Arts Watch Update

*This section of Arts Watch updates readers on specific news items that have appeared in recent editions.

Michigan: Symphony Returns Following Six-Month Strike
The New York Times
, 4/10/11
"As the musicians took the stage, applause and cheering erupted. 'We love you guys!' a concertgoer yelled. A violinist mouthed, 'Wow,' another tapped her music stand with her bow in appreciation, and the awe-struck players stood facing a packed-to-the rafters audience for five minutes while the love flowed over them. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra was back.
The men and women in black and white appeared in Orchestra Hall on [April 9] for the first time after a corrosive six-month strike, having reached an agreement with management last week."


Culture and Communities

Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh Arts Groups Combine Resources
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4/11/11
"In recent years, the region has seen a number of front-office collaborations among arts organizations, driven mostly by the financial realities of the poor economy…The latest is the Pittsburgh Music Alliance, which announced its presence last week. It loosely binds five small music organizations: Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, Chatham Baroque, Pittsburgh Camerata, Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society, and Renaissance & Baroque. It joins myriad arts collaborations, ranging from cost-saving 'shared services' between downtown arts groups to full mergers such as the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Pittsburgh Dance Council."

Colorado: State Sees Performing Arts Center Boom
The Denver Post, 4/9/11
"New performing arts centers both large and small, both publicly and privately funded, are sprouting up around the state. In Denver, a couple of upstarts are building a colony of artists in three trendy RiNo locations north of downtown. New theaters are in the works in Grand Lake and Creede. Major renovations are underway at the Mizel Center and Fort Collins' Lincoln Center. And nowhere is this surprising story more telling than in Douglas County, where two regional arts centers are gearing up to open just eight miles apart, having taken very different paths to the mutually achieved transformation of the south metro arts landscape."


Arts Education and the Creative Workforce

Florida: Parents, Students Fight to Save Arts Education Programs
The Tampa Tribune, 4/12/11
"A group of parents and students is making 'save the arts' its rallying cry as the Pasco County School Board contemplates what programs and jobs to cut to deal with a potential $60 million shortfall. 'There is such a fervor about this,' said [parent] Pam Marron…[She] was among about 500 parents, students and teachers who last week attended the first in a series of town hall meetings hosted by school board members who are looking for public input before they start making cuts…The district could save $5.8 million if all music teachers and programs were cut. Eliminating art teachers and programs would save $4.7 million."

Philippines: School Creates Arts Ambassadors
Agence France-Presse, 4/10/11
"Tucked in the mist-covered slopes of Mount Makiling, the Philippines' premier public school for the arts is busy molding the country's future cultural ambassadors. The gifted scholars embark on a rigorous 12-hour daily routine of academic study, music, dance, theater, visual arts, and creative writing at the state-funded Philippine High School for the Arts…The school began as a more informal haven for young artists in the 1970s. It was established by the then first lady Imelda Marcos, who lavished much time and money on the arts during her dictator husband's 20-year rule of the country."


Public Investment in the Arts

California: Plan to Cut Redevelopment Agencies Hurts Arts, Culture
Oakland Tribune
, 4/11/11
"Arts and cultural programs that survive with help from city funds, including such beloved mainstays as the Sun Gallery, Hayward Municipal Band, and Russell City Blues Festival, could be casualties of the governor's bid to eliminate redevelopment agencies. The 12 groups in Hayward's Community Promotions Program each receive money from the city's redevelopment agency, and if the state's plan to do away with such agencies goes through, it means available funds will be cut by more than 63 percent."

New Hampshire: House Bill Guts State Arts Agency
, 4/8/11
"If the Senate and Gov. John Lynch approve the House's Bill 1 and 2, the Department of Cultural Resources would be abolished. The N.H. State Council on the Arts (SCA) would lose all funding and exist in name only. The Film and Television office would move to the Department of Resources and Economic Development, and the Historical Resources and Libraries to the secretary of state's office…If the cuts pass, New Hampshire would be the only state without a Council on the Arts. The N.H. SCA currently receives $450,000 from the state. The amount is matched by federal funds, bringing the budget to $900,000."


The Creative Economy and The Private Sector

Virginia: Richmond Civic Leaders Visit 'Live Music Capital'
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/10/11
"Austin's East Sixth Street in downtown is a vibrant strip of pubs, restaurants, and shops. Here, music fills the air before sunset as a testament to the city that 20 years ago proclaimed itself the 'Live Music Capital of the World.' Richmond civic leaders who visited this Texas city last week…found that Austin has a vision that has led to a thriving downtown where people live, work, and play…In Austin, they found a city where public policies and incentives in the past decade have led to more than $2.2 billion in private investment in downtown, creating nearly nine million square feet of new buildings, including 1,560 hotel rooms and 4,140 residential units."

California: Mayor Unveils Impact of San Diego Creative Economy, 4/7/11
"A $6 million investment in arts and culture programs generated $173 million in economic activity in San Diego during the 2010 fiscal year, according to a report…The 'FY10 Arts and Culture Economic and Community Impact Report' said the money went to 70 organizations to fund events that entice visitors to stay longer and spend more money…'The report shows how the arts and culture organizations we support use creativity and innovation to help support our local economy,' Mayor Jerry Sanders said at a news conference…San Diego County is home to 4,290 arts-related businesses, which employ nearly 23,000 people."


Philanthropy & Fundraising in the Arts

North Carolina: Trust Grants $6 Million to School of the Arts
The Business Journal, 4/12/11
"The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust has made a $6 million grant to the University of North Carolina-School of the Arts to endow an annual Kenan Excellence Awards program, according to an announcement from the school. The grant is the largest one-time gift in the school's history, said Chancellor John Mauceri, and will help the school attract the best student artists from around the country and the world…The gift comes at a critical time for the school, which like all UNC campuses is facing dramatic cutbacks in state government funding."

Report: Foundation Giving Held Steady in 2010
Philanthropy News Digest, 4/8/11
"The more than 76,000 grantmaking foundations in the United States gave an estimated $45.7 billion in 2010, an amount virtually unchanged from 2009, a new report from the Foundation Center finds. Based on a survey of 1,141 large and midsize foundations as well as the latest data available on foundation giving and assets tracked by the Foundation Center, the 2011 edition of Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates found that giving in 2010 remained just 2.1 percent below the record amount of $46.8 billion awarded by foundations in 2008."


Arts Canvas: The View from the Field
Joanna Chin, Animating Democracy Program Coordinator
Americans for the Arts


In the past few weeks, I’ve become addicted to this new online thing. And by addicted, I simply mean that participating in it has sort of taken over my free time.

No, it’s not Twitter or Facebook or Linkedin or FourSquare…in fact, it’s not any of the usual suspects.

My latest web crush is called OpenIDEO

It’s an online platform developed by the design firm, IDEO, as a way to include a broader range of people in tackling significant global problems through the design process.

Basically, it works like this:

1.    A challenge is issued (e.g., How might we increase the number of registered bone marrow donors to help save more lives?)

2.    Participants contribute inspirations and concepts, collaborate with others, and evaluate ideas

3.    Through this process, winning concepts rise to the top…

To read the rest of Joanna's blog post, comment, and to browse other entries, visit Americans for the Arts' ARTSblog.



Webinar: Arts and Culture – Integral to Success in Global Markets
Building global markets is key for most businesses to be prosperous. Often, connecting with new markets and customers requires finding a new way to relate. Join this webinar on April 21 at 3:00 pm ET to hear how the arts can bridge cultural differences encountered by the business community and how investments in the arts can help companies expand their markets through community engagement. This webinar is free to members of Americans for the Arts and Business Committee for the Arts Corporate Circle Members. If you would like to register, please email Business Committee for the Arts Coordinator Timarie Harrigan.