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Monday, August 5, 2013

NEWS: The SAANBox Weekly Newsletter (July 29)

State & Local News
With the city of Detroit declaring bankruptcy last week, the iconic Detroit Institute of Arts was among the civic institutions whose fate is in jeopardy.Art world insiders fear that masterpieces by such greats as Picasso and Warhol could be raffled off in a fire sale. However, if the city does decide to auction off the works, it would saturate the market and potentially reduce the value of the works for sale. One possible alternative is an agreement akin to holding joint custody of the works with another museum. Last summer, the Fisk University Museum in Tennessee offset some of its parent institutions' crushing debt by selling a 50 percent stake in its collection which ended in an agreement with the works spending half their time in one museum and half their time in another. For more information, check out this list of FAQs about the impact of the bankruptcy on the museum.
The Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development announced that it is accepting applications for organizations to be a part of the newly established Creative Economy Network. The Network will coordinate resources, track progress, and promote efforts to support these industries on the local, regional, and state-wide level. The creative industries include the many companies pushing the limits of creativity in the marketplace, including innovative video game companies, cultural non-profits, design, marketing and architecture firms, and the Commonwealth’s authors, architects, movie directors, artists and musicians. The Action Agenda identifies Five Areas of Action as key to the success and expansion of these industries: Business Development, Access to Capital, Visibility, Talent and Space.
In an effort to strengthen and build a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in the state, Connecticut Innovations and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development are looking for creative ideas. Both organizations issued Requests for Proposal open to individuals, large and small companies, non-profits and consortia — from within and outside the state — with proven records of success and creative ideas to develop the infrastructure and community necessary to support entrepreneurs. The state will invest up to $5 million over the next year in this initiative.
Denise Montgomery, head of San Diego’s Commission for Arts and Culture, has joined a number of staffers and appointees of Mayor Bob Filner’s administration who have resigned from their positions. Mayor Filner is facing sexual harassment allegations from numerous women. Montgomery had only held her position for 44 days, after Filner introduced her as his choice to succeed founding arts commission director Victoria Hamilton in a May 15 news conference at City Hall.
The principal at Dyett High School in Chicago, Illinois has informed the school council that he will be unable to pay teachers’ salaries with the budget he was issued from Chicago Public Schools. That means many classes—including art, music, Spanish, social studies, and even gym— will be online. School council member Steven Guy says a new budgeting system the district is using might give principals more autonomy, but that the budgets are inadequate.  “It’s like me, giving you a car with a quarter tank of gas, telling you it’s your job to drive to St. Louis and back. And if you can’t do it, then it’s your fault,” said Guy. The schools budget problems are compounded because the school is being phased out—essentially a long, slow school closing.
Phoenix, Arizona’s public art program is ambitious, with officials planning to work on 38 of the five-year plan’s 60 projects in this fiscal year alone. Earlier this month, the City Council approved the $9.9 million plan. The city plans for public-art projects in five-year cycles, with many projects taking more than one year to complete. Although money for public arts is less than in years past, it’s the result of a formula for calculating funding, not a policy decision. As the city plans to make infrastructure improvements across Phoenix through its Capital Improvement Program, 1 percent of that budget is allocated to the public-art program near or at the site of the capital-improvement project. Ed Lebow, the program’s director and chair of Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network says, “One of the big advantages to the program over the years here is that Phoenix is, relatively, a very young city. So Phoenix is building ... infrastructure in places that many older American cities built 50, 100 years ago.”
The Maryland State Arts Council granted nearly $13 million to local arts organizations and councils, marking a 16 percent increase in state arts funding for fiscal 2014. The matching grants will support operations of 254 arts organizations and programs, as well as arts councils in Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City. Gov. Martin O’Malley approved the grants based on recommendations from the Maryland State Arts Council, part of the state’s Department of Business and Economic Development. This comes after the Maryland State Arts Council’s budget was restored to pre-recession levels for fiscal 2014.

As K-12 schools continue to cut funding for arts education, students are increasingly using new technology to pursue these interests outside of formal school settings, according to a recently published report, New Opportunities for Interest-Driven Arts Learning in a Digital Age. The report argues that new technology is making arts education more accessible and engaging for students in the modern era. According to the report, youths spend an average of nearly eight hours per day using tech gadgets, and two-thirds of online teens actually produce their own content at some point—through blogs, web pages, videos, photos, or other forms of artwork. Research indicates that students are gaining the same set of skills in interest-driven arts education as they do in traditional K-12 settings, but that there is much more to learn about the field and the overall effect of these informal communities.
Five states- New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota and Utah- will bring together state and local leaders to discuss how their states can improve and promote after-school programs and expanded learning. These "mayoral summits," to be held next year, are billed as the first ever to focus exclusively on after school and will feature mayors from all participating states. The topic of systems-wide collaboration for out-of-school programs was the focus of a conference, summarized the report: Better Together—Building Local Systems to Improve After-School.
Fairfax, Alaska’s public art project aims to revitalize downtown spaces by reinventing vacant buildings with the Windows Project. Empty office and retail spaces that have long stood vacant in the downtown area blend into the background and prove difficult to fill with new tenants. Vacancies lower a building’s cap rate, drive down valuations and make it harder to fund capital or even maintenance activities. The project will invite people to enjoy public art while imaging – and perhaps implementing – different uses and possibilities for these spaces. Digital artwork will be printed on colorful vinyl wraps and plastered across the ground floor exterior windows of approximately a dozen vacant spaces.
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Tech Talk
LinkedIn Sponsored Updates Bring New Content-Sharing OpportunitiesBusinesses that are active on LinkedIn now have a new way to share their content with professionals: LinkedIn Sponsored Updates. LinkedIn announced the new feature in a blog post. LinkedIn Sponsored Updates will allow companies to pay to share their blog posts, articles, videos, slideshows and any other content with relevant professionals, and both current and prospective customers who may not have even heard of them, let alone be following them on LinkedIn.
1.     Photo posts get 39% more interaction
2.     Shorter posts get 23% more interaction
3.     Using emoticons increases comments by 33%
4.     Engagement rates on Thursday and Friday are 18% higher
5.     Question posts get 100% more comments
6.     35% of Facebook Fans like a page so they can participate in contests
7.     42% of Fans like a page to get a coupon or discount
8.     The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55–64 year age bracket
9.     189 million of Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only’
10.   YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18–34 than any cable network
11.   Every second 2 new members join LinkedIn
12.   Social Media is the #1 activity on the web
13.   LinkedIn has a lower percentage of active users than Pinterest, Google+, Twitter and Facebook
14.   93% of marketers use social media for business
15.   25% of smartphone owners ages 18–44 say they can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them
16.   Even though 62% of marketers blog or plan to blog in 2013, only 9% of US marketing companies employ a full-time blogger
17.   25% of Facebook users don’t bother with privacy settings
Webinars hosted by Americans for the Arts:
Creative Placemaking and Public Art Webinar Series coming this Fall!
Registration limited to first 50 applicants. Sign-up today!
This virtual training series offers the necessary tools for arts administrators, designers, planners and economic and community development professionals to assess and implement creative placemaking and public art projects to enhance your community’s sense of place. The goal of the series is to provide professionals with the framework needed to move projects from concept to final development. This is an essential resource tool for people who are tackling the issues of reinforcing and rebuilding communities to accommodate and activate the new creative economy. The series is led by Barbara Goldstein author of Public Art by the Book and Principal, Barbara Goldstein & Associates and includes six, 90-minute live webinars as well as one conference call group discussion Q&A session. Click here for detailed session descriptions and schedule.
Registration is $375 for the series and limited to the first 50 registrants.
Want to learn more about the webinar series, placemaking and public art? Register for our free introductory/overview webinar:
An Introduction to the Engagement Spectrum
August 27, 2013 at 3:00 PM EDT
Take a closer look at participation conditions and behaviors to consider when developing audience engagement programming. Artist and engagement strategist Rachel Grossman will review categories of participant-types, environmental factors, and communication tools, and share examples of tactics and activities with multiple points of entry for a range of audience members. This webinar will also provide insight into drawing connecting threads from your artistic programming through their marketing and advertising.
Are you Prepared? Emergency PreparednessSeptember 4, 2013 at 3:00 PM EDT
None of us want to believe that "it" could happen to our arts organization - our passion, our labor of love, our career, and our future. Reality happens. Whether "it" is a hurricane, technology failure, scandal, fire or flood, accident or crime, pandemic, tornado, or physical infrastructure failure, crises can and do occur, which is why preparedness is key to sustainability. As we face constant natural and made disasters, do you have a plan?  Is your data safe?  Join us as we learn about how local arts agencies are preparing for disasters?  What you need to know.
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Bulletin Board
Tell Congress to Support Arts in Education
Arts education funding is under threat in a House GOP budget proposal and in the Administration's FY 2014 budget request. The Arts in Education program has survived threats like these in previous years through support of grassroots advocates and support by Senate champions like Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS). The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee FY 2014 legislation provides $27 million for the federal Arts in Education program which we hope will be enacted into law.Please take a few minutes to write to your members of Congress and ask them to support strengthening arts education in federal policy.

Urge Members of Congress to Support the NEA
The U.S. House of Representatives Interior Appropriations Subcommittee approved a FY 2014 funding bill that calls for a 49% cut to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This would bring funding of the NEA down to $75 million, a level not seen since 1974! The NEA funds grants in every congressional district in the country. A cut of this size would immediately end that ability to support the arts in all communities. The NEA supports funding in dance, design, folk & traditional arts, literature, local arts agencies, media arts, multidisciplinary, museums, music, musical theater, opera, presenting, theater, and visual arts. Please take a few minutes to write to your Members of Congress to urge them to support the NEA in widening citizen access to the cultural, educational, and economic benefits of the arts, and advancing creativity and innovation in communities across the United States.
Registration Now Open! The 2013 National Arts Marketing Project Conference
Community empowers your art. What does it take for your arts organization to deeply connect with the people that matter? At the 2013 National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) Conference in Portland, OR, you’ll learn the marketing strategies that your organization needs to revolutionize the way communities engage with your organization. Join us in a city infused with a DIY atmosphere and a strong collaborative spirit, where you’ll embrace the interactive tools and forward-thinking strategies needed to create a sense of community around your work.
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Spotlight on... NEA Our Town Grant Recipients
Earlier this month the National Endowment for the Arts’ Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced the Our Town grant recipients. Across the U.S., 59 grants were awarded in 36 states totaling $4.725 million. This year’s grants fall into two broad categories: arts engagement, and design and cultural planning.
Creative placemaking continues to be an effective development tool for communities of all sizes and this year 35 of the 59 projects were funded for communities with less than 100,000. Among these rural projects are seven first-time grantees in communities with populations under 5,000,
§  City of Lanesboro, MN: population, 754—This grant will support the cultural planning process for public arts and the transformation of a parking lot into a public space for poetry and creation of art sculptures through community activity.
§  Town of Columbus, NC: 999—This grant will support creative asset mapping and the development of community-wide strategies uniting the Town Council, local artists, artisans and crafters.
§  City of Tieton, WA: 1,211—This grant will support mosaic installations, an artisan apprenticeship program and community engagement efforts.
§  Town of Ashfield, MA: 1,800—This grant will support the Ashfield Living Culture project, with activities taking place on farms and in public town commons to harmonize agricultural and creative endeavors.
§  City of Jenkins, KY: 2,401—This grant will support public art and a walking tour to reflect the city’s coal mining heritage it’s evolving image.
§  Town of Madawaska, ME: 4,534 – This grant will support The St. John Valley Arts Heritage Initiative, an effort to build cultural capacity and awareness in regions of the world populated by Acadians.
§  City of Leland, MS: 4,500—This grant will support the design of the Jim Henson Creative Park in a public space connecting Jim Henson’s childhood home with the city’s elementary school.

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