Every Child, Every School: A GIA Arts Education Funders Coalition (AEFC) Forum, will be held May 7 in Minneapolis. The Forum features pathways to systemic change in access to arts education through policy involvement and data analysis. Registration is limited to GIA eligible funders only.

Posted on May 9, 2012 by Tommer

Ian David Moss unpacks the theories and myths around the slippery relationship between investing in the arts and economic development, starting with the the recent reporting on "vibrancy indicators" of the ArtPlace program.

Posted on May 8, 2012 by Abigail

In memory of Maurice Sendak, who wrote In the Night Kitchen just in time for child me to adore it, an entry in the exceptional blog Letters of Note on Sendak's publisher's response to the news that public librarians were censoring the book, which features a sometimes nude child protaganist. Some books were burned, others were doctored by hand, with tiny diapers added to the illustrations. Included in the post (here) are publisher Ursula Nordstrom's letter to one of the offending librarians and a formal press release.

Posted on May 8, 2012 by Tommer

The Hollywood, Health & Society program has helped shape more than 300 stories on television shows in the last two years, according to Ms. de Castro Buffington. She said the stories can be more successful than other types of publicity.  Some of America’s biggest philanthropies are helping to shape those kinds of storylines in an effort to educate the public about global health and other causes they care about.

Posted on May 8, 2012 by Tommer

Jeff Chang examines music pre- and post-LA riots in the Los Angeles Review of Books in I Gotta Be Able to Counterattack: Rap and the Los Angeles Riots.

Posted on May 7, 2012 by Steve

The Topeka Capital-Journal Advisory Board gets behind legislation to restore State arts funding:

After a year of turmoil and anxiety about Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision last year to eliminate public funding for the arts in Kansas, a solution is at hand that appears to be acceptable to the governor, members of the arts community and an overwhelming majority of the state’s legislators.
Posted on May 7, 2012 by Steve

The Radio program Studio 360 explores the Obama administration's Turnaround Arts Initiative in an interview with Diane Ravitch.

Posted on May 7, 2012 by Abigail

This month's slideshow of member-supported grantees was provided by The Leeway Foundation in Philadelphia. Funded by a gift from Philadelphia-based artist Linda Lee Alter in 1993, the foundation's initial focus was support for women artists in the metro area. Now approaching its 20th anniversary, Leeway supports women and trans artists and cultural producers working in communities at the intersection of art, culture, and social change.

Posted on May 7, 2012 by Steve

From Peter Plagens at The Wall Street Journal:

To be blunt, Portland's art scene has a lot of no-no on its lips but yes-yes in its eyes.
Posted on May 2, 2012 by Steve

The New York Times has opened a Room for Debate on its Opinion Pages to discuss arts funding:

What can we do to stabilize funding for the arts? Can we learn from other countries’ examples? While arts funding is drying up in parts of Europe because of austerity measures, it’s flourishing in Brazil because of a tax on Brazilian companies.

Follow the discussion.

Posted on May 2, 2012 by Steve

The Cleveland Foundation has partnered with EmcArts through the Engaging the Future program to work with 12 Cleveland cultural institutions that range from Museum of Contemporary Art to Karamu House as they generate innovative approaches for engaging younger and more diverse audiences. To explore their journeys so far, 12 short audio postcards were produced about their starting conditions and current priorities, featuring images from each group with audio narration.

Posted on May 1, 2012 by Steve

From the National Governors Association website:

With concerns over job creation and business growth holding a prominent—and persistent—position on policy agendas today, governors are increasingly finding innovative ways to support economic growth, according to a new report out today from the National Governors Association (NGA).
Posted on May 1, 2012 by Steve

From Brian Hinrichs for ArtsFwd:

When the internationally renowned contemporary dance company the Trey McIntyre Project (TMP) needed a permanent home in 2008, they chose Boise, Idaho, a place where they felt they could thrive artistically while building a new type of community-integrated organization. Many in the industry thought they were crazy. But the city of Boise has since become TMP’s greatest cheerleader and inspiration, leading to a 2010 New York Times headline, “Dancers Adopt a City and Vice-Versa”.
Posted on May 1, 2012 by Steve

Read how the small city of Morristown, New Jersey is putting the pieces together to highlight and enliven the community arts scene. From Sharon Sheridan at Morristown Green:

From the beginning, our goal was to highlight the writing and artwork of the younger members of our community. Junior correspondents covered events ranging from First Night to LARPing at Headquarters Plaza. One of them even interviewed Santa Claus atop an undisclosed tower in town. We featured artwork from local schools, the Neighborhood House and individual artists.

It wasn’t too long before Morristown Green Editor Kevin Coughlin suggested we showcase kids’ creativity further with an art show. Last spring’s series of cultural events at a former car dealership on Bank Street seemed the perfect opportunity.

Posted on May 1, 2012 by Steve

Mark Stern writes for ARTSblog as part of its May blog salon focusing on Social Impact of the Arts:

Susan Seifert and I began the Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP) in 1994 in response to the attention that economic impact studies were gaining at the time. We felt—in addition to their methodological flaws—that these studies captured only a fraction of the importance that the arts held for society.
Posted on April 30, 2012 by Steve

From Jon Pounds at ARTSblog:

Public art is more than a beautifying (or inspiring) public amenity—it is social catalyst and civic infrastructure. Picasso’s untitled sculpture was dedicated in Chicago’s Civic Center in August 1967 the same month that the first community mural, The Wall of Respect was painted by the artists of Organization of Black American Culture just a few miles away. Each were astonishing moments in the history of public art. But can we say that the Picasso has ever brought more than a handful of people in to town just to look at it for 90 minutes—or that the loss of The Wall of Respect in 1970 ended its ability to inform and inspire?
Posted on April 29, 2012 by Steve

Theatre Communications Group has joined with the University of Minnesota Libraries Performing Arts Archives and the American Theatre Archive Project to examine how theaters think about their cultural legacy and what they do about their archives. An online survey is now open to gather data on the subject:

We want to know how your theater companies are (or aren’t) documenting your productions for future use. We hope to hear from as many people as possible who are working in theaters. If you know of other theater companies who could contribute to this discussion, please share the survey link with their directors. We are particularly interested in hearing from theaters of color, whose history has been most at risk of disappearing without a full or reliable story, but we are interested in hearing from everyone.
Posted on April 29, 2012 by Steve

In 2010, Knight Foundation funded two social impact games as pilot projects in two cities – Macon Money, in Macon Ga., and Battlestorm, in Biloxi, Miss. Unlike past foundation support for digital games, these took place in real-time with real people in the real world and they supported ongoing efforts to tackle local issues. There is already an existing body of research about how digital games have the potential to improve learning and influence behavior. But less attention has been paid to the effects of real-world games – i.e., games that are played out in the physical world. Knight wanted to explore which aspects of real-world games were most effective in addressing community issues.

Posted on April 26, 2012 by Abigail

New this week to the TED website, a brief talk by social science researcher Michael Norton on the benefits of spending pro-socially, which is spending on others and spending to benefit a group. A little insight into why we love working in this field.

Posted on April 26, 2012 by Steve

From Jonathan Zwickel at City Arts:

Americans have rarely come close to agreement about the role of art in society, let alone how to fund it. But a growing consensus in the media and the general public contends that crowd funding is a democratizing force, a peer-to-peer system of market-driven benevolence far more fair and efficient than the traditional, top-down model of government and foundation support.

For better or worse, the rise of networked culture over the past decade has changed the way artists approach their art. Crowd funding further clouds the issue. More than pure creative talent, marketing and promotion skills are part of a successful crowd funding campaign: Those who can sell their work before it’s even made are the ones that receive the most funding.

Posted on April 26, 2012 by Steve

From Laura Pellegrinelli at NPR:

Most people who haven't been living under a rock are aware of the newspaper industry's precipitous decline. And even the least media savvy surface dwellers could guess that this sorry state of affairs has disproportionately impacted arts journalism. In comparison with the one in four newsroom jobs that have been lost in the last decade, approximately half of all arts writing staff positions and beats have disappeared, according to estimates by Arts Journal editor Douglas McLennan.
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