Nationalism and government support of the arts

Photo Courtesy of guccio@文房具社.

On the evening of August 8, 2008, I sat in the Bird’s Nest in Beijing with 91,000 other spectators and a television audience in the billions, watching China tell its story through the arts. Sure enough, after the final firework exploded over the Bird’s Nest, China had accomplished its goal: prove that, through discipline andRead More

Models and Trends in International Arts Exchange

Photo courtesy of Adam Fagen.

While living in China, I befriended a Japanese classmate who spoke no English. I spoke no Japanese, but we both spoke Chinese—and more importantly, we both played guitar.  Our connection to music served as the foundation of friendship. She taught me to play Japanese rock songs, and I memorized the lyrics to harmonize with her. Read More

Midsummer public arts funding update

FEDERAL The United States Senate is considering an update to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind. The bill contains several pro-arts revisions, but as Narric Rome explains, political constraints probably mean an agreement is still far off. The Senate did, however, add the Arts Require Timely ServiceRead More

Around the horn: Kim Jong-un edition

ART AND THE GOVERNMENT The NEA has unveiled a new four-point plan for its arts education program, and Kristen Engebretsen has the details. Yo-Yo Ma gave this year’s Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy at Arts Advocacy Day, and you can watch the video here. Fascinating account of the Norwegian jazz scene and how government fundingRead More

Around the horn: Four more years edition

ART AND THE GOVERNMENT As you know, there was an election last week, and Barack Obama won it. Thankfully this means that Barry Hessenius’s worst fears about the NEA likely won’t be realized, but Barry does have some useful advocacy advice that is worth a read regardless of the outcome. Ted Johnson has a helpful pre-electionRead More

Around the horn: Rock me like a hurricane edition

First, two personal items of note: I’m honored to be listed once again as one of the top 25 (really, 40ish) arts leaders on Barry Hessenius’s annual list of such things; and the video of my talk at TEDxMichiganAve given many months ago is now available for viewing. CLOSURES, OPENINGS, MERGERS, AND PAY CUTS Gentrification claims anotherRead More

Around the horn: Debt ceiling edition

Don’t forget the Createquity Writing Fellowship application deadline is this Friday, August 5! PUBLIC POLICY AND THE ARTS – FEDERAL The State Department, though the New England Foundation for the Arts, is funding a major new cultural diplomacy program aimed at bringing foreign artists to small and midsize cities across the United States. Alyssa RosenbergRead More