||April 4–5, 2011
Arts Advocacy Day
||June 16–18, 2011
2011 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention
San Diego, CA
||Arts Watch Update
*This section of Arts Watch updates readers on specific news items that have appeared in recent editions.
Ohio: Arts Organization Seeks Advice for Cigarette Tax Funding
The Plain Dealer, 11/15/10
"Some arts advocates want more public money funneled to arts education, public performances, arts journalism, and free arts events. Those were among the suggestions raised [November 15] when Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, the group that distributes cigarette tax money to arts and culture organizations, asked for new ideas on what it should fund. It was the first of two public forums designed to help [the organization] form a new policy for grant distribution…Executive Director Karen Gahl-Mills explained that since cigarette revenue is projected to decrease in future years, there is more reason to be thoughtful about grant making priorities."
United Kingdom: London Mayor Sticks U
p for the Arts
What's On Stage, 11/15/10
"London mayor Boris Johnson seems to be singing from a different hymn sheet than his Conservative colleagues in Westminster’s Coalition. [This week,] he urged both national and local government not to turn away from the arts, particularly in the lead up to 2012’s Cultural Olympiad, the largest cultural celebration ever planned around the modern Olympic and Paralympic games, when London will be the focus of the world. Critically, he warned ministers that they can’t simply sit back and expect corporate and individual philanthropy to plug public funding shortfalls, including the 30 percent cut passed on last month to Arts Council England."
Michigan: Legislator Proposes Phasing Out Film Tax Incentives
The Grand Rapids Press, 11/13/10
"Michigan passed the nation's most generous movie production incentives two years ago—refundable tax credits of up to 42 percent of direct production costs in core communities such as Grand Rapids. But a new bill would slash that credit to 28 percent in 2011, 14 percent in 2012, and end it by October 2012. 'You can't justify millions going to Hollywood tycoons when we are looking at a significant $1.6 billion budget deficit,' said Sen. Nancy Cassis (R-Novi), sponsor of the bill she said will save $80 million in its first year…Her bill likely won't be taken up this lame duck session, but Governor-elect Rick Snyder has said the credits are not sustainable and need restructuring."
Culture and Communities
Mississippi: Art Museum Awarded Federal Honor
The Clarion-Ledger, 11/17/10
"A national award means prestigious recognition for the Mississippi Museum of Art's key mission of community engagement. The art museum in Jackson was among 10 recipients, and the only art museum this year, to be awarded the nation's highest honor for libraries and museums. 'It's not about being the biggest or the best, it's about relevance in your community,' Museum Director Betsy Bradley said, citing particular pride in the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, which was announced [this week]. The medal includes a $10,000 prize, which will be used to continue the museum's community partnerships, Bradley said."
Kentucky: Louisville Orchestra, Union Slugging It Out
The Courier-Journal, 11/15/10
"Contract talks between the Louisville Orchestra and its musicians struck a discordant note [November 15], as representatives of the musicians' union said the orchestra was threatening bankruptcy if the union did not agree to significant cuts and concessions. Kim Tichenor, chairwoman of the players' negotiating committee, said the musicians have been told their latest paycheck may be their last if they don't agree to reduce the orchestra's size from 71 players to 55. The orchestra also wants to reduce the weeks the musicians work each year from 37 to 31, she said."
Maryland: Beyond Museums, City's Artistic Enterprises Thrive
The Baltimore Sun, 11/12/10
"Beyond the mighty Baltimore Museum of Art and Walters Art Museum, beyond such long-established, up-market spaces as C. Grimaldis Gallery and Thomas Segal Gallery, a world of artistic enterprise thrives—some of it off the radar or almost literally underground. Baltimore has its share of artist-run, do-it-yourself spaces where the emphasis is more on encouraging and showing new work than selling it, as well as others that are very much in the commercial trade. Some venues are a little hard to find, located in low-foot-traffic areas and in buildings that, at first glance, might be mistaken as abandoned; others occupy inviting, street-level spots."
Arts Education and the Creative Workforce
University President: Science and Humanities Blend Well Together
The Patriot-News, 11/16/10
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology President Mel Schiavelli authored the following in an editorial discussing the common ground between science and the arts: "But STEM isn’t mutually exclusive. It’s incumbent on educators to encourage and sustain a creative curriculum, too, that blends in the arts and humanities. Too many institutions focus entirely on one at the expense of the other. This is a disservice to not only students but also the nation’s long-term future. To maximize the potential of the new workforce, educators need to balance science and technology-focused education with the best of the liberal arts, general education, communication, teamwork, and practical application to fully meet the needs of the 21st century business world."
Texas: Artistic Nudity Almost Leads to Textbook Ban
The Dallas Morning News, 11/16/10
"Plano Independent School District has scrapped plans to remove a humanities textbook after a couple complained about photos of ancient nude sculptures and other works of art…Officials pulled the book, Culture and Values: A Survey of the Humanities: Alternative Volume, from some classrooms last week. Hundreds of freshmen and sophomores in the district's gifted and talented program use the text, which has never drawn a complaint in years of use…Administrators reversed their decision [November 15], saying they misinterpreted district policy…The couple noted 49 images they consider objectionable in a presentation they sent to the district. Many were of Greek and Roman sculptures depicting frontal male nudity. Among the more modern images they cite are photographs of Michelangelo's David and The Kiss by Auguste Rodin."
Dance Integration Helps Keep the Arts in Schools
Education Week, 11/16/10
"The idea of integrating the arts, including dance, into the broader curriculum is not new, but it appears to be gaining a stronger foothold in public schools, proponents say, though national data are not available. The growth comes as arts education advocates struggle to ensure adequate time and support for the arts in schools—whether music, visual arts, theater, or dance—amid the financial straits facing many districts and other challenges, such as pressure to boost test scores in core subjects like reading and math…Instances of integrating dance, though apparently still quite limited, are scattered across the country, from public schools in Los Angeles and Reno to suburban Minneapolis and the Baltimore County (MD) district."
New Jersey: School Wins $25,000 Pepsi Grant for Music Program
Daily Record, 11/14/10
"Parents, teachers, residents, local businesses, and strangers around the country banded together last month to help Central Middle School win $25,000 to enhance its music program. The middle school was a finalist in the Pepsi Refresh Project, which gives away up to $1.3 million in grants each month for ideas that can make a positive impact in a community. Each month, up to 10 projects that receive the most votes can win grants of $25,000. By the end of October, Long Hill's project ranked eighth most popular, securing the funding. 'The community did this together, we wouldn't have gotten this without everyone's support,' said Long Hill Schools Superintendent Rene Rovtar. 'This is a gift.'"
Public Investment in the Arts
Italy: National Attractions Close Over Proposed Budget Cuts
BBC News, 11/12/10
"Most of Italy's major cultural attractions closed [November 12] because of a one-day strike over government plans to cut their funding. Hundreds of museums, art galleries, and heritage sites were affected. The Italian government wants to cut 280 million euros (£237m, $380m) from the culture budget over the next three years as part of an austerity drive…but, the collapse of a house at Pompeii last weekend raised new questions over the country's ability to maintain its heritage. Culture Minister Sandro Bondi came under pressure to resign after the 'House of the Gladiators' fell down at the 2,000-year-old site. Critics blamed a lack of money for maintenance and say it is an example of why Italy's culture investment should rise, not fall."
Georgia: Arts Advocates Attempting to Advance Local Arts Tax Bill
The Augusta Chronicle, 11/11/10
"A Georgia arts group plans to reintroduce a bill in the 2011 legislative session that would enable counties to call for a referendum on another penny tax to support the arts, economic development, and cultural initiatives. The bill, also known as the fract tax, died in the waning hours of this year's legislative session. It will be reintroduced by the Georgia Communities for Growth Initiative, formerly known as Friends of Arts & Culture…Step one involves introducing statewide enabling legislation that allows voters in each Georgia county to decide whether the county should collect another penny sales tax for arts and cultural initiatives."
The Arts & Healthcare
Canada: Medical Students Use Art to Improve Diagnosis Skills
"None of the young minds in The Art of Seeing, a new visual literacy course for family medicine residents at McMaster Museum of Art, knew [Guernica when they saw it]. Until now, many have focused on chemistry and biology, toiling in labs and hospitals. But here they’re asked to look for signs, symbols, and stories hidden in pieces of art—which will, the theory goes, enable them to better see signs and symptoms in their patients. The class was introduced at McMaster because a number of studies have shown that careful and intensive observation of art improves doctors’ diagnostic and observational skills."
Philanthropy & Fundraising in the Arts
Study: Entrepreneurs Give More Than Established Companies
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 11/12/10
"Entrepreneurs give twice as much of their profits to charity as more-established companies, according to new research released by the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund and Ernst & Young. Entrepreneurs, the study found, allocate a median of three percent of their corporate profits to charity. That is more than double the median 1.2 percent of profits found in The Chronicle’s latest corporate-giving survey of the nation’s largest companies…Surveyed online in September and October, all had won awards from Ernst & Young for founding viable companies, most of which are privately held and at least a decade old."
District of Columbia: Symphony Orchestra Receives $550,000 Gift
The Washington Post ArtsPost blog, 11/12/10
"The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) has just announced the receipt of a two-year, $550,000 gift earmarked for the areas of education and outreach. Irene Pollin, a psychotherapist, philanthropist, and long-standing board member of the NSO, will support the orchestra's community education programs, which send the orchestra and its members to various schools and youth centers throughout the region…The money, to be paid out over two years, will support programs like the orchestra's appearances at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus…Other performances this season will include appearances at the Ellington School, THEARC, and various in-school ensembles around the Washington region."
MetLife Foundation Presents Innovative Space Awards
"Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC) and MetLife Foundation announced the six winners of the nationwide, competitive 2010 MetLife Foundation Innovative Space Awards. The awards recognize outstanding efforts in the design and development of affordable space for artists, an integral part of LINC's Space for Change: Building Communities Through Innovative Art Spaces program. These facilities provide a firm base from which artists may pursue their works while simultaneously contributing to shaping vibrant, healthy communities. The winning projects were selected from nearly 100 applications from 37 states; awards range from $10,000-$50,000."
Arts Canvas: The View from the Field
Alison Wade, Private Sector Initiatives Intern
Americans for the Arts
On November 4, arts and business leaders from all over the country commended twelve exceptional businesses for their commitment to the arts at the BCA 10 awards in New York City. Now, the awards are over, the black ties have come off, and the awardees have returned to their respective home bases. But from Iowa to Oregon, the celebration of these exceptional businesses shows no signs of stopping.
In Cincinnati, Strata-G continues to celebrate by renewing their commitment to supporting the arts. The company is launching a campaign to offer two Cincinnati area arts organizations their marketing services, pro bono, for a full year. "Being nominated for and winning the BCA 10 award further reinforced in us the role that business can play in supporting area non-profits,” Strata-G managing partner Jeff Eberlein said. “We wanted to step up once again and show our gratitude to and support worthy arts organizations.” Strata-G earned a BCA 10 award for providing over $75,000 in pro bono services to arts organizations in 2009 alone.
And in Oregon, Portland General Electric (PGE) is being honored at Business and Culture for the Arts’ Breakfast of Champions, where Portland Mayor Sam Adams will re-present the BCA 10 award to PGE CEO Jim Piro. "PGE believes the arts have the power to educate, heal and create a vibrant economy and has long demonstrated a dedication to incorporating the arts in its corporate culture while also encouraging other businesses to follow suit,” said Virginia Willard, Business for Culture & the Art's executive director…
To read the rest of Alison's blog post, view a video of one of this year's BCA 10 winners, comment, and to browse other entries, visit Americans for the Arts' ARTSblog.
Arts Watch Announcement
Arts Watch will not be published next week. It will return to your e-mail inbox on December 1, 2010.
Teaching Artist Survey Results Published
The results of Teaching Artists and Their Work Survey: ATA's Survey on What are Meaningful, Supportable, and Sustainable Environments for the Work of a Teaching Artist are now available on TeachingArtists.com. The focus of the survey, conducted between September 2009—March 2010, was teaching artists' experiential knowledge. Teaching artists from fifty states and the District of Columbia responded to the survey. For more information or comments, please contact Association of Teaching Artists Executive Director Dale Davis via e-mail at email@example.com.
Participate in the American Express Members Project Campaign
Americans for the Arts has reached round three of the American Express Members Project campaign and i
s still in the running to receive $200,000. Between August 31–November 21, citizens can vote for their preferred project and those with the highest votes continue on to round four this winter. For more information, and to vote, visit the Members Project website or click on the button on the left side of Arts Watch.
Free Webinar on Arts Education Policy and ESEA Reauthorization
Please join KeepArtsinSchools.org for a free webinar titled Stronger Together: Creating a Collaborative Message on Arts in Education Policy and ESEA Reauthorization on December 7, 2010 at 1:00 PM ET/11:00 AM PT. The webinar is an opportunity to learn from a collaborative process developed by a group of California arts education and school improvement advocates. The facilitated discussion will include information on national arts education events and a general question and answer session following remarks. The webinar is free, but you must RSVP to Rosslynn Pieters via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive instructions.
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.