State & Local News
The Pennsylvania General Assembly has recognized the importance of the Commonwealth’s creative economy with the establishment of the Pennsylvania Legislative Arts & Culture Caucus. The bipartisan and bicameral caucus was established with the support of the Pennsylvania Arts & Culture Coalition and other regional organizations representing the arts, culture, museums, public broadcasting, tourism and zoos. The caucus will support members in their efforts to draft and pass legislation that advances arts and culture, provide analysis on pending legislation and provide research, education, policy development, and other support on arts and culture to the members of the General Assembly. Statewide, the caucus is almost evenly divided between 22 Republicans and 28 Democrats.
Maryland’s highest court ruled that service fees charged by Ticketmaster amount to scalping — setting up the possibility that people who attended events might ultimately be eligible for refunds. The ruling relies on an obscure 1948 Baltimore ordinance rushed through the City Council to curb scalping of Navy football tickets. Service charges are "a way of masking the real price for consumers and driving up the cost," said Marty Wolf of Gordon & Wolf, which brought the lawsuit. The decision, he said, could affect "almost every venue in the city." It's not clear how many tickets could be affected by the decision, but even if refunds never come, the ruling may force Ticketmaster to use what's known as all-in pricing on tickets sold in Baltimore, meaning additional charges would have to be included in the face value price, which the company sometimes already does.
California tax forms for the 2010 and 2011 tax years had a check off box for the California Arts Council as one of 18 options for targeted giving to various state-funded causes, but the yield failed to meet the required $250,000 last year and the check box will no longer be on tax forms. Meanwhile, arts council officials are brainstorming new ways to make it easier for California motorists to sign up for the specialty arts license plates. The plates cost $50 extra for new ones and $40 for renewals, with most of the money going to the arts council, which is depending on them for half its $5.6-million budget for the current fiscal year. The arts council is still recovering from 2002 and 2003 when the then-governor Gray Davis cut the agency’s budget significantly. The state's share comes to pennies per citizen, which left California in last place in per capita taxpayer support for its state arts agency until FY 2012, when Kansas claimed the bottom spot by axing all arts funding.
The League of Women Voters of Salina, Kansas hosted a Lunch and Learn Program about the challenges of funding for arts and cultural agencies in the state. Brad Anderson, executive director of Salina Arts and Humanities, spoke and explained to the crowd that most performing arts and other ticket-based organizations cannot survive by box office receipts alone. Despite cuts in state and federal funding, Anderson said, private individuals, local businesses and dedicated volunteers have allowed the arts in Salina to thrive and grow. In an example, he explained how the local Smoky Hill River Festival has about 2,000 volunteers each year and without those volunteers and other in-kind services, discounts and donations, the price of an advance festival button would be about $30 instead of $10.
With an online petition, artists and art supporters are urging the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to enforce ordinances requiring funding for public art in budgets for new and renovated public buildings. The campaigns initiator, artist Carolyn Speranza, said that city and county officials and candidates for council seats are the primary target and that the petition would be delivered before the Democratic primary. The city requires that at least 1 percent of the budget for any municipal construction or renovation of more than $50,000 be used for public art. Morton Brown, the city's public art manager, said the city has cited economic reasons, but it has incorporated public art into some projects, such as specially designed covering of opaque glass in a police station and is working with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and public works to include a sculptural artwork designed for storm water management. "We have had some successes," Brown said. While requiring the 1 percent, it also requires that pertinent department heads seek approval from the art commission. "Without someone watching every project going through the city and then nagging, it doesn't work well."
Two Allentown, Pennsylvania teachers say elementary school students can get far more education in art, music, gym and library science at no additional cost. The plan would keep library and gym classes going year-long, and have music and art taught for a half a year each despite reductions in the district's arts staff, which went from 56 to 20 teachers last year. With only five of each music, art, physical education and library teachers to service the 15 elementary schools in the district, students went from seeing their specialist teachers 36 times a year to nine times. Miller said that with the current number of teachers, the district would be able to assign a gym and library teacher to two elementary buildings for a whole school year. The teachers would take turns visiting the two schools every other week. For half of the year, students in one building would receive art instruction, and then switch to music for the second half.
In anticipation of new Common Core State Standards for fine arts education, Illinois State is helping teachers get a leg up on the new requirements for fine arts curriculum and assessments for students with disabilities. The colleges of Education and Fine Arts will team-up with two Chicago Public Schools and organizations in their communities to deliver professional development to educators and to create inclusive, standards-based fine arts curriculum and assessments for students with disabilities. The colleges received a contract from the Kennedy Center for this work. “The goal is to determine effective methods of modifying curriculum and assessment of students with disabilities so teachers will know how to approach fine arts standards,” said Christina Borders, assistant professor of special education and co-principal investigator for the contract. In addition to publishing their research, the investigators will produce a teacher-friendly package of resources as a guide for fine arts educators.
At a recent networking breakfast, business and community leaders in San Diego, California were treated to a concert performed by 15 musicians who are fourth and fifth graders from the Community Opus Project, a partnership forged by the San Diego Youth Symphony and the Chula Vista Elementary School District with the ultimate goal of bringing music instruction back into every classroom. Begun in 2010 as a free after school program for 65 third graders, Opus has since expanded to six schools, providing more than 250 third graders with 90 minutes of music instruction a week. For the first time in 15 years, the district is hiring a full-time music teacher who will join the staff at Castle Park Elementary by March 1. “This has been a catalyst for change in our district,” Assistant Superintendent John Nelson said. “We talk about innovation and we want to look at learning very differently.
The Baltimore, Maryland-based Veteran Artist Program helps members of the armed forces find opportunities to express themselves creatively and the organization will be showcased Wednesday in Annapolis at the 2013 Maryland Arts Day celebration. The group was formed in the fall of 2009 by Brian McDonald, a trained Arabic linguist and classical singer and musical theater performer who studied opera in college. "Most people think that being a member of the military and being an artist are opposites. They think that to enlist, you need only hard, physical skills, like shooting a gun or jumping out of a plane. They think that you have to conform and can't think creatively. But behind every soldier's hard skills are soft skills that require them to think out of the box and to communicate with one another. Ironically, my background of living overseas and my experience as a performer are what helped me succeed in the Army."
Have Phone, Will Donate: How to Get People to Give on the GoTuesday, February 26, 2013 at 1 p.m. Eastern
There are more than 1 BILLION smartphones on the planet. That means one in seven people on the earth have the ability to do so many things at their fingertips. Here we have an unprecedented opportunity to unleash generosity through technology and make what people want to do, easier and more compelling.
Join Network for Good’s Katya Andresen as she discusses with PayPal’s Tanya Urschel why your organization needs to have a sound mobile strategy in 2013. They’ll cover how you can create a simple, easy mobile donation experience using Network for Good’s newest version of DonateNow.
Attend this webinar and take away answers to the following:
§ Why is it so imperative that my cause be experienced through a smartphone or tablet?
§ What are the benefits of using mobile for deeper engagement?
§ How can I optimize my organization’s mobile website for giving and pledging?
Webinars Hosted by Americans for the Arts
The Evolution of Local Arts Grantmaking Series
Are you an organization or agency that makes grants? Then join us for this series that showcases arts funders who are refreshing, modifying or changing grantmaking policies and strategies to support the full cultural ecosystem of their cities, towns and regions. Learn how LAAs are shaping grant programs to stimulate and support arts creation and participation in response to shifting demographics and cultural landscapes.
§ The Evolution of Local Arts Grantmaking: Technology, Systems, and Capturing Data.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 3:00 PM EST
§ The Evolution of Local Arts Grantmaking : Leveraging Investments in Creativity – What’s Next?
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 3 PM EDT
Business Speak: Can We Talk? SeriesWith the launch of The pARTnership Movement in 2012 we explored mutually beneficial ways of partnering with business to further both arts and business goals. With this series we will provide detailed instructions for the methods and models to create successful partnerships.
Register Now for Arts Advocacy Day
April 8–9, 2013
The 2012 election has made a dramatic impact on Congress with more than 80 new members of Congress taking office in early January. The 113th Congress will renew the focus on reducing the federal deficit through program cuts and revenue raisers that could detrimentally impact nonprofit arts organizations. It is imperative that arts advocates work together to help educate members of Congress about the role the arts play in spurring economic growth and job creation. Register Now!
The Americans for the Arts 26th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall
Washington, DC, April 8, 2013, 6:30 PM
Grammy Award®-winning musician Yo-Yo Ma will deliver the Americans for the Arts 26th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy. Receive two free tickets to the lecture with your Arts Advocacy Day registration or reserve your general admission single ticket online today.
This year, arts leaders from across the country will gather in Pittsburgh, PA from June 14-16 to find ways to improve the story of how the arts build better lives, communities, and workplaces. A series of exciting speakers and arts innovators will discuss why the arts are the best kept secret when it comes to building healthy, diverse, and engaged communities. Our Annual Convention also provides an opportunity for peer groups interested arts education, cultural diversity, emerging leaders, public art, fundraising, and more to meet each year to connect and share their work.
In addition, three preconferences offer attendees a chance to dig deeper:
Visit the scholarship page to find information about scholarship qualifications. The deadline to apply is February 28- so apply today!
National Endowment for the Arts Announces Funding Guidelines Available for Fiscal Year 2014 Grants
Art Works is the NEA's largest funding category, supporting the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. The deadlines for Art Works applications are March 7 and August 8, 2013.
The Challenge America Fast-Track category offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations -- those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. These grants feature an expedited review process with approximately six months from application to notification. The deadline for Challenge America Fast-Track is May 23, 2013.
For guidelines and application materials visit the NEA website.
Open Dialogue 13: People, Places, and Policy—Call for SessionsPresented by the Association of American Cultures
Open Dialogue 2013: People, Places, and Policy, will take place August 2-4, 2013, at the Providence Biltmore Hotel, Providence, RI. Open Dialogue is presented by TAAC and is hosted by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. The Association of American Cultures, TAAC, was founded in 1985, to convene artists and cultural workers reflective of our pluralistic society and to inform and advocate for democratic cultural policies. Open Dialogue 13 will focus on significant and pivotal people, places and policies impacting cultural democracy in America. Through panels, keynote presentations, interviews, performances, interactive sessions, community experiences, and animated conversations, we will explore TAAC’s four foundational pillars:
§ Equal participation in policymaking
§ Equitable funding for all cultural institutions
§ Elevation in multicultural leadership
§ Essential networks that impact cultural policy
For information about submitting a proposal, click here.
Oklahomans for the Arts may be young when compared to some other state’s arts advocacy organizations—they celebrated their second birthday at the beginning of this month—but the group is packing a strong punch when it comes to creating a strong online presence. In the beginning of 2012, the organization announced that they had secured a grant to redesign their website and worked with an Oklahoma-based company,liquidfish, to create the new site. With the new site ready to go, the group took off promoting their mission: to support public finding for arts, culture and arts education in Oklahoma.
In addition to taking advantage of Facebook and Twitter by posting regular and quality content, Oklahomans for the arts provides frequent blog posts that help advocates understand issues around policy and the arts, such as the recent blog post responding to low voter turnout at a school board election explaining the role that school board plays in education, student achievement and the arts.
For more information about Oklahomans for the Arts, visit them online!