Posts Tagged ‘Americans for the Arts’

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Happy Summer!

June 21, 2017

First day

Today marks the “official” first day of summer. I realize that most schools are out for the summer break and that some schools are still in session. Whatever is happening in your life right now summer plans can be underway, if they aren’t already. What will you do this summer? How will you spend your time?  Thought about any books to read? Any professional development to attend? Any videos to view or courses to enroll in? Rewrite lessons, units, or course syllabi?

There are a variety of professional activities to engage your mind in many different ways. Once you take a deep breath and catch up on a little sleep, consider setting some goals for yourself. What will you do and where might it take you?

Consider the following online resources that you can take along almost wherever you go and get your summer thinking underway:

More information and suggestions for summer professional development that you can take the lead on will be posted on the blog in the near future.

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Americans for the Arts

June 20, 2017

Annual convention

Frank Stella – Hess Collection

I traveled to California last week for the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Arts Education Advisory Council meeting and the national conference. It was an exciting first trip for me to San Francisco. I was impressed with the city for many reasons. There is so much to see and do, much of it in walking distance. I arrived a couple days early to visit with a friend, a retired art teacher, who I had met during our trip to Japan in 2000 with the Fulbright program. It was great to catch up with her while visiting shops in China Town (the largest out of Asia), breathing in the smells of Little Italy, eating fish tacos in the waterfront area, sampling chocolate at Ghirardelli’s chocolate shop, and riding on the famous San Francisco trolley. We also visited the amazing Hess Collection of art in Napa Valley.

Downtown San Francisco

During the council meeting we were briefed on the advocacy work of AFTA and provided feedback on the priority education issues for AFTA. At the top of the list is programming on equity, diversity and inclusion. When we consider these topics they are very different for our rural state of Maine as compared to other parts of the country. I’m glad to be at the table sharing Maine’s ideas. AFTA is doing an amazing job of reaching out across the nation and providing face to face information as well as online resources.

The Arts Education Council walked to a school in the original downtown filled with amazing buildings that house the opera, symphony, theater, and city hall. The school was built in the 1800’s and will be the future site of an arts focused school. It is a beautiful old facility owned by the San Francisco Public Schools. We met with an energized veteran educator who is leading the work.

Chinatown

We spent some time with the other AFTA advisory panels and networks including Local Arts, Emerging Leaders, Private Sector, Public Art, and State Arts Action networks to work on AFTAs Strategic Plan. Interesting people from many organizations, large and small – all committed to the arts.

The conference was full of opportunities to learn and network. I was seeking information on Teaching Artist and community arts education programs so anything and anyone that was speaking that language, I reached out to. I attended a session called “The History of Arts-Cased Community Development” which provided a picture through the people – all giants – and their stories. The session was led by Maryo Ewell who has written a book that tells the story as well.

Bryan Stevenson

The highlight of the conference were two plenary sessions. The opening session keynote was provided by Bryan Stevenson, the founder and executive director of Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Stevenson is a lawyer who is committed to fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. He has been presented many awards for his work. He was an incredibly engaging speaker and emotionally moved the over 1000 audience members. Bryan’s TED Talk provides a picture of the clarity this man has on the topic of injustice.

Nancy Pelosi with Bob Lynch

The second session was with House Democratic Leader, US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. She and Bob Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, had a conversation/question and answer period on the place for the arts in America at this time. She firmly believes that the arts provide the movement for what is right in our country. She is funny, articulate, and a very good story teller.

I returned to Maine from the long and energy filled focused arts days and nights with wonderful memories and a head full of new ideas to follow up with. When I think of San Francisco the image that I will remember clearly is a walk onto the Golden Gate Bridge with the light at the end of the day. I was fortunate to share the walk, filled with laughter and conversation, with colleagues from The Pablove Foundation in California, the Turnaround Arts program from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and from the High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia. I was humbled by these amazing people doing thoughtful arts education work, impacting thousands.

Golden Gate Bridge with colleagues from across the country.

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Did You Know?

June 17, 2017

Know the facts

The Arts Improve International and Cultural Relations
The arts support dialogue, mutual understanding, and build positive relationships between the U.S. and global publics. They help us articulate our own values and beliefs and better understand those of others. Creatively sharing ideas, values, traditions, and other aspects of culture and identity are the very province of the arts.

  • Cultural exchanges: 650 local arts agencies have international programs that involve artists, teachers, students, and even donors (42 percent involve artists from other countries). 1-in-5 local arts agencies have Sister Cities partnerships that employ the arts.  These programs improve mutual understanding and appreciation of our cultures, both here and abroad.
  • Arts as an export industry: U.S. exports of arts goods (e.g., movies, paintings, jewelry) increased from $50.2 to $59.5 billion between 2009 and 2013, up nearly 20 percent. With U.S. arts imports at just $35.3 billion, the arts achieved a $24.1 billion trade surplus in 2013.
  • Tourism: U.S. cultural destinations help grow the economy by attracting foreign visitor spending. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that, between 2003-2015, the percentage of international travelers including “art gallery and museum visits” on their trip grew from 17 to 29 percent, while the share attending “concerts, plays, and musicals” increased from 13 to 16 percent.

screen-shot-2017-02-03-at-11-34-12-amYou Can Make a Difference

Join the Americans for the Arts Arts Action Fund to take political action. It’s free. You will be sent alerts so you can respond to decision-makers in a timely manner.

This information was provided by the Americans for the Arts.

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Podcast on the Arts

March 19, 2017

Making the Case for the Arts Economy

screen-shot-2017-02-16-at-3-03-58-pmThe arts in America is big business — a $704 billion-a-year business, according to Department of Commerce figures. Nearly a fifth of that economic activity, $134 million, is generated by the nation’s 100,000 arts and culture nonprofits, as are millions of jobs, says Robert Lynch, president of Americans for the Arts. You can listen to the podcast by CLICKING HERE.

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Celebrate: March and the Arts!

March 1, 2017

Happy Arts Education Month!

YAHOO! We have a great opportunity this month to celebrate the amazing work and accomplishments of students in the visual and performing arts. CONGRATULATIONS to all the educators who provide an excellent arts education and access to it for learners of all ages. I know that you are proud of your students and I encourage you to take advantage of this month designated to celebrate arts education. Whether you do it in a small or large way, please let me know about the work you are doing so I can let others know. Your good ideas should be shared so others can learn from you! And, a great big THANK YOU for your commitment to visual and performing arts education!

MY SUGGESTION: Take advantage of Arts Education Month to engage others in the conversation of why a quality arts education is essential for all students.

Below are the professional organizations who provide many suggestions and links to ideas to help you and your students plan for a celebration.

NAEA

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-7-40-12-pmThe National Art Education Association has been celebrating Youth Art Month since the 1960’s. Check out what the National Art Education has to offer on the topic by using the key words “youth art month” in the search bar on the site. The purpose of YAM is to emphasize the value to children from participating in visual art education.

CFAE

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-7-56-21-pmThe Council for Art Education at provides tons of resources to help you plan. They have ideas on their site that teachers and students are engaged in across the country. The ideas range from school based to community, both large and small. You can sign up for their free newsletter and receive information on a regular basis.

NAfME

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-7-54-48-pmThe National Association for Music Education has been recognizing Music in Our Schools Month since 1985. The idea started in 1973.  You can learn what NAfME has to offer on MIOSM by CLICKING HERE. The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that schools is where all children should have access to music.

EDTA

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-8-12-23-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-23-at-8-04-06-pmThe Educational Theatre Association and the International Thespian Society have partnered with American Alliance for Theatre & Education (AATE) to sponsor Theatre in Our Schools. For ideas on how to create a celebration CLICK HERE. Their resources are directed towards Thespians, schools, and educators. The purpose is to raise public awareness of the impact of theatre education and draw attention to the need for more access to quality programs for all students.

NDEO

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-8-27-36-pmThe National Dance Education Organization celebrates the artistic and academic achievements of exceptional students through the National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NAHSDA) by teaming up with the US Department of Education during March. Learn more about their advocacy work by CLICKING HERE.

As you’re contemplating your March celebration checking out the blog post I included last year at this time can provide you with more resources. CLICK HERE for that blog post from March 1, 2016.

AFTA

screen-shot-2017-02-16-at-3-03-58-pmAmericans for the Arts envisions a country where everyone has access to—and takes part in—high quality and lifelong learning experiences in the arts, both in school and in the community. Their arts education council represents a cross section of the country so all voices are represented. The Americans for the Arts website has a plethora of resources on arts education. Check them out by CLICKING HERE.

MALI

MALI_V3_Color_100ppiThe Maine Arts Leadership Initiative provides plenty of resources at THIS LINK. Like all academic areas, students of the arts are successful because of teachers who are highly skilled, knowledgeable of developments in their fields, and motivated. MALI Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artists Leaders take on multiple leadership roles. If you’re interested in being part of a supportive collaborative group of visual and performing arts educators consider applying to be a Teacher Leader this Spring. If interested, or if you wish to learn more at this time please contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

 

ARTS ADVOCACY DAY

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-06-48-pmWe know that arts-rich schools benefit everyone. It is our responsibility to help others who may not understand this statement. Arts Education month provides that opportunity and the Maine Alliance for Arts Education has plans for Arts Advocacy Day in Augusta at the State House on Wednesday, March 8. To learn more visit the MAAE site by CLICKING HERE.

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Top 10 Reasons to Support the Arts

February 25, 2017

Americans for the Arts research and resources

Each year Americans for the Arts puts together the top 10 reasons to support the arts. It is published on the AFTA site which you can download by CLICKING HERE.

Randy Cohen, VP of Research and Policy, Americans for the Arts creates the list based on a survey collecting information from people across this country.

screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-3-12-41-pmThe arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts bring us joy, help us express our values, and build bridges between cultures. The arts also are a fundamental component of healthy communities, strengthening them socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even in difficult social and economic times.

 

  1. Arts improve individual well-being. 63 percent of the population believe the arts “lift me up beyond everyday experiences,” 64 percent feel the arts give them “pure pleasure to experience and participate in,” and 73 percent say the arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world.”
  2. Arts unify communities. 67 percent of Americans believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race, and ethnicity” and 62 percent agree that the arts “help me understand other cultures better”—a perspective observed across all demographic and economic categories.
  3. Arts improve academic performance. Students engaged in arts learning have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, and lower drop-out rates. The Department of Education reports that access to arts education for students of color is significantly lower than for their white peers, and has declined for three decades. Yet, research shows that low socio-economic-status students have even greater increases in academic performance, college-going rates, college grades, and holding jobs with a future. 88 percent of Americans believe that arts are part of a well-rounded K-12 education.
  4. Arts strengthen the economy. The arts and culture sector is a $730 billion industry, which represents 4.2 percent of the nation’s GDP—a larger share of the economy than transportation, tourism, and agriculture (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis). The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $135 billion in economic activity annually (spending by organizations and their audiences), which supports 4.1 million jobs and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue.
  5. Arts are good for local businesses. Attendees at nonprofit arts events spend $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters—valuable revenue for local commerce and the community. Attendees who live outside the county in which the arts event takes place spend twice as much as their local counterparts ($39.96 vs. $17.42).
  6. Arts drive tourism. Arts travelers are ideal tourists, staying longer and spending more to seek out authentic cultural experiences. Arts destinations grow the economy by attracting foreign visitor spending. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that, between 2003-2015, the percentage of international travelers including “art gallery and museum visits” on their trip grew from 17 to 29 percent, and the share attending “concerts, plays, and musicals” increased from 13 to 16 percent.
  7. Arts are an export industry. The arts and culture industries had a $30 billion international trade surplus in 2014, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. U.S. exports of arts goods (e.g., movies, paintings, jewelry) exceeded $60 billion.
  8. Arts spark creativity and innovation. Creativity is among the top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders—with 72 percent saying creativity is of high importance when hiring. The Conference Board’s Ready to Innovate report concludes, “The arts—music, creative writing, drawing, dance—provide skills sought by employers of the 3rd millennium.” Research on creativity shows that Nobel laureates in the sciences are 17 times more likely to be actively engaged in the arts than other scientists.
  9. Arts improve healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and even staff. 78 percent deliver these programs because of their healing benefits to patients—shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication.
  10. Arts and healing in the military. The arts are part of the military continuum—promoting readiness during pre-deployment as well as aiding in the successful reintegration and adjustment of Veterans and military families into community life. Service members and Veterans rank art therapies in the top 4 (out of 40) interventions and treatments.
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In Today’s News

February 17, 2017

NCCAS Releases Update on State Arts Standards Adoption

February 16, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has released a report entitled “The Status of Arts Standards Revisions in the United States since 2014.” The report is the result of an analysis of states who have revised their standards since the publication of the National Core Arts Standards in June 2014.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 11.09.54 AMThe National Core Arts Standards for dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts, were created in a transparent inclusive process engaging over 130 arts educators as writers and 6,000 reviewers. These PreK-12 grade-by-grade standards were written to guide educators seeking to provide quality arts education for America’s students, define artistic literacy, and support 21st century skills and college and career readiness.

Commencing in January 2015, NCCAS member organization Americans for the Arts, in partnership with the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education, began conducting the research culminating in this report. With the assistance of other NCCAS member organizations, Americans for the Arts interviewed and collected information from more than 270 individuals and organizations from across the nation, including state department of education arts curriculum directors, state arts agencies, and several other public sector partners with expertise in state arts standards revisions.

Jane Best, executive director of the Arts Education Partnership said of the report, “It is affirming to see so many states reviewing, revisiting, and renewing arts education standards. This is a meaningful step to ensuring that all children have exposure to the arts as part of a well-rounded education.”

The report may be downloaded from the resources section of the National Coalition for Core Arts standards interactive home at http://www.nationalartsstandards.org/content/resources.

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards is an alliance of national arts and arts education organizations dedicated to ensuring quality standards-based arts opportunities for all students. Members include the American Alliance for Theatre in Education; Americans for the Arts; Educational Theatre Association; National Art Education Association; National Association for Music Education; National Dance Education Association; NCCAS Media Arts Committee; and Young Audiences Arts for Learning.

Contact: Cory Wilkerson
Tel: 800-587-6814
Email: projectmanager@seadae.org

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