Obama's State of the Union: Another Missed Opportunity for Arts Education

Tim MikulskiI was planning to write a post about how President Obama made sure to put creativity and innovation at the forefront of his State of the Union last week, but somehow missed any references to the arts. There I was on a treadmill at my local Washington Sports Club, waiting for him to say it. And waiting. And running. And running. And waiting.

Advocacy is Easier Than You Think (from Arts Watch)

Tim Mikulski

Having worked for a state legislative caucus and an individual legislator at the beginning of my career, it always amazes me that potential arts advocates feel that contacting local or state officials is either a difficult or frightening experience.

Happy Birthday, NEA!

Lyndon Johnson signs into law the act that created the NEA

Today marks the 45th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts as on September 29, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the law that created the cultural agency.  

What Would You Ask the President?

As part of NBC News’ Education Nation initiative, Today Show host Matt Lauer is interviewing President Obama about the state of education on Monday morning, 9/27, and you have the opportunity to submit questions via the

The Salon is Closed; But Our Work is Never Done

Tim Mikulski

On behalf of Americans for the Arts, I would like to thank all of our readers for stopping by to celebrate Arts in Education Week by reading all the posts of our fantastic bloggers throughout the week. Having organized two of these events now, I can say that the content is just getting better and better.

U.S. Education Official Responds to Arts Education Concerns

Last month’s Americans for the Arts Half-Century Summit in Baltimore, MD, was a rousing success on many fronts. Despite economic challenges, a thousand attendees joined us for several days of networking, collaborating, and learning.

Whatever Happened to Humanities Curriculum? (from Arts Watch)

Two weeks ago, I joined approximately 40 other arts education leaders in a two-day meeting to discuss plans for National Expectations for Learning in Arts Education, a projected originally taken on by State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE).
For the first time in 16 years, arts education experts from national organizations spent time evaluating the possible impact and creating a plan for potential revisions, additions, or replacement for National Arts Education Standards.
Over the two days of discussion, I was struck by the passion in the room and energized by what will be coming in the next steps in the process.

A Special Thanks to Our Readers

Thank you for taking the time to visit, read, and comment on the blog posts throughout our Arts Education Blog Salon this week.

Thanks to the hard work of all of our bloggers, I feel like visitors had the opportunity to learn more about the various aspects of arts education – from advocacy to standards – that many of us work with on a daily basis, and engage the authors via thoughtful comments and emails.

Although the Salon is over, we will continue to add new blogs on arts education throughout the rest of the year, and I am truly looking forward to the next time around.

Should it be Us vs. Them? (from Arts Watch)

Tim Mikulski

As I covered in last week’s Arts Watch blog post (Glee-fully Supporting Arts Education), it certainly seems like the same three or four subject areas are continually battling it out for that last spot into the school building, before the funding door shuts.

Visiting an Arts Connection Dance Class in Harlem

Thanks to the kindness of Arts Education Council member Steve Tennen, I had the opportunity to visit a dance class at New York P.S. 241 in Harlem last week during a sojourn to the New York office of Americans for the Arts for other meetings.

Glee-fully Supporting Arts Education (from Arts Watch)

Although I am still shocked by the way that Glee has been accepted by mainstream America, it is comforting to know that creator Ryan Murphy's depiction of the struggles of outsiders trying to fit into traditional high school stereotypes has become a television and iTunes hit.

State-ing Your Case for Arts Budgets (from Arts Watch)

Although 2010 is just underway, most states are in the process of preparing budgets for FY 2011 (and beyond). Coming into this year it was known that the next few budget cycles would be difficult for a large portion of states, and arts advocates would be in for a battle in many cases.

Survival of the Innovative: FEAST and the evolving model of community-supported arts funding (from Arts Watch)

by Joanna Chin, Program Coordinator, Animating Democracy

According to the recently released National Arts Index, one third of arts groups are not making their budget.

This Message Brought to you by the Letters P, B, and S

Yesterday, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) President & CEO Paula Kerger told a Los Angeles audience that following years of decline, arts and culture will once again have a home on PBS stations throughout the country.

‘Tis the Season for New Arts Policies? (from Arts Watch)

Each January, statehouses across the country suddenly go from empty hearing rooms and corridors to packed committee sessions and protests on the front steps as new legislative sessions begin.

Gifting the Arts (from Arts Watch)

Since it feels like Halloween just passed, it came as a bit of a shock to me that it’s already December. With Thanksgiving now also behind us, the celebration of the holiday giving season can begin. I know that I do not have to remind you that it is a great time to give last-minute donations to your favorite arts organizations, but it is also a perfect time to support your local artists.

Doing Our pART

For the second year, the Vermont Arts Council is holding an online auction called Doing Our pART for the Vermont Foodbank. Last year, the arts council raised $10,254 for the foodbank, providing over 27,000 meals to those in need - and this year the need is even greater.

Baseball bARTering

Before every major sporting event, the mayors or governors of the cities/states taking part often wager local goods and/or services on the outcome of the game (or games). When Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees made it to the World Series last week, Mayors Michael Nutter and Michael Bloomberg did not offer up the traditional items of Philly cheesesteaks or New York-style pizza. Instead, the pro-arts politicians offered up something humiliating with a side of the arts.


Arts Education: Now or Never

As I was compiling this week’s edition of Arts Watch, I couldn’t help but notice a strange dichotomy.

On one hand, a developer in a small city, Woodbury, NJ, is planning to renovate a downtown building, turning it into a theater as a means of economic development. Citizens of Bridgeport, CT, have formed a new local arts group to recruit artists and creative businesses to their community.

Start Tweeting the News (from Arts Watch)

Since my birth year often tends to fall either at the end of the Generation X period and the beginning of the Millenials, I find myself sharing the characteristics of both “next generation” cohorts. I may not be on the leading edge of all technology (like the Millenials), but I keep up enough to know that before the entire world was on Facebook, I had already been a veteran member of Myspace and Friendster before it.

The Argument for Funding Arts Organizations (from Arts Watch)

While monitoring the news for this publication and another that I put together for the State Arts Action Network, the past six months have made me feel a little like the newspaper sellers on the street corners of old, calling out, “Extra! Extra! The arts have been murdered!” in order to sell more papers. Unfortunately, that seems to be what is happening in many locations throughout the country.


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