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Friends, We are at the beginning of the end! Another major deadline in the legislative process is nearly here: June 5 is the last day for bills to be worked in their 2nd chamber policy committee. This means that legislation under consideration this week has already been approved by either the House or the Senate–they are halfway through the process–and must be approved by a committee on the other side of the building… and get one more floor vote, before going to the governor. But, in addition to the standard parliamentary process, there is one more hurdle: the session rules require these bills make it out of committee by Friday.
Bills not moved out of policy committees by this Friday are dead.
Except, this deadline does not apply to the budget process, anything in Revenue committee, anything in the Rules committee or any joint committees, so hundreds of pieces of legislation are unaffected by tomorrow’s looming cutoff. But, hundreds more will come under this deadline and will be ineligible for further action this session. Legislators are planning to conclude their work by June 26, but could extend to the constitutional deadline of July 11 if needed.
This has been a very active session for the cultural community. The Coalition has both policy and funding concepts before the legislature. Below is a quick overview of legislation we are tracking and current status.
HB 2137 Taxes works of art valued above $250,000 (art stored or sold in Oregon) (Revenue)
You can always find more information at oregonculture.org where we have advocacy resources that include a quick link to contact your legislator and issue briefs on coalition priorities this session.
Thanks! Thank you to those of you who were able to break away and join us for Advocacy Day in Salem last month. Attendees met with their legislators, participated in advocacy training and heard from key legislators who are champions for arts and culture in Salem. If you weren’t able to join us this year we hope to see you next February in Salem for Advocacy Day 2016!
And, thanks again to those who have testified in support of amendments and written or called your state legislators. We have found that legislators are open to our concerns and are willing to work with us to strengthen legislation to advance and protect art, heritage and the humanities statewide.
We aren’t done yet, but with your help, this has been a strong session for culture in Oregon!
Best, Christine Drazan Executive Director
P.S. Don’t forget, the Cultural Advocacy Coalition is a coalition of Oregonians, businesses and nonprofits who care about art, heritage and the humanities—and understand the important connections between culture, community and a vibrant and strong Oregon economy. To continue to advocate on behalf of culture in Salem we need a strong coalition behind us—and that means you! Please consider joining or renewing your membership in the coalition today. If you have already joined us this year—thank you! If you intended to join, but just haven’t done it yet, now is the time! We need you in our coalition. Take a look at the Coalition’s current members and you will recognize advocates who are just like you in their commitment to the future of culture in Oregon. We hope you will join us in this important work today.
Performers from the Steens Mountain Ballet’s Ballet II troupe perform at an Evening to Celebrate the Arts before the Burns symposium. Accompanying them on violin is India Paramore. Photo by Larry Gilliam.
Art’s Transformative Power focus of Burns Symposium
Compelling stories of art contributing to economic and cultural vitality in rural communities highlighted the May 19 and 20 Southeast Oregon Symposium on the Arts and Economic Development in Burns.
“We heard very distinct and successful examples of where small, isolated rural communities have utilized the arts to strengthen local economy and quality of life,” says Brian Wagner, Arts Commission community development coordinator and event facilitator.
Close to 100 people attended the Symposium, hosted by the Harney County Arts in Education Foundation as part of an effort to explore the feasibility of building a Harney County Performing Arts and Education Center.
Linda Neale (left), advisory board chair for the Harney County Performing Arts and Education Center, talks with Gary Marshall, a High Desert Partnership executive board member and rancher, during a symposium breakout session. Photo by Larry Gilliam.
Harney County’s deep cultural roots include founding the Sagebrush Orchestra, the precursor to the Portland Youth Philharmonic – the oldest youth orchestra in the country.
“As evidenced in Marfa, Texas, a focused community vision for the arts can be realized and transformative,” says Arts Commissioner Michael Dalton, who also attended the symposium. “Once the community gets behind a dream, it can happen.” Commissioner Anne Taylor and Brian Rogers, executive director, also participated.
Update on national research project scheduled
Those who missed a February briefing for the national Building Public Will for Arts and Culture project are encouraged to attend an encore, more robust update by the Metropolitan Group from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on Friday, June 5, at Portland Center Stage. The briefing will be hosted by the Regional Arts and Culture Council.
Oregon is one of four pilot sites for the project, designed to explore opportunities for arts and culture to be more sustainable, accessible and celebrated parts of our lives. The first phase of work included research that examined the core underlying values people associate with arts and culture, as well as the best ways to communicate those values.
The June 5 briefing will share learnings and explore what the findings mean for local arts and culture communities. There also will be a discussion of plans for implementation of the recommendations in Oregon.
If you are unable to join in person but would like to attend virtually, please dial 877-868-6863 and the passcode 256936#. Read the Creating Connection report from the research. RSVP by Monday, June 1 at [email protected].
Creating Connection: Arts and Culture Research and Message Framework
Metropolitan Group and Arts Midwest are pleased to share the Creating Connection report, detailing our findings from a national research project conducted in Fall 2014 around public values, behaviors and attitudes as they relate to arts and culture.
Specifically, we asked:
How do people define arts and culture experiences in their everyday lives?
What core values drive arts and culture experiences?
What messaging effectively connects arts and culture to what people really care about, and motivates them to want to do more of it?
Building Public Will for Arts & Culture
Our report is part of a broader initiative that we are undertaking to use the “public will building” social change strategy to make arts and culture a more recognized, valued, and expected part of our everyday lives.
We are excited about the potential impact the findings from the research phase can create. We also recognize there is much work to be done to achieve this ambitious goal—work that will include engaging diverse, cross-sector leaders in and beyond the arts and culture community in adopting new approaches to messaging and audience development; harnessing the recognized benefits of engaging with arts and culture in our programs and communications; and thinking critically about new ways to overcome the barriers facing our field.
For more information and to get involved in the initiative, please visit Arts Midwest.
To download the Creating Connection report, please click below:
Ted Meyer, Scarred for Life: Meyer uses block-print ink to transform human scars into vibrant colorful abstractions in his “Scarred for Life” series, inviting others to share the physical remnants of their survival stories.
Ted Meyer is the guest artist at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. If you weren’t aware that medical schools had guest artists, you’re not alone. But this initiative is very real, aiming to teach doctors about illness through the practice of art.
Yes, Meyer’s work brings artists together to help educate future physicians and epidemiologists on the more human aspects of disease. “The artists use their work to tell a story,” Los Angeles-based Meyer told The Huffington Post. “It helps the doctors look at people as more than something to cure.”
Daphne Hill, Avian Flu: “Daphne does work about germs and her fears of them sickening herself and her children. Her talk was interesting as she explained how her fears developed and how doctors might talk with someone like her who has already been checking the Internet and read the possible worst case scenarios.”
Meyer began his stay at the medical school in 2010, though the foundation of his ongoing project began much earlier — in fact, his inspiration dates back to his birth. “I was born with a very rare genetic condition,” said Meyer, who grew up with Gaucher’s disease, a disorder in which fatty substances accumulate in cells and organs. “There was no treatment for it. Starting at about age 6 I was in and out of the hospital all the time. I grew up thinking maybe I’d make it to thirty, maybe not.” Among other things, manifestations of the illness include bruising, fatigue, anemia and skeletal disorders.
During his time in the hospital, Meyer turned to art as a means of expression, release and inner healing. Creating imagery filled with skeletal bodies contorted in pain, Meyer’s resulting series was titled “Structural Abnormalities.” He often made use of the materials around him, incorporating bandages and IVs into his images, all revolving around the idea of, in Meyer’s words, “being in a body that didn’t work particularly well.”
Damienne Merlina, Bandaid
And then, something unexpected happened. Meyer’s health began to improve. “I really hit a point where, thanks to Western technology, there was a new treatment. Almost all of my symptoms disappeared,” he said. “I had my hip replaced so I could walk normally.” Although undoubtedly a miracle in terms of his life and wellbeing, the sudden shift left Meyer directionless as an artist.
After a period of uncertainty, Meyer resolved to shift his artistic perspective entirely. While still focused on the body, his work shifted from its “singular and isolated” mode to one more “happy and sexual.” More importantly, instead of sharing his own story, he began inviting others to share theirs.
For this series, which Meyer dubbed “Scarred for Life,” he applies block-print ink to human scars and the skin surrounding them. He then proceeds to press paper to skin, and subsequently accents the images with paint and pencil, turning physical remnants of suffering into inimitable splashes of color and line. Although the project center around scars, the art is less about suffering and more about survival. “I make these prints that look like Rothkos — color field prints,” he said. “I don’t want [to emphasize] the shock value of, ‘Oh, look how disfigured they look.’ For me, it’s a story more like mine: let’s make the best out of this that we can from this point forward.”
Ted Meyer, Breast Cancer-Mastectomy
Meyer explained the intense reactions he received in response to the works, which toured everywhere from the United Nations to the Pasadena Armory; reactions of an intensity he never experienced when painting. “People would come look at my work and just sort of break down crying,” he said. “Others came up to me and said, ‘Look at my scar, let me tell you about my scar.'” He was receiving emails twice a week from people all around the world, all wanting to share their personal scar story.
This gave Meyer an idea. With so many people grappling with illness and using art as an outlet, perhaps their creative efforts could serve as a means of unorthodox education as well. “It became very apparent to me that all these people who do work about their illnesses, really have a lot to say,” Meyer said. “Maybe they could teach something to medical professionals. There has been art therapy designed to help patients, but I thought maybe there is something to teach the doctors here. Perhaps they can look at patients’ artworks and see something beyond the clinical. It’s not just ‘oh, they have multiple sclerosis’ or ‘it’s a broken neck.’ In a way, it’s like art therapy for doctors.”
As a result, for the past five years, Meyer has served as a guest artist at the UCLA’s medical school, a position he carved out and created for himself, curating artist talks and exhibitions that serve to educate the medical staff. In particular, Meyer’s programming is designed for first and second year medical students, most of whom have not yet had an opportunity to work with patients in person. To provide future doctors with more tangible understanding of living with certain afflictions, artists speak about their condition, their artworks, and the relationship between the two.
Susan Trachman, Order #2 Susan has MS and does work about organization and control as she has less control over her body. He media is all the old medical supplies used in her treatment
Mainly, his position entails recruiting and curating a network of artists exploring issues of illness and identity, inviting them to show their work and tell their stories. The conditions represented are as diverse as the artistic media explored. “There is a woman Susan who has multiple sclerosis,” Meyer said, “and for 25 years she’s been keeping all the bottles she’s used — all the saline and everything — she takes them and she organizes them in patterns. She explained to the medical students that when you have MS you have absolutely no control over your body. You can’t predict your own movements. But by organizing these bottles, she had found one area she could control.”
Meyer’s program caters to doctors who, though familiar with all the technicalities of medical proceedings, aren’t as well versed in the human aspects of the profession. “There are a number of doctors who are very smart but when they get on the floor and have to start dealing with patients they break down,” he said. Especially today, many doctors don’t have the proper time to truly get to know their patients, the ways their various struggles have shaped the people they are.
“There was another woman who had a headache for around four years. During that period she had lost her ability to name things, she couldn’t remember the nouns. When she finally got rid of her migraine, she went back and photographed all the things she couldn’t remember. For someone to tell their story to first year med students — it’s not just, ‘Oh, you have a headache, what medicine should I give you?’ It’s a new way to understand the life process of living with an illness.”
Meyer’s unorthodox merging of art and medicine proves that art therapy isn’t only helpful for patients, but doctors as well. “It’s a new way to connect,” Meyer said. “We are making positive things out of these horrible situations.”
Few things stir up childhood nostalgia as quickly as a fresh box of crayons. It’s easy to see what makes them an appealing collectors’ item. For Ed Welter, a former Nike project manager from Oregon, the allure went a step further.
No one, not even Crayola, had recorded a full history of crayons. So it became Welter’s challenge.
As a devoted collector, he began focusing on crayons around 2000, soon after selling off an extensive beer-can collection. Welter gathered box after box, with some dating back to the 1880s. Old catalogs from libraries around the country (and, later, on Google Books) allowed him to cobble together a timeline. By 2014, Welter had amassed over 3,000 boxes of colored wax, about half of which were Crayola. Then he sold everything (Crayola purchased its namesake boxes while the others went to various collectors) and retired to Spain.
What Welter had discovered in his 14 years of collecting is that Crayola’s color history is absurdly complicated. On his website, Crayon Collecting, Welter laments how singlehandedly piecing it all together was difficult not only “just from the sheer amount of detail, but also because of the convoluted swapping and renaming of colors.” For example, the crayon which the company named “Blue” when it got its start in 1903 was not the same “Blue” by the 1930s. It was given a new name, which no longer exists today, and “Blue” became a brighter shade of the color.
Confused? It’s okay. It took about eight whole months for Welter to piece together Crayola’s history, which he described to The Huffington Post as “complex” and, pun intended, “colorful.” There are crayon colors that no longer exist today, many of them coming from old painters’ palettes.
In essence, Crayola became such a hit because the company figured out a way to inexpensively combine paraffin wax with safe pigments, according to Welter. Colors in the early years drew from paints available from art suppliers at the time, and many of these shades have since dropped out of production.
Among the original shades that have been unceremoniously discontinued, according to Welter’s research: Burnt Umber, Celestial Blue, Charcoal Grey, Cobalt Blue, English Vermillion, Madder Lake, Ultramarine Blue, Van Dyke Brown and Venetian Red. Raw Sienna lives on in name, but as a different shade of brown than its predecessor. Crayola officially “retired” Raw Umber in 1990 along with seven other shades. Still others have dropped out without so much as a goodbye.
Original Crayola shades that have been discontinued. Courtesy Ed Welter.
“New” Crayola crayons aren’t often new, just renamed. By 2013, Welter had counted 755 color names that had ever been sold, but only 331 individual colors.
In 1903, the company used 54 names for 38 separate colors. By the end of 1958, the company had created 138 names for 108 colors sold at any point in time. By 2015, it had bestowed 759 names upon 331 colors.
Special crayon boxes with colors like Iron Man Blue and Liberty Blue are just the plain old Blue you’d find in any regular box. Sweet Georgia Peach is really just Melon. Tye Dye Lime is Green Yellow. (Crayola might be on to something, though, for wanting to keep things simple.)
Blue and red shades from Crayola’s early years, compared. Courtesy Ed Welter.
Crayola once issued a box with several crayons of the same color under different names.
In 1949, Crayola debuted a new 48-count box of crayons, filled with lies.
“They pulled a fast one on everybody,” Welter wrote on his site. Light Turquoise Blue and Turquoise Blue look identical, as do Dark Green and Green. And good luck figuring out the difference between Brilliant Rose, Medium Rose and Light Magenta. Or Medium Violet and Violet.
Courtesy Ed Welter.
Certain colors have been renamed for political reasons, like “Flesh.”
What color is flesh? According to Welter, it’s the lightly pigmented, roughly universal shade we see on our palms — like the Crayola crayon by that name. For most people, however, flesh refers to skin tone, and the problem with making one beige-y shade the only skin-tone crayon available is obvious. But until the early 1960s, Welter explained, the company hadn’t yet realized how the name could cause consternation. A social researcher noticed children using the shade to draw people, teasing darker-skinned classmates who didn’t match the crayon. Shortly after the researcher wrote a letter to the company in 1962, (after a couple back-and-forth years with the name Pink Beige, for some reason) the Crayola shade became known as Peach.
Indian Red was also renamed, though not until 1999. The name actually referred to a pigment from a plant found in India, Welter told HuffPost, and could have been tweaked to “India Red.” To avoid misconceptions, however, the company chose a completely new — and completely neutral — name: Chestnut.
“Flesh” or “Peach”? Courtesy Ed Welter.
The Macaroni and Cheese crayon was named by a pasta-loving 6-year-old.
For much of the company’s history, Crayola’s crayon names were plain. Then in 1983, a new line for small children with names like Birdie Blue and Kitty Cat Black was introduced. Metallics, like Tiger Eye and Moonstone, followed a few years later with other specialty crayons. And, in 1992, the company opened up naming rights to anyone. Fans of all ages got the chance to name sixteen brand-new colors — which Welter says were, indeed, not recycled from past boxes.
“I wrote a letter to Crayola (all by myself, a proud six-year-old), entering the contest,” a grown-up Adrienne Watral told The Huffington Post in an email. When she found out that her submission had won a month later, the crayon company flew Watral’s whole family out to Hollywood, showering them with “enough Crayola swag to last a lifetime.” And the new orange crayon had a name: Macaroni and Cheese. “I remember being interviewed for various news stations on television and being asked how I thought of the name,” she wrote. “This was the easiest question … I named the color of my favorite food!”
Another famous color was named by a 12-year-old Sam Marcus, who drew small facial expressions to correspond with each new crayon. His “laughter” face was colored pink because, Marcus told HuffPost in an email, he’d blush when someone tickled him as a kid. Hence Tickle Me Pink was born.
Adrienne Watral with her winning crayon. Courtesy photo.
Despite all the changes, Welter says the color quality has remained fairly consistent throughout the past century.
The biggest overall change, Welter explained, happened after World War II, when many of the pigment suppliers Crayola had been using for years could no longer sell to the company. Either the supply had been ruined or the business relationship had altered, putting the company in the odd position of finding new and ever-so-slightly-different sources.
“You know how people are with, ‘Oh, back in my day, colors were so much richer!'” Welter told HuffPost. “But I actually colored on paper with all of them.” By and large, there were only very gradual changes, like the new pigments and perhaps minor tweaks to different formulas. “Since the ’60s, they’ve kept pretty true to their basic colors.”
Click to view the complete color chart
As for Welter, he now spends his time “virtually collecting” crayons by digging up information and fixing inaccuracies around the Internet. He warns that Wikipedia is particularly inaccurate when it comes to Crayola, but since the site does not allow contributors to cite their own research, the false information remains unchecked. It bothers him, but not enough to stop his efforts.
“When you’re a collector,” he said, “you’re in it for the minutia.”
CHICAGO, IL- In conjunction with its forthcoming exhibition The Gallery Tally Poster Project, Woman Made Gallery has issued a Report on Gender Representation in US Commercial Galleries, based on data collection conducted by WMG staff in 2013. The resulting Report is a team effort on the part of WMG staff and Board: Former Gallery Coordinator Ruby Thorkelson led the study and worked with gallery interns to collect the data, which was subsequently reviewed by WMG Board member Monica Staco, a specialist in marketing research with over ten years of consumer insights, strategy and research experience. An infographic visualizing the final data was created by WMG Board member Erin Waser, a graphic designer for ABC 7 Chicago (WLS-TV).
The Report consists of an infographic and accompanying analytic essay interpreting the data and commenting on the study’s broader cultural and historical implications, written by Joanna Gardner-Huggett, Associate Professor and Department Chair, History of Art and Architecture at DePaul University in Chicago.
To read or download a copy of WMG’s Report, please click here.
In her commentary, Gardner-Huggett summarizes WMG’s data findings as follows:
“From a national perspective, Woman Made’s study reveals that Chicago earns second place for women artists securing solo gallery exhibitions. Miami is first with 44% and San Francisco comes third at 37%. Washington D.C. follows at 36%, Boston at 33%, Houston and Los Angeles at 30% and New York City at 18%. Curators regularly acknowledge that group shows establish greater visibility for women. Therefore, the 2013 data validates that the presence of women artists increases substantially with commercial group exhibitions and illuminates specific ways in which women find access to the art market since they cannot rely on being awarded solo exhibitions in commercial venues. In Boston 60% of the artists in groups shows consisted of women and 50% in California. Houston and Miami follow close behind with 49% and 48% respectively, with San Francisco at 44%. Washington D.C. trails with 36%, Chicago at 32% and New York City takes last place with 30%. As with solo exhibitions, Miami is the best place for women to find gallery representation at 44%, with Washington D.C. coming in second place with 41%. Boston is third with 39%, then Chicago at 36%, Houston 34%, San Francisco 32%, New York 28% and Los Angeles 25%.”
Gardner-Huggett’s analysis offers numerous observations on the significance of WMG’s data collection efforts as a tactic of awareness and advocacy for women artists; she notes that “(d)ata collection is one of the oldest and continues to be one of the most effective tools of feminist protest. When museums and galleries are faced by the reality of actual demographics being circulated in public, they are forced to respond.”
Gender Representation in US Commercial Galleries
The Report’s release is timed to coincide with Woman Made Gallery’s presentation of hundreds of posters from The Gallery Tally Poster Project, a crowd-sourced, social engagement art project in which more than 180 artists from around the world joined efforts to collect and visualize statistical data regarding ratios of male and female artists in top contemporary art galleries. Artists were invited to make one poster for each gallery they tallied, in whatever style or medium they chose. The project began with galleries in Los Angeles, with subsequent phases planned for galleries in New York, Berlin, London, Chicago, Santa Fe, Portland, Pittsburg, and other cities. At Woman Made Gallery, the Gallery Tally posters are installed floor to ceiling, occupying an entire lower-level gallery space and essentially acting as a giant, room-scaled infographic.
The Gallery Tally Poster Project is on view at Woman Made Gallery in conjunction with the group exhibition “Feminism (n.): Plural,” May 15 – June 25, 2015. Both exhibitions are organized by Woman Made Gallery’s Executive Director, Claudine Ise. The opening reception is on Friday, May 15th from 6-8pm, with a gallery talk by Los Angeles artist Micol Hebron, one of the organizers of the Gallery Tally Project, taking place at 5pm immediately prior to the reception.
Woman Made Gallery (WMG) is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization founded in 1992. Its mission is to support, cultivate, and promote the diverse contributions of women in the arts through exhibitions and other programs that serve, educate, and enrich our community. We rely on membership contributions and individual donations to create the programs that support our mission.
Harney County symposium connects arts to economics
A design concept for the Harney County Performing Arts & Education Center.
Arts supporters, community leaders and educators will gather in Burns May 19 and 20 for the Southeast Oregon Symposium on Arts and Economic Development.
Presented by the Harney County Arts in Education Foundation in partnership with the Harney County Chamber of Commerce, the two- day symposium will be facilitated by Brian Wagner, Arts Commission community development coordinator.
Featured speakers will share experiences using the arts as an economic development tool in rural communities. The event will coincide with an annual evening of celebrating the arts. The symposium’s overarching theme will be the proposed Performing Arts & Education Center and its economic and artistic impact on Harney County.
As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the National Endowment for the Arts is collecting stories of how the arts have influenced Americans’ lives. Stories can include how the arts are part of your day, how the arts have inspired you to do something unique, how they have made a difference among you and your family, as well as in the communities and neighborhoods in which you live. If there is a specific NEA grant that has had an impact on you and your community, they want to hear about it!
A group of Portland Public School students participating in a Young Audiences of Oregon & Southwest Washington Live Sound Engineering for Teens (Live SET) project will mix sound for three Portland musicians/groups performing from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 3 at Mississippi Studios (3939 N Mississippi Ave, Portland).
The Live SET project is funded by a Connecting Students to the World of Work grant to expose underserved students to creative industries.
The current conditions, needs and aspirations of artists, patrons and the creative economies of Clatsop County will be the focus of an in-depth community conversation hosted by the Oregon Arts Commission from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6, atClatsop Community College in Astoria.
Held in collaboration with The Ford Family Foundation, the Arts Council of Clatsop County and Astoria Visual Arts (AVA), Mechanisms to Support Visual Artists will identify resources, activities and commitment required to better support artists within the county and how to engage the private, government and non-profit sectors to provide resources to individual artists.
Darren Orange, Untitled, oil on panel, 18×24 2015. Image courtesy of the artist, who will participate in the May 6 arts ecology conversation in Astoria.
Lead participants will help seed the discussion, including Mary Bess Gloria of the Cannon Beach Arts Association; Charlene Larsen, co-chair, Clatsop County Cultural Coalition; Kevin Leahy, Clatsop Economic Development Resources and CCC Small Business Development Center and Darren Orange, artist and Chair of A.I.R. Program-Astoria Visual Arts.
23 artists receive $50,051 in Career Opportunity Grants
A work from grant recipient Laura Hughes’ “Less the Distance” site-specific light installation exhibit at de Menil Gallery at the Dillon Art Center at Groton School in Groton, Mass.
In the second of three rounds of 2015 Career Opportunity Grants, the Oregon Arts Commission and The Ford Family Foundation have awarded $50,051 to 23 artists for career development projects. The awards include $32,701 from the Oregon Arts Commission and $17,350 in supplemental funding for eight artists through a partnership with The Ford Family Foundation. Individual grants range from $700 to $6,670.
Career Opportunity Grants fund opportunities for artists to further their careers in areas that include artistic, business or professional development. The Ford Family Foundation Opportunity grants are available only to Oregon mid-career visual artists who are over 30 years of age and actively producing new work in the fields of fine art and contemporary craft.
Gypsy Prince shares national Poetry Out Loud experience
(Left to right) Sen. Ron Wyden poses with Gypsy Prince, Scott Crowell and NEA Chairman Jane Chu in Washington, D.C.
While Gypsy Prince was not named national Poetry Out Loud champion, the Oregon state champ brought home priceless memories from her Washington, D.C. adventure. She gave a beautiful performance at the semifinals, then spent parts of the next day meeting with Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. NEA Chairman Jane Chu joined Gypsy for the meeting with Sen. Wyden.
Gypsy’s teacher, Scott Crowell from Springfield’s Academy of Arts and Academics, accompanied her on the trip. Deb Vaughn, Arts Commission arts education coordinator, also attended.
“I was greatly honored to represent Oregon at the national finals this year,” says Gypsy. “My experience here has been incredibly valuable to me, both as an artist and a scholar. I saw both the importance of history and the incredible necessity of fresh voices and new ideas. My dedication to raising my voice as a proponent of arts and especially arts education has been nothing if not renewed.”
“Gypsy was a poised and articulate representative of Oregon, both in her performance and when talking with members of Congress,” says Deb. “I look forward to celebrating her accomplishments back in our state.”
Commission spotlight: Avantika Bawa exhibits in New York
Arts Commissioner Avantika Bawa, an acclaimed visual artist, is a featured artist in the upcoming “What it Was” exhibit at NURTUREart Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.
“What it Was” asks us to confront our pasts and explore the potential of alternate and plural futures. In predicting what role art will have in our own lives and the lives of others, we wonder: where will the future be?
aquamapping (Kochi) – Avantika Bawa, Digital video still, 2013-14.
Characterized by some strategists as a “wave,” the 2014 election brought Republican leadership to the U.S. Senate for the first time in eight years. No Republicans up for election lost their race. The party also picked up a net gain of nine seats. Overall, the 114th Congress welcomed 13 new senators. Republicans now have more seats on every Senate committee, including holding the chairman positions.
When Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) retired after 30 years of service, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) became the new chair of the committee with jurisdiction over education policy with Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) as ranking member. On the funding side, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) now chairs the Interior Appropriations subcommittee that makes funding decisions affecting the National Endowment for the Arts with pro-arts Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) as ranking member. Current Cultural Caucus Co-Chairmen, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), continue their joint leadership of the Caucus, with work to increase membership after three members’ election defeats and another three retirements.
The Senate has also adjusted work schedules to accommodate longer work weeks and more time in Washington. We’ve already seen more legislative action take place as a result, including reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Encourage Creativity: Teach the Arts Tool Kits
Arts education is largely a local issue-nearly 90 percent of funding comes from city and state governments and policies. We work hard to advance support for arts education at all levels of government; but the real work happens on the ground, in your communities, by people like you.
To support local leaders in their advocacy efforts for arts education, we have produced a new suite of tools to help you build, craft, and present effective messages to educational leaders in order to affect change in local communities. The ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY tool kit is designed to complement the Arts Education Navigator e-book series, and includes advocate tools to learn strategies for making change, compelling videos to use in advocacy presentations, and quizzes to learn the robust facts & figures to present.
Go ahead now. Speak up in support of arts education to your local or state school board, principal or state superintendent., Be sure to check out www.AmericansForTheArts.org/EncourageCreativity to get the tools and resources needed to be the best advocate possible.
Message from the President
Thank you to all our grassroots Arts Action Fund advocates who went out on November 4 and voted for pro-arts candidates and ballot measures. Less than 24 hours after polls closed, we released our Post-Election Impact on the Arts update, explaining how races on the national, state, and local levels would impact the arts in 2015. After releasing this report online and to our members, Executive Director of the Arts Action Fund Nina Ozlu Tunceli and myself immediately travelled from coast to coast to explain to our stakeholders, in person, what the midterm elections meant for the arts. For example, Nina flew down to Atlanta to brief dozens of local arts leaders on the national, state, and local impact of the elections on the arts. Then the following week, we both went to Seattle to participate in several local meetings. I want to give a special shout out to Seattle arts leader Mari Horita for helping to personally raise $5,000 from Seattle arts patrons to support the Arts Action Fund PAC.
No sooner than the 2014 ballot boxes were packed away, the 2016 presidential election began in earnest. Don’t believe us? The so-called “invisible primary” is well underway, with millions of dollars being raised by “Ready For…” Super PACS, and cable news pundits already chattering about who will run, how they’ll fare, and if they can possibly beat the presumptive Democratic front runner, Hillary Clinton, or early GOP front runner Jeb Bush. Because 2016 is an open seat presidential election, the pressure will be high on both sides to choose an “electable” candidate who can win the White House.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans won’t be resting on their 2014 laurels too long, as the 2016 map features several Republican senators up for re-election in states that President Obama carried twice, such as Mark Kirk (R-IL), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Ron Johnson (R-WI). Even the House of Representatives, where Republicans now boast their largest majority since the Hoover administration, will have to campaign for re-election during a presidential year, when Democratic turnout is famously higher. The Arts Action Fund has wasted no time in preparing for 2016. We will be on the ground in summer/fall of 2015 in early primary and Caucus states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and Florida, ready to secure Art Platform Statements from presidential candidates from both parties. We will also release our 2016 Congressional Arts Report Card, and distribute surveys to new congressional candidates.
In the summer of 2016, the Arts Action Fund will be at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions to hold arts policy panels, ensuring that the voices of arts advocates are heard at the highest levels of American politics.
Year-End Arts Action & New Congress Taking Seat
The 113th Congress adjourned with passage of some important arts-related bills, including final Fiscal Year 2015 funding and a brief extension of the IRA Charitable Rollover tax policy. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will each receive level funding of $146 million. The Office of Museum Services will remain at $30 million and the Arts in Education program within the U.S. Department of Education will also stay at $25 million, despite threats of being zeroed-out.
Congress also passed a patch to allow last-minute, tax-free charitable contributions from IRA accounts for the month of December. As the new Congress started this January, work on reauthorizing the expired Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) has taken center stage, which could greatly impact arts education. The first Senate hearing occurred on January 21.
Also in the new Congress is new arts leadership in the House, including pro-arts member Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) becoming Ranking Member of the Interior Appropriations subcommittee, which makes funding decisions affecting the NEA.
The Arts Action Fund monitors arts policy at the federal level and helps bring citizens’ voices to the table when important arts issues are debated. For detailed legislative updates, please visit www.AmericansForTheArts.org/news-room/legislative-news.
Major Shifts in State and Local Leadership
Last year was a game-changing year: 46 states elected 6,057 (82 percent) of the country’s 7,383 state legislative seats. At the end of the night, Republicans picked up an additional 315 state legislative seats and now control approximately 4,100 seats, the highest since 1920. Republicans now control 68 out of the nation’s 98 legislative chambers.
While the vast majority of people, regardless of their state, said it was time to purge career politicians, voting patterns did not follow. Ninety-six percent of state incumbents standing for re-election won, which is an incredibly high number. In Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, and South Carolina, 100 percent of incumbents were re-elected. West Virginia voters were the closest to electing an entirely new state legislature, with only a 79 percent incumbent re-election rate. Seventy-two percent (36 out of 50) of the nation’s governors were up for election with five new governors being elected in Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.
The Arts Action Fund is pleased that several pro-arts governors were re-elected, including Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), and Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D). The Arts Action Fund tracked 29 state and local ballot measures, and some saw wonderful results. In Rhode Island, Ballot Question 5 passed with more than 60 percent of the vote. It authorizes $35 million in bonds to be spent on renovating cultural facilities, and grant funds for the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.
On the local front, Utah saw six localities (including Salt Lake City) pass local sales tax increases of 0.1 percent to fund zoos, arts, parks, and other recreation facilities.
We’d like to extend a special thank you to all of the donors who contributed $200 or more to our Political Action Committee in the 2013-14 election cycle. The midterm election illustrated how important it is to educate all our elected leaders about the transformative impact of the arts and arts education. A special thank you to our top donors of 2014-you made it all possible.
Judi Beck Phoebe Bender Charles Block Dianne Brace Roger Brooks Robert Bush, Jr. Miles Coon Jessica Cusick Susan Edelheit Ken Fergeson Marian A. Godfrey Betty Jean Green Floyd Green Hans Gruenert Jean Hendrickson Peter Horvitz Ms. Ruth Ann Knapp Margot H. Knight Carlo Lamagna Fred Lazarus William Lehr Jr.
Sammy Little Abel Lopez Robert L Lynch Deborah Margol Karen McKinnon Donald Munro William Neukom Janelle Plattenberger Carol Powell Sydney Roberts- Rockefeller Sharon Schachter Jay Seller Steven Spiess Michael Spring Nancy Stephens Ann Stack Nina Ozlu Tunceli Marian Warden Dianne Vapnek
By Arts Action Fund News, 211 contributed posts View all Arts Action Fund News's posts. About the author: Arts Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit membership organization affiliated with Americans for the Arts. We are the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. Launched in 2004, the Arts Action Fund seeks to engage citizens in education and advocacy in support of the arts and arts education.
The bill will now be considered by the full Senate
Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon invites all arts enthusiasts to our Spring Community Meeting on Tues., April 14th from 2:30–3:30PM in the Shield Room at The Bear Hotel, 2101 NE Spalding, Grants Pass, OR 97526. All attending will have the opportunity to sign up for an Arts Alliance Charter Membership for just $20!
The Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon is an organization of artists, arts organizations, arts advocates, and the public, dedicated to building a strong, creative and sustainable arts community in southern Oregon.
In the spring of 2013, leaders from various arts organizations gathered with a vision to strengthen partnership and improve communication for the benefit of the greater arts community. Since then, we have regularly held panel discussions, public, and steering committee meetings to gather input as to what the Arts Alliance should be, and created mission and vision statements. Meeting locations vary throughout Southern Oregon in Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass, Jacksonville, and Kerby in order to be accessible, to encourage participation by the regional arts community, and to demonstrate our commitment to being an inclusive, positive, communicative, creative, informative, collaborative, and valuable resource to the arts community and the public.
Participants in a Community Meeting take part in a discussion about the Arts Alliance
With ongoing input from our arts community, we decided to create an active and robust Arts Alliance to help our arts community thrive. Our vision for the Arts Alliance is to accomplish this mission through:
Developing a strong, supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having art as a common interest.
Strengthening the economies of Southern Oregon communities by increasing the demand for art and increasing arts advocacy.
Supporting activities that raise awareness of the importance of the arts and create opportunities for all to participate in and experience the arts.
It is our goal to connect Jackson and Josephine County together through culture. We realize this can have a significant economic impact on everyone who lives in the area, as well as benefitting tourists here for a short stay.
Our current steering committee include:
Brooke Nuckles Gentekos, artist, arts advocate, and Executive Director of Sanctuary One in the Applegate Valley
Susan Burnes, President of the board of directors Grants Pass Museum of Art in Grants Pass
Joyce Abrams, President of the Southern Oregon Guild of Artists in Kerby
Anne Brooke, artist and founder/director of Art Presence Art Center in Jacksonville
Hannah West, artist, arts advocate, web designer, Art Presence Board member and founder of the Southern Oregon Artists Resource in Jacksonville
Denise Baxter, Executive Director of the Ashland Art Center in Ashland
Cammy Davis of It’s All About Art and southern Oregon art advocate in Jacksonville
Hyla Lipson, co-founder and chair of Artworks in Grants Pass
Kim Hearon, Executive Director of the Rogue Gallery and Art Center in Medford.
2015 is the pilot year for the Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon. Presently we are planning its launch and preparing for this by building a website, creating a map and calendar, designing and creating marketing materials, continuing to streamline communication, and building membership. We would like to express our gratitude to the Oregon Community Foundation for the grant that is helping us accomplish the Arts Alliance Launch in Spring 2015.
Participants in the last Community Meeting contribute ideas for the Arts Alliance slogan
During our last community meeting we brainstormed slogans for the arts marketing campaign, narrowing the candidates down from a huge list of contributed ideas. The steering committee is coordinating details for the arts marketing campaign including a logo design, regional coordination, fundraising, and continued outreach to our blossoming arts community and arts enthusiasts throughout southern Oregon. We hope you will be among the artists, regional arts leaders, gallery representatives, and art enthusiasts who join us on April 14 to make their voices heard and continue working toward the fulfillment of our collective goals!