Arts Canvas: Special Report
Lynne B. Silverstein and Sean Layne
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
This week's guest writers are Lynne B. Silverstein, Education Department Senior Program Consultant, and Sean Layne, Workshop Leader, from the staff of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
The following passage is the introduction to an article they authored entitled, Teaching for Creativity through the Arts: Why, What, and How, which can be found in its entirety at http://bit.ly/teachingcreativity.
As today’s leading thinkers imagine the future, they are paying increasing attention to the critical importance of building creativity. Author Daniel Pink believes that as we enter the conceptual age, knowledge is not enough. The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind—a mind that relies more on creativity, intuition, and emotion. Harvard University’s Howard Gardner identifies “the creative mind” as one of the five kinds of minds that people will need if they are to thrive in the next era. Further, Gardner has clarified the range of intelligences possessed by creative people, and authors Robert and Michèle Root-Bernstein have identified 13 thinking tools of eminent creative thinkers. As one of the critical 21st Century Skills focused on learning and thinking, creativity has important implications for teaching…
*This section of Arts Watch updates readers on specific news items that have appeared in recent editions.
South Carolina: Advocates Speak Out Against Governor's Cuts
"South Carolina is in trouble when it comes to our bank account, and Gov. Nikki Haley has made it no secret where she plans on cutting back. During her State of the State address, one of the programs that she mentioned putting on the chopping block was the Arts Commission, costing tax payers $2.5 million per year…Inside the State House lobby on [February 8], you could hear several people chanting 'save the arts!'. More than a hundred arts supporters rallied together trying to convince lawmakers not to cut funds…'You can't just say "No",' Haley said. 'You have to say what the solutions are. They need to come back with where else we're gonna cut.'"
Kansas: Executive Order Abolishes State Arts Commission
The Kansas City Star, 2/7/11
"Gov. Sam Brownback signed an executive order [February 7] abolishing the Kansas Arts Commission and replacing it with a private, nonprofit organization. The move will save the cash-strapped state nearly $600,000 a year, but it has upset some arts advocates who worry about eroding support for the arts and art education. 'Our state faces a nearly $500 million budget shortfall,' Brownback said before signing the order. 'Let’s do all we can to protect the core functions of government'…The executive order takes effect July 1 unless lawmakers vote to overturn it within 60 days. Arts Commission Chairman Henry Schwaller said he has already discussed that possibility with legislators."
Pennsylvania: New Project Maps Arts Partnership Opportunities
Technically Philly blog, 2/8/11
"By cross-listing social indicators and staff outreach, a Temple University-housed data shop is going to give the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance a tool to determine areas within this region where partnerships between arts organizations working on social issues and other activist groups are most likely to be successful. 'We tell stories with data and information,’ says Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project Coordinator Michelle Schmitt. 'This project is a perfect example of that.' It’s called the Road Map for Regional Activity Analysis, and the tool [is] expected to be completed in the spring."
New Jersey: Arts Play Key Role in Shore Town's Redevelopment
The New York Times, 2/8/11
"For about a decade [Asbury Park], immortalized on a Bruce Springsteen album cover, has been on a slow upward trajectory—most visibly along its boardwalk, where dozens of new businesses have opened since 2007…Now that prosperity has started to spread a few blocks inland. Commercial activity is picking up in the less-glamorous heart of downtown, a walkable stretch of small and midsize storefront buildings…Howie Bixen, who opened a live music club called Asbury Blues two weeks ago, said that choosing to locate it in Asbury Park—'the only town around that’s doing anything artsy and progressive'—was 'a no-brainer.'"
Massachusetts: Students As School Board for Better Arts Education
Newbury Daily News, 2/9/11
"High school drama students Christine Beluk, Shelby Steeves, and Sam Moore will be leaving their alma mater in a couple of months, but they want to leave it better than it is today. Specifically, the three recently came before the School Committee with their drama teacher Lisa Zaleski to implore members to use whatever means necessary—funded or not—to return the once-strong theater and visual arts, music, and chorale programs to the city's schools. The return of programs decimated in 2007 amid massive budget cuts won't mean much to them going forward. But it will affect the kids with creative spirits like theirs."
California: Museum Launches Creativity Think Tank
"The Bay Area Discovery Museum announced the launch of the Center for Childhood Creativity, a think tank focused on children’s creativity. The center raises awareness of the critical need for nurturing childhood creativity; provides creativity-focused services for parents, educators, activists, corporations, and policymakers; generates original research and sets the standards for creative programs for children in multiple disciplines; and syndicates content for maximum impact…Advisors include Daniel Pink, author; Dennis Bartels, executive director of the Exploratorium; and Rich Crandall, director of the K–12 Lab at d.school, the Institute of Design at Stanford University."
Virginia: Additional Physical Education Time Could Hurt Arts
Fairfax Times, 2/8/11
"A state-level proposal to increase physical education time in elementary schools could cost Fairfax County Public Schools both time and money, said Assistant Superintendent Barbara Hunter…The new proposal would increase the current state requirement of 60 minutes per week of P.E. to 150 minutes for elementary school students. 'We'll essentially have more time for P.E. than science,' Hunter said…Among those most concerned about the time crunch caused by the proposed requirement are elementary music and arts teachers. Music classes at the elementary school level last about 45 minutes, but instructors are worried even this allotment might soon disappear."
Texas: Governor Proposes to Dissolve Arts, Historical Commissions
"Gov. Rick Perry's decision to call for the Legislature to indefinitely suspend funding to the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) and the Texas Historical Commission has cultural leaders crying foul…The arts agency's budget for the 2010–2011 fiscal year is $14.8 million. Nine percent of that comes from the state's general revenue fund…But cultural leaders said that the dissolution of the agency would have far greater effect than the potential budget savings under Perry's plan. 'Dissolution of the TCA would have a ripple effect that would reach across the state, with the greatest impact on small and rural communities,' said Amy M. Barbee, executive director of the Texas Cultural Trust."
< font face="Arial" size="2">Connecticut: State Percent for Public Art Law Under Fire
Hartford Courant, 2/5/11
"A longstanding law requiring the state to buy artwork equivalent to one percent of the construction cost of any building it erects or renovates could soon be scrapped. State Sen. Paul Doyle said the requirement, on the books since 1978, is something the state can no longer afford in the face of a deficit projected to top $3.5 billion. He has submitted a bill to eliminate it. 'I appreciate the arts but we've got to make some tough decisions,' said Doyle…'This is an example of one of those decisions. It doesn't hurt people in terms of the safety net…it doesn't take food off the table of a poor person.'"
Michigan: Chrysler's Super Bowl Ad Gives Motor City Hope, Attention
Associated Press, 2/7/11
"To a pulsating beat, hip hop star Eminem drives a sleek Chrysler through the streets of Detroit, proudly cruising by the city's landmarks, towering skyscrapers, and the hopeful faces of its people. His journey ends with an unapologetic message: 'This is the Motor City, and this is what we do'…The two-minute ad was unusual for its length, airing during a broadcast in which a 30-second spot costs $3 million. And it framed the gritty urban images, including vacant factories, with an attitude that embraced the city's past and its survival instinct…Chrysler said the entire commercial was shot in Detroit with a local cast and crew, and the voiceover work was done by Kevin Yon, who is from Michigan."
Overall Sector Employment Grows, Arts/Entertainment Shrinks
Associated Press, 2/4/11
"A key index of the service sector, which employs nearly 90 percent of the workforce, grew in January at the fastest pace in five years and factory orders rose in December. The Institute for Supply Management, a private trade group, said that its index of service sector activity rose to 59.4 last month, up from December's reading of 57.1. That's the fourteenth straight month of growth. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion…[However,] the five industries reporting contraction in January were: Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting; Educational Services; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; and, Public Administration."
Tennessee: New Granting Program Launches in Knox County
Knoxville News Sentinel, 2/8/11
"A new program that will raise private money for Knox County arts, historic, and cultural groups was announced [February 7], gathering verbal support and financial backing on its first day. The Arts & Heritage Fund would grant money it raises to qualifying arts and cultural groups and historic sites in the greater Knoxville area. Grants would be awarded after June 30 and continue annually. Some money would be set aside to begin an arts endowment. The fund was announced at a news conference attended by both Knoxville and Knox County mayors, private sector contributors, and representatives of Knoxville arts groups and historic sites. The fund's first-year goal is $250,000."
New York: Fundraising Campaign Keeps Syracuse Symphony Playing
The Post-Standard, 2/5/11
"With much anticipation and fanfare, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra (SSO) announced it has raised $473,787…This was the first phase of the orchestra’s public fundraising campaign, Keep the Music Playing, which has a target of $1.75
million by August. SSO management announced January 25 that the organization was in jeopardy of closing midway through its fiftieth anniversary season if it could not first raise $375,000 to meet its February payroll and expenses by [February 4]. With the announcement, the symphony has exceeded its February goal by $98,787, [receiving a total of] 1,374 donations."
Buy Valentine's Day Gifts & Support Arts Education
Wouldn’t it be great to tell someone you love them and help us support arts education at the same time? Americans for the Arts’ Keep the Arts in Public Schools Cause has teamed up with Causes.com for a very special Valentine’s Day opportunity. If you buy flowers or other Valentine’s gifts through our cause, our organization will receive $10 for every purchase! The flowers and gifts are the same price to you but you can feel great about the fact that your gift is also going towards our work in supporting arts education at the federal, state, and local levels. Just use this link to buy your Valentine’s Day gift and $10 will automatically be donated to Americans for the Arts.
Webinar: How to Partner with Your Chamber of Commerce
On March 23 at 2:00 p.m. ET, join Americans for the Arts for a webinar (free to Americans for the Arts members) called "How to Partner with Your Chamber of Commerce." Learn how arts organizations are successfully partnering with their local chambers of commerce to become leading voices for community planning, economic development, and cultural diversity. For more information, and to register, visit our webinar page.
An Arts Watch Partnership
For an analysis and further discussion regarding the issues raised recent editions of Arts Watch, visit The Clyde Fitch Report's Arts Advocacy Update. The Clyde Fitch Report (CFR) is a website exploring the nexus of arts and politics—including news and features, interviews, guest columns, bipartisan opinions, and public comments. You can also visit website by clicking on the CFR button on the left side of the page.