||Arts Watch Update
*This section of Arts Watch updates readers on specific news items that have appeared in recent editions.
Iowa: State Auditor Finds Most Film Tax Credits Issued Improperly
The Des Moines Register, 10/26/10
"The vast majority of tax credits awarded before Iowa's film program collapsed last year, $26 million of almost $32 million, were issued improperly, according to a special investigation just released by Iowa's Auditor of State. The probe of expenses of 22 films completed before Iowa's film program was suspended last year found only $6.3 million in credits should have been awarded, according to the financial information provided to the state. The audit…sought to verify expenses of films that received almost $32 million in tax credits before abuse and mismanagement led Gov. Chet Culver to suspend the program in September."
United Kingdom: Arts Council Ordered to Cut Grants by 30 Percent
The Hollywood Reporter, 10/26/10
"Funding for the arts in England will be slashed by 6.9 percent next year, and everyone who gets cash now will have to fight for their individual slices next year. Arts Council England (ACE) said [October 26] that all of its 844 regularly funded organizations will have to reapply for funding. And some won't be getting any…ACE is under orders to chop its grant-in-aid funding by 29.6 percent over four years, some £457 million ($725 million) of the body's budget. Of that, ACE must cut 14.9 percent of the money available to regularly funded groups by 2014–15 while also cutting its own administration costs by half."
Culture and Communities
Ohio: Cleveland Orchestra Unveils 'Center for Future Audiences'
The Cleveland Plain Dealer, 10/26/10
"Taking the kids to a performance by the Cleveland Orchestra is about to a become a much less costly proposition. Soon, in fact, their tickets will be free…It's all part of a long-term effort beginning [this week] with the creation of a Center for Future Audiences, whose objective will be to engage more people with classical music and remove economic, geographic, and cultural barriers to attending live performances…First among several programs to be enacted by the center most likely will be an online club for adults ages 18–34, whose members will have access to heavily discounted rush tickets."
U.S. Department of State Expands Cultural Diplomacy Efforts
The New York Times, 10/25/10
"Under a new $1 million program being announced this week, the Obama administration is planning to expand its cultural diplomacy programs to include visual artists like painters and sculptors, who will be asked next year to create public art projects in 15 foreign countries…The new program, known as smART Power, will be administered by the Bronx Museum of the Arts, which was selected from a dozen institutions to choose the artists. They will be sent to places that include Pakistan, Egypt, Venezuela, China, Nigeria, and a Somali refugee camp in Kenya."
Minnesota: Luverne Surely Gets the Arts
Argus Leader, 10/24/10
"Luverne, founded in 1867 as a stop on the mail route between Blue Earth and Yankton, MN, has seen its population hover around 4,000–5,000 for the past century. Shops include small businesses where employees remember customers' names, and where rural and town residents can find groceries, steaks, shakes, and auto repairs. But art is a visibly growing piece of the community fabric. It's a hobby for some residents, a business for others and an occasional boon to the town's economy. The summer Art Rocks festival brings in 2,500 visitors annually who see and buy work by up to 30 fine artists. Studio tours draw more people in, as do art workshops and classes."
Arts Education and the Creative Workforce
Louisiana: Arts Program Expands to All-Subject Curriculum
The Times-Picayune, 10/2710
"New Orleans Council for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) is adding academic program to its curriculum so their students can get all their schooling there instead of spending their mornings at regular schools. Currently, NOCCA students attend another school for half the day to fulfill their academic requirements, spending afternoons at NOCCA studying creative writing, culinary arts, dance, media arts, music, theater, or visual arts…Instruction will be individualized to an extent rarely seen in public schools, said Robbie McHardy, director of the new program, called the Academic Studio."
New York: Mayor Donates Charity Ball Proceeds to Arts Education Program
Utica Observer-Dispatch, 10/26/10
"Proceeds from Mayor David Roefaro’s 2011 Charity Ball will go toward restoring a school arts program cut from the budget this spring by the city’s school board to prevent teacher layoffs. The Arts in Education program, administered by the Stanley Center for the Arts, will be the beneficiary of the ball this year, Roefaro and his wife, Cynthia, announced…'You start cutting arts in education, and that’s the beginning of the end,' Roefaro said…Since 2008, the charity balls…[have] raised more than the year before, from $50,000 in 2008 to $69,371 last year."
South Carolina: Candidates Differ On Arts Education Funding
Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 10/24/10
"Candidates for state superintendent of education Frank Holleman and Mick Zais fine tuned their platforms to emphasize the importance of arts education in South Carolina [last weekend]…Holleman said, if elected, he will fight to keep arts education in public schools despite budget cuts…Zais countered by touting his lifelong support of the arts, 'I think the arts and music are an important part of anyone's life,' Zais said…[but] Zais said education leaders must prioritize when it
comes to spending. Core subjects, he said, like reading, writing, and math, must come first."
Public Investment in the Arts
Canada: British Columbia Government Returns $7 Million for Arts
The Victoria Times Colonist, 10/27/10
"The provincial government has put $7 million back into the arts—restoring a major chunk of funding that was cut from groups during the past year…About $2 million is being allocated to performing and literary arts groups that applied in March 2010, with millions more due for distribution in January…The funds bring the council's budget to just over $16 million for the current fiscal year. Earlier this year, the government cut funding to the council to about $8 million for 2010–2011."
Ohio: Cigarette Tax Collections Provide $15 Million in Arts Grants
"This is Cuyahoga Arts and Culture’s (CAC) second round of general operating grants since the county began collecting taxes on tobacco to fund the arts, and the third round of project-specific grants. Applications for both were considered by a panel of experts in arts and arts administration from outside the state over the past year. [OnOctober 25], the CAC board ratified awards to 133 organizations totaling $15 million. Karen Gall Mills, CAC Executive Director, says that takes the total amount awarded since the group was founded to $60 million dollars."
New York: Mayor Budgets $750 Million for Arts Projects Over Four Years
Crain's New York, 10/22/10
"Despite the recession, cultural expansion is still a priority in the Bloomberg administration. New York City's cultural capital budget for the next four years will be $750 million, said the city's Culture Commissioner Kate Levin…Ms. Levin said the money will go to 320 projects at 190 different organizations. The projects will range from installing air conditioning units to building a new wing of a museum. The budget is down slightly from the previous one—the four-year cultural capital budget of 2006 was a record $803 million. But it listed only 170 projects. More groups will share the wealth this time around."
The Creative Economy and the Private Sector
Darden Restaurants CEO Honored for Arts Support
Orlando Sentinel Orlando Arts blog, 10/19/10
"Clarence Otis Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, has received a prestigious national award for his company’s support of the performing arts, including a $5 million commitment to the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center. The BCA Leadership Award is granted by the Business Committee for the Arts, a division of Americans for the Arts…'What a well-deserved award,' said Kathy Ramsberger, president of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. 'Darden’s $5 million gift to the center was a catalyst to make this project a reality.'"
Philanthropy & Fundraising in the Arts
Survey: Most Donors to Maintain Giving Levels
Philanthropy News Digest, 10/23/10
"The majority of American donors plan to maintain their level of charitable giving in the near term, despite volatility in the financial markets and an uncertain economic outlook, a new survey by the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund finds. Fifty-five percent of those who responded to the survey said they planned to maintain their level of giving in the fourth quarter, while eight percent said they would give more than in past years in response to growing needs. At the same time, more than a third (36 percent) of respondents said they planned to give less due to financial limitations (30 percent) or the uncertain tax climate (six percent)."
Arts Canvas: The View from the Field
Tim Mikulski, Arts Education Program Manager
Americans for the Arts
Dr. Jim Taylor, a psychologist who specializes in the areas of “business, sport, and parenting” and has also worked with a number of performing arts groups and individual artists over the years, recently published a blog post that takes a different approach to the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) movement in American education.
Instead of turning STEM to STEAM, Dr. Taylor makes a modification to the lovable acronym, changing it to STAMPER (Science, Technology, Arts, Math, Physical, Emotions, and Reason).
How’s that for covering all of your bases?
In the post, Taylor says that he took engineering out of the equation, so to speak, because it is an “offspring of science, technology, and math” and he thinks the subject should remain in college and graduate programs, not in K–12 education.
As for the addition of the arts, he calls that a “no brainer” because “new ideas and innovations, though sowed in the firmament of hard knowledge, blossom from the more ethereal creative flights of fancy that the arts encourage.”
I think we can all agree on that, but since we haven’t even injected our “A” into STEM as of yet, should we abandon STEAM altogether and truly advocate for well-rounded adults that are not only smart in core subject areas, but also healthy both physically and emotionally through STAMPER?
I’m not quite sold yet, but I feel like I could be if given enough time and evidence.
Read Dr. Taylor’s full blog post here, and be sure to post your thoughts on Americans for the Arts' ARTSblog.
I’m sure we can start quite a dialogue.
Don't Miss Your Chance to Join Arts & Economic Prosperity IV
Not only is the 2007 Arts & Economic Prosperity III report the most frequently cited resource demonstrating the impact of the nation’s nonprofit industry on the local, state, and national economy, it also earned the arts in Seattle an increase of $1 million from the city government. In this new economic climate, investment in the arts is more critical than ever. Invest in your community by signing on to participate in the fourth national economic impact study, Arts & Economic Prosperity IV. While the state of the economy is still in flux, participation in Arts & Economic Prosperity IV ensures that you’ll have the data at your fingertips to increase or restore public and private funding for the arts in your community. For more information and examples on how this study can help you, contact Senior Director of Research Ben Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attend A Creative Conversation
Each October, in honor of National Ar
ts & Humanities Month, Americans for the Arts partners with emerging leaders across the country to host Creative Conversations, local convenings of arts administrators, artists, and community citizens who come together to discuss topics related to arts and culture where they live. Attending an event is a great way to connect your local community to a national grassroots movement that elevates the profile of the arts in America. To find one in your community, visit the Creative Conversations homepage.
Participate in the American Express Members Project Campaign
Americans for the Arts has reached round three of the American Express Members Project campaign and is 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.
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.