Having launched the Animating Democracy program in 1999, Co-Directors Barbara Schaffer Bacon and Pam Korza have decided that 2022 completes their tenure providing program leadership for this transformative initiative. In 2023, Americans for the Arts will determine Animating Democracy’s next chapter by assessing what the organization can uniquely offer and exploring possible partnerships. We will also continue to promote Animating Democracy’s tools and resources.
As a key strategy in supporting the development of inclusive creative economies across the nation, this database provides a distilled jumping off point for learning and growth related to community- and asset-based approaches for equitable development.
Americans for the Arts and lifestyle brand Free People today announced a first-time partnership, which includes a Creative Spirit Fund that empowers public school arts educators to fund the next generation of diverse creators. The partnership advocates for the importance of arts in early public education. Through this program, Free People will be distributing 10 awards of $4,000 each to public school educators across the United States in great need of support in teaching art, music, dance, theater, and creative writing and other artistic disciplines.
Americans for the Arts mourns the loss of beloved Artists Committee member Dame Angela Lansbury, who passed away in her Los Angeles home on October 11, 2022, at the age of 96. Born in London on October 16, 1925, she graced Broadway stages and Hollywood screens, but was most broadly recognized for her leading role in the long-running television series Murder, She Wrote.
Americans for the Arts is thrilled to collaborate with musician India Carney as our 2022 Ambassador for National Arts & Humanities Month. India will use her platform throughout the month of October to advocate for artists and share her love of culture and journey to becoming a professional musician as we promote the crucial role of the arts and humanities.
Arts ARE Education recognizes that all pre-K through grade 12 students have the right to a high-quality school-based arts education in dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts. Advocates are invited to join a virtual town hall, “Arts Education for all Children in 2022-23,” Monday, Sept. 12 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Americans for the Arts is pleased to announce that Mariaesmeralda Paguaga has joined the organization as its new Vice President of Strategic Communications. Paguaga comes to Americans for the Arts with a broad and deep cultural foundation from which to build Americans for the Arts’ strategic communications plan that meets the needs of the organization’s diverse audiences internally and externally. Bringing over two decades of social impact leadership, Paguaga has an extensive and proven record in achieving transformational change via strategic communications, program innovation, brand positioning, integrated marketing campaigns, strategic partnerships, celebrity and dignitary relations, creative production, and mission-driven events.
A survey was distributed to members in June 2022 and the results revealed a variety of needs in the membership population. The membership team plans to use this data, along with input from a membership coalition made up of Americans for the Arts staff, to create a new membership program that will launch in 2023.
Americans for the Arts and its partners are thrilled to announce the interns selected for the 30th year of the Diversity in Arts Leadership (DIAL) program. With equitable arts leadership at the center, DIAL provides undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds who have a career interest in arts and cultural equity a hands-on introduction to working in the arts sector during a 10-week summer internship. From 360 applications received from candidates throughout the country, 39 were selected to participate for this summer’s program.
Americans for the Arts has introduced a new 2.0 version of the Arts + Social Impact Explorer, the most comprehensive clearinghouse of example projects and research about the role of arts in community life available today. The Explorer provides examples, datapoints, links to research papers, and lists of active organizations to illustrate the impact of arts and culture in 30 aspects of community life from public health to transportation, safety, community cohesion, and innovation.
The Selina Roberts Ottum Award for Arts Leadership recognizes an individual working in arts management who has made a meaningful contribution to their local community and who exemplifies extraordinary leadership qualities. Julie Garreau (Lakota name Wičhaȟpi Epatȟaŋ Wiŋ) is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and is the executive director of the nonprofit Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP) in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.
The American Express Emerging Leader Award recognizes visionary leadership by an individual who is a new and/or young arts leader who demonstrates an ability to engage and impact their community. Adriane Jefferson is currently the Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of New Haven and the Executive Director of New Haven Festivals Inc., where she is leading the city on cultural equity and anti-racism initiatives.
The Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award honors an individual at the state level whose arts advocacy efforts have dramatically affected the political landscape. Crystal Young is the Executive Director of the Utah Cultural Alliance and is motivated by an intense desire to leave the world better than she found it.
Americans for the Arts leadership and staff are saddened to learn of the passing of longtime partner, patron, and friend William (Bill) J. Lehr Jr. His legacy of support for arts advocacy, both nationally and in his home state of Pennsylvania, will live on in the many nonprofits, public-private organizations, government entities, and the lives of individual artists that he impacted during his decades long leadership and support in the arts sector.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) and Americans for the Arts today announced six winners of the 2022 Creative Counties Placemaking Challenge, supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. In the coming months, Americans for the Arts will provide virtual training and expertise as the teams explore arts-based strategies to meet policy objectives.
Americans for the Arts is now accepting nominations of arts leaders from your community for the 2022 Annual Leadership Awards. The deadline to nominate an arts leader for the Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award, the American Express Emerging Leader Award, and the Selina Roberts Ottum Award is Friday, April 8.
Registration is now open for the 2022 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention! A live, in-person event will be held May 18-20 in Washington, D.C., and recorded content from the live event will be made available for a fee in a limited time digital on-demand format in June 2022. To maintain health and safety protocols, there is a firm registration deadline of May 2, 2022, to attend the in-person event.
Americans for the Arts has begun work to redefine its role as a national service organization and support of the field. To that end, we are pleased to announce two recent hires to fill pivotal roles for the organization. Adrianne R. Troilo joined as vice president of People and Culture in December 2021, and Daniel Fitzmaurice will begin as the chief of staff on April 4. Both positions are newly created to provide leadership in areas vitally needed to successfully accomplish our mission and achieve a people-first culture.
Mid Atlantic Arts and Americans for the Arts are continuing to develop a series of educational and professional development resources for the state, county, and local arts agencies in the mid-Atlantic region. Artists, administrators, and other arts and culture professionals with disabilities or who are active members of the disability community and who currently reside in the Mid-Atlantic Region are invited to apply by March 31, 2022.
The first ever hearing dedicated to the creative economy explored both the impact of COVID-19 on the creative economy, and the various points of connection to federal assistance to small businesses for recovery and long-term support for growth. At the invitation of the committee, Americans for the Arts provided additional testimony alongside other national arts service organizations.