Community Arts

October 12, 2017 by admin
Do you think that we are living in a zeitgeist of catalytic change? I have heard the word catalytic used so frequently that I find myself accessorizing moments with this adjective as if it holds the weight of tectonic shifts. It seems to promise the kind of change that either redirects historical systems of oppression toward equity — gradually erasing calcified notions of otherness that fuel supremacist behaviors — or catapults us back into a time where Flintstones-like ideals become presidential norms. Read More...
October 11, 2017 by admin
“Is the stadium we passed going up or coming down?” asked Kristen Calhoun, ArtChangeUS founding program director. Suddenly the previously strained community meeting we were attending came alive. Kristen and I were in Detroit in July 2016 to plan ArtChangeUS REMAP: Detroit, and we had repeatedly driven by the mass of steel girders, not knowing if it represented Detroit’s past or future. Artist and activist Invincible ill Weaver had organized a series of gatherings for us to meet with grassroots cultural change makers. Read More...
October 11, 2017 by admin
From the author:This essay was in my head for a couple of years, especially after I was reunited with several childhood friends in an alumni group on Facebook. I started writing this piece off and on when, in early 2014, writer/editor Anna Clark asked if I would contribute a piece to an anthology that she was pulling together. Read More...
October 11, 2017 by admin
If there is in society a collective consciousness, then art is its imagination. Imagination is different from fantasy, which conjures up desires divorced from reality; imagination is creative problem solving that assesses what is available and re-creates it into something new, better, or self-satisfying. Detroit has been short on many things over the past fifty years — economic prosperity, functioning city services, racial justice, validation — but it is astonishingly long on imagination and creative problem solving. Read More...
March 9, 2017 by admin
As a new administration enters our nation’s White House, it is timely to reflect on the way that private philanthropy and public foundations joined forces to step into the gap when federal funding for the arts was dramatically reduced in the early 1990s. Read More...
March 9, 2017 by admin
As our country prepares for a Trump presidency, the issue of economic revitalization in rural American has much more urgency than eight months ago when I started collecting data for this work. Here is a sampling of headlines from coverage by the New York Times of the economic decline in the rust belt, or more specifically, coal country and Appalachian towns: “Trump’s Promises Will Be Hard to Keep, but Coal Country Has Faith” (Nov. 28, 2016); “A Bleak Outlook for Trump’s Promises to Coal Miners” (Nov. Read More...
December 7, 2016 by Monica
Kresge Foundation President and CEO Rip Rapson delivered the keynote address, "Why Comprehensive Community Development is Essential Now, and Why the Arts Must be at the Table," at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 6, 2016. The talk was part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), at a conference on Creative Placemaking and Community Development sponsored by the NEA, The Kresge Foundation, ArtPlace America, Art Works and Partners for Livable Communities. The conference drew artists, community development experts, and policymakers to examine the role of the arts in shaping neighborhoods, towns and cities. Read More...
October 8, 2016 by admin
In 2015, Americans for the Arts partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts to conduct the Local Arts Agency Census, the most comprehensive survey of the local arts agency field ever conducted. Its purpose was to illuminate the ever-adapting role these organizations play in ensuring the arts have a vital presence in every community. What Is a Local Arts Agency? Read More...
October 8, 2016 by admin
On May 25, 2016, Grantmakers in the Arts gathered a cross-section of twenty-eight funders from the arts and environmental sectors for the Arts and Environmental Sustainability Thought Leader Forum at the New York Community Trust. Most foundations in attendance were represented by two people: a person from the arts and a person from the environment, each of whom were interested in collaborative work at this intersection. Helicon Collaborative organized and facilitated the session. Read More...