Growing the Pie Together: Fostering Giving Networks in the Arts

(c) See-ming Lee via Flickr

Over the past nine months, I’ve witnessed something truly remarkable take shape: a network of committed givers in the arts. Not a network that operates on a tit-for-tat basis, not a group that invests in others with the goal of personal gain in the long run, but individuals who are just as dedicated to advancing each other’s work as they are to advancing their own. This network is the Creative Community Fellows cohort. If you’ve ever been involved in an arts network (or, heck, any job-focused affinity group) you know this is rare. The flow … [Read more...]

An Arts Advocacy Day Conversation in Hartford, CT

The Arts are Calling

Kristina Newman-Scott, Director of Marketing, Events and Cultural Affairs for the City of Hartford, Connecticut asks her colleagues Brian Matthews, Director of Housing for the City of Hartford and Khara Dodds, Director of Planning for the City of Hartford how they see, value and advocate for the arts. Listen to their conversations below and share what you heard from colleagues outside of the arts.        Advocate for the Arts! Click on the Twitter logo to share this with someone outside the arts. Start a … [Read more...]

An Arts Advocacy Conversation in Thayer, MO

The Arts are Calling

Founder of the Oregon County Food Producers and Artisans Co-Op, Rachel Reynolds Luster poses the three simple questions to a member of her Thayer, MO community. Elizabeth, 16 years old: When I say “the arts,” what does that mean to you? "music, dancing, acting" Where do you see arts in your community? "I don't." Tell me about a moment you connected with arts personally. “Learning to clog dance at Marilynn's Clogging Studio and play guitar.”     Advocate for the Arts! Click on the Twitter logo to … [Read more...]

An Arts Advocacy Conversation in Lynchburg, VA

The Arts are Calling

I spoke with Anna Bentson, the Assistant Director of the City of Lynchburg's Office of Economic Development, about how she views and values art. What most struck me is that her early childhood contact with art and artists was through her family and in turn that has influenced how she values and views art in her life today. Her relationship to art is personal and I think this gets to the core of a very valuable lesson. Anna's family was filled with musicians. She said, "My grandparents were musicians (actually from a long line of professional … [Read more...]

What’s the Matter with “Why the Arts Matter?” 

The Arts are Calling

Next week we celebrate Arts Advocacy Day. We come together as a field to lobby congress and talk about why what we do matters. Last year many of our staff even shared our thoughts on the value of the arts. Arts Advocacy Day is an important event, to be sure. The arts do matter. But, chances are if you're reading this you're likely already a believer. Therein lies the problem... or at the very least an opportunity.    What if we tried something different? (I'm not advocating that we stop lobbying congress, but...) What if we saw this … [Read more...]

Your Museum as an Essential Community Space

Staff Picks

NAS produces publications, videos and other management tools to inspire those working in the field to take a fresh look at their work and the challenges they face. Over the last few years we have amassed quite a large catalog of content. We’ve sent NAS staff members into the archives to pick their favorites and share them here. This week NAS’ Program and Accounting Coordinator, Pearl Bickersteth, shares one of her favorite NAS videos. Museums are often thought of as places for quiet, introspective, cultural learning experiences. Nina Simon, … [Read more...]

What is Creative Placemaking?


This whole conversation began as a means to talk about creative placemaking. What is it? What is its role and why should we care? We’ve spent the last few weeks hearing from our Creative Community Fellows and you. Today we want to wrap up the discussion by tackling the biggest question: what is creative placemaking? Amanda Thompson notes that the term creative placemaking acts as an inclusive phrase for a range of arts and culture activities that benefit communities: “Creative placemaking is a nice catch-all phrase that allows artists, … [Read more...]

Scott Burkholder & Ali Fadlallah: A Conversation


This week we will be featuring conversations with leaders working in communities. Scott Burkholder is an entrepreneurial minded, art promoting engineer based in Baltimore. He oversaw the business side of the Baltimore Love Project, the largest self initiated public art project in Baltimore and is currently working on utilizing art as a tool to teach empathy. Inspired by his teaching experience as an eleventh grade English teacher with Teach for America, Ali Fadlallah merged his passions for music and arts education by founding Personality … [Read more...]

Creative Placemaking: A Reader’s Response


We asked all of you to join in on this conversation as well. Mary Means works as a consultant for her firm Mary Means + Associates and has extensive experience in community-based strategic planning. Prior to entering consulting, Mary was Vice President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where she is best known for having created the National Main Street program. The following are her answers to our questions posed on creative placemaking.   How do you define “community?” It depends on where and what I am working on.  I’m a … [Read more...]

Abdul Karim Hakib: On Creative Placemaking


This week we will be featuring conversations with leaders working in communities. Abdul Karim Hakib is the Executive Director of Global Arts and Development Centre (GADEC), an art and development NGO based in Accra, Ghana. He is a Theatre for Development practitioner, writer and performer with a particular interest in popular theatre, indigenous performance techniques, performance studies and blending different genres of the arts. He is also a Creative Community Fellow. The following are his answers to our questions posed on creative … [Read more...]