Art, Over-Calculated PR Stunt, or Both?

I sat dumbfounded last night as the often-flamboyant Nicki Minaj attempted to, as a local TV personality put it, combine Madonna's controversial "Like a Prayer" performance with Lady Gaga's stage death performance on The Grammys.

There was a pope (who joined her on the red carpet), dancing monks(?), and an apparent ascension/exorcism...oh and there was singing and rapping in there, too.

On the Road: Extolling the Virtue of the Arts, Tourism, & Business Partnerships

President Obama

President Obama speaks about his new tourism plan in Disney World.

Our President & CEO, Bob Lynch, is always on the road extolling the virtues of the arts and arts education on behalf of our members and the general public.

The Art of Combat

The official United States Marine Corps YouTube channel, MARINES TV, posted a video highlighting the fascinating role of combat artist Sgt. Shawn Sales, an instructor at the Defense Information School at Fort Meade, MD, how the work of combat artists impact the Marine Corps.

*Hat tip to the USMC and National Endowment for the Arts' Twitter accounts for sharing the video this morning.

Hyperlocal Websites Spread the Arts Message

Tim Mikulski

Trying to garner the attention of local media for something happening in the arts can be a daunting task -- particularly if you live in a major media market with only a few newspapers, a handful of TV stations, and one or two radio stations interested in community affairs.

Reflecting on the Holidays, New Year, & the Arts

Tim Mikulski

It's become a tradition that ARTSblog offers up a question as part of our annual New Year's card (our 2012 question will be posted in two weeks), so I didn't want to take away from that when I started writing a "Happy Holidays" post this morning.

Random Acts of Culture™

Throughout the country, many performing groups have taken to public forums to display Random Acts of Culture™ (supported generously by the Knight Foundation) covering all art forms including music, dance, and theater.

Just a few weeks ago, the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte captured this dance performance from their local airport:

Congress Passes $9M Cut for NEA, Reinstates Federal Arts Education Funding

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the final budget agreement for FY 2012, which includes $146.255 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Everytime You Use a QR Code Without Thinking...A Kitten Dies

National Arts Marketing Project Conference opening keynote speaker, Scott Stratten, told the more than 500 attendees of NAMPC about his problems with using QR codes:

Do you agree with Scott's assessment? Have you seen any awesome examples of QR code usage?

Red Velvet Cupcakes for the Arts

Kate Gibney, vice president of development at Americans for the Arts, stopped by the NBC-4 studios in Washington, DC, earlier this week to discuss our partnership with Sprinkles Cupcakes and arts advocacy champion Kerry Washington. Through this Sunday, 100% of proceeds from Sprinkles' signature red velvet cupcakes purchased at their Georgetown location will be donated to our organization's work.

The Overlapping Line of Boxing and the Arts

Several months ago Merryl Goldberg, a long-time ARTSblogger, wrote a post called "You're the Arts Department Chair and You Box?!" about her experiences as a novice boxer at her local L.A. Boxing gym.

Not that long after it was published in mid-March, Merryl was contacted by L.A. Boxing about taping her story for their YouTube channel.

This is her video...

Kansas City Hopes to Boost Economy, Energy with Moshe Safdie's Arts Center

Interesting PBS NEWSHOUR story covering the city's new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, architect Moshe Safdie's feelings on the design (and his other new works like Crystal Bridges in Arkansas), and the impact that community hopes the Kauffman Center will have on the city.

Esperanza Spalding: "For us to become great citizens, being involved in the arts is crucial"

Jeff Hawthorne, director of community affairs for the Regional Arts & Culture Council in Portland, OR, passed along a link to an excellent video featuring Grammy Award-winning jazz artist Esperanza Spalding.

President Proclaims October National Arts and Humanities Month

Yesterday, President Barack Obama declared October National Arts and Humanities Month through Presidential Proclamation. Within the proclamation, President Obama states:

Work for Art: Using Video to Take a Campaign to a New Level

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), serving the Portland (OR) Metropolitan region, has been a driving force for the arts and arts education in that area of the country since 1995. The organization's many programs and services include advocacy, grantmaking, an acclaimed public art program, community services, and a national model arts education program.

Why Making Creative Schools Requires Radical Change

The ever-brilliant Sir Ken Robinson speaks about infusing creativity into all aspects of education and makes the case for a more personalized education system.

He says both would address many of the troublesome issues facing students today - high dropout rates, the narrowing of curriculum, teaching to the standardized tests, etc.

Congressional Candidate Gleefully Declares War on Arts

Although written unevenly and built into a money-making machine by FOX and it's production company over the past two years, Glee is at it's heart a love letter to the power of music, and more general, arts education.

Google Out-Doodles Itself

Yesterday, Google UK unveiled a new homepage Doodle that was so great that it was added to our version today.

A little "Yellow Submarine"-esque animation combines with the Google logo to pay tribute to legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, who would be celebrating his 65th birthday.

You can check out the YouTube version below or visit for the true experience.

Help for Collecting Institutions During Disasters

After being part of the rare Virginia earthquake and preparing for Hurricane Irene this weekend, natural disasters are certainly on the minds of many of us here on the East Coast.

America at a Cultural Crossroads

On July 22, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch spoke as part of the Chautauqua Institution's lecture series, discussing the arts and arts education in a speech titled "America at a Cultural Crossroads."

You can view a portion of the speech below and the full speech at

'The Choice is Art' Campaign Lands NBA Star Spokesman

Arizona Commission on the Arts, a long-time member of Americans for the Arts, has secured seven-time National Basketball Association all-star Grant Hill as a spokesman for their four-year public awareness campaign, The Choice is Art

NEA Takes 13 Percent Cut in FY 2012 House Budget Bill

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Interior Subcommittee approved a measure that sets next year’s initial funding level for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) at $135 million.

That amount is a $20 million reduction as compared with this fiscal year’s budget, and it would be the deepest cut to the agency in 16 years.

Arts Education Advocacy Success in Sunny San Diego

Tim Mikulski

Tim Mikulski

For those of you who were able to attend our local arts education advocacy session at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, you know all about the work of the San Diego Alliance for Arts Education.

South Carolina Arts Funding Veto Overturned by Legislature

Since South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley threatened funding for the state arts commission early in the budget process this year, it wasn't a surprise when she used her proverbial red veto pen to cut funding yesterday.

Not Just Butts in Seats...Eyeballs on Screens

Tim Mikulski

Tim Mikulski

I have now successfully attended four Americans for the Arts Annual Conventions (Philadelphia, Seattle, Baltimore, and San Diego) as a member of the staff.


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