Americans for the Arts Partners with American Girl to Elevate Arts Education in U.S. Schools
December 28, 2012—
Americans for the Arts is teaming up with American Girl to help promote the arts in U.S. schools through the Elevate the Arts School Grant Contest and Saige Learning Guide. This partnership dovetails with American Girl’s introduction of its 2013 Girl of the Year, Saige Copeland.
Elementary schools throughout the United States with students in grades 3-6 can submit entries to support their art program through the Elevate the Arts School Grant Contest. Each entry must contain two components: a digital image of artwork and a written essay. Entries should be submitted between January 1 and May 31, 2013. They will be evaluated on originality, creativity and how effectively it demonstrates the school’s enthusiasm for art and its positive effect on its students.
Grants will be awarded to 13 schools. The first-place winning school will receive $10,000, schools placing second and third will win a $5,000 each, and ten runner-up schools will each receive $2,500. Grant recipients will be announced in October 2013 to coincide with National Arts and Humanities Month.
The Saige Learning Guide is a free, downloadable arts-based curriculum designed for teachers to inspire their students to explore their creative side. It outlines seven specific activities teachers can use to infuse the arts into their classroom and inspire their students to explore the arts, share their artistic passions and promote the arts in their schools and communities.
To complement this resource, Americans for the Arts is offering additional tools that parents can use to ignite their child’s creative spirit and imagination and to ensure their school districts and education leaders are committed to the arts. These supplementary tools can be found on Americans for the Arts’ website here.
Further details regarding the Elevate the Arts School Grant Program, including specific contest rules and regulations, and the Saige Learning Guide can be found here.
Vote for Your Favorite Project to Win a $15,000 Grant
December 17, 2012—There are only two weeks left to vote for a community to win a $15,000 innOVATION Grant from Americans for the Arts and Ovation!
Having already awarded a total of $85,000 to organizations in Tacoma, WA; Fort Collins, CO; Lanesboro, MA; Bethlehem, PA; and Washington, DC earlier this year, there are 58 organizations vying for the $15,000 Viewer's Choice Award on Facebook.
Take the time to read over the nominees and vote by December 31! We'll announce the winning organization in January!
Does Size Matter? Join Our Blog Salon on Scaling Up Organizations & Projects!
December 02, 2012—Americans for the Arts is proud to host our final ARTSblog Blog Salon of the year December 3–7 as our Animating Democracy program tackles the topic of scaling up in a series of posts asking "Does Size Matter?"
The notion of scaling up has gained currency as arts organizations, artists, and funders seek greater impact from their efforts and investments. The idea of sharing something that is effective so that the benefits can be experienced by more people is attractive, especially when something is producing good results. Disseminating ideas, replicating programs, sharing models and practices, transferring skills and technology are all approaches to scaling up.
But, when is a creative project, program, or initiative ready to go to scale or when is staying small best?
Find out all week as 20 bloggers tell us about their experiences, and the experiences of others, when making the decision to scale up!
Americans for the Arts Receives $100,000 from National Endowment for the Arts
November 27, 2012—Today, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced that it has awarded Americans for the Arts a $100,000 grant to fund Cultural/Arts and Entertainment District Project (Cultural Districts Project).
The Cultural Districts Project is a comprehensive, three-year initiative that will provide substantive new technical assistance and training resources designed to meet the unique needs of local arts agencies and local arts organizations charged with creating, maintaining and evaluating arts, entertainment and cultural districts around the country.
Americans for the Arts has monitored the growth of arts, entertainment, and cultural districts for years, publishing the first-of-its-kind guide “Cultural Districts Handbook” in 1998. Today, Americans for the Arts is actively tracking approximately 500 districts and fields a significant number of requests for additional technical assistance specifically related to districts.
The new Cultural Districts Project builds upon this track record of service to the field, and will produce new tools to aid in the assessment of districts’ impact. The initiative also seeks to advance the national dialogue between state and local arts leaders and non-arts stakeholders about how to work together more effectively to identify naturally occurring cultural districts and leverage the arts in the ongoing effort to strengthen local economies, create an enhanced sense of place and deepen local cultural capacity.
Statement on Rocco Landesman's Retirement
November 20, 2012—We at Americans for the Arts greatly admire Rocco and the work he has been able to accomplish during his tenure as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
He created programs that connected and resonated not just in Washington but also with local communities throughout the United States: Our Town, which provides funds to struggling neighborhoods for the purpose of investing in theater, dance, music, writing, and visual art; and ArtPlace, which enlists foundations, corporations, and federal agencies to use cultural enterprises to integrate artists and arts groups into local efforts in transportation, housing, community development, and job creation.
In addition, he understood how to connect and work with other branches of government, including the Department of Defense on arts and healing, Department of Education with the Arts Education Partnership, Department of Housing and Urban Development on economic development projects in the arts, and the Department of Commerce to document and track the number of jobs in the nonprofit arts sector to add more scientific evidence and scope to the arts industry.
Most importantly, he used his bully pulpit to educate both Washington and the American people on the value of the arts, specifically noting that the arts are, of course, intrinsically valuable, but also a strong source of jobs and economic stimulus. In fact, his slogan, "Art Works" was intended to persuade Americans, including members of Congress, that investment in art can build stronger communities and revive a flagging economy.
We at Americans for the Arts are sad to see him go. However, he leaves a great legacy that will be admired for years to come.
Yo-Yo Ma to Deliver Nancy Hanks Lecture During 2013 Arts Advocacy Day
November 19, 2012—The 113th Congress will renew its focus on reducing the federal deficit through program cuts and revenue raisers that could detrimentally impact nonprofit arts organizations. It is imperative that arts advocates work together to help educate members of Congress about the role the arts play in spurring economic growth and job creation.
With that in mind, Americans for the Arts is proud to announce that Arts Advocacy Day will take place April 8–9 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park, Capitol Hill, and John F. Kennedy Center for the Peforming Arts.
Network with fellow arts advocates from across the country, strategize with experienced advocates, and learn about the most important arts and arts education-based topics for 2013 during the program before meeting with your members of Congress.
Ovation is also providing an additional Viewers' Choice Award. Please visit Ovation's Facebook page to review Viewers' Choice submissions and vote for your favorite project by December 31, 2012. The online submission that receives the most votes will receive a $15,000 innOVATION grant, to be announced in January 2013.
Ovation, the only multi-platform network devoted to artists and every kind of artistic expression, developed the innOVATION Grant Program to fund and recognize the impact of artists and the arts in communities’ revitalization efforts in partnership with Americans for the Arts.
Schools Win $25K in Grants from KRIS Wine & Americans for the Arts
November 13, 2012—Brunswick Acres Elementary School in Kendall Park, NJ was very dedicated to winning the third annual “Art of Education” contest sponsored by KRIS Wine and Americans for the Arts.
Not only did their "Call Me Maybe" parody video help them jump out to an early lead, but it also scored the top prize of $5,000 for their arts education programs. Even more amazingly, they secured 16,000 of the 90,000 total votes in the contest!
Art teacher Suzanne Tiedemann plans to use the funds to support her recent “Shells for NJ Shores Program” for which students will create shell-themed art to raise money for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy late last month. In addition, 15 other schools in 9 states will receive a total of $20,000.
Those winning $2,000 grants are:
Paideia School 15 – Yonkers, NY Cascade K-8 Community School – Shoreline, WA Hammer Montessori at Galarza Elementary – San Jose, CA Greenbrook Elementary – Kendall Park, NJ Polaris Charter School – Manchester, NH
The $1,000 grant winners are:
Kenmore Elementary – Kenmore, WA Milwaukee French Immersion – Milwaukee, WI Andrew Cooke Magnet Elementary School – Waukegan, IL Kestrel High School – Prescott, AZ PS 76, The Bennington School – Bronx, NY Flossie Floyd Green Elementary School – Allen, TX Northwood High School – Pittsboro, NC Washington Elementary – Richmond, CA Roberto W. Clemente Middle School – Germantown, MD Bryant Elementary – Tacoma, WA
Thanks again to KRIS Wine for their generous support in this endeavor and congrats to all the winners!
Americans for the Arts Joins VANS as Custom Culture Contest Partner
November 09, 2012—As its national charity partner, Americans for the Arts is proud to announce the fourth annual Vans Custom Culture contest inspiring high school students across the United States to embrace their creativity while drawing attention to the importance of art as an integral part of a well-rounded education.
The first 1,500 U.S.-based public or private high schools that register will receive four pairs of blank canvas Vans shoes to make their own creations around four themes: Action Sports, Music, Art, and Local Flavor. Students submit photos of their shoes via the Vans Custom Culture website, then an internal selection and external public vote whittle the entries down to a group of five finalists who will travel to New York City for the Vans Custom Culture final event in June 2013. The top school will receive $50,000 for their visual arts program.
We'll have more information about this exciting opportunity as the registration period begins in January 2013!
Americans for the Arts Releases Statement on 2012 Elections
November 08, 2012—Americans for the Arts and Arts Action Fund President and CEO Robert L. Lynch gave the following statement on the Election Day results:
"On behalf of Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund, I wish to congratulate President Barack Obama and all of the national, state, and local elected leaders across the country who won their elections last night.
President Obama will now have the opportunity to fully realize his vision for the arts and culture as he originally laid out four years ago. By successfully securing healthcare for artists, economic recovery funds that saved artists’ jobs through the National Endowment for the Arts, and ongoing support for appropriations that fund federal cultural agencies, the president has taken many steps in supporting the nonprofit arts sector.
We hope to encourage President Obama and his administration over the course of the next four years to remain focused on maintaining arts education in every classroom; allocating a larger budget for the arts as an economic generator for American jobs, products, and communities; and protecting charitable giving incentives that are the lifeblood of the nonprofit arts sector.
We are proud that the nonprofit arts sector has already played an important role in our nation’s economic recovery by generating $135 billion in economic activity, supporting 4.1 million jobs, and returning $22 billion in tax revenue back to federal, state, and local coffers.
The make up of the Republican-controlled House and Democratic-controlled Senate, with a few races still to be called, is poised to remain relatively the same with modest gains by Democrats in both chambers. In the House of Representatives, we are happy to report that Congressional Arts Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) won re-election in a hard-fought campaign made difficult by New York’s congressional redistricting plan. Also, Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) will continue to chair the House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee, ensuring a friend of the arts remains at the head of that very important panel.
With the retirements of former Arts Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA) and Interior Subcommittee member Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-OH) and the losses of moderate Republican Reps. Judy Biggert (R-IL) and Charlie Bass (R-NH), the number of Republicans that formed a crucial pro-arts voting bloc in the House has taken a hit.
Their defeats mean we have to re-double our education of new members to ensure a firewall against possible future congressional attacks on arts funding. We look forward to working with newly elected Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) who bring their stellar House arts voting records to the Senate."
To read the full statement, including more about Congress and state/local elections, visit ARTSblog.
Emergency Response Resources after Hurricane Sandy
October 31, 2012—In these days after Hurricane Sandy, our thoughts are with you, your families, friends, and colleagues. On behalf of Americans for the Arts and the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response, we want to offer our help and assistance to you.
The Essential Guidelines for Arts Respondersis an immediate resource to help you determine your organization's response and work in the weeks ahead. It is an abridged version of a longer, more detailed handbook (now in development) that's designed to help local and state arts agencies, organizations, foundations, and other arts groups plan and administer a coordinated disaster mobilization system within their service area. We hope that it helps you, and we welcome your comments and additions.
We also encourage you to visit our National Coalition Partners: CERF+ and ArtsReady for resource links and more disaster relief information.
Please let Theresa Cameron, Local Arts Agency Services, know how you are doing and if you have other information you would like to share.
Bob Lynch Shares Expectations with the Presidential Candidates
October 11, 2012—With the presidential election just weeks away, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch was asked by The NonProfit Times to share his expectations for the next administration with both major party candidates:
The video was produced by The NonProfit Times and FineLine Nonprofit Solutions and can be viewed in full at TheNonProfitTimes.com.
Apply Now for the Local Arts Classroom Virtual Leadership Development Program
October 11, 2012—The Local Arts Classroom is back for 2013! The five-month virtual leadership development series provides an opportunity for local arts leaders to master foundational concepts and build skills through exposure to current practice in the core areas of local arts development. In 2013, the program will begin in January and conclude in May.
The $375 registration fee includes: an orientation, six 90-minute webinars, six 60-minute post-webinar discussion calls, opportunities to connect with field leaders and peers around the country, and access to a Classroom participant-only Web portal.
Participants in the 2013 Local Arts Classroom will be selected via a competitive application and panel process. A maximum of 40 individuals will be accepted into the program. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate of recognition and will be provided with further opportunities to become engaged with the broader arts community and the Americans for the Arts Networks.
Individuals meeting the following requirements are eligible to apply: professionals with less than 10 years of experience in the arts field; undergraduate or graduate students; or, professionals who are transitioning into local arts administration from another sector.
Dorothy McSweeny Receives NASAA’s Distinguished Public Service Award
October 05, 2012—A round of applause for Americans for the Arts board member Dorothy McSweeny! She is this year’s recipient of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA)’s Distinguished Public Service Award, which honors an individual volunteer leader whose outstanding service, creative thinking and leadership have had a significant impact on public support for the arts in his or her state and across the country. She will receive her award today during NASAA's annual conference in Washington, D.C.
Dorothy is the immediate past chair of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) and chair emeritus, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH). During her DCCAH chairmanship, she led an effort to increase DCCAH's budget from $1.9 million to $9.3 million. She spearheaded "Party Animals" and "Pandamania," public art projects in which hundreds of blank elephant, donkey and panda sculptures were turned over to local artists, who colorfully transformed them before they were mounted throughout the city. Proceeds from auctions of the sculptures reinvested more than $1 million into DCCAH artist grants and education projects.
McSweeny has served on the board of MAAF since 1999 and was its chair from 2009-2012. Using her connections in Washington, she helped to raise significantly the public sector's awareness of the international cultural exchange programs managed by the regional arts organizations, ultimately resulting in increased investment from both the public and private sectors. Elected to the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame in 2011, McSweeny received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the mayor and was named Washingtonian of the Year with her husband in 1995. She served on Americans for the Arts board of directors since 2008.
Join Our Arts Marketing Blog Salon: October 1-5 on ARTSblog
This week, October 1–5, join us as we swap ideas, personal commentary, and the most creative approaches to arts marketing in our most anticipated Blog Salon yet.
You won’t want to miss the dish from top marketing practitioners and consultants in the field including David Dombrosky, Clay Lord, Jill Robinson, Nina Simon, and Adam Thurman.
Head over to ARTSblog to read, comment, & share our posts throughout the week and beyond.
Submit Nominations for Americans for the Arts Advisory Councils
September 26, 2012—It’s election season here at Americans for the Arts! Nominate yourself or a colleague to become a member of one of our four Network Advisory Councils: Arts Education, Emerging Leaders, Private Sector, and Public Art Network.
Please remember that nominees must be members of Americans for the Arts and Advisory Council members serve a three-year term, from January 1, 2013–December 31, 2015. Nominations are open until October 17.
Voting opens October 31, so look for the election ballot e-mail in your inbox! Remember, only members of Americans for the Arts can vote! Questions? E-mail email@example.com.
Ernst & Young’s James S. Turley is 2012 BCA Leadership Award Recipient
September 18, 2012—Ernst & Young Global Chairman and CEO James S. Turley is the 2012 recipient of the BCA Leadership Award. The award was established in 1993 by the Business Committee for the Arts, now a division of Americans for the Arts, to recognize individuals whose vision, commitment and leadership champion the arts. To find out more about why Turley is being recognized for his arts support, read today’s press release announcing this honor.
Turley is being honored alongside this year’s BCA Hall of Fame inductee, The Boeing Company, and The BCA 10: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America, which recognize 10 U.S. companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships and board membership. The 2012 BCA 10 honorees are:
• Alltech, Inc., Nicholasville, KY • Bank of America, Charlotte, NC • Chaves Consulting, Inc., Baker City, OR • Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Oklahoma City, OK • Earl Swensson Associates, Inc., Nashville, TN • First Community Bank, Corpus Christi, TX • Golden Artist Colors, Inc., New Berlin, NY • Jackson & Company, Houston, TX • Masco Corporation, Taylor, MI • Tampa Bay Times, St. Petersburg, FL
View the June 26 press release to find out more about why these organizations are being honored for their arts support. The BCA 10 Awards, BCA Hall of Fame Award and BCA Leadership Award will be presented by Americans for the Arts on October 4 at a black-tie gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City.
Nominations Open for The NABE Foundation Americans for the Arts Scholarship for Economics Students
September 17, 2012—The NABE Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) is awarding its fifth annual Americans for the Arts scholarship to encourage the integration of the arts into the economic education process. We believe that good economic strategy is inherently dependent on our ability to come up with out-of-the-box solutions to the challenges that we now face. Our hope is that we enable those with the gift of creative problem solving to further the profession of economics through their unique understanding of the world.
The NABE Foundation Americans for the Arts Scholarship Award was established in 2008 to encourage the integration of the arts into the economic education process. Recipients of the $5,000 scholarship must come from economically disadvantaged households and have attended public school. Successful candidates demonstrate long-term participation in the study of, creation in and/or performance in one or more art forms, including dance, music, theatre, literary, visual/media arts; excel academically; and have formally declared the intent to study economics for policy purposes, or in applications in the private and public sectors.
The scholarship is open to both recent high school graduates and current college undergraduates who are majoring in economics and/or the arts. Students who have not graduated high school and matriculated into an undergraduate program, or those who are in graduate school or Ph.D. candidates are not eligible. The scholarship recipients are selected following a competitive review process which begins with a pre-screening of applicants by Americans for the Arts, followed by a review of finalists by a sub-committee, and ratification of recipients by the NABE Foundation Board. The deadline for applications is October 19, 2012.
September 12, 2012—The arts world has lost a great friend in Derek Gordon. He was a rare visionary both as a businessman and as a great champion of the arts and innovation.
As CEO of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, he understood the importance of the arts to Louisiana's cultural identity and to its economy. Under his leadership, he was responsible for revitalizing Baton Rouge’s arts council, initiating the River City Jazz Masters series, and collaborating to create a community dance residency program that has provided world-class training and performance opportunities for young people of all ages, races and socioeconomic backgrounds.
His previous work at as the senior vice president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, he transformed the arts and arts education in this country.
No doubt Derek Gordon 's artistic legacy will continue. Still, Baton Rouge and the nation have lost a true arts advocate, and the board and staff of Americans for the Arts deeply mourn his loss.
Americans for the Arts Celebrates National Arts in Education Week
September 10, 2012—As declared by the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2010, the second Sunday of September marks the beginning of National Arts in Education Week and Americans for the Arts is celebrating in a variety of ways.
Beginning today, ARTSblog is hosting a Blog Salon on Arts Education and the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Read, share, and join in the discussion as 15 education and arts education experts tackle the topic in posts published throughout the week.
Also, kicking off today and lasting through October 31, Americans for the Arts and Kris Wine are partnering for the third year in a row in the company's "Art of Education" program. Consumers will determine the grant winners by voting for their favorite K-12 public schools on KRIS Wine’s Facebook page. Grants will be awarded to the 16 schools with the highest number of votes, starting with $5,000 to the school with the most votes. The next top five schools will each receive $2,000, and the remaining ten schools will receive $1,000 each. Voters must be 21 years or older and can vote for multiple schools one time per day throughout the program.
For more ways to celebrate National Arts in Education Week, visit out our guide.
DNC Includes Arts and Culture in 2012 Party Platform
"Arts and Culture. Democrats are proud of our support for arts funding and education. We are committed to continuing the policies and programs that have already done so much for our creative arts industry and economy. Investment in the arts strengthens our communities and contributes to our nation’s rich cultural heritage. We will continue to support public funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and for programs providing art and music education in primary and secondary schools. The entire nation prospers when we protect and promote the unique and original artistic and cultural contributions of the women and men who create and preserve our nation’s heritage."
The Americans for the Arts Action Fund has requested that arts and culture language be included in the party's platform during the 2008 and 2012 election cycles and this is the sector's second-straight appearance for arts and culture in the platform.
As with the Republican National Convention in Tampa, the Arts Action Fund is also hosting ArtsJam and ArtsSpeak events today in Charlotte. For more information, visit the Arts Action Fund website.
Madeleine Albright and Jim Rogers Featured at ArtsVote2012 Events At DNC
August 31, 2012—Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Democratic National Convention Committee Co-Chair and Chairman and CEO of Duke Energy Jim Rogers have been added to the roster of speakers at the Americans for the Arts Action Fund ArtsSpeak event on September 4 at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
They join NC Secretary of Cultural Resources Linda Carlisle, Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo and Mint Museum of Art Board of Trustees Chair Jay Everette, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, former U.S. Secretary of Education and former South Carolina Governor Richard W. Riley, and former New York Yankee and Latin Grammy Award-nominated artist Bernie Williams on a panel that will be moderated by Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM. Williams’ band will also be the headlining act at ArtsJam, at which Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and Philadelphia Michael Nutter will also be in attendance.
2012 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention Call for Sessions
August 23, 2012—Americans for the Arts invites you to submit a session proposal, for the 2013 Annual Convention, June 14-16, 2013 in Pittsburgh, PA to continue the national conversation on the "new normal" and focus on how the arts can benefit communities undergoing demographic shifts.
The Annual Convention program will explore strategies for communities to adapt, transform, and revitalize in order to define and build “the 21st century American community.” Americans for the Arts is interested in proposals from a variety of sectors and welcomes sessions from both members and nonmembers. The deadline to submit a proposal is September 19!
ArtsVote2012 Events at Republican & Democratic Conventions
August 20, 2012—Amaury Gutiérrez, Mike Huckabee, Richard Riley, Bernie Williams, Dan Warner will be among the featured speakers and performers at ArtsVote2012 events at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. ArtsVote2012 is a national initiative launched by the Americans for the Arts Action Fund geared towards ensuring that the arts impact federal elections.
At the Republican Convention, Fox News Channel television host Huckabee will moderate a panel discussion, entitled ArtsSpeak, on the future of the arts and arts education in America. Other panelists at the event include former New York Yankee and Latin Grammy Award-nominated artist Bernie Williams and Mesa, AZ Mayor Scott Smith, vice president of The United States Conference of Mayors. Opening remarks will be provided by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch. ArtsSpeak will immediately be followed by ARTSjam, which will feature Amaury Gutiérrez, 2011 Latin Grammy Award-winner for Best Singer-Songwriter Album along with Grammy Award-winning musician and producer Dan Warner.
During the Democratic Convention, Bernie Williams will again be participating in ArtsSpeak. He will be joined by former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley and NC Secretary of Cultural Resources Linda Carlisle. Opening remarks will be provided by Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and Lynch. Williams and his band will also be the headlining act at ArtsJam.
Bob Lynch Comments on Romney Statement Regarding Federal Arts, Humanities Funding
August 16, 2012—During a recent interview with Fortune, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stated the following regarding federal funding for the arts, humanities, and public television:
"'Some of these things, like those endowment efforts and PBS, I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases,' Romney told the mag. 'But I just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf.'"
Yesterday, Americans for the Arts President & CEO Bob Lynch was asked by Variety to comment on Romney's statements and the following was published:
"Likewise, Americans for the Arts, which advocates for federal arts funding, is planning forums at the Republican and Democratic conventions, with former Arkansas Mike Huckabee hosting their event in Tampa and former Secretary of Education Richard Riley hosting in Charlotte.Robert Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, said Romney has a 'misunderstanding' of how NEA funding works, in that the funding helps stimulate state and local arts councils as well as seed the growth of small businesses. 'We know from 45 years of history that the great benefit of the American system, which is a very conservative system of support, is not the subsidy but the leverage power,' he said."
Bob Lynch Honored by The Nonprofit Times & Gard Foundation
August 01, 2012—Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch was recently honored with two awards.
On August 1, Lynch was named to The NonProfit Times’ 2012 Power and Influence Top 50, an annual list highlighting the nonprofit sector’s top executives and thinkers.
In its description of Lynch, The NonProfit Times wrote: “He oversaw the merger of the Arts & Business Council into Americans for the Arts while creating the Americans for the Arts Action Fund and its political action committee to engage citizens in advocating for the arts and arts education and arts-friendly public policies.”
Others named to the 2012 Power and Influence Top 50 include:
• Brian Gallagher, president and CEO, United Way Worldwide • Bill Gates, co-founder, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation • Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation • Tim McClimon, president, American Express Foundation • Neil Nicoll, president and CEO, YMCA of the USA • Rebecca W. Rimel, president and CEO, The Pew Charitable Trusts • Judith Rodin, president, The Rockefeller Foundation • John R. Seffrin, CEO, American Cancer Society • Laysha Ward, president, Community Relations & Target Foundation
On June 11, The Robert E. Gard Foundation presented Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch with its prestigious Award for Excellence. Given annually since 1990, the award celebrates individuals who have made a significant artistic contribution or institutions that demonstrate excellence in nurturing arts in the community.
The Robert E. Gard Foundation is committed to helping people and their communities discover the vital role the arts play in their day-to-day lives. It was formed in 1980 as an outgrowth of Robert Gard's University of Wisconsin projects in the theatre arts and in creative writing, with a strong side activity in collecting and publishing the folklore of the state.
Celebrating Six Months of The pARTnership Movement
July 19, 2012—Introduced in January, The pARTnership Movement is an initiative from Americans for the Arts to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can boost their competitive advantage.
To commemorate this momentous occasion, this week (July 16–July 22) a pARTnership Movement video is being featured on MTV’s 44 ½ HD video screen, located in the heart of New York City’s Times Square.
So, what we have accomplished over the past six months? We launched our website which includes a list of the eight reasons to partner with the arts (también en español!) and examples of successful pARTnerships across the country.
If you are interested forming a pARTnership locally, we have provided you with tool kits such as The pARTnership Starter Kit, Building a pARTnership on Your Own, pARTnering with Small or Midsized Businesses, and Bringing the Arts into the Workplace. These resources provide you with all the necessary information to successfully engage in a pARTnership.
Additionally, every Thursday we feature a special pARTnership Movement post, written by a cultural leader or business executive, on how arts and businesses relationships have impacted them and their community that appears on our site as well as on ARTSblog.
We are all excited about the momentum behind The pARTnership Movement and we’ll continue to spread the word that when arts and businesses partner, everyone profits!
Announcing 2012 National Arts Awards Recipients
July 17, 2012—Americans for the Arts has announced the recipients of the 2012 National Arts Awards. This year’s recipients are:
• Paul G. Allen, Eli & Edythe Broad Award for Philanthropy in the Arts • James Rosenquist, Isabella & Theodor Dalenson Lifetime Achievement Award • Brian Stokes Mitchell, Outstanding Contributions to the Arts Award • Josh Groban, Bell Family Foundation Young Artist Award • Lin Arison, Arts Education Award
Celebrated dancer and choreographer and former National Arts Awards honoree for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts Mikhail Baryshnikov and world-renowned American sculptor Richard Serra will be among the presenters. In addition, the evening will feature installations of work by world-renowned visual artist Julie Mehretu and a special musical performance by YoungArts.
The award itself was designed in 2010 by Americans for the Arts’ Artists Committee member, former National Arts Awards honoree for Artistic Achievement and international art world figure Jeff Koons.
This year’s honorees will receive their award at a benefit at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City on October 15.
The National Arts Awards, which are given out annually, recognize artists and arts leaders who exhibit exemplary national leadership and whose work demonstrates extraordinary artistic achievement. They are presented during National Arts and Humanities Month, the largest annual celebration for the arts and humanities in America.
Join Our Local Arts Agency Blog Salon July 9-13 on ARTSblog
July 05, 2012—During the week of July 9, join our Local Arts Agency Blog Salon on ARTSblog as you will have the opportunity to learn about how local arts agencies from across the country implement economic development strategies using the arts.
Twenty-two guest bloggers will share how they are using economic impact studies like Americans for the Arts' Arts & Economic Prosperity IV to demonstrate the critical role that the arts play within a local economy.
Expected to contribute their thoughts and ideas are the following:
Ben Davidson, Americans for the Arts
Beth Flowers, Beet Street
Buddy Palmer, Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham
Camille Russell Love, City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs
Cathy Malloy, Greater Hartford Arts Council
Janet Langsam, ArtsWestchester
Jennifer Cover Payne, Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington
Jeff Hawthorne, Regional Arts & Culture Council
Jennifer Post Tyler, Thrive
Jessica Johnson, Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance
Julie Muraco, Praeditis Group LLC
Kerry Adams-Hapner, San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs
Lydia Black, Lee County Alliance for the Arts
Maria Munoz-Blanco, City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs
Marjorie Maas, Nebraskans for the Arts
Olga Garay, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
Paul Tyler, Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City
Robert Bush, Arts & Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Terri Aldrich, Minot Area Council of the Arts
Terri Schorzman, City of Boise Department of Arts & History
Theresa Cameron, Americans for the Arts
Tom Bensen, Missoula Cultural Council
Please read, comment, and share the blog posts throughout the week!
Announcing the Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America for 2012
June 26, 2012—Today Americans for the Arts announced those companies selected by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts, as The BCA 10: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America for 2012. This honor recognizes ten U.S. companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships, and board membership.
The 2012 BCA 10 honorees are:
• Alltech, Nicholasville, KY • Bank of America, Charlotte, NC • Chaves Consulting, Inc., Baker City, OR • Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Oklahoma City, OK • Earl Swensson Associates, Inc., Nashville, TN • First Community Bank, Corpus Christi, TX • Golden Artist Colors, Inc., New Berlin, NY • Jackson and Company, Houston, TX • Masco Corporation, Taylor, MI • Tampa Bay Times, St. Petersburg, FL
In addition, The Boeing Company will be inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame.
View our press release to find out more about why these organizations are being honored for their arts support. The awards ceremony will take place on October 4, 2012 at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City.
Exclusive innOVATION Grant Program for Members Open for Applications
June 19, 2012—In partnership with Americans for the Arts, Ovation has developed the innOVATION Grant Program to fund and recognize the impact of artists and the arts in communities' revitalization efforts.
Three $25,000 and two $10,000 innOVATION grants will be awarded to Americans for the Arts organizational members through a panel review process which will be comprised of representatives from Ovation and Americans for the Arts. In addition, communities can compete for a "Viewers' Choice Award" of $15,000 on Ovation's Facebook page once they have applied for the program.
Through the month of June, Americans for the Arts is holding a half-off sale on select organizational memberships, so if you're not currently a member, find out more about our various levels and this sale at AmericansForTheArts.org/Membership.
June 11, 2012—This week, Americans for the Arts honored five individuals and one organization with Americans for the Arts Annual Awards during the Americans for the Arts' Annual Convention in San Antonio.
Arts @ Large - Arts Education Award
John Bryan, Founding President, CultureWorks - Selina Ottum Local Arts Leadership Award
Mel Chin - Public Art Leadership Award
Sherron Long, President of the Florida Cultural Alliance - Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award
Adam Natale, Director of Partnerships and Business Development, Fractured Atlas - American Express Emerging Leader Award
Scott Provancher, President, Arts & Science Council, Charlotte, NC - Michael Newton United Arts Fundraising Award
Arts & Economic Prosperity IV
June 08, 2012—Today at our Annual Convention in San Antonio, Americans for the Arts released the findings from Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind ever conducted. Like the past three iterations, it documents the key role played by the nonprofit arts and culture industry in strengthening our nation's economy. But this time around, the results of this study are a bit more extraordinary.
For the first time in its history, Arts & Economic Prosperity IV documents how the arts industry fared during a recession. And not just any economic slowdown. This study shows how the arts sector fared during The Great Recession, the most shattering economic downfall our nation, and the world, has experienced in generations. And there is encouraging news to share.
Despite the economic headwinds that our country faced in 2010 when the study was conducted, the arts and culture industry continued to serve as an economic engine, generating $135.2 billion dollars of economic activity-$61.1 billion in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations, plus an additional $74.1 billion in spending by their audiences. This economic activity had a significant impact on the nation's economy, supporting 4.2 million full-time jobs, and generating $23 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments every year-a yield well beyond their collective $4 billion in arts allocations.
Like most industries, the Great Recession left a measurable financial impact on the arts-erasing the gains made during the pre-recession years, and leaving 2010 expenditures three percent behind their 2005 levels at an estimated $61.1 billion, demonstrating the industry's resilience even if in the face of an extremely challenging fiscal environment. In addition, the 94,478 audience intercept surveys collected for the 2005 study showed an average event-related expenditure of $27.79, per person per event, beyond the cost of admission. The 151,802 audience surveys conducted for the 2010 report show an 11 percent decrease in that amount, to $24.60.
These findings are remarkable given the economic climate that was present when the study was conducted. Unemployment was at 9.7 percent in 2010-more than double the rate from when Arts & Economic Prosperity III was conducted in 2005. The Consumer Confidence Index-the degree of optimism that consumers are expressing through their spending and saving as measured by the Conference Board-plummeted to 54 (nearly half its 2005 level), and the number home foreclosures tripled to 2.9 million from the number in 2005.
Throughout the recession, the arts industry continued to produce new and exciting work-performances and exhibitions and festivals that entertain, inspire, and draw audiences. So as the economy rebounds in the coming years, the arts are well poised for growth.
Arts & Economic Prosperity IV demonstrates that America's nonprofit arts industry is not only resilient in times of economic uncertainty, but is also a key component to the nation's economic recovery and future prosperity. This study shows that the nonprofit arts and culture industry is an economic driver in communities-an industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism. The arts mean business!
Americans for the Arts Opens 2012 Annual Convention
June 07, 2012—After over a year of planning, the 2012 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention opened in San Antonio this morning.
Today's lineup includes the start of our preconferences—Public Art and Emerging Leaders—as well as several meetings of our peer network leadership councils and partners from our Arts & Economic Prosperity IV Study (which will be unveiled live in-person and via webcast on Friday, June 8 at 1:00 p.m. EDT/Noon CDT).
Registration for the main convention officially opens this evening (5:00 p.m. CDT) at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio before we move into the full slate of peer networking, professional development, innovator, and discussion sessions tomorrow morning.
We look forward to the opportunities that our annual meetings bring for our staff and attendees and we hope you'll join us even if you aren't in San Antonio via our webcast on Friday and Convention On-Demand (featuring over 30 hours of recorded sessions) which will be available after we depart Texas.
If you are joining us in person, thank you for making the trip and make sure you share your experience with us via comments on new blog posts throughout the weekend (and into next week), tweets (#AFTA12 is our hashtag), Facebook posts, and photos on Flickr.
New Economic Prosperity Study Findings Live in San Antonio & On the Web
May 31, 2012—After two years of hard work, Americans for the Arts is pleased to present the findings from our Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study on June 8 at our 2012 Annual Convention in San Antonio. Even better, you can watch live as we roll out our new study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and their audiences.
Arts & Economic Prosperity IV demonstrates that the nonprofit arts and culture industry is an economic driver in communities—supporting jobs, generating government revenue, and securing tourism.
Improving upon our 2005 study, with the help of over 180 research partners, we have collected 150,000 audience intercept surveys from cultural event attendees, as well as detailed budget and attendance information from 8,000 nonprofit arts and culture organizations across the country. This will be the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind ever conducted!
Tune in to this link on Friday, June 8 at 1:00 p.m. EDT/Noon CDT to watch Vice President of Research & Policy Randy Cohen present the new findings. (The AEPIV presentation is expected to begin at 1:20 p.m. EDT/12:20 p.m. CDT).
For more information on Arts & Economic Prosperity IV visit our website.
Sundance Institute & Americans for the Arts Release National Arts Policy Roundtable Report
May 23, 2012—The Sundance Institute and Americans for the Arts have released a new report based on findings from the most recent National Arts Policy Roundtable, Innovating for Impact: Arts-Based Solutions for a Stronger America. It recommends four ways in which the arts in America can be an economic driver as well as a vehicle for initiating positive social change:
1. Deepen Strategic Alliances Across Sectors: Expand cross-sector collaboration between the arts and other institutions to help solve social problems.
2. Communicate the Value of the Arts: Engage individuals of all demographics in crafting and delivering personal narratives that demonstrate the importance of being an artist and the power expressing oneself gives them.
3. Expand Lines of Inquiry and Future Research: Use both qualitative and quantitative data to demonstrate to the philanthropic, government and corporate sectors how the arts can be a key component in social problem-solving efforts.
4. Integrate the Arts into Legislative and Other Policy Reforms: Leverage available funding streams to include the arts as part of economic development, neighborhood revitalization or other community-based initiatives.
The report is the result of a gathering of 35 leaders from the business, government, philanthropy, education, and the arts sectors, including noted actor Stanley Tucci and World Pac Paper CEO Edgar L. Smith.
In fact, Tucci’s time at the Roundtable motivated him to testify before Congress on the unique ability of the arts to unify people from diverse backgrounds by giving them common experiences. He also discussed how the arts can be used to help America’s citizens better understand and be proud of who they are as a people.
Smith, too, was inspired by his time at the Roundtable. Filmmaker Lee Hirsch’s discussion of the making of critically acclaimed documentary “Bully” at the Roundtable prompted him to bring the filmmaker and project to Cincinnati for a premiere as well as a series of in-depth dialogues with more than 12,000 young people in May 2012.
Advance Registration for Annual Convention Ends May 23! Find Out About Our Unique Town Hall Panel
May 22, 2012—Wednesday, May 23 marks the advance registration deadline for the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Antonio. While you are still welcome to register on-site, it is the last day to save an additional $75 by registering online prior to the event.
Our Convention Town Hall is an interactive meeting with sector leaders about what it means to create a sense of place in a community and how the role of the arts is a core part of that vision. After the panel presentation, participants have the opportunity to have in-depth moderated table discussions to share their own personal experiences with creating place through the arts.
Joining the Town Hall as panelists are the following:
Henry Cisneros, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and current President of CityView Companies
Floyd Green III, Vice President and Head of Community Relations of Aetna
Maria Rosario Jackson, Director of Culture, Creativity, and Communities Program at the Urban Institute
John Michael Schert, Executive Director of the Trey McIntyre Project
Dennis Scholl, Vice President of the Arts at the Knight Foundation
Laura Zucker, Executive Director for the Los Angeles County Arts Commission
Robert Lynch, Americans for the Arts President & CEO
May 17, 2012—On May 10, U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson and the U.S. Secretary for the Interior Ken Salazar released the U.S. National Travel & Tourism Strategy as developed through the Task Force on Travel & Competitiveness.
The task force had been set up through a Presidential Executive Order in January that called for a strategy within 90 days. President Obama announced the Executive Order at a visit to one of the most popular tourist sites in the world, Main Street USA in Disneyworld.
That same day in Orlando, FL, a new slate of members of the U.S. Travel & Tourism Advisory Board was sworn in by Secretary Bryson, including Americans for the Arts President & CEO Robert Lynch and Linda Carlisle, the Secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Cultural Resources—both critical voices representing the arts and cultural tourism community within the larger tourism sector.
In its first three months of work, The U.S. Travel & Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB) developed a set of recommendations to Secretary Bryson to inform his work, and that of the task force, on the development of the national strategy.
Among the TTAB recommendations that relate to the arts and culture were:
(1) the inclusion of the arts as an objective to attracting tourists to secondary markets throughout the country,
(2) how an “authentic” experience is critical to a quality experience, and
(3) the need to include local tourism partners, such as city agencies and destination marketing organizations as partners with the federal government.
Because the TTAB includes a wide range of representatives from the travel, tourism, hospitality, and restaurant industries, there are many other issues included in the set of recommendations forwarded to the secretary...
To read more about this new strategy, visit ARTSblog.
Robert L. Lynch Takes Part in Online Arts Funding Discussion
May 08, 2012—The "Room for Debate" section of The New York Times website tackled the issue of "How to Fund the Arts in America" last week, asking experts to share their opinions on topic in a series of short pieces.
Americans for the Arts President & CEO Robert L. Lynch took part, along with fellow contributors like Stacy Palmer (The Chronicle of Philanthropy) and Michael Royce (New York Foundation for the Arts).
Here is a short excerpt from Lynch's article:
"Last month, 800 advocates were in Washington to defend to Congress the 47 cents per person that America spends on the National Endowment for the Arts. This amount should be much more but despite its seemingly small percentage, government support leverages billions in matching dollars, increases access—especially for the underserved—and encourages new voices, ideas, and expressive endeavors that have kept the U.S. at the vanguard of creativity and innovation.
This system has prevented any one entity from imposing a single aesthetic, resulting in a vibrant American creative and artistic environment. What it hasn’t achieved is nationwide industry stability—but we have compelling community stories of where that stability is happening through creative solutions like hotel-motel taxes and cultural districting."
Join Our Social Impact & Evaluation Blog Salon (April 30-May 4)
April 30, 2012—Our first Animating Democracy Blog Salon of the year will showcase expert practitioners and innovative thinkers as they attempt to answer the question:
How can we validate the benefit of the arts and culture in terms of social impact?
Making the case for the arts is a constant challenge in this landscape of economic uncertainty. While the intrinsic and economic benefits of arts and culture are crucial, there are also many opportunities to educate policymakers and community leaders about the potency of the arts as a catalyst for civic and social change.
Follow along, comment, and share the posts all week on ARTSblog.
Ovation & Americans for the Arts Announce New Grant Program
April 19, 2012—Ovation, the only network dedicated to art, artists and all forms of artistic storytelling, is putting its money where its passion is once again, this time funding a national arts grant program called The innOVATION Grant Program. Inspired by the remarkable community revitalization effort documented in the network's upcoming original series Motor City Rising, and eager to support similar stories of artist-led neighborhood renewal across the nation, Ovation is contributing $110,000 for the initial year's grants. The program will be managed by Americans for the Arts.
The innOVATION Grant Program invites mayors, county executives, or other elected leadership of their community to endorse the most inspiring story of artists helping to revitalize a community in their city. Ovation will feature the most compelling submissions on its Facebook page and website, providing a national platform for these encouraging stories.
Ovation, Americans for the Arts, and national experts in creative placemaking will select this year's grant recipients based on creative, economic, and social impact, as well as ability to bring together public, private, nonprofit, and community efforts to improve and enhance a specific region around arts and cultural activities.
In addition, several speakers touted the importance of the arts industry in America and the need for our government leaders to not only understand the vital contribution the arts make, but to also take immediate action to ensure this crucial sector of our economy thrives. Speakers at the Kick-Off included:
Alec Baldwin, Emmy Award®-winning TV, film and stage actor and arts advocate
Pierre Dulaine, celebrated ballroom dancer and dance educator
Ben Folds, celebrated singer-songwriter and record producer
Hill Harper, film and television actor, author and Co-Chair of Arts Advocacy Day
Melina Kanakaredes, film and television actress
Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts
Nigel Lythgoe, producer of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance
Omar Benson Miller, film and television actor
Johnathon Schaech, actor, writer and director
Ken Solomon, Chairman, Ovation
Tiffani Thiessen, television actress
Clay Walker, renowned country music singer
During the event, Alec Baldwin appeared on Bloomberg Morning Call, CNN International, and NPR Morning Edition touting the importance of government funding for the arts. On the eve of Arts Advocacy Day, Baldwin delivered the 25th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts & Public Policy. This leading national forum for arts policy serves as an opportunity for public discourse at the highest levels on the importance of the arts and culture to our nation's well-being.
Following the Kick-Off, top business leaders, artists, civic leaders, and grassroots advocates took the halls of Congress to drive home the importance of developing strong public policies for the arts and to fight for increased funding to the National Endowment for the Arts and the incorporation of the arts into education reform.
Rep. Todd Platts Honored With 2012 Congressional Arts Leadership Award
April 12, 2012—Americans for the Arts in conjunction with The United States Conference of Mayors announced that Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA) is the recipient of the 2012 National Award for Congressional Arts Leadership. The award, which recognizes distinguished public service on behalf of the arts, will be presented on April 17 at the Congressional Arts Kick Off during Arts Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.
Platts is being recognized for his strong arts leadership in Congress. Since 2009, he has co-chaired the Congressional Arts Caucus with Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY). The caucus, currently composed of 187 Members of Congress, is the primary voice for arts leadership in the House of Representatives and is often called upon to organize against funding cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and to support wider pro-arts policies.
Most recently, Rep. Platts successfully took to the House floor to help turn back a $10 million cut to the NEA budget, successfully urging fellow representatives to oppose the reduction. He has also been an outspoken supporter of arts education as a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, which oversees national education policy.
National Arts Index: Industry Turns Corner After Great Recession
April 10, 2012—Americans for the Arts today announced the results of the National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of the arts industries in the United States. The 2012 Index reveals that the arts industry began to recover from the effects of the Great Recession in 2010.
According to the Index, the vitality of the arts industry is starting to trend upward after reaching an all-time low in 2009. In 2010, the Index rose slightly to 96.7 from 96.3 in 2009. What's more, half of the 83 indicators used to tabulate the Index score increased in 2010, which is equal to pre-recession levels in 2007. In 2008 only one-third of the indicators were up, and in 2009 just one-quarter increased.
In addition, arts attendance rebounded in 2010, increasing for the first time since 2003. About one-third (32 percent) of the adult population attended a performing arts event in 2010, up from 28 percent in 2009, and 13 percent visited an art museum, up slightly from 12 percent in 2009. And several counties, such as San Francisco, New York (NY), and Arlington (VA) boast shares of more than 45 percent of the adult population attending a museum in the previous year.
Despite the turnaround, the Index shows that the arts industry still faces some critical financial challenges. In 2010, 43 percent of nonprofit arts organizations had an operating deficit, which is down from 2009 (45 percent) but not from 2008 (41 percent) and 2007 (36 percent). And since 2002, consumer spending on the arts—a discretionary expenditure—has remained in the $150 billion range; however, the arts' share of consumer discretionary spending has slipped from 1.88 percent in 2002 to 1.45 percent in 2010.
Philanthropic giving to the arts remains challenged. While the amount of money given to the arts has increased over the past decade to $13.28 billion in 2010, the sector struggles to maintain its philanthropic market share—dropping from 4.9 percent in 2001 to 4.5 percent in 2010. If the arts sector merely maintained its 4.9 percent share in 2010, it would have received $14.3 billion in contributions—a $1 billion difference.
U.S. Department of Education Releases New Arts Education Report
April 03, 2012—(The following passage is an excerpt from an ARTSblog post by Senior Director of Federal Affairs & Arts Education Narric Rome.)
"On April 2, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a study glamorously entitled Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools 1999-2000 and 2009-10.
The surveys that contributed to this report were conducted through the NCES Fast Response Survey System (FRSS), mailed to about 3,400 elementary and secondary school principals and approximately 5,000 music and visual arts teachers.
National arts education leaders, through policy statements, have been calling for this study to be administered for many years, and helped to direct specific funding from Congress to make it possible.
Ten years is a long time to wait for a federal study to be published and finally it has arrived!
This report presents information on the availability and characteristics of arts education programs of those surveyed, broken down by discipline (music, visual arts, dance, and theatre).
It indicates that while music and visual art are widely available in some form, six percent of the nation’s public elementary schools offer no specific instruction in music, and 17 percent offer no specific instruction in the visual arts.
Nine percent of public secondary schools reported that they did not offer music, and 11 percent did not offer the visual arts.
Only three percent offer any specific dance instruction and only four percent offer any specific theatre instruction in elementary schools. In secondary schools the numbers improve somewhat as 12 percent offer dance and 45 percent offer theatre. Sadly, the study was unable to survey dance and theatre specialists because the data sample didn’t have sufficient contact information in those disciplines.
Despite being designated a “core academic subject” in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 and being included in mandated elementary school curriculum in 44 states, this survey demonstrates that access to arts education remains elusive to a tremendous number of students across the nation.
This may not be surprising to many following the state of our education system as recent surveys from Common Core and the National Arts Education Foundation have provided fresh evidence of the arts being a victim of the narrowing of the curriculum.
Furthermore, this report mostly found schools with the highest percentage of free or reduced-price lunch-eligible populations significantly less likely to provide students with access to arts education at both the elementary and secondary levels.
This means that the nation’s poorest students, the ones who could benefit the most from arts education, are receiving it the least."
March 29, 2012—Throughout the week of April 2–6, join our annual Emerging Leaders Blog Salon on ARTSblog.
This year's theme is Local Emerging Leaders Networks: Leveraging Impact for the Future. Local network leaders will examine the idea of change—by putting financial, human, and material resources where they have the greatest opportunity to spark growth—in the arts sector by examining four major areas of their work: advocacy; civil discourse; public, private, and social sector partnerships; and nonprofit and arts leadership development.
The following guest bloggers are expected to participate:
Katherine Mooring, Chavon D. Carroll, Aaron Fiedler: Charlotte Emerging Arts Leaders Tara Aesquivel: Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles Sara Bateman: Emerging Leaders in the Arts Network - University of Oregon Gregory Burbidge: Emerging Arts Leaders of Atlanta Jennifer Armstrong, Jess Kaswiner, Eboni Senai Hawkins: Emerging Leaders Network Chicago Julia Mandeville: Emerge ABQ (Albuquerque) Elizabeth McCloskey Miller: Emerging Arts Leaders DC Hillary Anaya: Emerging Leaders of Mobile Madeline Orton, Jonathan Elliott, Kacy O'Brien: New Jersey Emerging Arts Leaders Molly O'Connor: Oklahoma's New and Emerging Arts Leaders
New posts will be published each day so make sure to visit, read, and comment!
Nominations Open for 2012 Arts Destination Marketing Awards
March 28, 2012—For the second straight year, Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) and Americans for the Arts will honor a destination marketing organization and local arts agency that have worked together to effectively and innovatively use the arts to market the community as a travel destination.
Nominations are open until April 20. Visit the DMAI website for more information and to download the nomination form.
Stanley Tucci, Bob Lynch to Testify Before Congress
March 20, 2012—Academy Award® nominated actor Stanley Tucci and Americans for the Arts President & CEO Robert L. Lynch will testify before Congress on March 22 in Washington, D.C. to urge Congress to increase funding for the National Endowment for the Arts to $155 million.
Appearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Tucci's testimony will focus on the unique ability of the arts to unify people from diverse backgrounds by giving them common experiences. He will also discuss how the arts can be used to help America’s citizens better understand and be proud of who they are as a people.
Lynch’s testimony will highlight the critical role the arts have to the health and vitality of the United States, the need to increase the current level of funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, and to strengthen public policies for the nonprofit arts community.
Blog Salon Celebrates Arts Education Month
March 12, 2012—March is Arts Education Month and we are celebrating by hosting our annual spring blog salon about a hot topic in arts education—quality.
We’ll be discussing what "quality" means in terms of student engagement and organizational capacity as well as sharing experiences from the field.
Fifteen leaders from across the country will post their thoughts on this topic each day from March 12–16 on ARTSblog. Expected to lend their writing talents and viewpoints are the following:
Kristen Engebretsen, Arts Education Program Coordinator, Americans for the Arts Tony Brandt, Co-founder & Artistic Director, Musiqa Michelle Burrows, Director, A+ Schools Program Joyce Bonomini, Director of Education, Ruth Eckerd Hall Mike Gagliardo, Music Director & Conductor, Etowah Youth Orchestras Talia Gibas, Associate Manager, LA County Arts Commission/Arts for All Jane Remer, Author/Educator/Researcher/National Consultant, Arts as Education Jennifer Bransom, Director of Program Accountability, Big Thought Kristy Callaway, Executive Director, Arts Schools Network Lynne Kingsley, Executive Director, American Alliance for Theatre and Education Sahar Javedani, Arts Education Consultant Alex Sarian, Director of Education, MCC Theater Jessica Wilt, Director of Arts Education, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana Alyx Kellington, Arts Education Consultant Rob Schultz, Assistant Director, Arts and Culture Department/City of Mesa (AZ) Victoria Plettner-Saunders, Principal, Plettner-Saunders Consulting Merryl Goldberg, Visual & Performing Arts Chair, California State San Marcos Seth Godin, Author/Entrepreneur/Founder of Squidoo
Ben Folds to Perform During Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy
Ben Folds has enjoyed worldwide success throughout the course of his 18-year recording career, earning a massive following for his peerless stage presence, acerbic wit and versatile musicianship on multiple instruments. He was the front man and pianist of the alternative rock band Ben Folds Five, has performed as a solo artist, played with many major symphonies and has toured all over the world. In addition to contributing music to the soundtracks of the animated films Over the Hedge and Hoodwinked!, Folds produced Amanda Palmer's first solo album and the forthcoming EP by Sara Bareilles at his Nashville studio that spawned two Grammy winning albums this year. Ben recently joined the board of The Nashville Symphony Orchestra (NSO) and has been instrumental in elevating the status of the arts in Nashville and founded the Ben Folds Keys To Music City campaign with the NSO. He is also a judge on the NBC-TV a cappella singing contest The Sing-Off.
The Hanks Lecture will be held at 6:30 p.m. on April 16 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of Arts Advocacy Day. Click here to reserve a ticket.
Register for Our New Executive Director & Board Member Symposium
Robert L. Lynch, President & CEO of Americans for the Arts
Michael Killoren, Director of Local Arts Agencies and Challenge America Fast Track at the National Endowment for the Arts
Jonathan Katz, CEO of National Assembly of State Arts Agencies
Abel Lopez, Associate Producing Director of Gala Hispanic Theatre
Mary McCullough-Hudson, CEO of ArtsWave
Kerry Adams Hapner, Director of Cultural Affairs at the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs
Andy Vick, Executive Director of the Allegheny Arts Council.
For registration rates and more information on this Symposium, visit this webpage.
President Obama Proposes $8M NEA Boost for 2013
February 13, 2012—Today, the Obama Administration released its much-anticipated Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request to Congress which includes funding for the nation’s cultural agencies and programs such as the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Smithsonian Institution.
Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts stated the following:
“The administration request of $154 million for the National Endowment for the Arts marks a greatly needed increase. Since 2010 the NEA has been cut $22 million, reducing it to $146 million last year, which threatens its ability to make critical grants throughout the country. By boosting specific funding for programmatic grants by $6.75 million, the White House is sending a clear message that it understands the importance of the creative sector to our communities and economy and the incredible return on investment those funds generate to federal, state and local treasuries.
The higher appropriation enhances the ability of the NEA to fund projects in every congressional district. The proposed increase extends a much needed lifeline to state budgets and local arts organizations who have been hit hard by the economic downturn and scarcity of philanthropic dollars.
Again this year, the NEA confirmed that each direct grant dollar leverages another eight of non-federal support. By boosting these funds the White House is sending a clear message that it understands the importance of the creative sector to our communities and economy and the incredible return on investment those funds generate to federal, state, and local treasuries. While we are very pleased at the attempt to reverse the recent decline in funding of the NEA, we also realize this is just a first step in the legislative process as the U.S. House and Senate will weigh in soon on this request.
We stand ready to assist our congressional leaders in sustaining this critical federal source for leveraging support for cultural programs and public and private funding to every state and community in our country."
In addition, IMLS was funded at $232 million (nearly level funding) and the Smithsonian budget was increased to approximately $856 million (this includes nearly $200 million in facilities/improvements).
Visit ARTSblog for more information on the proposed budget.
2012 Annual Convention Registration Open - Join Us in San Antonio!
January 27, 2012—Are you prepared for the new arts landscape—The New Normal?
This June, join more than 1,100 arts and community leaders from across the nation to learn how your organization can adapt to the shifting economic climate, changing demographics, and prepare your community for the future the 2012 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention.
San Antonio is the ideal backdrop to experience how arts and culture can shape a community. From the city’s River Walk and historic museums to its ethnic diversity, you will see how the artistic practices and traditions of the past can merge with—and help redefine—the present and future.
For more information about our opening keynote speaker, ways to save on registration, and exhibiting/sponsorship opportunities, visit convention.artsusa.org.
Final Days to Enter Student Poster Design Contest
January 27, 2012—The Art Institutes and Americans for the Arts are accepting entries for our 2012 Poster Design Competition through February 3. Winners will earn up to a full tuition scholarship to study at one of the more than 45 Art Institutes across the country.
This year's competition challenges high school seniors and graduates from the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico to design a poster that best expresses the competition's new theme, "You Can Create Tomorrow." Contestants will compete in two different categories: high school senior or high school graduate/adult. For more information, visit this website.
See how winning past contests has impacted the lives of these students:
Robert L. Lynch Appointed to U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board
January 19, 2012—Americans for the Arts’ President and CEO Robert L. Lynch has been appointed to a two-year term on the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. The announcement was made today in conjunction with President Barack Obama’s new national strategy to make the United States the world’s top travel and tourism destination, as part of a comprehensive effort to spur job creation.
This announcement builds on Mr. Lynch’s long-standing dedication to advance and enhance cultural tourism. Through partnerships with The United States Conference of Mayors and the Destination Marketing Association International, he has made strides in boosting support of tourism and the arts and developing research and training tools that can be used by local arts agencies and destination marketing organizations around the country to strengthen tourism programs.
In addition, he has spearheaded national economic impact studies on the impact of culturally-specific tourism on regional and local economies, as well as policy mechanisms, revenue generation strategies, cultural districting, capital improvement and cultural infrastructure projects that help local municipalities and state governments enhance liveability and attract new businesses and tourists.
The U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board serves as the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States. The Board consists of up to 32 members that advise the Secretary of Commerce on government policies and programs that affect the U.S. travel and tourism industry, offers counsel on current and emerging issues, and provides a forum for discussing and proposing solutions to industry-related problems.
2012 Public Leadership in the Arts Awards Presented to Governor, Mayors, & Legendary Artist
January 19, 2012—Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors presented 2012 Public Leadership in the Arts Awards to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn; Burnsville, MN Mayor Elizabeth Kautz; and Pembroke Pines, FL Mayor Frank Ortis today. In addition, Emmy Award®-winning actress Holland Taylor was honored with the 2012 Legendary Artist Award.
The awards honor elected officials and artists who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts. Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors have given out the awards annually since 1997.
Throughout his public service career, Governor Pat Quinn has been a strong and vocal supporter of the arts and arts education and has remained committed to ensuring that all Illinois residents have meaningful opportunities to experience and participate in the arts. His leadership contributed to the passage of the Live Theatre Production Tax Credit Act for Illinois. Through the use of the credit, the State of Illinois has created a tool that allows the City and State to further develop Illinois as a leader in theatrical tourism. Governor Quinn included arts related projects in the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, including a new Performing Arts Center at Western Illinois University that will create 400 jobs.
Mayor Elizabeth Kautz has insisted that art play a major role in the highly successful Heart of the City – a mixed use redevelopment project in Burnsville’s revived downtown area. In addition, she is a prime supporter of the annual city Art and All That Jazz Festival that attracts over 10,000 music fans to an outdoor concert setting. She was a central proponent of the city’s $20 million Performing Arts Center, which was constructed without any new taxes, relying instead on revenues from the Tax Increment Financing and landfill host feels.
Recognizing that the arts were the key to Pembroke Pines’ vitality, Mayor Frank Ortis made it his mission to build arts and cultural resources into the city. His efforts include visionary initiatives to invest in much-needed infrastructure, including theater, classroom and studio space, as well as increasing opportunities for residents of all ages to enjoy and participate in the arts. He has been instrumental in the establishment of arts resources in Pembroke Pines, including Studio 18.
Holland Taylor’s career has spanned more than four decades. She has worked extensively in film and television, appearing in Romancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile, To Die For, Next Stop Wonderland, One Fine Day, George of the Jungle, The Truman Show, Keeping the Faith, Legally Blonde, and Baby Mama. On television, she has been nominated for an Emmy Award® seven times, winning Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her popular rose Judge Roberta Kittleson on The Practice. Her numerous series starring roles include The Powers that Be, Bosom Buddies, and currently, Two and a Half Men. She has performed narrations for the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Essa-Pekka Salonen and John Adams, and narrated the "Harry Potter Suite," for John Williams at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
The pARTnership Movement: Enhancing Business & Arts Partnerships
January 10, 2012—In this current economic environment, businesses are continually seeking new ways to build their competitive advantage. To help them reach this goal, Americans for the Arts has launched The pARTnership Movement, a new initiative designed to create mutually beneficial partnerships between arts and business institutions.
The Movement demonstrates how the arts can help business achieve these goals by enhancing the critical thinking, team building, and creative skills of the corporate workforce while also enhancing communities to attract and retain employees. In addition, it prepares arts organizations to partner with businesses in new and innovative ways.
To help businesses better understand the myriad benefits of partnering with an arts organization, The pARTnership Movement—working with local arts agencies across the country—will place ads with major newspapers, magazines, and other publications that demonstrate how partnering with the arts enhances critical thinking skills and creativity within the workforce as well as strengthens community engagement.
The website gives a comprehensive description of the benefits partnering with the arts brings, provides numerous case studies and creates a one-stop shop for building out connections in the community; provides companies with a thorough overview of how and why the arts can help them realize business goals; and includes a zip code finder that will allow businesses to easily locate Americans for the Arts’ member arts organizations across the country that are ready to partner.
The Movement also offers arts organizations the tools they need to more effectively partner with the businesses in their communities including: case studies that showcase innovative ideas and program concepts and multi-channel aspects to highly successful partnerships that deepen over time; information on creating a solid business proposition for partnering with the arts and making an initial request; opportunities to connect with business leaders, gleaning valuable tips directly from the source; and chances to network with and learn from peers.