Seeking Six Ohio High Schools to Represent Ohio’s 1.8 Million Students! Is a High School in Your District the Perfect Match?
Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation, in partnership with the Ohio Arts Council, offers a unique community service opportunity for high school students in conjunction with Ohio’s annual Arts Day and Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio. Six high schools from around the state will be chosen to send a team of ten students to Columbus to serve as student advocates. These students will participate in a range of activities highlighting the value and importance of the arts and arts education as a part of a complete curriculum. This is a valuable opportunity for your students to participate in the democratic process in a way that is personally meaningful to them.
You are invited to express your interest in having your students participate in Arts Day 2014 to be held in Columbus on Wednesday, May 21st. Please respond by writing a brief statement of your interest in participating and what you hope to achieve through the student advocates program by November 22, 2013 via email, fax, or US mail (contact information can be found at the close of this message). High school selections will be made by the end of November from those indicating their interest to participate.
WHAT: Arts Day 2014 Student Advocate Program
WHEN: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM
WHERE: Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts and the Ohio Statehouse, Columbus, Ohio
ACTIVITIES DAY OF THE EVENT:
- Students attend an advocacy briefing at 9:00 AM
- Students meet with state legislators or their aides to advocate for the arts and arts education from 10:30AM-11:30 AM
- Students attend the Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Arts Day Luncheon with members of the state legislature from 11:30 AM-1:30 PM (OCA Foundation purchases tickets for students and one teacher per high school)
- Students tour state buildings after 1:30 PM, at teacher’s discretion, if travel time permits.
OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS/TEACHER/SCHOOL:
- Collaborate among academic departments within the high school (ex. arts & government)
- Host a member of the Ohio House of Representatives and/or Senate in your school for an hour pre-Arts Day orientation to discuss the role of a legislator in the school and arts funding process
- Raise student awareness of the legislative process and citizens’ participation in government
- Receive positive recognition for your school
- Make an important contribution to the continuation of state funding for the arts and arts education
- Work with college students, and a theatre coach to understand the advocacy process and learn positive public speaking skills in preparation for legislative visits on May 21, 2014.
REQUIREMENTS PRIOR TO AND DAY OF THE EVENT:
- Ten (10) students who demonstrate an interest in the arts and the day’s activities
- Advance preparation by students: identify and write their Ohio legislators
- School-provided release time for: a) two-hour in-school legislative visit and advocacy training that takes place at your school, and b) trip to Columbus on Arts Day on May 21, 2014
- School-provided transportation to Columbus for ten students and accompanying adult(s)
- One teacher and/or school administrator to “advise” the student participation and serve as a liaison with Ohio Citizens for the Arts staff
Janelle Hallett, Program Director, Arts Day Student Advocates
Telephone: 614.221.4064 Fax: 614.241.5329
Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation 77 South High Street, 2nd Floor Columbus, Ohio 43215-6108
Arts Boosts Local Economy
Art is everywhere, and the Lima Area Arts Collaborative honored that positive economic impact with the second annual Arts Advocacy Luncheon and Award presentation in conjunction with the Lima Rotary Club.
Guest speaker Marc Folk, executive director of the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, spoke on the economic impact to metropolitan areas and how important it is to local economies to advocate growth in the arts.
“In Allen County, there are 220 art-related industries that provide 802 people with employment,” Folk said. “It is important to sustain growth in those industries.”
Folk has been a leader in creating economic growth in the arts in the Toledo area since 1996 as an instructor with the Young Artists at Work program. He became executive director at ACGT in 2007.
Since taking over as director, Folk has stressed the importance of art to local economies. He has instituted many projects aimed at increasing the impact of art in Northwest Ohio, which he says helps economic growth.
Some of those projects include Artomatic 419, a community-led arts event, and Artzone, an effort to attract artists to the area and assist in revitalization of the community. A six-week program called Young Artists At Work has also stirred up interest among youth in the Toledo area each year.
“We had one building that sat empty for more than four years,” Folk said. “The building was in the designated Artzone. Within four months of hosting an Artomatic 419 event at the building, it was leased at 100 percent capacity.”
Folk said the General Assembly recently increased public funding for arts and culture by securing $22.7 million in the Ohio Arts Council budget. He said as state funding increases, federal funding continues to decrease so it is important to continue advocating for funding.
“Art supports 197,000 jobs in Ohio,” Folk said. “Northwest Ohio has great local assets and can positively impact the economy of our local communities.”
The Toledo area saw the number of art studios expand from 30 to 65 in Toledo during Folk’s tenure, and there are 11 new galleries and four new art-related businesses. Cindy Wood of the Veterans Memorial Civic Center said the impact is obvious among the 27 counties in Northwest Ohio.
“A study released by Bowling Green State University in 2009 showed that art-related industries generate more than $2 billion and sustains jobs and local tax revenue,” Wood said. “Allen County holds a significant role in that figure.”
Ohio Citizens for the Arts Executive Director Donna Collins elaborated more on Allen County’s role.
“I have art from Lima middle school students hanging in my office,” Collins said. “Local support of the arts is key. This is where it starts, at the grass roots. The kids love it and it teaches them to work in creative and innovative ways.”
Awards given to local residents included the Collaborative Creator/Artist Award going to Joe Bonifas, a long-time art teacher at Shawnee High School, the Award for Arts Advocacy to Lima City Schools director of arts and magnet programs Sally Windle, and Art Philanthropist Award to Jim and Chris O’Neill.
For These Schools, Adding Arts to STEM Boosts Curriculum
Michelle Fredette writes for T.H.E. Journal about how the arts are being integrated in two STEM schools to address the learning needs of more students, increase deeper understanding, and support creativity. (See “For These Schools, Adding Arts to STEM Boosts Curriculum: Adding the arts to a STEM curriculum engages students who might otherwise have been left behind” by Michelle Fredette, 10/17/13, October 2013 issue of T.H.E. Journal)
The author describes two examples of STEAM initiatives: University Place Elementary School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Taylor Elementary School in Arlington, VA. The staffs of both schools researched best practices and found that adding the arts to the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics curriculum provides students with the opportunity to express their creativity, engages students in a deeper understanding of the topic, and differentiates instruction for students.
At Taylor Elementary School in Arlington, VA, classroom teachers work with the music and art teachers on specific topics and develop lessons together. For a lesson on the life cycle of plants, the music teacher introduced the students to basic and more complex structures for music. The students created their own music using GarageBand, and described to classmates how their compositions reflected the life cycle of plants.
New UMass Archive Details History of Arts Policy
Hear the word ”archive” and you might envision dusty historical records – old letters and documents, photographs, maybe newsreels or other old films. In short, a place of interest mostly to historians and researchers.
But organizers of a national archive of arts management material at the University of Massachusetts Amherst say their new resource, formed with the assistance of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), ideally will provide a road map for many people involved in the arts.
”The general perception is that an archive is about the past,” said Rob Cox, head of the Special Collections Department at UMass. ”But a properly constituted archive is about the future … it’s about setting the stage for determining the future.”
Cox is one of a number of people at UMass involved with the creation of what’s known as the National Arts Policy Archives and Library, or NAPAAL. It’s a vast collection of material, much of it from the NEA, that details the history of the arts and cultural policies in the country over the past 50-plus years: books, posters, documents, films, plays and screenplays, art periodicals, artists’ personal papers and more.
The project, which has been in the planning stages for eight years and was officially launched during a day-long symposium at the university, represents a collaboration between the UMass Arts Extension Service, the Special Collections Department, the NEA, and a number of other organizations, including state arts agencies from across the country.
Dee Boyle-Clapp, director of the Arts Extension Service (AES), says the materials are still being cataloged but will eventually all be digitized and made available online to researchers, students, Five College faculty and others. The collection will continue to grow, she adds, given that the university will receive new material from the NEA every two years.
Boyle-Clapp believes the archive will be a vital resource for people who, like herself, work in fields such as arts management or policy making, giving them a one-stop resource for examining how those issues have played out in the past. Knowing how a previous arts policy was shaped, she notes, gives people working today a better sense of how they might, for example, seek federal funding or other monies for a new project.
”Arts management is really about all the stuff that goes on behind the curtain,” she said. ”It’s the administrative side of things, from seeking funding, to identifying your audience, to understanding how federal art policies interact with state polices and community arts program.
”A lot of people don’t realize that arts management, federal arts involvement, all that is still relatively new,” Boyle-Clapp added, noting that the NEA was created by Congress in 1965. ”So there hasn’t been any move, until now, to get the materials in one place, and in a safe environment where they won’t deteriorate.”
Some of the materials are in forms that are fast becoming obsolete and inoperable, she added, such as cassettes and floppy disks, so digitizing them now will preserve them – ”just as digitizing papers will prevent them from getting ruined by water or mold.”
At the UMass symposium, held at the Campus Center, organizers and other speakers told an audience of about 125 people, including UMass art students, that the NAPAAL materials would also provide a key resource in understanding the role art plays in the lives of everyday Americans. The NEA has long surveyed public participation in the arts, and in fact the organization has just released its most recent study along those lines, analyzing how many Americans annually read novels and poetry, for instance, or attend a dance performance.
Robert Lynch, a UMass graduate and the AES director from 1976-1985, is the president of Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit group that supports community arts programs and art education for schools. He told the audience that NAPAAL, which his organization is contributing to, will also play an important role in preserving a ”behind the scenes” look at U.S. art policies over the years.
For instance, he said it’s not well known today that President Lyndon Johnson pushed Congress to vote on the creation of the NEA after Senate leaders told him they wanted to postpone any decision on the bill, which was somewhat controversial. ”That’s the stuff that’s behind what gets written and put out there,” he said. ”That’s part of what this archive is going to be about.”
And, he noted, the new UMass archive will help document the history of the culture wars that first arose in the 1980s, when conservative politicians tried to dismantle the NEA or stop certain federally funded art projects they deemed objectionable.
The idea behind NAPAAL dates back to about 2005 when Maren Brown, then the AES director – today she teaches arts management classes at UMass and works as an independent arts consultant – met with Patricia Walker Powell, an NEA program official, and the two began talking about how such a resource might be created. They brought Cox, the UMass Special Collections director, on board to help shape the effort.
In a paraphrase of Hillary Clinton, Brown said ”It takes a university to raise an archive library.”
Boyle-Clapp and other speakers said they hope the new archive, which will also include nearly 40 years of records from the AES itself, will help future arts-management staff and artists themselves avoid some of the missteps current arts-management people have made over the years while working in the field.
”I’ve forgotten what I did 30 years ago,” joked Alex Aldrich, the longtime director of the Vermont Arts Council. But, he told students, they could avoid that problem in their future arts management careers by establishing a permanent record now: ”For your own sake, start a blog and keep it going.”
Singing Changes Your Brain
By Stacy Horn
When you sing, musical vibrations move through you, altering your physical and emotional landscape. Group singing, for those who have done it, is the most exhilarating and transformative of all. It takes something incredibly intimate, a sound that begins inside you, shares it with a roomful of people and it comes back as something even more thrilling: harmony. So it’s not surprising that group singing is on the rise. According to Chorus America, 32.5 million adults sing in choirs, up by almost 10 million over the past six years. Many people think of church music when you bring up group singing, but there are over 270,000 choruses across the country and they include gospel groups to show choirs like the ones depicted in Glee to strictly amateur groups like Choir! Choir! Choir! singing David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World.
As the popularity of group singing grows, science has been hard at work trying to explain why it has such a calming yet energizing effect on people. What researchers are beginning to discover is that singing is like an infusion of the perfect tranquilizer, the kind that both soothes your nerves and elevates your spirits.
The elation may come from endorphins, a hormone released by singing, which is associated with feelings of pleasure. Or it might be from oxytocin, another hormone released during singing, which has been found to alleviate anxiety and stress. Oxytocin also enhances feelings of trust and bonding, which may explain why still more studies have found that singing lessens feelings of depression and loneliness. A very recent study even attempts to make the case that “music evolved as a tool of social living,” and that the pleasure that comes from singing together is our evolutionary reward for coming together cooperatively, instead of hiding alone, every cave-dweller for him or herself.
The benefits of singing regularly seem to be cumulative. In one study, singers were found to have lower levels of cortisol, indicating lower stress. A very preliminary investigation suggesting that our heart rates may sync up during group singing could also explain why singing together sometimes feels like a guided group meditation. Study after study has found that singing relieves anxiety and contributes to quality of life. Dr. Julene K. Johnson, a researcher who has focused on older singers, recently began a five year study to examine group singing as an affordable method to improve the health and well-being of older adults.
It turns out you don’t even have to be a good singer to reap the rewards. According to one 2005 study, group singing “can produce satisfying and therapeutic sensations even when the sound produced by the vocal instrument is of mediocre quality.” Singing groups vary from casual affairs where no audition is necessary to serious, committed professional or avocational choirs like the Los Angeles Master Chorale or my chorus in New York City, which I joined when I was 26 and depressed, all based on a single memory of singing in a choir at Christmas, an experience so euphoric I never forgot it.
If you want to find a singing group to join, ChoirPlace and ChoralNet are good places to begin, or more local sites like the New York Choral Consortium, which has links to the Vocal Area Network and other sites, or the Greater Boston Choral Consortium. But if you can’t find one at any of these sites, you can always google “choir” or “choral society” and your city or town to find more. Group singing is cheaper than therapy, healthier than drinking, and certainly more fun than working out. It is the one thing in life where feeling better is pretty much guaranteed. Even if you walked into rehearsal exhausted and depressed, by the end of the night you’ll walk out high as a kite on endorphins and good will.
Source: Time Magazine
White Paper on National Arts and Health in the Military Released
In partnership with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), Americans for the Arts launched The National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military in January 2012. This Initiative advances the arts in health, healing, and healthcare for military service members, veterans, their families, and their caregivers. The arts have proven to be a successful way of managing pain and stress, promotion self expression, and reconnecting military personnel and veterans to the community – which leads to healthier patients, lower healthcare costs, and a long list of individual, social, and economic benefits.
Since its founding in 2012, the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military has held two national convenings: the Arts and Health in the Military National Roundtable (November 2012) and the National Summit: Arts, Health, and Wellness Across the Military Continuum (April 2013). From these meetings came a series of recommendations in the areas of research, practice, and policy, detailed in the seminal report we are proud to release today: Arts, Health, and Well-Being Across the Military Continuum – White Paper and Framing a National Plan for Action. Check out our webpage for a summary on the key themes of this study and goals of this initiative.
Source: Americans for the Arts
Nonprofits Face Delayed Payments From Shutdown
By Doug Donovan
More than half of nearly 100 nonprofits that receive federal aid said in a new poll that their payments from the federal government have been delayed or stopped because of the shutdown, according to the Nonprofit Finance Fund. Sixty-four other groups that participated in the poll said they received no federal aid.
The poll, posted online by the fund, which provides loans to nonprofits, found that 43 percent of 97 groups say payments have been delayed, and 15 percent said their payments have been stopped altogether. Only 26 percent reported on-time payments, while 16 percent said their money has been arriving as always: late.
As a result of struggles with government, 18 percent reported that they had shut down or scaled back programs, and 5 percent have laid off employees or placed them on furlough, the poll reported.
The poll isn’t designed to be a scientific survey, Nonprofit Finance Fund officials said, but it “represents a range of nonprofit experiences and pervasive fears as cash-strapped nonprofits worry about the ability to deliver services to people in need.”
Human-service and arts organizations made up 54 percent of groups that took to the poll, and more than half of all the groups had budgets of $500,001 to $5-million.
The fund is continuing to accept responses. To participate, go to the Nonprofit Finance Fund’s survey site.
Source: Chronicle of Philanthropy
Charity Watchdog Shakes Up Ratings To Focus On Results
There’s one area of the economy that’s growing faster than business or government.
According to the Urban Institute, in the 10 years between 2001 and 2011, the number of nonprofits increased 25 percent. But most of them aren’t very good at measuring their effectiveness – at least, that’s the conclusion of the nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator, which rates thousands of nonprofits to help donors make decisions on their giving.
Now, Charity Navigator is planning to change its ratings system. President and CEO Ken Berger says donors deserve to know if the money they’re giving is going to programs that work.
“Think about the fact that [in] the largest nonprofit sector in the history of the world, we do not know whether or not we’re having meaningful results and to what extent,” Berger says. “It’s not to say that they’re not having results, but they often just don’t know what the heck they are.”
So Berger is shaking up Charity Navigator’s ratings system. At the moment, Charity Navigator compares how much money a nonprofit spends on its programs with how much it spends on overhead. But beginning in 2016, the rating will also factor in results.
“How clearly do you identify the problem that you’re trying to solve and how well do you have measures to know that you’re on the road to solving that problem?” Berger says.
Give People A New Outlook, Then Measure It
But what if the problem you’re trying to solve is in the middle of a war zone? Doctors Without Borders Executive Director Sophie Delaunay says she’s leery about a system that would grade a nonprofit based on its results.
“I mean, it really depends on how they’re going to use their results and what is their own understanding of what they’re trying to analyze,” she says.
Charity Navigator has suggested that one way nonprofits can evaluate their effectiveness is to ask the people they serve how they’re doing. But Delaunay says that’s “totally unrealistic” for doctors performing surgery in a war zone: “There is no way we’re going to send a questionnaire to our patients, who are displaced and in a dramatic state, about whether they are satisfied with our care.”
For other nonprofits, surveys are no big deal. Surale Phillips, a consultant to arts groups around the country, says many theaters and dance companies already ask their audiences for feedback.
“You probably get a questionnaire about what you thought of the show and the questions will be about the artistic process,” she says.
Still, lots of nonprofit arts groups say their goal is to use theater or music to bring people together, or to make people think differently about the world. Those results are hard for arts organizations to measure, Phillips says.
“In the medical industry or environmental industry, or things that are not the arts, there are often standards that are across the board,” she says. “We don’t have those kinds of standards [in] the arts. We don’t have, you know, CO2 levels to measure change.”
But Dennis Chestnut does. He’s executive director of the environmental nonprofit Groundwork Anacostia River DC, which measures change in the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. Their mission is both restoration and education: Chestnut says they’re trying to get people to care more about the environmental health of their community, learn how to improve it and then make it part of their daily lives.
“It might take … a period of years to measure the impact,” he says, “for us to, you know, actually see that end result, that outcome.”
The Price Of Surveying Results
Another obstacle many nonprofits could face is how to pay for evaluations. Charity Navigator is asking for a fairly sophisticated process. With nonprofit jargon like “causal logic” and “pre-defined outputs,” you need a glossary to get through the description. Phillips, the arts consultant, says it takes training to do the kind of evaluation they’re asking for.
“It’s not necessarily about sending one staff person to a workshop,” she says. “It’s a really intense process.”
But Charity Navigator’s Berger says nonprofits complained about the ratings formula way back when they first started doing them, 11 years ago.
“The outcry from the sector was: ‘You’re not measuring what matters most,’ ‘You need to evaluate us on our results.’ That’s what we were told until 2011,” he says. “Now that we’ve got this, now we’re being told, ‘No, wait. It’s too hard; it’s too complicated; it’s too expensive.’ It’s this, that and the other thing.”
If nonprofits are going to ask people for money, Berger says, they should be able to show them their results.
Source: NPR News
Technology News You Can Use
Nonprofit’s Sales Software Helps Arts Groups Track Audience: A New York nonprofit has developed ticket-selling software designed to help small performing-arts groups more closely track and communicate with their patrons, writes The Wall Street Journal. Launched in October, Artful.ly is a project of New York arts-support organization Fractured Atlas. The program allows performance groups to build a unified database of audience members as it makes sales, creating profiles of individual patrons’ past attendance, donations, and other details. Fractured Atlas has invested more than $2-million in Artful.ly, which will be available for free to nonprofit organizations. The program charges a $2 service fee to ticket buyers.