Posts Tagged ‘Americans for the Arts’

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Downtown Aurora Visual Arts

July 9, 2018

Amazing work

The Americans for the Arts Education Council members visited and took a walking tour led by Karina Banuelos in the neighborhood of the Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (DAVA). Twenty five years ago an artist from Aurora, CO started a project with young kids in the community creating a mosaic. After two years of work the mosaic was installed on the side of a building in the heart of Aurora. The students asked if they could continue visiting the artists’ studio and the Downtown Aurora Visual Arts was born. From day one they’ve been evaluating this creative youth development program and the data has been aligned with a bump in the test scores in the nearby schools. Consequently the program is supported by the school district. The positive impact has been continuous on young people and the community. They are doing cutting edge work in multiple programs from drawing classes to an engaging job training program.

Aurora is only a 25 minute car ride from Denver and the arts community successfully meets the needs of young people and families. Working with teaching artists and a dedicated staff it is a fine example of not just surviving but thriving. The Americans for the Arts Education Council members visited and took a walking tour in the neighborhood.

The art center was alive with students from young elementary through high school. Creative Youth Development at it’s best. We saw an amazing exhibit that was created in connection with many science topics; nutrition, the body system, parasites, bacteria, microbioms.

Their programs build upon each other starting with young children, ages 2-6, and their parents two days a week. The after school programs services 100 kids a week and the program continues throughout the summer with even more learners. The clay program had 30 students of all ages – learning from and with each other. This summer they will mix their own glazes so students can be introduced to chemistry.

The Job Training program had students solving a murder mystery while creating a plaster skeleton learning about tissues, bones, and the anatomy of a human. They combined science and art to help solve the identity of the person. In addition they were learning about how to take care of their own body.

For the past nine years they’ve had a film program which partners with the Colorado Film School located close by.  They’ve had students receive recognition at the state and national Scholastic awards program for PSA films that they’ve created.

Their creative youth development program continues to move young people forward in the experiential learning environment filled with student choice and voice. Originally their goal was to get kids to and through high school. Their success has raised the bar and now they are getting into college and some return to give back by working at the art center.

Info below is from a handout provided to us:

Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (DAVA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the Aurora community through the arts, with a primary focus on youth engagement. By providing a safe learning environment for youth ages three to 17, DAVA programs reinforce 21st century life skills, build self-esteem, and connect youth to the community. DAVA represents a unique combination of arts education and youth development, demonstrating how quality arts programming during after- school hours forms a critical framework for long-term youth success. DAVA reinforces the message that youth are an integral part of community cultural development and in 2016 received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Programs Award (NAHYP) for providing a solution for urban communities through its model of creative youth development, combining excellence in the arts with positive youth development. DAVA “taps the untapped potential” in young people by providing access tocreative programming year-round.

In addition, DAVA takes a lead role in organizing the Colorado Alliance for Creative Youth Development (http://cocreativeyouthalliance.org/). We regularly meet with 10 community-based arts organizations to share best practices and evaluation methodology, as well as advocate for creative youth development opportunities across the state. Members have benefitted from the use of a common survey—to track youth outcomes both in terms of arts skills and youth development, use data for improvement of programs, monitor feedback from youth, share results, and advocate for dedicated support for young people who benefit from experiential learning with an emphasis on equity and access.

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Americans for the Arts Convention

May 3, 2018

Denver – June 14-17

Join your fellow arts leaders and professionals for the arts networking event of the year! The 2018 Annual Convention will feature more than 100 speakers, more than 30 sessions, three Preconferences covering public art, equitable investment in the arts, and creative youth development – ten ARTventure tours across Denver.

REGISTRATION

The Americans for the Arts annual convention is scheduled for June 14 – 17 in Denver. It will be sure to provide an outstanding learning experience for you!

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Americans for the Arts Blog

March 11, 2018

Jeff Poulin – repost

The Americans for the Arts Education Program Manager Jeff Poulin provided a blog post called Shooting Survivors Turn to the Arts in Wake of Tragedy on February 27. Below is the opening of the post.

On February 14, 2018, seventeen people, including students and adults, were killed in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Since this tragedy, the voices of young people from the community have been lifted through their dynamic advocacy to call for reform to national, state, and local gun- and mental health-related policies. Many of the strong skills that they are using for their advocacy came from their immersion and studies in arts education.

Jeff Poulin

The movement that the young people have started—Never Again—utilizes myriad skills that the students have honed from their artistic learning experiences. As reporting from the New Yorker noted, “…it’s not a coincidence that a disproportionate number of the Never Again leaders are dedicated members of the drama club.” Some members of the group were in rehearsal at the time of the shooting, while others referenced their participation in arts courses during town hall meetings. One of the group’s leaders, Emma González (who was in the school’s auditorium at the time of the shooting), has received much praise from numerous artists for her impassioned speech at Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale a few days following the incident.

READ THE ENTIRE POST.

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AFTA Awards

March 9, 2018

Americans for the Arts nominations deadline: March 12

At the Americans for the Arts annual convention each year several awards are presented. The following may be applicable to the arts education field.

  • The Arts Education Leadership Award
  • The Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award
  • The Robert E. Gard Awarrd

Information on these awards are located on the Awards webpages. Thanks to Jeff Poulin, Americans for the Arts Education Program Manager for summarizing the three awards below.

The Arts Education Leadership Award is given annually to honor transformational leadership in arts education. The award brings visibility and national recognition to our field’s highest caliber leaders and the organizations and communities they serve.

Presented each year in conjunction with Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, the Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award honors an individual at the state level whose arts advocacy efforts have dramatically affected the political landscape.

The Gard Award aims to raise up projects completed in the last year led by individuals or organizations working to cross the arts into other aspects of community life in meaningful, measurable ways. In previous years, after a public voting process, Americans for the Arts awarded the ArtsMemphis Community Engagement Fellowship, an innovative program connecting the arts and civic activation in Memphis, TN, and the Red Can Graffiti Jam, an annual celebration of traditional Lakota arts and culture melded with a hip hop festival and graffiti jam in Eagle Butte, SD.

The nominations are open for two more weeks (closing March 12, 2018 at midnight Eastern time).  Consider nominating someone.

Please note: to nominate a person or project, you must be a member of Americans for the Arts – when you click the above link, if you see a notice that says, “You do not have permission to view this form,” please click the “Login” link toward the top right of the page, login, and revisit the link and the nomination form should appear. You do not have to be a member of Americans for the Arts to be nominated, only to nominate.

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Congressional Art Competition

January 27, 2018

Free speech rights

On the Americans for the ARTSBLOG recently Nina Ozlu Tunnel, Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs & Executive Director, Americans for the Arts Action Fund provided a post on Pulphus v. Ayers case. David Pulphus was a high school student from St. Louis whose painting had been selected to hang in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol as part of the 2016 Congressional Art Competition.

The painting was removed a year ago by the Architect of the Capitol after a small group of Congressmen objected to the art work. The painting depicts a civil rights demonstration. Americans for the Arts believes that arts education and creative expression is a central right of every young person and have joined 17 national, state, and local arts service organizations as amicus curiae in the Pulphus v. Ayers case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, urging reversal of the ruling.

READ the entire blog post to learn more. Maine has participated in the Congressional Art Competition. The Maine Arts Commission partners with the Maine College of Art and the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards to select the artwork. Gold and silver winners from the Maine Regional Scholastic Art Awards are automatically submitted to be juried in February for the Congressional Art Competition.

Maine’s current U.S. Capitol current Maine artworks.

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Arts Education News

January 14, 2018

Great ‘food for thought’

Thanks to the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) for providing these articles in the news! Join AFTA and receive this kind of arts education information and much more.

 

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VANS Grants

January 7, 2018

Available for high schools

Deadline: February 9, 2018
VANS Custom Culture Grants are available to public high schools (including charter schools) serving students in grades 9-12 or community based nonprofit organizations/governmental agencies serving as a fiscal agent for arts programming at a qualifying school. The grants are intended to encourage the inclusion of the arts as an integral component of an excellent education, and to support activities that are consistent with local and national learning standards for arts education. Ten (10) schools across the country will each receive a $2,000 grant to support their work in providing high-quality dance, media arts, music, theatre and/or visual arts instruction for students.

Americans for the Arts is pleased to again partner with VANS the Custom Culture Grant program. This program seeks to increase visibility for and resources available to arts educators and schools across the country, in order to sustain the arts as a vital part of education. The grant program is supported by funds from the sales of the winning shoe design in the Custom Culture Art Competition.

To learn more, please download the full guidelines (PDF).

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