Innovating Through Artistry

Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Global Entrepreneurship Week Nov 16-22, 2009

In Author: Lisa Canning, Creativity and Innovation, Current Events, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, WEBSITES & BLOGS on November 10, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Global Entrepreneurship, sponsored byThe Kauffman Foundation— the world’s largest foundation devoted to entrepreneurship– is happening Nov 16-22 this year.

For one week, millions from around the world will join a growing movement of entrepreneurial individuals, to generate new ideas and to seek better ways of doing things. Countries across six continents are coming together to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, an initiative to inspire young people to embrace innovation, imagination and creativity. To think big. To turn their ideas into reality. To make their mark.

Are You Ready to Make YOUR Mark?????

There are no geographic or socioeconomic boundaries to Global Entrepreneurship Week. Anyone can participate:

How Can You Get Involved?


Get involved today at the Global Entrepreneurship Week web site,

CAEF: A**ess This!

In Author: Melissa Snoza, Authors, Creativity and Innovation, Current Events, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Music, Theater/Film, Writing on October 24, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Yesterday, I attended the second in a series of events presented by the Chicago Arts Educators Forum, an initiative started by Merissa Shunk and Nicole Losurdo and sponsored by CAPE. This community of teachers, teaching artists, and organizations explores common challenges and opportunities in arts education in the Chicago area.

This day of discussions and workshops centered around assessment, everyone’s favorite part of the process when designing an educational program or residency. Confronting the negativity that surrounds this process head-on, the organizers created a parking garage for frustrations (participants wrote their biggest challenges on sheets of paper taped to toy cars and “parked” them for the day) and an anonymous confessional that also served as the event’s video documentation.

Why so negative? Many artists and organizations view assessment as something they must do for their funders and for the public. So many of us have found ourselves daunted by the task of evaluating the same programs several different ways using the specific criteria presented by those who have provided support. It begins to feel like the process of assessment is about teaching to the test – making sure that the outcome fit the objectives set forth by the organization and its funders.

But what other purposes can this process serve? A question that became a lightbulb moment for many participants was: “Who is this assessment for?” Of course, we’re responsible to those who provide support, but the assessment and evaluation process is also meaningful tools for students, teachers, teaching artists, and organizations if done in a way that captures the depth of the work. In this way, we begin to connect our larger objectives and the activities that accomplish them to our assessment tools, rather than putting the cart before the horse by using a standardized method.

Another theme that resurfaced multiple times was the question of how to quantify social and emotional progress, or literacy and cognitive skills that become evident in work samples more clearly than in a multiple-choice test. In the case studies we examined, many organizations found themselves asking students to take pre- and post-residency surveys, asking questions like “Do you feel a personal connection to these characters” on a scale from 1-5. Often, the difference in responses wasn’t meaningful.

A great start to the answer of this question was presented in Dennie Palmer Wolf’s keynote presentation. She displayed pre- and post-residency work samples from the same student, showing the difference in the vocabulary and depth after working with the teaching artist. One could feasibly assign a number scale to these factors to chart progress, in addition to having the samples available for review. Or, she showed diaries of a day in the life of two students, one of which was participating in an arts program, with yellow highlights on the parts of the day where the student felt personally and deeply engaged. Having five of those moments instead of one is a measurable and meaningful effect of the influence this program has.

The day really helped me and the rest of our staff think much differently about how we assess, evaluate, measure, and document our work, and how connected those tools must be to our own objectives rather than a pre-designed template. The funny part is, making these tools authentic in this way will result in data that can then be pulled to highlight the factors a funder will want to see, while telling a richer story that will be meaningful to our organization, the students, teachers, parents, and schools we serve.

Melissa is the flutist and Executive Director of the Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble. Like what you read here? For more music entrepreneurship tidbits, visit, brought to you by members of 5HE.

Stanley Drucker at Flourish Studios, Chicago- Open to the Public

In Author: Lisa Canning, Current Events, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS on October 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Lisa's Clarinet Shop alternate logoIf you want to meet an artistic legend– come spend an afternoon hanging around with a bunch of clarinet lovers at Flourish Studio’s 3020 N Lincoln Avenue in Chicago on Sunday October 11th from 2-6. French wine will be paired with French Buffet clarinets for an afternoon of wine tasting, impromptu performances by Stanley and attendees, short and free chair massages all put together in honor of the legendary New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinetist, Stanley Drucker.

stanley-drucker-2009-5-28-18-21-9-1Stanley just ended a 60 year career with the New York Philharmonic. Having played over 10,000 concerts with the New York Philharmonic alone, Stanley just made the Guinness Book of World Records. Artistic orchestra careers like these are not the wave of artistic success in the future. Stanley is the last of an era and worth dropping in to meet.

Culture, Crisis and Recovery

In Author: John Cimino, Creativity and Innovation, Current Events, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Health & Wellness on October 1, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Anyone who has worked with the arts in non-traditional settings, that is, outside the more familiar spaces of our studios, galleries, theaters and concert halls, knows that there is a bit of healing magic tucked into the essence of our art forms that routinely takes people by surprise.  What’s more, no matter how many times we witness it or enter into the experience ourselves, that moment of newness, refreshment, transformation — call it what you like — is there to surprise us.   It takes many forms, to be sure.  But everyone one of them gives us a kind of lift, a deepening, an opening, a sense of something more that feels good, pretty remarkable, in fact. 

I’m heading to a conference this afternoon in New Orleans, the 10th Annual Conference of Imagining America (Artists and Scholars in Public Life) and this year it’s entitled “Culture, Crisis and Recovery”.  Representatives of a hundred universities will be on hand to join in a conversation about the sort of partnerships between unversities and organizations in their surrounding communities that can uplift both parties, even in a climate of crisis.  My own presentation will be reporting on a project we undertook in partnership with George Washington University’s Center for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management on behalf of the American Red Cross in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  What do you do for the heroes and caregivers — the first responders, as they are called — when they themselves have become the victims of overwhelming disaster?  Our team from Creative Leaps International was able to provide an experience (a resilience retreat) steeped in the healing powers of the arts that made a remarkable difference for them.  From the depths of dispair and dysfunction, they emerged triumphant and renewed.  If you’d like to read about it, check out this link:

But here’s my question for you, my colleagues in the arts, “How tuned in are you to the transformative powers of your art?   Have you explored the deeper potencies of your art form, its powers to catalyze new thinking, learning, healing and personal growth in others?   Are you actively engaged in putting that power to work in hospitals, schools, community centers, rehab centers, senior centers, centers for wellness, resilience and leadership?”  To learn more about how this is done, visit the ETA web site   (   or that of Creative Leaps International ( or The Learning Arts ( .   It’s time to bring your gifts more fully into the world.

I’d love to hear your stories, how you do it, what you do and what you aspire to do.  Together, we can empower one another in this important work.    The world really does need your gifts.  I cheer you in your every enedavor!


John Cimino, Creative Leaps International

Don’t Walk, Run

In Author: Gwydhar Bratton, Current Events on September 29, 2009 at 1:52 am
 The Elgin Film Festival Trophy- Made by the same company that makes the Academy Awards.

The Elgin Film Festival Trophy- Made by the same company that makes the Academy Awards.

This past Saturday was the first annual Elgin Film Festival, and if you were unable to attend this year I recommend that you mark your calendars RIGHT NOW for next year because this is the film festival to attend.

When I decided, at the age of 12, that I wanted to be a filmmaker I was especially taken with the photographs in magazines of the gala film premiers with lots of glamourous celebrities and bright lights. Even when I learned the reality- that independent filmmaking is a lot of tedious paperwork and a collossal effort balanced on a dental floss budget- there was still some nugget of hope that if I stuck with it I would someday have the opportunity to stand in the bright lights and to make all of it worthwhile. This past Saturday I had that opportunity.

The first annual Elgin Film Festival, hosted by film critic Dean Richards of WGN was a little bit of Hollywood glitz right here in the midwest. The judges and the filmmakers of the five short films that had been chosen as finalists all arrived on a red carpet (my very first time doing so!) and were ushered into the Hemmens Cultural Center with great fanfare. The Hemmens Auditorium is a vast theatre space designed for large crowds and quickly filled up with over 800 guests, which alone was a thrill. To put this in persepective, the second largest audience we’ve ever screened any film for was a total of 75 people. The five short films that screened were:

“The Visionary”
“Crossing The Line”
“The Erogenous Zone”
“House of Cards”
“The Booby Trap”

All of these were excellent- at one point during the screening my Associate Producer leaned over to me and whispered “We have some real competition here!” and we did. “The Visionary” placed third out of the five after “Crossing the Line” (second) and “House of Cards” (first), but I found that I didn’t mind so much that we hadn’t taken first. It was an honor to be among such quality films to begin with and I felt that we held our ground and could stand tall with what we had done.

But the point I would like to make over all is that while every festival that we screen a film at is important to us THIS festival will stand out for months, maybe years to come as being something special. The feeling of having the film screened before an audience of hundreds reminded me why I wanted to do this in the first place and, even if it was just for one evening in Elgin, Illinois, we all genuinely felt like celebrities- like our work was worth celebrating and was being celebrated.

So next year when the time comes, don’t walk, Run! to the Elgin Film Festival and let it remind you too of the reason that you do what you do.

Is this a joke?

In Author: Lisa Canning, Current Events, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Interesting Articles, Outside Your Comfort Zone on September 22, 2009 at 10:16 am

I have read and re-read these two blog posts- one by ultra conservative art critic, Roger Kimball, and the other written by film maker, Patrick Courrielche, about The NEA working closely with the White House. I simply don’t understand what the hoopla is all about? What? Our government IS NOT ALLOWED to try and become more innovative and actual effectuate change in the country as a result?

NO. We can’t have that!

What’s so wrong with having an agenda? What’s wrong with the arts being vehicles for additional reflection on an issue, revealing deeper meaning to key messaging and shedding a bright light on agendas? That’s not ‘Partisan’ or ‘Socialism.’ That’s passion.

WHO IN LIFE DOES NOT HAVE AN AGENDA? Agenda’s are a part of life- they run our meetings efficiently and they allow us to know where someone stands. Can’t we learn to WORK TOGETHER with all our agenda’s? Can’t we learn how to compromise and appreciate different points of view? Does it all have to be about conquering and overpowering? What about sharing ideas and leveraging combined strengths ethically to create a truly awe inspiring win-win?

Where is the open mindedness this country needs to utilize the power of the arts in new ways going to come from? It is going to take a village…… Who is going to build that bridge to the White House? Could it be you and me?

Sit down and let these two reads strengthen your resolve and faith in just how innovative the arts really CAN BE- RIGHT NOW. President Obama gets it. There IS Hope and it DOES float.

Remember the rules that apply to true revolutionary change: Step #1 dismiss it, ignore it, turn your back on it, Step #2 rebel violently against it (I think these articles reflect this point of view- and how) Step #3 Fully embrace the change and accept it as if it were the standard and expected all along.

As I see it– this is really good news. The call to the battle field has rung. We are in the beginning of Step #2.

So, will you join me on this battle field and support Innovating Through Artistry?

For God’s Sake– please won’t you join me and help me?

I have a box of home made machetes if you prefer to imagine our joint combined efforts more akin to beating back the bushes together discovering what happens when we use our imaginations to help others deepen their own– its amazing but they usually become more of who they are and hopefully more tolerant and open minded. Pigs really can fly. Minds and hearts can open and change. Peace can be reached. Interdisciplinary collaboration is our future. Our economic life-line is arriving- its finally almost here…. but not without you. I need you to join me- actively.

What can you do to start a dialogue with your village- your army of friends, fans and family, about ETA’s point of view? What’s your ETA to Entrepreneur The Arts? Are you ready to serve and discover how you too can make a difference? And YES, THIS IS MY AGENDA! Someone, please tell me what is wrong with it? I am trying to create a win-win-win-win-win….. and another win. There ARE ways to do this. Business as Art, Government as Art and The University as Art do mix- this combination offers loads of feature and benefits for artists to deliver, just like the taste of oil mixed with vinegar does. But all this starts with you sharing a vision– one that will help the world find a new way to perceive and utilize the strengths of your gifts.

Explosive New Audio Reveals White House Using NEA to Push Partisian Agenda written by Patrick Courrielche. Patrick Courrielche is a filmmaker, marketer, and art community consultant based in Los Angeles.

And also from the ULTRA conservative U.S. art critic and social commentator, Roger Kimball. National Endowment for the Arts Renamed National Endowment for Propaganda. Stay Tuned. “This is Only the Beginning.

Creating Critical Mass – Making the Cultural Connection

In Author: Lisa Canning, Current Events, Networking, WEBSITES & BLOGS on September 19, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Received this email from the Executive Director of The Fresno Coalition for Arts, Science and History and thought all of you would be interested in their “Creating Critical Mass” Project…

Any effective social movement throughout time can be traced to 3% of the population working together to make it happen – critical mass. In Fresno that’s 15,000 people. 15,000. Not that many people really. We can get 15,000 people united to the cultural arts.

If we had 15,000 people connected and engaged in a thriving cultural arts sector we would have a very different place to live.

Imagine what we could do.

At this year’s Cultural Arts Conference on 10/2, we, the cultural arts providers, community, business and public leaderships dedicated to a thriving cultural community, come together to create our 3% and mobilize behind our first Critical Mass project – the Fresno centralized event calendar.

Go to The cost is only $45 for the day, $65 if you want to go to the Funders’ Breakfast.

We’re also trying a grand experiment – the morning State of the Arts session is being done Pecha Kucha style! No one that we know of has ever done a part of a conference Pecha Kucha style. Kiel and Travis are moderating it and it will either be a fabulous success or a major flop.

Come. Be a part of making something amazing happen.

Cynthia Cooper
Executive Director
Fresno Coalition for Arts, Science & History
1401 Fulton Street, S-904
Fresno, CA 93728
559-286-8282 Cell
559-485-1100 Fax

10/2 Third Annual Cultural Arts Conference
Creating Critical Mass – Making the Cultural Connection
Fresno Coalition for Arts, Science & History
1401 Fulton Street Suite 904 Fresno, CA 93721 United States

United We… Watch Movies

In Author: Gwydhar Bratton, Current Events on September 18, 2009 at 3:57 am

September is the month for film festivals, it seems, this year and I could not be more thrilled. Last weekend was the Chicago REEL Shorts film festival which was a hoot and my only regret was not being able to stay longer to see what other work they selected. “The Visionary” screened in a block with eight or nine other films and I’m pleased to say that it’s quality stood up well next to the group and that every film in the group was well put together.

Saturday September 19th
Sadly, the screening that we had scheduled for Friday the 11th, along with the play “Ekphrasis” didn’t go quite as well. With not enough audience members to fill the theatre we called off the show rather than perform to empty seats and rescheduled for this coming Saturday instead. Good news if you wanted to be in on the two-for-one goodness of our double feature!
Saturday September 19th at 7:15 PM at the Via Duct Theatre is going to be the place to go! And, I found out to my amusement, both the film and the play will be followed by a burlesque show on the same evening. In a strange twist of fate one of my friends is even performing in this show and I have been dying for a chance to see her work so I’m going to be making an evening of it!

Sunday September 20th
The film festival fun continues on Sunday with the Chicago United Film Festival at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. I’m excited to say that “The Visionary” has been selected to screen with the feature film “Bleacher Boys” which, I believe, is about baseball. The thing that I always enjoy about film festivals is that it is such an easy way to see films that don’t play in commercial theatres. With a day pass, all you have to do is sit in a cushy seat with a box of popcorn as dozens of films play one after another. And you can see shorts. I love shorts films- they’re about the right length for my attention span- and you NEVER see short films in a normal movie theatre unless you’re watching a Pixar movie (Go Pixar!).

Friday September 25, 2009
Ok here’s a plug for a film festival that I’m not even screening my film at: Chicago Horror Film Festival on September 25-27th at the Portage Theatre on the north side. Svengoolie’s going to be there! I haven’t done anything in the Horror Genre yet (I put that in caps because Horror Is Where The Money Is At when it comes to independent film) but I met scream queen Brooke Lewis earlier this year while promoting our last film “Persephone” out in Las Vegas. She promised to get in touch when she was next in Chicago and she was as good as her word and dropped me an email to let me know that her film “iMurders” was going to be screening on Friday. I’m very excited to see it. Horror films are so exciting because, if they’re good, they force you to have a real-life emotional response. And after all, isn’t that what we really want out of a movie? To really feel something while we’re watching it?

Saturday September 26, 2009
Little Gwydhar’s Very First Red Carpet!
Just this past week I learned that “The Visionary” had been accepted to the Elgin Film Festival and was selected as one of their 5 finalists. I then found out that the 5 finalist filmmakers all get to make a grand red carpet entrance at the beginning of the festival which starts at 6:30 PM (This festival is only one evening- don’t miss it if you can help it!) To me this is thrilling, I mean, even if it’s a red welcome mat I’ll probably be happy. As an aspiring filmmaker who has mostly come to terms with the fact that independent film garners about as much fame and fortune as working the drive thru it is little moments like these that make it just so cool. I’m doubly excited by this particular festival because it features (ahem) cash prizes. If we win, I’ll be able to pay the good folks who helped make it possible, and really what could be more exciting than that?

Luckily for me, we run out of September before we run out of film festivals. I know lives are busy and times are tight right now, but if you have a chance to come out to any of these events and check them out please be sure to give me a wave and say “Hi” so I can express my gratitude for you coming out. When everything else has dried up we turn to the fountain of our dreams to refresh us.

A Visionary at The Sideshow

In Author: Gwydhar Bratton, Current Events, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS on September 4, 2009 at 12:16 am

Save this date:

Friday, September 11, 2009, 7:15 pm

You’ll be glad that you did and here’s why: Back when I was studying theatre in college we used to say “If you want to be famous then go to New York, but if you want to work, go to Chicago”. Chicago is home to dozens of boutique theatre companies that you may never have heard of, but if you haven’t heard of the Sideshow Theatre Company you’re truly missing out. Their motto says it best: “Familiar Stories. Unorthodox Methods. Perpetually Curious”, but their work really proves the point. Their current show “Ekphrasis: Cave Walls to Soup Cans” is a wonderfully creative and slightly condensed journey through the history of western art, on a mission to understand exactly where it comes from and what drives our desire to create.


This show is a hoot, and it’s not too late to still see it. Running through September 20th there are still a number of performances available but if you need a little something extra for incentive to make the trip all the way into the city then you’ll want to come out on Friday September 11th, at 7:15 when the Sideshow Theatre company and Blue Damen Pictures will be doing a special double feature of “Ekphrasis” (the play) and “The Visionary” (the film).

This sounds like a pretty good deal but it gets better: tickets for “Ekphrasis” are normally $15 each and can be purchased in advance at On September 11th, not only will you get two shows for the price of one you can ALSO get a discount if you are part of the theatre or film industry by bringing two copies of your resume to the screening itself.

So remember:

“Ekphrasis: Cave Walls to Soup Cans” and “The Visionary”

Friday, September 11, 2009 7:15 PM

Viaduct Theatre 3111 N Western Avenue, Chicago, IL

Admission: $15

A REEL Short Post

In Author: Gwydhar Bratton, Current Events on August 29, 2009 at 5:09 am

Greetings Friends and Neighbors,

Sometimes it’s fun to have a blog to just be able to share some good news and today I’m pleased to announce that Blue Damen Pictures is honored to be presenting our newest film “The Visionary” at the Chicago REEL Short Film Festival.

September 10-13, 2009 at College Row Cinema, Chicago, IL

We submitted our previous short film “Persephone” to Chicago REEL Short Film Festival two years ago  but we weren’t selected at the time so it is very exciting to be a part of this year’s festivities.

If you haven’t heard of Chicago REEL Short Film Festival before now, this is your chance to get in on the action. About one hundred short films will be screened in three days. Now THAT is entertainment that should satisfly even the shortest attention span and it’s only $20 for a weekend pass ($7 for an event ticket) which, these days, isn’t much more than a normal commercial movie ticket except you’re getting a whole weekend’s entertainment out of it!

For more information on the festival you can visit

For more information on the film “The Visionary” you can visit

Creative Entrepreneurship Conference, July 15-18, Chicago

In Author: Lisa Canning, Current Events on June 22, 2009 at 4:50 am

Conference: Creative Entrepreneurship and Education in Cultural Life

Where: Chicago, IL
University Center
525 South State Street
Chicago, IL

When: July 15-18, 2009

Organizers: Arts, Entertainment and Media Management Department of Columbia College Chicago European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centers (ENCATC)

Conference Description:
This is a collaborative event of the European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centers (ENCATC) and the Arts, Entertainment and Media Management Department of Columbia College Chicago. The event is held in the framework of ENCATC Working Group “Creative Entrepreneurship and Education in Cultural Life.”
The group explores policies and programs that support creativity and innovation in the cultural sector.

The goals of the conference is to serve as a meeting space for international and American colleagues, both academics and practitioners, seeking to:
• Understand the latest developments in creative entrepreneurship while engaging in productive
dialogue and learning from each other’s experience.

• Discuss the practical approaches to teaching creative entrepreneurship and developing efficient
creative entrepreneurship curricula.

• Explore what has been done and how in the area of creative entrepreneurship in the US.

The program will cover various aspects of creative entrepreneurship practice, research and education.
More specifically, we seek to gain new insights in the questions:
What constitutes creative entrepreneurship and what it means to be a creative entrepreneur?
What factors affect our understanding and how the definition varies in different socio-cultural contexts? Can profitability and aesthetic and social needs of the cultural sector be served at the same time? What constitutes effective teaching? What should we teach: value creation or business approaches, or both?

These and other questions will be discussed through a multicultural and international perspective.

Examples of innovative programs and approaches to teaching, research findings and cases that illustrate how art related businesses can address concerns of the cultural sector, economy and society will be presented.

For more information contact:
Anna Bernadska
Arts, Entertainment and Media
Management Department
Columbia College Chicago
600 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605
Tel: 312 369 7652
Fax: 312 369 8063

CPSI Conference!

In Current Events, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS on April 21, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I will be presenting a PACE session at this year’s CPSI Conference, taking place in June 2009 in Boston.  Go to to check it out.


At the conference I will be presenting about the Principles of Design and problem solving.  The Principles of Design have been used by artists for centuries to create successful images.  These same principles can be applied to identify organizational strengths and weaknesses, to access right brain thinking and to provide direction for creative problem solving. While proportion, harmony, repetition, contrast and balance have long been identified as key elements of the visual arts, they have yet to be widely applied to the art that is our life and our life’s work. 


This is an example of the Group Mural Project I facilitate with corporate clients.  This one was created by the team at The Sommet Group.  Each square was created by a different memeber of the team.  All they saw was the little square I gave them.  They had no idea of the finished image and, of course, most of them has zero confidence in their artistic ability!  Isn’t it gorgeous!?!?  How do you think they feel now?  They learned that they can’t put limits on their beliefs and that, as a team, they can create amazing change!  It is now hanging in their training room and they refer to it at the beginning of almost every meeting to get into their right brains so that they can innovate change!

Check out the blogs below for other creative approaches to problem solving and to meet some incredible people that will also be at CPSI this year!

The Chicago Arts Educator Forum

In Author: Lisa Canning, Current Events on April 4, 2009 at 12:11 am


The Chicago Arts Educator Forum will have their FIRST forum focusing on the topic of building partnerships in arts education on Friday, April 10th. Hosted at Adventure Stage Chicago (formerly known as the Vittum Theater) from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, registration is only $25 which includes breakfast, lunch and free parking!.

Please join us for the first, of what we hope will not be the last, networking/sharing/discussion day for the Chicago arts in education community. The Chicago Arts Educator Forum (CAEF) was formed last year to connect arts educators from around the city. Comprised of arts organizations, teaching artists, and arts administrators working together to provide professional development and networking opportunities in the field, the CAEF was created in response to a stated need for dialogue, communication, and continuing education for arts educators.

We will take the day to actively explore how to define partnership and how to frame our work with schools, other organizations and the community.

Click for more information or to register.
Pre-registration is required to attend this event.

Arts Advocacy Day in Washington!

In Author: Lisa Canning, Current Events on March 31, 2009 at 8:54 pm

An important message from Americans for The Artsheader_logo-1

Today, hundreds of dedicated arts supporters from across the country have come together in Washington, DC for National Arts Advocacy Day, a united effort to tell Capitol Hill how important culture is to our communities, how much arts education means to our children, and how much the arts improve our daily lives. 83 National CoSponsors have helped us shape this united arts message to Congress.

This year, Arts Advocacy Day will be busier than ever, and not only because of the near-record number of advocates attending. Americans for the Arts has once again been asked by House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Norm Dicks (D-WA) to organize a hearing on the arts on Arts Advocacy Day. We are very pleased that our President & CEO Robert Lynch will be joined by several other national leaders in the arts, including Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center Wynton Marsalis, GRAMMY®-nominated singer-songwriter Josh Groban, GRAMMY®-Award winning singer Linda Ronstadt, and business leader and Philadelphia Federal Reserve Board member Jeremy Nowak, to testify at the hearing. The Subcommittee is expected to webcast the hearing live starting at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time. A link to the webcast can be found on the House Appropriations Committee website.

Even if you’re not able to join us in Washington, you can still participate in Arts Advocacy Day by asking your Members of Congress to support the arts. By visiting our E-Advocacy Center, you’ll be able to send a message directly to your Representative and Senators telling them why the arts are important to you and your community. We’ve provided bullet points covering our eleven key Arts Advocacy Day issues, which you can use in the sample letter that we’ve drafted for you. We also encourage you to write your own unique story to illustrate the importance of the arts to your community. Using the E-Advocacy Center, you can create and send your letter to Congress in less than two minutes. We urge you to send your message to Congress today to coincide with our office visits to the Hill. Click here to send your message.

Need more information? Browse the 2009 Congressional Arts Handbook for issue briefs, voting records, latest arts research and trends, relevant Congressional committees, and Congressional contact lists.

Thank you for your continued support of the arts! Together, we are making a difference!

What Happened, President Obama, to the Idea of an Art Czar?

In Art, Cooking & Food, Creative Support, Current Events, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Interesting Articles, Leadership, Music, Theater/Film, Writing on March 26, 2009 at 7:11 pm

The following updates appeared on Judith H. Dobrzynski’s blog, Real Clear Arts

I know we all want to believe that the Obama Administration will do wonders for the arts and humanities. But so far, the news is not so good.

Yes, the $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts in the stimulus bill was great news. But while we wait for appointments to head the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the appointment of Kareem Dale (below) as mini-czar — which is now likely to be temporary — and two lesser appointments suggest politics-as-usual.

Yes, you heard right- late last week, the White House seems to have appointed an arts czar — but no one seems to have noticed. His name is Kareem Dale, according to a short item in Saturday’s New York Times. As of 1 p.m. on Monday, there’s no press release on and no reports of the appointment at the Associated Press or Reuters.

I don’t know Mr. Dale, a lawyer from Chicago who is partially blind, but he doesn’t seem to have much of a profile. Searches on Google and Kosmix and in Factiva (which has articles from most major newspapers and many minor ones) turned up very little.

According to published reports, Dale hails from Chicago, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and stayed there to earn a law degree and an MBA, which he received in 1999. He founded and is CEO of The Dale Law Group, which has no website. Campaign finance records show that Dale contributed $2,300 to Obama’s campaign in 2008 (and about the same during the primary season); then he volunteered for it. At some point, he became the campaign’s Disability Vote Director. The only mention of arts I could find was during his campaign volunteer days, when Dale was a member of the campaign Arts Policy Committee, plus service on the board of Chicago’s Black Ensemble Theater.

I can’t help but think this is not what many people in the cultural world had in mind when they asked President Obama to appoint a powerful person in the White House to raise the profile of the arts in the U.S.

Another oddity: in mid-February, the White House announced that it had named Dale to the post of Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy. He still seems to hold that post.

Last night, The Daily Beast published my report on this and his appointment is not likely to last very long. It’s sad that his name was discovered by, or leaked to, The New York Times in the first place.

The most disappointing element of the story, however, is the appointment of Hollywood fundraiser Jeremy Bernard as the NEH’s White House and Congressional liaison; it’s an important job. Bernard claims a bachelor’s degree from Hunter College on his website, but Hunter says he did not graduate. When queried, the NEH said the degree is not in his documentation for the appointment. But the whole thing, not just the resume inflation, makes him a bit of an odd fit for the scholarly NEH.

I am pretty sure, by the way, that the White House has recognized this whole situation as a personnel snafu that has to be fixed. And it will — the question now is how and when.

Making smART Connections: Artist / Educator Collaborations

In Current Events on March 25, 2009 at 9:05 am


The New York State Alliance for Arts Education, in conjunction with the Adirondack Arts in Education Partnership and Champlain Valley Educational Services is proud to present a day-long Arts-in-Education (AIE) conference.

This conference is designed for all educators: general classroom teachers, sequential arts & music teachers, school administrators, teaching artists, cultural organization education coordinators, school librarians, and interested parents.

Participants will gain insight and strategies on bringing the arts into the classroom and infusing and enriching the curriculum in all subject areas through the arts. Those new to AIE will discover where to begin the journey, and where to turn for resources. Veterans will gain new techniques for the planning, execution and evaluation of AIE programs. Our goal is for everyone to come away with a renewed passion for ensuring that the arts are an integral part of every student’s education.

This is the conference for YOU:
• the classroom teacher looking for ideas and new tools to use in the classroom, to engage your students and renew your enthusiasm for teaching
• the school administrator interested in achievement and learning for all students
• the special area teacher craving a definitive place for arts in the school environment
• the artist, using knowledge, creativity and specialized skills to inspire learning
(and to earn money!)
• the cultural organization administrator who desires a lasting community and school connection through sharing of knowledge and resources
• the visionary who identifies collaboration, cross-curricular learning and the arts as vital 21st century skills in today’s global community
*Included in your registration is a “meet and eat” with conference attendees and session presenters at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts on May 6th 2009 at 6pm. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by!New York State Alliance for Arts Education. This is a Professional Development Opportunity!

Making smART Connections: Artist / Educator Collaborations
A day-long conference for educators and teaching artists
Register Online – Click Here
Thursday May 7, 2009
9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The High Peaks Resort Lake Placid, NY

This program is made possible in part by the generous support of:The Kennedy Center for Arts Education Alliance Network The New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency VSA Arts

The Creative Chicago 6th Annual Expo: Sat April 4th! It’s Free!

In Current Events on March 20, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Who: Dance • Design • Fashion • Film • Literary • Media • Music • Theater • Art
What: A gathering of resources, services and expertise for people in the arts.
When: Saturday, April 4 10 AM – 4 PM
Where: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, Chicago, Illinois

The Creative Chicago Expo brings the best of Chicago’s cultural community together under one roof. Over 120 vendors and services, 21 workshops and panel discussions on topics specifically for individuals, arts organizations and small art businesses.

New this year — Consult-a-thon!

Consult-a-thon is a new feature of the 2009 Creative Chicago Expo. Meet one-on-one with experts in marketing, strategic planning, legal and accounting issues, and career coaching in all art disciplines. Sign up in advance online for a 20 minute appointment for only $10. (Limited to 3 appointments per person.)

Consult-a-thon will let you get feedback on a grant proposal from a funder, improve your website with advice from a marketing strategist, get tips from a casting director on successful auditioning, have your portfolio reviewed by curators and galleriests. Or talk board development and strategic planning with experts in the field.

Click here for a list of participating consultants and to sign up for an appointment.

Over 20 free workshops by top local and national service providers throughout the day, targeting individuals, small arts businesses and nonprofit art organizations:
• Affordable Housing in Chicago
• Art Festival How-tos
• Benchmarking 101: Outcomes & Measurements
• Building a Board of Directors
• Business Licensing Basics
• Cultivating Individual Donors
• Finding Live/Work Space
• Fiscal Sponsorship
• Forming a Non-Profit
• Health Insurance Info for Artists
• Marketing For the Cash Strapped and Time Poor
• Meet your Arts Service Agencies
• Obtaining Capital for your Creative Industry
• Reaching New Audiences
• Space Development Starter Kit for Non-profits
• Starting an Arts-Based Business
• Strategic Planning for Non-Profits
• Time Management for Artists
• Tips for “Successful Grant Applications
• Winning Public Art Commissions
• Your Credit Score: Re-Building Your Financial Health

Workshop Presenters: Arts and Business Council of Chicago, Amdur Productions,
Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, The Center for What Works, Columbia College, Chicago Arts Entrepreneurship Center, Community Media Workshop, Communication
Society, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Executive Service Corps,
Fractured Atlas, Future of Music Coalition, Illinois Arts Alliance, Illinois
Association of Mortgage Professionals, Illinois Facility Fund, International Academy
of Design and Technology, Lawyers for the Creative Arts, Inc., League of Chicago
Theatres, Mission Paradox, and others.

Over 100 top arts business, space and other service providers from Chicago and the US will be at the Expo. Learn more about them in the CREATIVE CHICAGO DIRECTORY 826CHI • After School Matters • Aloft • American Indian Association of Illinois •AMS Realty • Arte y Vida Chicago • Artisans 21 Gallery • Artists’ Real EstateServices • Artreach at Lillstreet • Arts & Business Council of Chicago • Audience Architects • Bad at Sports • Ballet Chicago • Brazilian Cultural Center of Chicago • Brinshore Development • Bronzeville Emporium LLC • Bronzeville Visitor Information Center • Chicago Access Network Corporation (CAN TV) • Chicago Acoustic Underground • Chicago Artists Coalition • chicago artists resource • Chicago Cabaret Professionals • Chicago Community Loan Fund • Chicago Creative Coalition • Chicago Cultural Alliance • Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection • Chicago Department of Community Development • Chicago Department of Community Development-Rents Right Program • Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs • Chicago Film Office • Chicago Group Sales • Chicago Park District Department of Environment, Culture & Special Events • Chicago Printmakers Collaborative • Chicago Public Library Visual & Performing Arts • Chicago Public Radio • Chicago Sustainable Manufacturing Center • Chicago Tax Assistance Center • Chicago Waldorf School • Chicago Women in Publishing • City Treasurer’s Office • Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival • Claretian Associates – South Chicago New Communities Program • Columbia College Chicago • Community Media Workshop • Consolidated Printing • David Leonardis Gallery/Howard Finster Vision House • DuSable Museum of African American History • e-poets network • Ellen Baren, REALTOR, @properties • Executive Service Corps of Chicago • Experimental Sound Studio • Fidelity Mortgage Services, Inc. • Fractured Atlas • Future of Music Coalition • Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest, c/o Lifeline Theatre • Global Alliance of Artists • Gorilla Tango Theatre • Greenleaf Art Center/Coldwell Banker • Harold Arts • HD Design & Printing • Hogwash: An Improvised Tall Tale • Howard Ecker + Company • I-GO Car Sharing • Illinois Arts Alliance • Illinois CPA Society • Illinois Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services • • JL Harris Associates • Julie Woodward-Trenker ABR, ASP, CRS REALTOR • KAE DJ Gospel Heritage Charity • Kartemquin Films • Latin Rhythms Academy of Dance & Performance • Law Offices of Keith B. Baker, Ltd. • Lawyers for the Creative Arts • League of Chicago Theatres • Lillstreet Art Center • Links Hall • Mayor’s Fashion Council Chicago • Midwest Writers Association • Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival • Mitchell Museum of the American Indian • Morgan Park Academy • Music Garage Chicago • Niche Realty • Office of the City Treasurer • Open Studio Project Inc. • Organization of Black American Culture – Writers Workshop • Paczolt Financial Group • Paeon Partners • Pilsen Together Chamber of Commerce • Podmajersky / Chicago Arts District • Preservation Chicago • Priscy’s Production Outreach Program NFP • Refuge: Center for Artists in Recovery • River East Art Center • Riverfront Work Lofts • Riverside Arts Center • Sherwood Conservatory of Music at Columbia College Chicago • Society of Midland Authors • SONZ OF THE MOST HIGH • Stacey Montgomery & Associates • StoryStudio Chicago • Superior Rehearsals • The Art Institute of Chicago Division of Continuing Studies and Special Programs • The Art Institute of Chicago Family Programs • The Chicago Mosaic School • The Great Books Foundation / The Common Review • the green lantern gallery & press • The Illinois Institute of Art – Schaumburg • The Joffrey Ballet Academy of Dance • The Recording Academy • Third Coast International Audio Festival • Tree Studios • Urban Gateways • Vogue Fabrics • Wenger Properties • West Walker Civic Association/Art In My Back Yard • Women In Film Chicago • Young Chicago Authors • and more!

Creativity For A Cause

In Creativity and Innovation, Current Events, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS on March 14, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Tired of Bad News?
Does your imagination need a jump-start to re-engage
the positive energy you have to bring to your life and work?

Bring your co-workers and friends to an evening of creativity and play at
Catalyst Ranch, 656 W. Randolph, Suite 3W, Chicago, Thursday May 14th, 6:00-8:00pm.

c4ac-badge-q21The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble and Arts At Large will serenade you while you paint and draw to classical music and jazz to get your creativity flowing. In this action packed evening you will create artwork in teams, experience making music as an ensemble, learn the artful stress reduction techniques of juggling, and reflect on an original new short film produced by Blue Damen Pictures called The Visionary.

Need another reason to come out for an evening of play?

How about investing in your creativity to support a great cause? A portion of the proceeds from this event will support Child’s Play Touring Theater.

Child’s Play Touring Theater is the premiere theatre company in the United States dedicated exclusively to performing works written by children. Combining the important, imaginative writings of children with the craftsmanship of professional theater artists and educators, Child’s Play creates a unique stage where children’s voices can be heard, examined and treasured.

The imaginations of our children, and the confidence their creative expression brings, will give them the strength and vision to lead our future world. Come learn the benefits of child’s play in action in this innovative fun night of creativity.

Bring an object from home or work that fits in the palm of your hand that you are willing to part with! Snacks and beverages included. $25.00 per person:

Teaching Artists Research Project Underway

In Current Events on February 23, 2009 at 9:45 am

In case you haven’t already heard, there is a groundbreaking research project underway called the Teaching Artist Research Project (TARP). Yes, that’s correct, its a good acronym to use for an entirely different project.

TARP is the first national study to examine the world and work of teaching artists. The motivation for the study comes from the remarkable advances in arts education, both in and out of schools, over the last fifteen years, despite a difficult policy environment. Teaching artists, the hybrid professionals that link the arts to education and community life, are the creative resource behind much of this innovation.

Research shows that the work of teaching artists makes a large and important contribution to our communities. But there is no systematic information about teaching artists’ career, which this project hopes to capture.

TARP hopes to deepen the understanding of the lives and work of teaching artists through studies in twelve communities, and it will inform policy designed to make their work sustainable, more effective, and more meaningful.

TARP is being conducted by the major research center NORC at the University of Chicago. Its principal investigator is Nick Rabkin, a founder of the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, a contributor to Champions of Change: The Impact of Arts on Learning, and author of Putting the Arts in the Picture: Reframing Education in the 21st Century. He is the former director of the Center for Arts Policy at Columbia College Chicago. TARP is supported by 25 foundations and state and local arts agencies.

If you’re a teaching artist or manage a program that hires teaching artists, TARP wants to hear from you. Click here to learn more, register, and become part of this very exciting and important project.