If Our Value Were Self-Evident Would We Need Advocates?

The Arts are Calling

You cannot talk about arts advocacy without bringing up the instrumental value of the arts. Rule #1 of advocacy or any kind of relationship building is: know your audience. And when you're talking to politicians and policy-makers, the instrumental value carries the day. But, what about the intrinsic value of the arts? In our field we often shy away from talking about this. It is somehow seen as less serious, but if you are truly looking to connect with someone on the value of the arts there is no better way. In this video former Director … [Read more...]

Comments We Can’t Ignore

A seed library for community use is housed at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History.

This week, a guest column by Robert Reich entitled “What ‘charity’ should really mean” appeared on the Christian Science Monitor's website. In his column, Reich challenges the idea of tax-deductible donations to arts organizations, arguing that these deductions primarily support the lifestyles of the wealthy. Reich’s article highlights that we have serious a public perception problem. Either we are not doing enough work to share the arguments we use to demonstrate our value to those outside the bubble of our field, or we need to develop a … [Read more...]

Becoming Indispensable


Editor’s note:  As part of our online discussion around The Summit at Sundance, we have invited participants in The Chief Executive Program to frame each of our problems to solve. Here, Basma El Husseiny takes on the problem: Maximize the cultural field's value in the eyes of the public/society. While articulating the value of what arts organizations offer to society in specific quantitative terms is necessary and important, most people will not be able to see the connection between these terms and the change they would like to happen to … [Read more...]

What can science tell us about the art experience?

Gary Vikan

Watch the following video in which Gary Vikan, Director of the Walters Museum of Art and a faculty member of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders, discusses how neuroscience, evolutionary biology and the cave paintings in Lascaux might point to the fact that aesthetics is "hard-wired into our heads."     Add your voice to the discussion. Use the comments below to weigh in with your thoughts on how we in the arts create and articulate value. … [Read more...]