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Real Funding for Advocacy: What Is Sorely Needed

The simple fact is that funding for arts education advocacy has been fractional. The state alliances have historically been funded on a marginal basis and local advocacy has for the most part been nascent. Underdeveloped advocacy efforts and little funding to support anything better. That's arts education in 2011. Think good ideas for an engine, but little gas in the tank.The vast majority of arts and arts education funders don't fund advocacy and remain leery of it. Side-by-side with the discomfort remains a lack of understanding of what is … [Read more...]

The First Roadblock to Arts Education Policy Improvement

"If we did it for the arts, we would have to do it for every subject."That's it. There you have it. That's the first roadblock pulled out of a hat to rationalize "why not."I have heard this particular roadblock deployed many times, including in response to the advocacy for a special form of assistance to help schools without any certified arts teachers locate and hire these teachers. We were we told: "if we did that, we would have to do it for every subject."I have even heard this presented in regards to calls for restoration of previously … [Read more...]

My Dinner with Merce and its Connection to Cultural Policy

I wanted to end this very hot. humid, and WET New York summer week by recalling a swell dinner I had once with Merce Cunningham and Laura Kuhn, Director of The Cage Trust.I won't recount what the obits and testaments said very well about Merce as a truly giant, emblematic figure of modern dance and creativity in American during the 20th and early 21st centuries. I have something to add to it.When I worked at the American Music Center, I was fortunate to have gotten to know Merce a little bit. Some parties at his house, many performances, … [Read more...]

What about an Arts Czar? What about a Federal Arts Policy? Hummm…

The "arts czar" idea is still buzzing about. Of course, the actor Kal Penn was appointed to the White House Office of Public Engagement, and we will have Rocco Landesman heading up the NEA, and Jim Leach heading up the NEH. But certainly, that's a far cry from what a number of people were lobbying for, which was a cabinet level position in the executive branch, replete with its own brand new agency. What a great idea....not.This week Michael Kaiser brought up the issue of a federal arts policy. The best thing he said about this was "what we … [Read more...]

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