.

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Alec Baldwin: A Critical Time for Arts Funding

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Jul 05, 2011

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin speaks at Arts Advocacy Day 2011.

Hello. I’m Alec Baldwin.

Over the past few months, you may have seen me on television doing a series of commercials for Capital One.

What you may not know is that I am donating all of the proceeds from this work to cultural charities, including some of the organizations with which I’m involved: Guild Hall of East Hampton, The New York Philharmonic, Roundabout Theater, the Hamptons International Film Festival, and of course, Americans for the Arts.

But these spots are not about me getting money and then giving it to charity. Actually, Capital One is partnering with me.

That’s right. Capital One has partnered with me to help the arts by letting these advertisements serve as a platform through which I can raise awareness about the need for public funding of the arts and arts education.

In these tough economic times, I don’t want people to forget about the arts and arts education. People need to understand what’s at stake.

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South Carolina Governor Vetoes Arts Funding

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Jun 28, 2011

Editors Note: Click here for an update on this story.

In response to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s decision to veto funding for the South Carolina Arts Commission, Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, issued the following statement:

“In vetoing funding for the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC), Gov. Nikki Haley offers another unfortunate example of newly-elected gubernatorial leadership being out of touch with the wishes of voters for ideological reasons.

Betty Plumb, executive director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance states, 'South Carolinians have spoken and the General Assembly has listened. The budget is balanced, and it includes the arts. The state's small investment in the arts yields significant, statewide returns for education, quality of life, and our economy. The support and services the arts commission provides make a positive difference in our communities and schools. We don't need to sacrifice this valuable public asset when there is no practical necessity to do so.' 

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Happy New Year from Americans for the Arts

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Jan 07, 2011

As we end our 50th anniversary year here at Americans for the Arts, we want to wish each and every one of you a happy new year! Throughout the year, we met and worked with stakeholders nationwide to ensure the arts had a voice from Main Street to Capitol Hill. We launched our 50 States 50 Days campaign to bring arts advocacy to cities and towns nationwide. We hosted our 50th anniversary convention, the Half-Century Summit, where nearly 1,200 leaders in the field came together to envision a bright future. We also presented one of our most successful National Arts Marketing Project Conferences to date in San Jose. And to begin this new year, we want to hear from you.

What is your resolution this year to support the arts in your community? Think big, think small. Let’s take a moment to come together and set meaningful, actionable goals for our field and all the communities we serve.

Post your resolution below!

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Do You Know the Way?

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Nov 12, 2010

BY: Terry S. Davis, UNM Center for the Arts

What do you do on a Monday night in Montgomery, Alabama?

If you had been like a lot of locals this week, you would have gone downtown to see the touring production of Fiddler on the Roof. On a Monday night. In Montgomery, Alabama.

I got to the Montgomery Performing Arts Center, pictured above, about 20 minutes before curtain surprised to see a crowd of people in the lobby. So many people were there that I could not make my way to the Will Call window to pick up my ticket.

They had not opened the house yet — some minor technical difficulties with the show that had arrived that morning and would depart after the curtain came down — which meant that all of us were packed into the lobby, which was quite large. A lot of people had come out on a Monday night in Montgomery, Alabama, to see a show.

What brings us out of our homes to the theater?

If I knew that answer, I’d be a featured speaker at the National Arts Marketing Project in San Jose. (It’s been a week of travels.) Several dozen arts marketers are going to gather in a room today to start discussing that very question. As long as I’ve been in this business, I confess I don’t always know the answer. Nor do the others who I will share a room with today, experts though many of them are.

Certainly we understand that people come out for the shared stories of theater, to hear, for example, the tale of a poor Jew in Russia struggling with maintaining balance and traditions in an ever-changing world. But why on a Monday night? Or, more to the point, why not?

In spite of the packed nature of their lobby, the Montgomery Performing Arts Center (MPAC) had not sold out the performance. The question for those of us in San Jose today will be what might we have done, had we been marketers for MPAC, to fill those seats that went empty that night.

Or the seats that went empty on Sunday night in Kansas City’s Music Hall for the performance of Cats I saw. Or the vacant seats in Bass Hall in Fort Worth for Spring Awakening on Tuesday. Or the unsold seats in Popejoy Hall we will have for many of our shows yet this season.

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