National Arts Ed News & Alerts
Americans for the Arts will honor six arts leaders with the 2013 Annual Local Arts Leadership Awards this week at the Annual Convention in Pittsburgh, PA. Presented each year, these awards recognize the achievements of individuals, organizations or programs committed to enriching their communities through the arts. This year’s recipients are:
- Wendy Feuer, New York, NY -- Public Art Network Award
- Abe Flores, Los Angeles, CA--American Express Emerging Leaders Award
- Jon Hinojosa, San Antonio, TX--Arts Education Award
- Kate D. Levin, New York, NY--Selina Roberts Ottum Award for Arts Leadership
- Barbara Sexton Smith, Louisville, KY--Michael Newton Award
- Tommy Usrey, West Monroe, LA--Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award
"These Local Arts Leadership Awards honor the very best partners, colleagues, and friends to the arts in America," said Robert Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "The awardees are all trailblazers who are each implementing innovative and transformative programs to strengthen the communities they serve and thus building recognition for the important work of the arts.”
The Selina Roberts Ottum Award for Arts Leadership and the Public Arts Network Award will be presented on June 14 during the opening keynote of the Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention in Pittsburgh, PA at 12:00 p.m. The American Express Emerging Leaders Award, Arts Education Award, Michael Newton Award, and Alene Valkanas State Arts Agency Award will be presented on June 15 during the Convention Town Hall Luncheon also at 12:00 p.m. Both presentations will be livestreamed with details at http://convention.artsusa.org.
Americans for the Arts Honors Wendy Feuer, Abe Flores, Jon Hinojosa, Kate D. Levin, Barbara Sexton Smith, and Tommy Usrey with 2013 Annual Local Arts Leadership Awards
Americans for the Arts and Sundance Institute Release 2013 Report from National Arts Policy Roundtable
For a full copy of the report, please visit the National Arts Policy Roundtable page.
The NAPR participants: artists, public officials, private and public sector leaders, from a variety of geographic regions, discussed the topic Leveraging the Remake: The Role of the Arts in a Shifting Economy and proposed that the arts can serve as both a model and catalyst for change on the pressing societal challenges that face our nation. The group generated specific, actionable policy recommendations to be shared with leaders in public and private organizations. Those recommendations included the need for organizations to recognize our nation’s demographic changes and build partnerships across the breadth of a diverse America, including ethnic, gender, age, and economic groups. There was also a call for artists to be given the tools and training to be true leaders in their communities and for them to become part of the brain trust that helps the country move forward in this new economy. The roundtable analyzed “bright spot” programs across the country as a model for best practices.
NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa and Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet Announce the 2013 Launchof Blue Star Museums
Americans for the Arts is saddened by recent news that Beverley Taylor Sorenson, advocate for arts and education, passed away peacefully at age 89, surrounded by loved ones at her family home. Sorenson devoted much of her time and energy to restoring arts education to elementary schools throughout the state of Utah, especially through the work of the Sorenson Legacy Foundation, which she founded with her late husband, James LeVoy Sorenson. Through a series of grants and endowments, Sorenson also supported arts education programs at the top universities in Utah, including a $12 million donation in 2008 to the University of Utah for the construction of the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts and Education Complex. This remains the largest individual donation the university has received in support of both its fine arts and arts education programs.
Sorenson’s decision to focus her philanthropic energy on arts education dates back to 1995 when she paid a visit to Lincoln Elementary School in Salt Lake City. Lincoln Elementary was considered the most troubled school in the area, but Sorenson saw firsthand how the school’s strong visual arts program was building bridges across the cultural, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds of the students. Sorenson decided to dedicate her time and resources to developing Art Works for Kids, a teaching model that integrates art into the core curriculum by placing arts specialists in the school to work side-by-side with classroom teachers to create lesson plans. For her tireless philanthropy and advocacy, Americans for the Arts presented her with the Eli and Edythe Broad Award for Philanthropy in the Arts, presented at the 2011 National Arts Awards. Her presence, passion, and dedication will be deeply and sadly missed.
Dear friends and colleagues,
As we continue to hear more news about the devastating tornado that passed through the town of Moore on the outskirts of Oklahoma City yesterday, we at Americans for the Arts send our thoughts and prayers to the artists, administrators, and all those affected. When natural disasters strike, there is no way to fully comprehend or process the pain they inflict. They are arbitrary, and yesterday’s horrific storm makes us feel powerless. As we try to contact friends and colleagues in the area, and know that many of you are doing the same, we realize that while we can’t stop these tragedies from happening, we can join together to help others pick up the pieces. Moore and Oklahoma City are resilient, creative communities, and we are here to support them as best we can. Americans for the Arts staff have been in touch with many of our partners and colleagues in the area, including the immediate-past Chair of our Board of Directors, Ken Fergeson of Altus, OK, and continue to monitor the situation. We hope to be able to share more information soon, and in the meantime, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us directly.
Oklahoma, you are in our thoughts today. I have included below some emergency resources to help you start on the long road to recovery, and know that we are always here to answer questions, to help, and to send you our hopes for a brighter tomorrow.
Emergency Response Resources:
The Essential Guidelines for Arts Responders is an immediate resource to help you determine your organization's response and work in the weeks ahead. It is an abridged version of a longer, more detailed handbook (now in development) that's designed to help local and state arts agencies, organizations, foundations, and other arts groups plan and administer a coordinated disaster mobilization system within their service area. We hope that it helps you, and we welcome your comments and additions.
You may also visit our website for more information; here is a link to our page that has resource links for emergency preparedness and disaster relief:
Please let Theresa Cameron, Local Arts Agency Services, know how you are doing and if you have other information you would like to share. In these days after the tornado, our thoughts are with you, your families, friends, and colleagues.
Bob Lynch, President and CEO
Americans for the Arts