News from Ohio Citizens for the Arts

Why We Need the Arts in Medicine

An article by Gary Christenson, M.D. in Minnesota Medicine discusses the benefits of the arts in medicine. Christenson cites examples of students using the arts to help study for their medical degrees, using the arts to provide therapeutic benefits to patients, and even how the arts help prevent disease.

Christenson states “Although some might be inclined to dismiss the arts as a triviality, luxury, or unjustified expense in a time of concern over rising health care costs, research is showing that use of the arts in health care can be cost-effective”.

In addition, the arts can be used to promote public health. A great example of this was Sidewalks Saving Lives, a collaborative project of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, Kwanzaa Community Church, and Juxtaposition Arts in north Minneapolis, in which community members worked with artists during 2008 and 2009 to paint sidewalks with educational messages about HIV/AIDS and the importance of being tested.

Find out more ways in which the arts can benefit your health and the healthcare system!

Source: Minnesota Medicine                                                                                 

Cultural Diplomacy on Main St. in America

The US State Department, which has long sent American artists abroad as part of its cultural diplomacy efforts, is for the first time launching a sizable program to bring foreign performers here – an initiative administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Comedians, puppeteers, musicians, and dancers from Pakistan, Haiti, and Indonesia will tour to small and midsize cities across America next year as part of the nearly $2 million Center Stage program.

Where the Center Stage artists will travel in the United States has not yet been decided, but Rebecca Blunk, executive director of the New England Foundation for the Arts, said that she expects some of them will stop in New England.

“This is a real change, and we think a really great one,” said Blunk. “By bringing artists from other countries, we’re showing respect. We’re opening up to learning from them.”

Stock, who has called the pilot program “an unprecedented endeavor” marking “a significant shift” in the department’s focus,  said that it does not reflect a policy change. Rather, she said, it marks a broadening of an agenda that for decades has included bringing foreign students to this country.

Find out more about cultural diplomacy in the United States.


Crayola Launches “Creativity as 21st Century Skill” Program at U.S. Department of Education

With government and business leaders now emphasizing creativity as an essential 21st century skill for every student, Crayola is launching an initiative to inspire creativity in the next generation  of Edisons, Armstrongs and Zuckerbergs.

Crayola has teamed up with the National Association of Elementary School Principals(NAESP), the National Art Education Association (NAEA) and  the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) to create the “Champion Creatively Alive Children” program. The professional development program emphasizes creativity as a 21st century skill and addresses the need for arts-infused education in schools. It empowers art teachers to become the “chief creative officers” in their schools and ensures that principals have the tools to lead their faculty to develop the originality in every child.

The U.S. Department of Education is hosting a professional development event based on this program at its national headquarters to put Department staff, who work on behalf of students every day, in touch with teachers and principals, their counterparts in the classroom. All participants, including principals and teachers from the Northeast, were told “don’t come as you are, come as you were” with a child-like spirit.  Hands-on activities led by Cheri Sterman, Crayola Director of Education and Child Development, will draw out each participant’s creativity to show how art activities build critical  thinking and collaboration skills in students.

“Creativity is a skill that every child needs,” said Mike Perry, Crayola President and Chief Executive Officer. “We started this program asking ourselves ‘What if every principal and teacher championed creatively alive children in their schools?’ Imagine how ready these children will be to face 21st century challenges with a strong foundation in creative thinking.”

The “Champion Creatively Alive Children” professional development program includes videos showcasing how arts-infused education builds the 4Cs – critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, communication. A fifth video devoted to arts-infused education advocacy helps art teachers become the chief creative officer in their schools. Each video tells the story of a school that was awarded one of 20 “Champion Creatively Alive Children” mini-grants from Crayola and NAESP for the innovative ways they are integrating art across the curriculum. Five facilitator guides accompany the video series to enable principals and teachers to lead workshops and staff and parents’ meetings around art as a way to building 21st century skills. The entire series is available at no charge on

Source: Crayola

Call for Artists! A Gateway to Our Community

Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) is excited about its upcoming mural project in the city’s Idora neighborhood and would like to extend a call for artists to submit qualifications for producing a large outdoor mural!


Empty parking lots line both sides of Sherwood Avenue at the intersection with Glenwood Avenue–a major traffic corridor on Youngstown´s South Side.  Just one block south on Glenwood a multi-million dollar project is underway to build a new grocery store, which will increase traffic along the corridor. YNDC will improve the intersection at Sherwood and Glenwood to serve as a gateway to the Idora neighborhood and a continued sign of revitalization.  The mural project will be one phase of the improvements to the Sherwood and Glenwood intersection. Specifically, the mural will be painted on the north side of the former Park Inn building approximately 150 feet from the intersection of Sherwood and Glenwood. The mural wall is one-story constructed primarily of brick with a concrete block addition on the back.  The dimensions of the wall are 15 feet by 90 feet (1350 square feet).

For more information, please download the YNDC Call for Artists document.

QUESTIONS: Please direct questions to Liberty Merrill or Ian Beniston by phone (330.480.0423)or by e-mail (;

OAPN Annual Conference

The Ohio Arts Presenter’s Network invites you to attend the 24th OAPN Annual Showcase Conference October 24-26, 2011 at the Columbus Athenaeum, historic Lincoln Theatre and the Hyatt on Capitol Square in downtown Columbus. Our annual conference serves as a productive, affordable marketplace for arts and entertainment booking, as well as a valuable forum for networking and professional development. If you or your organization hires performing artists, schedules entertainment, offers performances, represents performing artists, or provides support services to the performing arts field, ours is The conference to attend! We provide a friendly, intimate setting to meet and develop business relationships with performing arts colleagues from Ohio and   beyond!

The Annual Showcase Conference is a three day event that has 36 showcases, an exhibit hall, professional development workshops and lots of networking opportunities. Attendees to the Annual Showcase Conference include Presenters, Performing Artists, Agents, Service Organizations and Consultants who reside in and outside of Ohio.

Please click here for a conference schedule.

We are pleased to announce the return of the VSA Ohio exhibit Accessible Expressions Ohio. This collection is an adjudicated, statewide exhibition and tour of visual art that began in 1996 and is an opportunity for artists to create, exhibit and sell their art; recognize all ability levels; and present art by people with disabilities in inclusive settings. This exhibit will be on display at the Columbus Athenaeum during the conference.

Professional Development workshops will be offered on a variety of topics from presenters all over the state. Please click here to view the descriptions.

The showcasing artist schedule will be released later this fall. Please check back to this website for the list and schedule.

Special thanks to our conference partners: Ohio Arts Council, Ohio Citizens for the Arts and Ohio Alliance for Arts Education.

Before registering for the conference, please click the links below to learn 

about hotel accommodations & travel, award nominations, showcase applications, exhibitor, sponsor and advertiser sign-up.

Conference Registration(Early Bird discount deadline: July 15, 2011, Deadline for pre-registration: October 17, 2011)

Advertiser Sign-Up (Deadline: September 2, 2011)

Award Nominations (Nomination deadline: September 30, 2011)

Exhibitor Sign-Up (Deadline: September 2, 2011)

Hotel Accommodations and Travel (Hotel Reservation Deadline: September 29, 2011, or until filled)

Showcase Application (Application deadline: July 1, 2011)

Sponsor Sign-Up (Deadline:  September 2, 2011)

Young Artist Initiative (Deadline: September 2, 2011)

Suggested Reading

Revitalizing Arts Education Through Community-Wide Coordination: In this Wallace-commissioned study, RAND researchers describe initiatives in six cities to reverse a long decline in arts education by coordinating the work of city agencies, arts institutions, schools and others. These “coordinated efforts” are fragile, RAND concludes, but  show some promise in making more and better arts education available to  more city children.

Collecting and Using Information to Strengthen Citywide Out-of-School Time Systems: A number of U.S. communities have been building citywide systems to make high-quality after-school programs more available to children. Many such efforts have shaped their work around the collection and analysis of current, credible data. This guide looks at the kinds of data cities are gathering, how they collect it and how they put it to use.

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