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Federal Arts Funding Update October 2018

Americans for the Arts - Arts Action Fund
Dear Arts Advocate,

Congress was able to pass a large funding bill on September 28th to avoid a federal government shutdown, which included final FY’19 funding for the military and several education-based agencies. The bill also included temporary funding in the form of a Continuing Resolution (C/R) for the balance of the federal government’s agencies and programs, including the National Endowment for the Arts. The C/R will provide flat funding at FY’18 levels temporarily until December 7, 2018, so that Congress has enough time to pass these remaining bills at hopefully the higher proposed FY’19 levels.

Please note that even if there are major shifts in party control following the midterm elections, newly elected members will not be sworn into office until January 2019. However, we would still anticipate disruption in the legislative timeline and process. Please support our ArtsVote2018 grassroots and political efforts to build a strong pro-arts Congress.

Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

P.S. Also last week, Americans for the Arts released Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2018, one of the largest national public opinion surveys of American perceptions and attitudes towards the arts and arts funding. The new research demonstrates that Americans continue to be highly engaged in the arts and believe more strongly than ever that the arts promote personal well-being, help us understand other cultures, are essential to a well-rounded education, and that government has an important role in funding the arts.

Take action now!

U.S. House Rejects Cut to NEA!

Dear Arts Advocates,

Thanks to your record-levels of calls, emails, and tweets to your Members of Congress in the past few days, we have good news!

Just a few moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives soundly defeated an amendment that would have cut funding the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).  The House voted down the Grothman amendment by a vote of 114 – 297!  This is one of the largest vote margins in support of the Endowments in the U.S. House!  Read Americans for the Arts President & CEO Robert L. Lynch’s statement here.

This bipartisan showing and resounding vote is a testament to the power of the arts in our communities, schools, lives, and careers. There hasn’t been a floor vote like this since 2011. We are proud and excited to know publicly, and on the record, just how strongly supported the National Endowments are by our elected officials in Congress on both sides of the aisle.

During last night’s floor debate on the amendment, Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA) and Congressional Arts Caucus co-Chairs Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) all spoke out in support for the arts and the Endowments.

“This amendment would have devastating consequence on critical work for the National Endowment for the Arts at Walter Reed Medical Center, 11 other clinical sites across the country that are supporting therapy service.”
–Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA)
“I am the Republican chair of both the Arts Caucus and the Humanities Caucus in this House, and these programs do wonderful work throughout the entire Nation, in every hamlet in America and, of course, supporting our veterans.”
–Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
“The NEA and the NEH have strong, bipartisan support on this committee, and I had really hoped the days of attacking these agencies were behind us.  Maybe they seem like a good political target for those who don’t understand the ways the arts and humanities affect our daily lives, but the economic benefits are undeniable for big cities, small towns, and everywhere in between.”
–Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME)

What Happens Next
Now that this amendment to cut the funding for the Endowments has been defeated, the U.S. House is expected to pass the Interior funding bill in its entirety later today.  Both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are proposing $2 million increases to the agencies, bringing both of their budgets up to $155 million for FY 2019.  Next week, the U.S. Senate is expected to take up the Interior funding bill for consideration. A conference committee would then iron-out differences between the U.S. House and U.S. Senate bills to present a final version for the President’s signature.

Thanks to your advocacy year-round and at key moments, strong bipartisan support for the arts and humanities is possible. Thank you for being an arts advocate.

To share this message on social media, click here!

Want to do more? Help us continue this important work by also becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund.
If you are not already a member, play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today– it’s free and easy to join.

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Federal Arts Funding, Arts Education and Americans for the Arts

Americans for the Arts                  - Arts Action Fund

It’s time for members to cast their annual 2018 Arts Policy Vote.

Arts Advocacy Day is just around the corner on March 12, 2018. The Arts Action Fund would like to join 90+ national arts partners with a unified message to Congress. Please cast your vote on these three policy agendas for 2018. Click below to vote and you’ll also be given an option to make your annual gift to the Arts Action Fund Political Action Committee (PAC) to support our legislative efforts.


Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

P.S.  Please cast your vote by March 12, 2018. 

National Arts in Education Week

Join us in celebrating National Arts In Education Week from September 11-17, 2016. Take two minutes to issue a Letter to the Editor to your local papers and tell them why the arts matter in education!

Designated by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 names the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week. During this week, the field of arts education and its supporters join together in communities across the country to tell the story of the transformative power of the arts in education.

In 2016, it is a particularly important time to celebrate arts education, as we usher in a new chapter of American educational policy with the new Every Student Succeeds Act and its many arts-friendly provisions. In the new law, the arts remain a “well-rounded” subject and are empowered to be central to a child’s education in our public schools.

Our municipal, education, and state leaders need to know about the impact the arts have on young peoples’ lives and that they must support the arts in every district and every school in America. Write a letter to the editor now to tell them how and why the arts matter in education!

After sending in your letter, you can join the movement of thousands of arts education advocates celebrating National Arts in Education Week. Contribute to the visibility campaign on social media during the week of September 11-17, 2016 by using the hashtag, #BecauseOfArtsEd. People from all walks of life can share their story of the transformative power of the arts in their own education and the impact the arts have had on their work and life.

  • Post on Facebook. Tell the world your #BecauseOfArtsEd story on Facebook. Describe what you are doing now in work and life and how arts education has a positive impact with a photo! Be sure to use #ArtsEdWeek, too.
  • Send a tweet.  Share your quick #BecauseOfArtsEd story on Twitter. Be sure to include an image or video along with #ArtsEdWeek.
  • Share a photo. Post your favorite arts education photo on Instagram along with your #BecauseOfArtsEd story about the impact of arts education on your life. Be sure to use #ArtsEdWeek.

Be sure to do your part to advocate to our decision makers and bring attention to the cause of arts education!

In Philanthropists’ Shoes: Three Perspectives on Being Genuine From Luxury Brands and High Net Worth Individuals (from the pARTnership Movement)

Bruce Whitacre

Bruce Whitacre

While corporate philanthropy has long ago shifted from community charity to strategic, carefully designed programs, a fundamental question of authenticity can undermine the soundest strategies.

If the association between a company and a cause, or the social impact of the company’s action does not resonate with consumers and other stakeholders, what is the point of the best-laid plans?

This question was examined at a recent panel convened by Barron’s and the Luxury Marketing Council, a collaborative organization of leading brands. Discussion was led by journalist and author Richard C. Morais, editor of Barron’s Penta, a quarterly magazine and website serving wealthy families. In this context, Morais addressed the inherent contradiction facing luxury brands and philanthropy — high end products are often marketed as expressions and rewards for one’s self, and this can create dissonance for philanthropic projects focused on others. Customers of these brands are also often philanthropists themselves and they are attuned to these inconsistencies.

As Page Snow, Chief Philanthropic Officer at Foundation Source, illustrated, “Individuals of wealth are approached constantly for various causes, and their BS detector becomes very finely tuned, especially at higher levels of wealth.”

Alignment sets the stage for genuine and successful partnership. Snow offered advice to those of us on the asking side of this equation: she pointed out that younger family philanthropists are looking out for how their foundations’ assets are being invested just as much as how their grants are being made. They want their portfolios to align with their own values, just as much as their grantees. Even more important, they are not looking for non-profits to fund. They are looking for problems to solve.

Photo from left: Richard C. Morais, Editor of Barron's Penta; Jasmine Audemar, Audemar Piguet; Danny Meyer, Union Square Hospitality; and Page Snow, Foundation Source. Photo courtesy of Rogers Kisby Photography.

Photo from left: Richard C. Morais, Editor of Barron’s Penta; Jasmine Audemar, Audemar Piguet; Danny Meyer, Union Square Hospitality; and Page Snow, Foundation Source. Photo courtesy of Rogers Kisby Photography.

She went on to analyse recent luxury cause marketing campaigns for alignment and authenticity. RuPaul and Viva Glam: great match. While one of the most inauthentic of recent campaigns, she said, was Komen and KFC. Curing cancer through products that contribute to obesity and cancer just doesn’t fly.

Sometimes the alignment simply fits the company’s DNA. Illustrating this was Jasmine Audemars, Chairman of Audemars Piguet, a Swiss watch manufacturer that supports global sustainability projects. “Time evokes the evolution of geology” according to Piguet. As head of their corporate foundation, Audemar and the board direct its resources toward forest preservation around the world as well as in their own backyard in Switzerland’s Jura.

And on the corporate side, they built the first industrial building in Switzerland to receive the Minergie Eco label. Sustainability advocates are embedded within each department to help improve the company’s processes. None of the foundation projects are used to overtly promote watches, the corporate image or otherwise fit a “strategic” marketing or communications objective. So, while the foundation work informs the corporate work, it is not used as a marketing gimmick.

Danny Meyer highlighted a staff-based philanthropy approach. Employees at his Union Square Hospitality Group restaurants are hired primarily based on their “Hospitality Quotient,” their desire and happiness in serving others. Even in his business’s early days when Union Square was being redeveloped, he and his staff engaged with the community by serving free lunches to organizers and farmers market advocates. Each restaurant manager and staff choose their own local philanthropy, and Danny himself has several in which he is involved, such as Share Our Strength and City Harvest.

This focus on employee engagement comes back to a core focus of Union Square Hospitality Group: it all starts with employees, not customers, investors or anyone else. Staff that is continuously engaged and challenged is central to the company’s business growth.

With a focus on fulfilling one’s employees, public recognition for philanthropy becomes secondary. Union Square Hospitality has sponsored the Big Apple Barbecue in Madison Square Park for years. After all, nearby Blue Smoke is one of their restaurants. But only lately have they actually put their name on it.

But one occasion where they are stepping forward as a brand is the DeVine Intervention campaign for Hurricane Sandy relief that recently closed. Wine suppliers have donated lots valued at $250,000 for an online auction benefiting recovery. The timing was felt to be important…offer an infusion of cash for those suffering the longer term effects of the storm.

So the question all of us engaged in philanthropic partnerships should ask is, “What problem am I solving, and how am I being authentic about it?” Only then will a cause find its voice, and its true partners.

(This post, originally published on, is one in a weekly series highlighting The pARTnership Movement, Americans for the Arts’ campaign to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can build their competitive advantage. Visit our website to find out how both businesses and local arts agencies can get involved!)

Follow Bruce E. Whitacre on Twitter:

The Value of the Arts in Education & Life

Stephanie Milling

Stephanie Milling

As a university administrator and associate professor, I frequently interact with parents who visit our campus with respective students. The one question that is always interesting to field is, “What will my child be able to do with a degree in (fill in your respective arts area here)?”

From a financial standpoint the question is a valid one: parents want to know that their investment in their child’s future is going to lead to gainful employment and prevent him/her from returning home and living on their couch after graduation. However, the assumption that any college degree, regardless the area of study, will lead to a specific job is a misconception.

While a degree does set one on a career path with a specific skill set, it does not guarantee employment in any specific field. The question is also valid because in my experience, the knowledge that a majority of students and their parents have of the opportunities in the arts is limited to practical involvement in their respective art area of study: singing, painting, dancing, acting, etc.

In higher education, I have witnessed practicing an art form as the point of entry that many students take into their respective fields. However, that initial exposure leads them to a variety of careers within and outside of the arts. Therefore, I try to quell the notion that a degree in the arts leads to being a starving artist. Instead, I point them to resources that will help them expand their perspective of the possible career options for those with arts backgrounds and discuss the transferable skills that students learn within the arts.

If someone wants to work in the arts or an arts-related field upon graduation, the choices are numerous and extend beyond practical involvement in the field. Many college arts programs and career centers post information about the careers a person can pursue with a degree in specific arts area.

The Career Center at Boston College and The Career Center at the University of California Berkeley are two just examples of this type that can be located on college and university websites. By directing prospective students and parents to such resources, it enables them to peruse career profiles and their accompanying qualifications. In addition, many of these web pages include links to other websites for internship possibilities, professional organizations, and career finder search engines.

Making the connection between a college major, a prospective job in the field, and the professional networks that exist for various arts-related professions is one way of helping people understand that individuals in the arts do work and contribute to the functioning of industry in a variety of ways.

While there are specific long-standing careers in the arts and arts-related professions, recent discussions in higher education circles and news media have revolved around arts entrepreneurship and innovation.

At the International Council of Fine Arts Deans conference that I attended in October, James Undercofler, Artistic Director of the National Orchestral Institute at the University of Maryland and special advisor to Ithaca College’s new MA in Entrepreneurship in the Arts, spoke about how today’s arts students are inventing their own careers. He frequently blogs for Arts Journal and shares Entrepreneurship in Music and Arts Student Projects completed by students at Drexel University.

The projects demonstrate how the students are able to think outside of the box and create their own opportunities within the arts. “Innovation-ready” students who are inventing jobs are discussed by Thomas L. Friedman in an op-ed piece entitled “Need a Job? Invent It” recently published in The New York Times. In his review of Tony Wagner’s book entitled Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World, Friedman summarizes Wagner’s argument regarding education reform in the United States.

Wagner believes that students in the United States are getting shortchanged when curricula does not allow them to develop creative problem solving and critical thinking skills: these are the capabilities that he believes will set them apart in a competitive marketplace where employers are expecting workers to do more than possess knowledge of their field and demonstrate innovative ways to use their knowledge.

A similar sentiment was discussed in “The value of a liberal-arts education spurs major debate,” a recent article in The Columbus Dispatch. Creativity is being valued in corporate America, which is demonstrated by a recent example discussed in “Dance troupe markets creativity to cube-dwellers.” This article highlights the efforts of Hewlett Packard as the organization has engaged Trey McIntyre Project, a dance company, to help employees learn about creative process and its potential in the workplace.

There are countless other articles that have appeared in recent media sources, and I am sure that you have discovered similar stories that I encourage you to share. I have begun compiling these resources to use as tangible examples to support the list of careers in the arts to help me I am asked what one can do with a degree in the arts. Perhaps real world stories like these might resonate with skeptics in a way that research cannot and encourage a perspective that values the arts at the center of human experience.

Studying the Arts in Higher Education Creates Artists & Alchemists

Raymond Tymas-Jones

Raymond Tymas-Jones

Arts education in our society sometimes gets a bad rap. When I’m speaking with potential students and their families I’m frequently asked questions such as: What do people actually do with a degree from the College of Fine Arts? What kind of jobs do they get? How much money do they make?

These are all valid questions, but the answers are often more complicated than the inquirers desire. I often wonder whether or not these are the most important questions for people who are passionate about studying and creating art.

The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) is an organization designed to enhance the impact of arts-school education. To do this, SNAAP partners with degree-granting institutions to administer an annual online survey to their arts alumni. The information from the survey provides important insight as to how artists develop in this country, help identify the factors needed to better connect arts training to artistic careers and allow education institutions, researchers and arts leaders to look at the systemic factors that helped or hindered the career paths of alumni.

SNAAP defines “the arts” and “the arts alumni” broadly, to include the fields of performance, design, architecture, creative writing, film, media arts, illustration, and the fine arts. The survey population includes alumni from undergraduate programs, graduate programs, and arts-focused high schools.

SNAAP launched its first national survey in 2011–12 and, for the first time, alumni of all ages were surveyed and over 36,000 arts alumni from 66 institutions in the U.S. and Canada responded. The population of respondents graduated from schools or programs within the last 20 years and tracked such information as jobs and livelihoods, self-reported satisfaction with their training, how their jobs may or may not invoke their arts training, and what kinds of additional skills or knowledge would have proved useful to them as arts alumni.

Among the topics surveyed, arts alumni are asked about current and past education and employment, relevance of arts training to work and further education and satisfaction with curricular and extracurricular experiences. There were 33,801 alumni who responded to the survey. Seventy-two percent of the respondent reported that they continue to practice art separate from work, while 77% reported artistic technique as being important to their work. It is interesting that 75% of these alumni have been self-employed at some point in their career.

It is safe to conclude that artistic skills and competencies were gained during matriculation. The respondents, however, identified as “important skills and competencies” acquired during their studies in the arts are critical thinking, creativity, listening and revising, teamwork, broad knowledge, leadership, project management, networking, research, technology, entrepreneurial, and writing skills. Each skill is applicable for any vocation and often provide opportunities for arts majors to be major contributors in any environment.

The alumni provided an impressive array of occupations that arts graduates hold with their fine arts degrees. Of course, the jobs within the arts are not surprising, such as design, fine artist, musician, film/TV/video artist, arts administrator, arts education, curator/museum, dancers/choreographers, writer/editor, and so forth.

On the other hand, outside of the arts, alumni are employed in a variety of fields, such as the legal profession, management, financial advising, computer/mathematical, communication, engineering/science, and transportation.

A truly amazing statistic is that 29,406 (87%) arts alumni said that they were satisfied with their primary job. Also, 28,392 (84%) indicated that their current job included creative work opportunities and 27,378 (81%) had opportunity to create work for the greater good. SNAAP respondents confirm that arts schooling is a good economic investment as well as a meaningful ladder to meaningful work.

All in all, college students who major in the fine and performing arts acquire skill sets that serve graduates in a myriad of ways and opportunities. Significant percentages of responding alums in the 2011 SNAAP Survey indicated that they were gainfully employed and content with their lives as contributors to the public good.

The important fact is that most alumni with a fine arts degree do not consider that they are without options and opportunities. It is inherent that artists can create for themselves and others through the power of their imagination, creativity, and innovation. In other words, artists are alchemists.

Yesterday’s Tragedy in Boston

Robert L. Lynch

Robert L. Lynch

The tragedy in Boston yesterday was horrific and inexplicable and all of us at Americans for the Arts send our deepest sympathy and thoughts to those injured and to their families.

As we saw and heard things unfold from our offices in Washington, DC, and New York City, the Americans for the Arts staff began calling family and friends and members in the Boston area to see if those closest to us were okay. Some of us had loved ones right there at the site watching or running. Thankfully, all were uninjured.

But it made us think how connected, how close, how much a part of a community we all are even if scattered all across our country. In some ways that makes this tragedy all the more hurtful because it was aimed at community and fellowship itself, the very kind of coming together that marathons, and festivals, and arts events try to create. It takes aim at those who live in a community as well as tourists and visitors from across the world, that broader community created by an event like the Boston Marathon.

For me, as someone who grew up in the Boston area and spent my high school years blissfully wandering the city, this happened on sacred ground. Boylston Street was the place of high school proms, or visits to one of our nation’s great libraries, the site of New Year’s Eve First Night Celebrations, and the Lennox Hotel lounge right there was where my parents would go for end of week celebrations and pop up opera performances.

Sadly, terrible events trying to create hard and horrible memories are now all too common. But in some ways our best defense is to keep investing in the community-building arts activities that, individually and together, form the hallmark of our collective work.

Our hope is the hope itself generated by bringing people together through the arts. My hope is that what we all do in our small way in our many arts organizations across America will make the writing of notes like this one someday unnecessary.

The Arts: A Promising Solution to Meeting the Challenges of Today’s Military

Marete Wester

Marete Wester

On November 15, 2012, a group of concerned and dedicated military, government, private sector, and nonprofit leaders gathered at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC for the Arts & Health in the Military National Roundtable.

The Roundtable represented the second step in the ongoing development of the multi-year National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military, a collaborative effort to advance the arts in health, healing, and healthcare for military service members, veterans, their families, and caregivers.

Launched in January 2012, the National Initiative is co-lead by Americans for the Arts and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in partnership with a national steering committee comprised of military, federal agency, nonprofit, and private sector partners.

The Roundtable was charged with advancing the mission of National Initiative by recommending a framework for a “blueprint for action”—one that will ensure the availability of arts interventions for our service men and women and their families, and integrate the arts as part of the “Standard of Care” in military clinical (VA and military hospitals) as well as programs in community settings across the country. 

The Arts: A Promising Solution to Meeting the Challenges of Today’s Military—A Summary Report and Blueprint for Action was officially released at the 2nd National Summit: Arts, Health and Well-Being Across the Military Continuum hosted by the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on April 10, 2013.

The intent of the Blueprint is to open the door for a national conversation and the development of a National Action Plan. More than 200 leaders from the military and arts community were engaged on-site at the Summit, in sessions designed to solicit their suggestions for moving forward.

We invite you to read the report and join the conversation. Help us define what actions and strategies will be necessary—and that we can take together—to expand the use of the arts across the military continuum, and on behalf of service men and women, their families and caregivers.

The results of the discussions and public comments will be summarized and included as part of the findings of the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military White Paper and National Action Plan, to be released in 2013.

Stay tuned to ARTSblog for more information on this important initiative going forward.

Yo-Yo Ma Spins an Emotional Tale of “Art for Life’s Sake”

Tim Mikulski

Tim Mikulski

As I have been sitting back at my desk at Americans for the Arts this afternoon, I’ve had a hard time coming up with a way to describe what I experienced last night at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

It could be the lack of sleep, the lack of coffee, or the abundance of Twizzlers and Clif Bars I’ve eaten during and before Arts Advocacy Day 2013; but, I’m not convinced of that.

Watching Yo-Yo Ma’s combined lecture and performance of a speech called “Art for Life’s Sake: A Roadmap from One Citizen Musician” as our 26th annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy last night was priceless.

Not only did it feature eloquent points about the power of arts education and being a citizen musician, but it also featured memorable performances by jooker Lil’ Buck, bagpiper Cristina Pato, MusiCorps, and teaching artist Greg Loman and founder Arthur Bloom—two of which brought tears to the eyes of those around me in the Concert Hall.

Before I get too involved in describing it, I guess I should provide you with a chance to watch the entire event below or you can continue reading and click on the links to see the specific parts I point out as I attempt to capture the night to the best of my ability.

I’ll wait here while you watch…

Speaking of arts education, Ma explained that experts say there are four qualities needed in students and inside the current workforce: collaborative, flexible, imaginative, and innovative.

Ma said, “We know that our present educational system encourages knowledge acquisition and critical thinking, but what about these other qualities? How do we develop them?” He thinks the answers are in the arts through its integration into the entire school curricula.

Bringing a little science to the mix, Ma said that the “edge effect” is the point in ecology where “two eco-systems meet” and “in that transition zone, because of the influence the two ecological communities have on each other, you find the greatest diversity of life, as well as the greatest number of new life forms.”

He then went on to explain that this effect impacted his life as he initially balanced his immigration from Paris to New York City at the age of seven and then again in examples like the fact that he played at one of the first fundraisers for what would eventually become the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as a young child, too.

It was at that event that he met Danny Kaye who literally came down to his level in order to speak with the young cellist “in order to be an equal.” Ma said Kaye came to the edge of a child who was probably fairly uncomfortable and won him over.

Ma explained that since then he “subliminally internalized this gesture and attitude today” and has tried to apply that concept to everything he does—to meet people at eye level, at their edge that decides one person from another.”

Ma, Parto, & Lil' Buck perform "The Swan"

Ma, Parto, & Lil’ Buck perform “The Swan”

At this point that he turned to his cello, invited dancer Lil’ Buck and pianist Cristina Pato to the stage for a performance that left the audience smiling and nodding in silence (minus a “wow!” or two that I could hear from my back row orchestra seat…Lil’ Buck formed a swan with his body to end the performance named after the bird!).

Ma returned to the main topic of “Arts for Life’s Sake” as he set up a performance that may stick with me for the rest of my life.

He began by saying that “musicians spend years learning technique, but the point of art is always to transcend technique. That’s when we get to meaning. We transcend technique in order to seek out the truths in our world in a way that gives meaning and sustenance to individuals and communities—that’s art for life’s sake.”

From there, Ma said he wanted to share with the audience an example of an artist responding to need in the form of Arthur Bloom, who developed MusiCorps which is a program that works with injured service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

I just had a chill even thinking about the stirring rendition of Levon Helm’s “Wide River to Cross” that followed. The song was emotionally performed by Specialist Nathan Kalwicki, Lance Corporal Josh Cawthorn, Sergeant Rex Tharp, Corporal Marcus Dandrea, Lance Corporal Tim Donley, and MusiCorps teaching artists Greg Loman and Arthur Bloom.

Lance Corporal Tim Donley raises his arm to the crowd after singing "Wide River to Cross."

Lance Corporal Tim Donley raises his arm to the crowd after singing “Wide River to Cross.”

After the performance Ma returned to the “edge effect” stating that “as music therapists know, by combining two things many don’t usually associate (music and healthcare), Arthur has discovered a new path for healing for these veterans. And, as Arthur explains, this real work, discipline, and rigor. You can see for yourselves the transformative power of what the veterans are doing when Lance Corporal Tim Donley, who says so beautifully at age 21 that he feels blessed to have found two great loves in his life. First, the marines and now, music.”

Ma went on to discuss his arts education work through his own Silk Road Project and the Turnaround Arts initiative, and the importance of including the arts in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning.

He concluded with a performance of Sarabande by Bach from the Sixth Suite for Solo Cello.

While the event came at the end of our training sessions for Arts Advocacy Day the next day, everyone in the Hall felt that the impact of Yo-Yo Ma’s lecture will likely live on well beyond as more of us take the time to appreciate, participate in, and cherish “Art for Life’s Sake.”