News from Ohio Citizens for the Arts

Online Nominations Open: 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio

Ohio is home to a wealth of talented artists, arts institutions and people who support them. An excellent way to show your appreciation for those who support and work on behalf of the arts in Ohio is to nominate them for an award!

The Ohio Arts Council is now accepting online nominations for the 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio. The annual awards are given to Ohio individuals and organizations in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the arts locally, statewide, regionally and nationally. Awards are given for Arts Administration, Arts Education, Arts Patron, Business Support of the Arts, Community Development & Participation and Individual Artist.

The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 5 p.m. and the deadline for support letters is Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 5 p.m.

Nominations will be accepted online only. A complete explanation of the nomination process is available on the 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio and Arts Day Luncheon website. For more information about the Governor’s Awards nomination process, please contact Elizabeth Weinstein at 614/728-4463 or elizabeth.weinstein@oac.state.oh.us.

The 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio and Arts Day Luncheon, presented by the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation, will be held Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at noon at the Columbus Athenaeum in downtown Columbus. Tickets are $50 and include lunch and a dessert reception. All proceeds go to the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation. Winners will receive an original work of art by Ohio painter Steven Walker at a public ceremony during the luncheon.

The Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio and Arts Day Luncheon will be held in conjunction with Arts Day 2014. Arts Day, a daylong event demonstrating public value and support for the arts, is sponsored by the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation. The day will include an arts advocacy briefing, legislative visits, arts showcase, Statehouse tours and student exhibitions. For more information on Arts Day 2014, visit www.ohiocitizensforthearts.org or call 614/221-4064.

Arts Day was created to foster a greater awareness of the value of the arts in Ohio. Citizens are encouraged to participate in Arts Day by visiting with their state legislators and communicating the need for public support of the arts and arts education. Each year on Arts Day, the Capitol is filled with arts supporters sharing the importance of the arts in their communities.

The 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio and Arts Day Luncheon are presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and Ohio Government Telecommunications.
OCA Seeks Recommendations For Candidates to Serve on the Board of Directors

The Nominating Committee for Ohio Citizens for the Arts needs your help in securing names and contact information for potential candidates to serve as leaders on the Board of Directors.

An Ohio Citizens for the Arts’ Board of Directors member serves one three-year term and must be a member of the organization. Other responsibilities include attendance and participation in four Board meetings each year, serving on a committee or task force, and participating in activities of the organization including membership development and Arts Day.

Members of the Nominating Committee (Joy Padgett, Coshocton; Julius Dorsey, Jr. Cleveland Heights; and Tim Greenwood, Toledo) will be looking for geographic distribution of members, representation of arts organizations, artists, business leaders, civic leaders, and citizens with an interest in supporting the mission of Ohio Citizens for the Arts: Established in 1976, Ohio Citizens for the Arts is a volunteer, nonprofit grass roots organization working to increase public support of the arts in Ohio.

Please participate in the nominating process by providing us with potential candidates as your personal recommendation.

Please respond by September 30, 2013. Your suggestions should be sent to us by email donnacollins@ohiocitizensforthearts.org, or by fax at 614.241.5329, or by US mail at OCA, 77 South High Street, 2nd floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215-6108.

Provide the following information for each individual you are recommending:
Name:
Mailing Address:
Telephone Number:
Email Address:
Profession or connection to the arts:

We would also like to you to provide a sentence or two about the strengths of this individual and what assets they will bring as a Board member of the Ohio Citizens for the Arts, if slated and elected.

Please note that only those recommendations providing all the information requested will be considered by the Nominating Committee.

Thank you for your participation and interest in supporting the arts in Ohio! If you have questions feel free to call Donna Collins at 614.221.4064.

Rural Arts Education and the Digital Divide: Bridging the Gap

Broadband Internet access might not seem like an issue for the 70% of Americans who have it. But for those who don’t, the digital divide is real – and it’s a real problem.

It’s a problem that disproportionately affects people living in rural areas. According to a 2013 White House report, only 58% of rural residents in the U.S. have broadband Internet access at home. That’s compared to 72% of urban residents. In total, over 100 million U.S. homes lack broadband access.

High-speed broadband Internet has undeniable benefits for communities. It allows for better healthcare and public safety. It spurs economic development. It enables global communication. And, perhaps most importantly, it improves education.

Studies show that students who have Internet access at home have better grades, higher test scores, and higher graduation rates. Internet access better prepares students for high school and college – and after that, the real world. Those without it? They fall behind.

Expanding Internet, expanding horizons
It’s not all about numbers and statistics. High-speed Internet access improves education in media arts – which in turn fosters community building, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, civic engagement, innovation and much more.

Access to the Internet can expand access to the arts across the country – and the globe. Not in NYC or Paris? No problem. Students can take virtual tours of the Metropolitan or the Louvre online. They can view art exhibits and listen to concerts, stream radio broadcasts and podcasts. Even watch films, webinars and documentaries online.

Shrinking the digital divide brings these benefits to more students – especially those in rural areas who lack broadband Internet access at home.

Education and creation
With expanded Internet access, rural students can use digital tools to learn about art, literature, music, film and more. But it can also help them create their own art – and collaborate and communicate with the world.

The Internet allows students to interact with communities outside their schools and towns. They can post their own photography on Flickr or Photobucket. They can take advantage of online graphic design tools like pixlr if they can’t afford Photoshop. Show off their art on Etsy or DeviantART. Make movies on their laptops or phones. Collaborate on projects with students across the globe. They can write, sing, dance, speak, and create – and then share.

The future of rural broadband
The advantages of a media arts education are obvious. But if the digital divide remains, only some students will be able to see the benefits. There’s hope for the future. Many organizations, from government agencies to nonprofit groups, are working together to expand broadband Internet access to rural areas.

The FCC
The Federal Communications Commission is working to increase access to broadband Internet across the country – by decreasing the price. 28% of households that lack broadband access say that prohibitive cost is their number one concern.

The FCC created the Connect America Fund (CAF) to support their initiatives. Their goal is to provide 100 million households with a 100Mbps Internet connection by 2020 – and to improve healthcare, sustainability, public safety and education.

CenturyLink recently accepted $54 million from the Connect America Fund to expand high-speed Internet access to more than 92,000 rural homes and businesses. The telco giant will also invest more than $60 million of its own funds to bring Internet access to rural areas in 33 states within the next three years. AT&T, while declining CAF support last year, this year says it will accept up to $100 million to deploy broadband to rural areas.
Internet.org

Launched in August 2013, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet.org is the latest nonprofit focused on expanding Internet access.

The project, which has partnered with tech companies like Samsung and Opera, aims to lower the cost and increase the availability of broadband Internet across the globe. Zuckerberg hopes to make Internet access available to 5 billion people worldwide.

By: Rose Haywood, Business2Community

Online Petition to Tell Congress: Don’t Cut Funding for the Arts and Arts

With a 49% budget cut, the NEA will be forced to drastically scale back their grant-making. These disproportionate cuts of $71 million are short-sighted and will ultimately be devastating when combined with the additional loss of $639 million in potential matching funds for the arts. For every dollar the NEA invests in a nonprofit arts organization, it is matched on average 9-to-1 by additional grants. Communities rely on NEA grants to leverage additional support for the arts, generate local economic activity, and fuel innovation. Through the relatively small investments made by Congress, NEA is making possible extraordinary things all across the country, including seeding new jobs in the creative economy.

Stand with us as we protect this important educational and economic investment in our country, by telling Congress that cutting funding to the NEA is not an option. Now is the time to make sure that they hear our voice and protect the arts in America. Add your name to the online petition and make a difference in the lives of all Americans.

Take action

2nd Annual ReelAbilities Columbus Disabilities Film Festival

The state organization on art and disability, VSA Ohio, will present the ReelAbilities NY Disabilities Film Festival in October 4-7, 2013. ReelAbilities is sponsored by the Saul Schottenstein Foundation B, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Ohio Arts Council, Puffin Foundation West, and Special Olympics.

This festival features films and engaging special presentations that celebrate the lives, stories, and art of people with disabilities. ReelAbilities brings the community together to explore, discuss and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience. The universality of disability is made visible through the presentation of films, multimedia, and first person narratives. ReelAbilities Columbus will be presented October 4-7, 2013 at four venues: Columbus College of Art and Design, McConnell Arts Center, Wexner Center for the Arts, and Ohio Historical Society. VSA Ohio will present nine international, award-winning films, a free community screening as well as performances, talkback panels, and a workshop on film-making. Admission for all films is $5 per screening. For more information, visit columbus.reelabilities.org or call 614.241.5325. More information on VSA Ohio can also be found at http://www.vsao.org

Join the Creative Conversation: Arts, Culture and Autism
How can we make the arts more accessible for individuals on the autism spectrum? Immediately following the screening of Ocean Heaven (7:00 pm), a moderated panel of cultural administrators will discuss their efforts to develop and implement programming for audiences with autism, including motivations, challenges, successes, and value. Time will be allotted for Q&A. Findings from a recent Arts & Autism in Ohio research initiative by the Ohio Arts Council will also be shared.

The panel will be immediately followed by a reception in the galleries to network and continue the conversation.

The Creative Conversation Panel:
Moderated by Christopher Purdy, radio personality with WOSU/Classical 101
Amy Hess, Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Autism Treatment Network
Shannon Klouda, Helping Hands Center for Special Needs
Toni Johnson, Columbus Children’s Theatre
Danielle Ross, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Ashley Russell, COSI

September Is Boom Time for Donors, Google Says
By Nicole Wallace

A new research study by Google suggests that nonprofits might be waiting too long to start their year-end fundraising efforts.

In 2012, the number of donation-related searches on the company’s site was 30 percent higher in September than it was in August.

“If nonprofits wait until Thanksgiving time to raise awareness, they’re missing out on all these people who are starting to search in September,” says Jessie End, who oversees the company’s advertising operations for nonprofit organizations.

Surprised by that finding, the company’s advertising unit commissioned a study to see what else it could learn about donors’ online-giving habits. Conducted by Millward Brown Digital, a market-research firm, the project included an online survey of 982 people and analysis of the online behavior for six months of 2 million people who had agreed to let the company track their activities online.

Three-quarters of donors began research they conducted on charities online, according to the survey.

Google will share the research at a meeting on Wednesday with its nonprofit clients and release the information more widely in the coming weeks.

Video a Powerful Tool
The study also found that video was a powerful tool to spark online gifts. Fifty-seven percent of survey participants said they had made a contribution after watching a charity’s online video.

The exploding popularity of smartphones and tablets also plays an increasing role in donors’ giving.

Forty percent of survey participants said they conduct research about charities on their mobile devices, and 25 percent said they make donations using smartphones and tablets.

Of the people who said they make donations through their mobile devices, 45 percent reported that they make their contributions using a browser, and 28 percent said they gave by text message. The rest of the donors reported using mobile apps, click-to-call features, and other mobile options.

Analysis of donors’ online activity showed that almost half of donors visited multiple nonprofit Web sites before making a donation. Thirty-nine percent visited two to four charity sites, and 8 percent visited five or more.

Says Ms. End: “It’s important to build your brand because nonprofit donors are, in fact, comparison shoppers.”

Source: Chronicle of Philanthropy

Six Reasons That the Arts Are the Ideal Vehicle to Teach 21st Century Success Skills

by: Lisa Phillips

There are many things I don’t know about life and how the world works, but there are two things I know for certain. The first is that young people are less prepared for the working world than they were 20 years ago. The second is that there is something we can do about it!

Don’t get me wrong, young people today are energetic, caring about the environment and passionate about social justice. However, when it comes to the skills they need to conquer the competitive nature of the working world, there is some work to be done. Success skills such as effective communication, accountability, finding solutions to challenges, and adaptability are just some of the areas that the current generation is lacking.

So where can they learn them?

In those “nice to have, but not need to have” programs that our school boards seem to be cutting like they were last year’s fashions…THE ARTS!

If parents, educators and policy makers would just LOOK and see what I see, they would recognize an untapped opportunity to catapult 21st century students toward achieving their goals in life. I would like to offer 6 reasons why the arts offer excellent opportunities to develop these vital success skills.

1.The Arts Don’t Focus on Right & Wrong

The simple fact is, if we learn mainly in an environment in which we pump out answers that are either right or wrong, with no middle ground or room for creativity, we will begin to see the whole world as black and white. We will expect every problem to have a right answer. Participation in the arts opens up our mind to the possibility that the world is full of color and there is more than one way to achieve a goal. When the pressure of needing to find the right answer is removed, it becomes easier to take a risk and try – and trying is the only way to succeed.

2.The Arts are Inherently Creative

The desire to employ creative people is not unique to Apple. The most successful companies assemble teams of people who are able to see the big picture, to make connections and to predict market trends. Even in a fiercely competitive job market, these skills will always be in demand. Unfortunately, our traditional systems of education are not designed to produce people with these skills. In arts education children are constantly being asked to try new things and think of alternatives. This kind of thinking goes a long way toward developing the essential success skill of creativity.

3.The Emphasis on Practice

In the arts, it is understood that you will not be able to learn an instrument or be an incredible dancer over night. Developing these skills takes effort and hours and hours of practice. The arts environment encourages persistence through challenges towards mastery, a skill very much needed to thrive in the 21st century. When children participate in the arts, they will not shy away from learning things in their adult lives that are challenging, or take lots of time and effort. They would have already experienced the benefit of that level of practice through their arts training.

4.The Focus on Feedback & Critique

Feedback is a constant part of the learning process in the arts. This helps children understand that feedback should not be taken personally, but that it is meant to challenge them to push beyond what they think they are capable of achieving. A good arts teacher’s critique is specific; it tells the student what works, what does not, and what they can do to improve. If we are used to seeing feedback as fuel for improvement, our natural reaction when receiving feedback will not be to make excuses, but to ask for more feedback about how we can improve our performance.

5.The Moment of Success

Each discipline within the arts has its own method of performance or presentation – an art exhibit, a play, a dance show etc. This gives children a sense of accomplishment after all of their effort and practice. This acknowledgement translates into a strong boost of confidence and enhances their drive to continue learning and improving. They have experienced a moment of success and when that happens they are typically motivated to seek even more success.

6.The Coping Mechanisms for Handling Stress

Mental health is a growing concern in our society and often people can become overwhelmed with stress. It is important to find ways to calm ourselves during those moments. Dancing, painting or playing the piano can be a great stress reliever. These activities help us let out our frustrations, and express ourselves without needing to use words. If children develop these skills early, then as adults they will naturally gravitate toward these and will have a way to deal with stresses that come up in their lives.

The world is changing so rapidly and the rules in the job market are requiring a different set of skills in order to find success. Long gone are the days when a university degree was enough to guarantee a great career. We need to wake up to the realization that the arts have a critical role to play in the development of the skills young people need to not only survive, but to thrive in the 21st century.

Source: Americans for the Arts

Safeguarding Artists Against Vague Publishing Practices
By Kelsey Swindler of Orange Frazer Press in Wilmington, Ohio

The publishing industry is in a state of flux driven by more than just digital readers. Recent changes in reading habits, book production and manufacturing, and even marketing and publicity channels have created a landscape that is challenging to both publishers and authors. We live in an information age, where anything you could ever need to know is only six key strokes away (G-O-O-G-L-E), and yet, it is still difficult to find kernels of truth and relevancy in the din of the online world.

Orange Frazer Press has been publishing books independently for over twenty-five years. In that time, we’ve worked with hundreds of writers, photographers, painters, and illustrators. Both a traditional publisher and a custom book publishing service, we strive for personal encounters with our authors and clients. As the New York publishing industry fractures and the online self-publishing giants continue to grow and merge, we go about our business in the Midwest, making books and providing the services that we feel our clients deserve. We do, however, continually meet clients who have been scarred by both sides of this industry, who have horror stories of disappearing royalties and unreachable publishers, or incorrigible sales people and unconscionable contracts.

And with advances and royalties shrinking, more authors are choosing to publish independently, choosing a DIY self-publishing route, an online self-publishing company, or a publishing service such as Orange Frazer. So what would a potential author need to know to enter this world confidently, armed with the right information to choose a professional and honest publishing partner for his/her work? Following are our own recommendations:

1. Don’t pay for something your publisher can’t deliver. The online self-publishing giants will hassle you with sales calls and woo you with “Hollywood packages” and guaranteed reviews. Don’t buy this. In the end, no publisher can promise you anything but the book itself. Reviews are fickle, Hollywood may or may not care, and publicity is as much serendipity as it is hard work.
2. Know your publisher. If your publisher exists only behind armies of sales people and call centers, proceed cautiously. Having a personal connection with your publisher (or any one of the people assisting in the production of your book) is important. Without this connection, you will have little recourse should something go awry. We believe that being accessible is the foundation for an open and honest relationship with our clients, and that the best books come from these personal encounters.
3. Don’t settle. Over 300,000 print books were traditionally published in 2010 (and over 3,000,000 if you include on-demand, self-published, and e-book titles in this figure). If your book is not professionally edited, designed, proofread, or manufactured, it just won’t stand out. A cheap book is still a book, but it is not necessarily a purchased book, or a reviewed book, or, unfortunately, a remembered book. This doesn’t mean you should spend your life savings on your first book. It simply means that you should seek out quality craftsmanship.
4. Compare apples to apples. The specs you get from Create Space or the package you purchase from XLibris or iUniverse may seem cheaper than that provided by an independent publishing house at first glance, but make sure you are comparing unit prices. Often, these packages only give you five, ten, maybe twenty-five copies of your book. You are mostly paying for “publicity.” We’ve seen packages where the unit cost for the book ends up being over $100, when broken down. Don’t make this mistake. In the end, if your book is even modestly successful, you may need several hundred books (or more). You will then be buying these from Xlibris/Create Space/etc. Say you need 200 copies and the unit cost for you is just $10, you are still spending $2,000 in addition to your initial package. But they certainly didn’t tell you that in your initial quote, because then it would look too expensive. Always look for the hidden costs of online self-publishing packages.
5. Don’t sign a contract you can’t read. Several of the online self-publishing giants are finding themselves entangled in court proceedings (made more confusing by the fact that most of them are owned by the same company) over truly unconscionable contracts that purposefully mislead authors. Orange Frazer’s contract is two pages, and it is thoroughly understandable. Don’t sign something you can’t read.

In the end, it will come down to chemistry. Meet with your publisher, if at all possible, to see if it’s a good fit for you and your book. You deserve to have a personal and professional team. If you decide to independently publish (on your own or with a publishing service), you will reap the benefits of sales by retaining your rights, and you will maintain control of production and protect the integrity of your work.

We firmly believe that there is a route for each person and each book, and that when artists and authors are well-informed, both publishers and authors benefit. And as the publishing battles roll on, and the industry rumbles over everything from price-fixing to metadata, we will continue to make the best books that we can for the diversely talented writers and artists that approach us, because we just don’t know how to do anything else.
Kelsey Swindler
Author Liaison
Orange Frazer Press
“Your story, beautifully told.”
P.O. Box 214
37 1/2 West Main Street
Wilmington, OH 45177
937/382-3196

Suggested Reading

United Arts Funds Statistical Report-FY2012: Americans for the Arts is pleased to present this statistical report about the nation’s united arts funds (UAFs), containing the most current information provided as of September 2013.

United arts funds are private organizations that raise money for the arts, work to broaden support for the arts, encourage arts attendance and participation, promote excellence in the arts and arts management, and ensure that arts organizations are financially stable. Americans for the Arts defines a UAF campaign as a combined or federated appeal for arts funding conducted annually to raise unrestricted money on behalf of three or more arts, culture, and/or science organizations.

Pump Up Your Nonprofit’s Facebook Page with These 10 Tips

At the Social Media for Nonprofits conference, Carie Lewis of the Humane Society of the United States shared how her organization’s Facebook strategy has raised about $200,000 per year. Even if you don’t have a full-time social media team, here are 10 ways you can pump up your nonprofit’s Facebook page:

1. The Humane Society focuses 70% of their social media time on Facebook because that’s the platform their constituents use most. Find out which platforms your constituents like so that you don’t devote time to the wrong platform.

2. People join Facebook to connect with their friends and families, not with companies, so make sure you communicate like a real person.

3. Facebook success isn’t about how many friends you have or how many “Likes” you get; it’s about actions. Do your fans do what you want them to do? Do you reach out to them so that they come back to your page?

4. You must be relevant, interesting, concise, responsive, and add value. Ninety-percent of people who “Like” a page never visit it again, so give fans a reason to keep coming back. Interact, ask for input, and make sure social media links are on all of your materials: emails, websites, event registration pages, you name it.

5. Even if you’ve answered the same question a million times, answer it again. Answer absolutely everyone and answer them in a timely manner.

6. Social media is a great way to show people how their time, money, and efforts are making a difference. Be sure to close the loop on fundraising and report back to your supporters.

7. Make your page a safe place to visit with a commenting and privacy policy. You will inevitably have to deal with negative comments-create a response strategy that is positive and non-confrontational.

8. Facebook users love to feel engaged. Post photos, videos, competitions, just make sure you know Facebook’s rules! Also beware of autoposting your Twitter feed onto Facebook. This will make your fans feel less valued.

9. People are becoming inundated by corporate, branded Facebook posts. If you take over your fans’ feeds, they’ll defriend you because they’ll feel overwhelmed. On the other hand, if you never use your page, fans will be uninspired and you’ll be missing out on an energize them.

10. If your fans wanted to read all about you, they’d go to your website. Use Facebook to interact and provide personalized responses, even for FAQ, not to overbearingly push a product and sell, sell, sell

Remember, the ultimate goal of Facebook is to connect, connect, connect! Connect with your fans like one of their friends by making your posts personal, and people will be more inclined to participate.

Source: Network for Good

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