National Arts Ed News & Alerts

Felix Padrón and Ann Stock Join Americans for the Arts Board of Directors

Americans for the Arts Press Releases - Thu, 12/05/2013 - 15:02
Felix Padrón and Ann Stock Join Americans for the Arts Board of Directors

Randy Cohen on C-SPAN Discussing National Arts Funding

Americans for the Arts - Mon, 12/02/2013 - 14:27

Americans for the Arts' Vice President of Research, Randy Cohen, joined the National Endowment for the Art's Sunil Iyengar for C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal”  on Friday, November 29 to talk about federal arts funding. This 30-minute “America by the Numbers” segment focused on National Endowment for the Arts' recent survey on public partipation of the arts, which is conducted and released every few years. SPPA.

Randy and Sunil spoke about how U.S. government funding of the arts ranked among other domestic programs and internationally, changes in public arts participation, public policy and the arts, and positive outcomes associated with arts education and participation.

If you missed it, watch the video on C-SPAN's website HERE - and you can still comment on the segment or tweet questions directly to Randy @artsinfoguy on Twitter.

The Giving Library and #GivingTuesday - Share to Give!

Americans for the Arts - Wed, 11/27/2013 - 18:17

Give towards advancing the arts in America this Holiday Season - without spending a dime!

Americans for the Arts is honored to be one of the featured nonprofits on The Giving Library, an online video archive that connects donors to nonprofits. In this season of Thanksgiving and holiday merriment, The Giving Library is kicking off a $100,000.00 "Share to Give" campaign on #GivingTuesday, the national day of giving, which falls this year on December 3rd. The campaign will run from December 3 - December 31, or when the $100,000.00 is exhasuted - whichever comes first.

This is a way for you to support Americans for the Arts and advancing the arts in America without spending any more money yourself this holiday season! All you have to do is view Americans for the Arts video on The Giving Library (linked here) and then share our video with your friends on facebook and twitter. The Giving Library will donate $5.00 to Americans for the Arts for every share!! It's that simple.

How to Share:

1. Click any of the links above to be taken to Americans for the Arts' video on The Giving Library

2. Click the "share now" button

3. Create an account if you don't already have one

4. Click "share on Twitter" or "share on Facebook"

4. Share either the default message or a message of your choice with your friends/followers

5. Americans for the Arts will receive $5.00 per share!

Please mark your calendar and take a minute for the arts on #GivingTuesday, December 3, 2013. All you have to do is log on to the Giving Library and share our video. Thanks for your support!

Arts Destination Marketing Award Recipients Announced

Americans for the Arts - Mon, 11/25/2013 - 13:36

During the opening keynote of this year’s National Arts Marketing Project Conference, Americans for the Arts and Destination Marketing Association International announced the recipients of the 2013 Arts Destination Marketing Award. This year’s winners are Bloomington, IN and Memphis, TN.

The award honors two local arts agencies and convention and visitors bureaus that have collaborated successfully to improve tourism in their community. It is intended to reinforce the importance of a strong relationship between a community's destination marketing organization and its cultural-heritage and arts agencies.

Congratulations Bloomington and Memphis! Keep up the great work!


Google Hangout: Arts and Health in the Military

Americans for the Arts - Mon, 11/18/2013 - 13:49

Have you been following the National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military, and want to learn more about how the arts can help heal our veterans and active duty military members? Maybe you've read our White Paper: Arts, Health, and Well Being Across the Military Continuum - a product of this initiative - but have questions.

Americans for the Arts is hosting a Google Hangout on Arts, Health, and the Military tomorrow, Tuesday, November 19th, at 4:00 p.m. EST. The following expert panelists will join our CEO and President, Robert Lynch, in discussing how these sectors can collaborate - and have been collaborating- to better our country as a whole. 

  • Ron Capps (Army), Veterans Writing Program
  • Roman Baca (Marines), Exit 12 Dance Company
  • Gayla Elliot, Art Therapist, Camp Lejeune North Carolina, an active-duty, Marine Corps training facility
  • Rachel Brink, Chief of VA—PRRC (Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center), Tampa; partners with the locally-based African American Theatre company, Carpetbag Theatre, on the production of “Speed Killed My Cousin,” the story about an African-American female soldier’s struggle with PTSD and “Moral Injury.”

If you have your own questions for these speakers, please tweet them @Americans4Arts using the hashtag #artsandmilitary, and we will ask them live!

Steps to join/view/participate in tomorrow's Google Hangout:

  • View the Arts & Health in the Military Hangout live by going to our YouTube channel at 4pm on Tuesday, November 19th:
  • If you want to chat on the Google hangout (participate live, as opposed to just watching on YouTube) go to the Hangout page and login to your gmail account (which you need to participate)
  • To join the event, click the “yes I’m going” button after following the link to the hangout: (also linked numerous places above)

We look forward to discussing these important advancements in arts and healing with our military members tomorrow!

CEO Robert Lynch in Chile; Op-Ed in Pulso

Americans for the Arts - Tue, 10/15/2013 - 10:46

Our CEO and President, Robert Lynch, is in Chile this week to speak about arts and the economy to the Chilean-American Chamber of Commerce, the Minister of Culture, and other various entrepreneurs at a luncheon on Wednesday. Prior to his visit, he penned this opinion editorial for the Chilean business publication Pulso, which was published this morning. Posted here in English, but link to article in Spanish below: 

Businesses are constantly seeking new ways to build their competitive advantage and expand their reach. Those in-the-know are increasingly turning to the arts to help them achieve these goals. Buy why? What do they know that other businesses do not? Here are my top reasons for businesses to support the arts:

Recruit talent. A vibrant arts scene is essential to the health of any community seeking to draw employees who want to live and work in a creative and vibrant community. When businesses partner with the arts, they help make their communities more attractive to current and future employees.

Put businesses in the spotlight. The arts help businesses build market share, enhance their brand, and reach new customers. In fact, 79 percent of American businesses believe that the arts increase name recognition, and 74 percent believe they offer opportunities to develop new business.

Advance corporate objectives and strategies. The arts help businesses get their message across in engaging ways. The arts can educate the public and company employees about core business issues such as informing them about products or teaching them to make better choices.

Promote creativity. Reports by the Conference Board show that 72 percent of business leaders say creativity is the number one ability they seek in a job candidate. And additional Conference Board research shows that business leaders believe that the arts help foster critical thinking, problem solving and team building.

Engage employees. The arts challenge employees to be their best. Studies show that millennials who frequently participate in workplace volunteer activities are more likely to be proud, loyal and satisfied employees.

Embrace diversity and team building. In the 21st century, a diverse network of lifestyles, beliefs, values, practices and ethnicities are already thriving in our communities. The arts are the best tool we have in our arsenal for connecting, bridging and creating understanding between, and even within, all these communities.

Say thanks. The arts allow businesses to show appreciation for their employees. Providing access to arts experiences is the perfect way to inspire employees and say “thanks.”

The arts are an economic engine. Investment in the arts supports jobs, generates tax revenues, promotes tourism, and advances a creativity-based economy.  In the United States, nonprofit arts organizations generate $135 billion in economic activity annually, supporting 4.1 million jobs and generating $22.3 billion in government revenue.

For more information, please visit

Read Robert Lynch's OpEd in Pulso.

Recap: 2013 National Arts Policy Roundtable and Executive Leadership Forum

Americans for the Arts - Thu, 10/03/2013 - 09:35

“The country is so wounded, bleeding, and hurt right now. The country needs to be healed – it's not going to be healed from the top, politically. How are we going to heal? Art is the healing force.” - Robert Redford,  2012 National Arts Policy Roundtable

From September 18-21, over 50 select top level decision makers and thought leaders from the fields of business, government, the social sector, education, and the arts gathered together at two events held at the Sundance Institute: Americans for the Arts’ 2013 National Arts Policy Roundtable (NAPR) and our Executive Leadership Forum (ELF).  

The National Arts Policy Roundtable (NAPR) was launched in October 2006 by Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Robert Redford, founder of the Sundance Institute to reflect and discuss issues that affect the arts, and thus, society at-large. This year’s topic, Arts and Healing:  Body, Mind and Community,  explored the role that the arts play in building healthier people and stronger communities. There is a growing awareness among the medical, public health, government, civic, and military communities about the arts' capacity to heal mental and physical traumas. Research has shown that incorporating the arts has numerous benefits not only for the patients, but also for their families, their caregivers, the hospitals, the communities, and our economy. Check out the complete

In addition to rigorous discussion, The 2013 National Arts Policy Roundtable included presentations of best practices, listening to those engaged in the work, participating in arts and healing demonstrations, and brainstorming how to best further the role of the arts as a tool for rejuvenating our nation and our world.  In addition to a powerful group of leaders including Acting Surgeon General of the United States, Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak; General George W. Casey, Jr., 36th Chief of Staff, US Army, Retired; Commander Moira McGuire; Program Manager, Warrior Clinic and Director, Creative Arts Program, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center; Dr. Tommy Sowers; Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs; US Department of Veterans Affairs; artists Ben Folds, Vijay Gupta and Darden Smith,  we annually award a National Arts Policy Roundtable Fellowship to recent high school graduates who are  alumni from the Youngarts program of the National YoungArts Foundation. These stellar young people add an important voice to the conversation and are committed to carrying the issue for years to come.  This year's National Arts Policy Roundtable fellows were:

  • ·Liisi LaFontaine; 2013 YoungArts Winner in Voice, graduate of Los Angeles High School of the Arts, CA
  • ·Peter Eom; 2013 YoungArts Winner in Music and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, graduate of Highland High School, Gilbert, AZ

The Executive Leadership Forum (ELF), held simultaneously with Americans for the Arts’ National Arts Policy Roundtable, gathered eighteen executive directors of Local Arts Agencies from Alaska to Florida to strengthen their leadership skills and contribute to a dialogue on policy and trends facing the field. They covered a wide range of topics, including diversity, cultural districts, the art of healing, and navigating change through discussions, presentations, and screenings. Read Ken Busby's post on ARTSBlog about his favorite session of the 2013 ELF: “Thinking Past Urgent:  Organizational Assessment, Decision Making, and Change.”

Robert L. Lynch Named to Independent Sector Board of Directors

Americans for the Arts - Wed, 10/02/2013 - 13:05
Americans for the Arts is proud to announce that President and CEO Robert L. Lynch has been elected to Independent Sector’s Board of Directors.

For many years, Americans for the Arts and Independent Sector have had a strong partnership, and Bob’s election to the board serves to deepen the work the two organizations will do in the future. Indeed, Bob’s election to the Independent Sector board represents an important recognition of the critical and significant part that the arts sector can and does play in offering solutions to the core social and economic issues with which we are grappling as a nation.  

We are excited about and very much look forward to continuing our work with Independent Sector team as well as the other nonprofit leaders, philanthropists, and visionary thinkers that comprise its board to advance cultural policy and support the work of the nation’s non-profit organizations.

White Paper on National Arts and Health in the Military Released

Americans for the Arts - Tue, 10/01/2013 - 16:45

In partnership with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), Americans for the Arts launched The National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military in January 2012. This Initiative advances the arts in health, healing, and healthcare for military service members, veterans, their families, and their caregivers. The arts have proven to be a successful way of managing pain and stress, promotion self expression, and reconnecting military personnel and veterans to the community – which leads to healthier patients, lower healthcare costs, and a long list of individual, social, and economic benefits.  

Since its founding in 2012, the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military has held two national convenings: the Arts and Health in the Military National Roundtable (November 2012) and the National Summit: Arts, Health, and Wellness Across the Military Continuum (April 2013). From these meetings came a series of recommendations in the areas of research, practice, and policy, detailed in the seminal report we are proud to release today: Arts, Health, and Well-Being Across the Military Continuum - White Paper and Framing a National Plan for Action. Check out our webpage for a summary on the key themes of this study and goals of this initiative, and keep an eye out for a post on ARTSBlog tomorrow by our Director of Arts Policy, Marete Wester.

Celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month this October!

Americans for the Arts - Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:55
October is National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) in America. NAHM is a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture and the arts in America. It is designed to encourage all Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of active participation in the arts and humanities. On September 30, 2013, President Obama made an official Presidential Proclamation for National Arts & Humanities month and you can read it here.

From hosting a Creative Conversation or arts center open house to securing a mayoral (or Presidential) proclamation or better newspaper coverage of the arts, people in every community across the United States can celebrate NAHM by helping to recognize the contributions of cultural organizations in their region.

This national celebration of the arts could not come at a more prescient time. The current government shutdown has the potential to drastically impact the arts sector in myriad of ways, and the ripple effects resulting from just a few days of closure could be significant.

For more information visit the NAHM webpage, featuring events you can attend in your community as well as a toolkit to create your own. Also, become a fan of our NAHM Facebook page and follow @Americans4Arts on Twitter (hashtag #NAHM) for timely updates and stories on how local organizations are celebrating this month. 

Tim McClimon and Bob Lynch Honored in NPT Power & Influence Top 50

Americans for the Arts - Tue, 10/01/2013 - 09:53

President of the American Express Foundation and Americans for the Arts' board member Tim McClimon (pictured) accepts his Nonprofit Times Power & Influence Top 50 award. Bob Lynch, Americans for the Arts' President and CEO, also received the honor. Presented at the 16th annual Nonprofit Times Power & Influence Top 50 Gala this September, the award celebrates executives who are moving and shaping the nonprofit world and paving a sustainable future for the sector.

Liesel Fenner on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show 9/26

Americans for the Arts - Fri, 09/27/2013 - 12:25

Liesel Fenner, Americans for the Arts’ public art program manager, was a guest on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show on September 26.

The show discussed public art’s role in placemaking and community building. She appeared alongside Angela Anderson Adams, public art administrator for Arlington Economic Development, and Roger Lewis, architect, “Shaping the City” columnist at Washington Post, and Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Maryland College Park.

To learn more about Americans for the Arts public art work, click here.

Americans for the Arts in 2-3 Minutes! NEW VIDEO

Americans for the Arts - Mon, 09/23/2013 - 11:30

Americans for the Arts is honored to be selected as a recipient of Houston-based Laura and John Arnold Foundation's grant supporting a project called The Giving Library, an online resource created by the Arnold Foundation to help philanthropists make informed decisions about their contributions to nonprofit organizations.

The Giving Library ultimately features a 2-3 min overview video about each nonprofit, and 7-10 min of video responses to 10 questions about the organization's goals and impact. While Americans for the Arts' overivew video has already been created with Vice President of Research and Policy, Randy Cohen, as our spokesperson - the longer Q&A video won't be available on The Giving Library until December. In the meantime, please check out the overview video as a concise and engaging reminder of the work we do here at Americans for the Arts!

2012-13 United Arts Funds Research & Revenue Trends

Americans for the Arts - Wed, 09/18/2013 - 10:49

United Arts Funds (UAFs) are private organizations that raise money in a combined effort, much like United Way, to broaden support for the arts. There are 59 UAFs nationwide, a decrease from 2003 when there were 66. Americans for the Arts' 2012-13 UAF Statistical Research and Revenue Trends provides the most currently available campaign totals for the nation's United Arts Funds. The 50 UAFs that participated reported aggregate FY2012 campaign totals of 97.5 million. Individual and corporate donations accounted for the majority of UAF campaign revenue. Americans for the Arts updates these figures continually - check here for more information and other Arts and Businesses resources that might be useful to you.

2013 National Arts Index Findings Revealed

Americans for the Arts - Mon, 09/16/2013 - 09:57

The significance of arts and culture to American life makes the vitality of the arts a matter of pressing interest. After all, the nation's nonprofit arts and culture organizations generates billions in economic activity every year. Further, the arts contribute not only to aesthetics and creativity, but also to prosperity, innovation, and social capital. Because it is important to understand the breadth, depth, and character of this industry, Americans for the Arts created the National Arts Index. And today, Americans for the Arts issued the Index’s latest findings.

The 2013 Index reveals that the arts industry effectively leveled off in 2011 maintaining the gains it sustained in 2010 as it recovered from the effects of the Great Recession. The Index also shows that Americans by and large increased their engagement and participation in the arts in 2011; however, dwindling public funds for the arts threaten the industry’s full economic recovery. In fact, decreases in public funds contributed to an increase in the percentage of nonprofit arts organizations closing the year with an operating deficit in 2011.

For more details and analysis, you can read a copy of the press release.

2013 Americans for the Arts Network Council Elections

Americans for the Arts - Thu, 09/12/2013 - 07:33
It’s election season here at Americans for the Arts! Nominate yourself or a colleague to become a member of one of our four Network Councils: Arts Education, Emerging Leaders, Private Sector, and Public Art Network.

Please remember that nominees must be members of Americans for the Arts and Advisory Council members serve a three-year term, from January 1, 2014–December 31, 2016. Nominations open Friday, September 20, 2013 and close Wednesday, October 9, 2013. Click here for the nomination form.

Voting opens Monday, November 4, 2013, so look for the election ballot e-mail in your inbox! Remember, only members of Americans for the Arts can vote! Questions? E-mail

Americans for the Arts Joins National Coalition Revising the National Standards for Arts Education

Americans for the Arts - Mon, 09/09/2013 - 08:44
Americans for the Arts has joined the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) leadership team revising the national voluntary learning standards for dance, music, theatre, visual arts and media arts for grades preK-12. The new standards will be released in March, 2014.

When the standards were initially drafted in 1994, Americans for the Arts led the initial advocacy effort in all 50 states to adopt them . The organization will collaborate with NCCAS leadership in a similar capacity, this time activating  its State Arts Action Network—which consists of arts education leaders in all 50 states—to drive state-level advocacy efforts to endorse, adopt and adapt the 2014 National Core Arts Standards as the recognized model of quality arts education throughout the United States.

A review of the draft K-8 standards was completed in July; NCCAS will be issuing a call for public review of the draft high school standards on September 30. Interested individuals should visit the coalition’s website at or the NCCAS Facebook page at  to learn how they can participate in the review process, and for other information about the project.

Americans for the Arts Announces 2013 National Arts Awards Recipients

Americans for the Arts - Mon, 09/09/2013 - 08:35

Every year, Americans for the Arts recognizes artists and arts leaders who exhibit exemplary national leadership and whose work demonstrates extraordinary artistic achievement with the National Arts Awards. This year’s recipients are:   

  • Dakota Fanning – Bell Family Foundation Young Artist Award
  • B.B. King – Isabella and Theodor Dalenson Lifetime Achievement Award
  • John and Mary Pappajohn – Eli & Edythe Broad Award for Philanthropy in the Arts
  • Joel Shapiro – Outstanding Contributions to the Arts Award
  • Alberto Carvalho – Arts Education Award

Grammy Award-winning blues musician and National Medal of Arts honoree Buddy Guy, Glenn Lowry, director of the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, philanthropist Eli Broad, and Jeff Fleming, director of the Des Moines Art Center will be among the award presenters.

Americans for the Arts’ Artists Committee member, former National Arts Awards honoree for Artistic Achievement, and international art world figure Jeff Koons, designed the award itself—a balloon bunny—in 2009 specifically for the annual event.
Our press release announcing this year’s award recipients further details the awardees' artistic achievements. The awards will be presented on October 21 at a benefit in New York City.

NABE Scholarship: Applications Being Accepted 9/9-10/18

Americans for the Arts - Fri, 09/06/2013 - 14:31

The NABE Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) is awarding its sixth annual Americans for the Arts scholarship to encourage the integration of the arts into the economic education process. We believe that good economic strategy is inherently dependent on our ability to come up with out-of-the box solutions to the challenges that we now face. Our hope is that we enable those with the gift of creative problem solving to further the profession of economics through their unique understanding of the world.

The amount of the award is $5,000.

The award recipient must come from an economically disadvantaged household, have attended a public school, participated in extracurricular programs including (and/or in addition to) programs supported by the Americans for the Arts (i.e. demonstrate a long term participation in the study of, creation of and/or performance in one or more of the following art forms: dance, music, theatre, literary, visual/media arts), excelled academically, and formally declared the intent to study and apply economics in their pursuit of higher education and a professional career. This includes the direct study of economics for policy purposes, to applications in the private and public sectors. The scholarship is open to both recent high school graduates and current college undergraduates who are majoring in economics and/or the arts. Students who have not graduated high school but matriculated into an undergraduate program, graduate students, and Ph.D. candidates are not eligible.


To be eligible, scholarship applications must be received by October 18, 2013.

Americans for the Arts Announces BCA 10 Honorees

Americans for the Arts - Thu, 09/05/2013 - 07:57
Today Americans for the Arts announced those companies selected by the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) as The BCA 10: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America for 2013. This honor recognizes ten U.S. companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships and board membership.

The 2013 BCA 10 honorees are:

•    Aspen Skiing Company, Aspen, CO
•    Atlantic Salt, Inc., Staten Island, NY
•    Bacardi USA Inc., Coral Gables, FL
•    M & T Bank, Buffalo, NY
•    Microsoft, Redmond, WA
•    PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA
•    Premier Bank, Dubuque, IA
•    Scholastic Inc., New York, NY
•    Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., Atlanta, GA
•    Yum! Brands Inc., Louisville, KY

In addition, Michael B. McCallister, chairman of the Board of Humana Inc. (Louisville, KY), will receive the 2013 BCA Leadership Award, and Northwestern Mutual (Milwaukee, WI) will be inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame.

Our press release announcing this year's honorees discusses the philanthropic work these companies have done on behalf of the arts. All honorees will receive their award on October 2, 2013, at a black-tie gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City.
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