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Recap: 2013 National Arts Policy Roundtable and Executive Leadership Forum

“The country is so wounded, bleeding, and hurt right now. The country needs to be healed – it’s not going to be healed from the top, politically. How are we going to heal? Art is the healing force.” – Robert Redford,  2012 National Arts Policy Roundtable

From September 18-21, over 50 select top level decision makers and thought leaders from the fields of business, government, the social sector, education, and the arts gathered together at two events held at the Sundance Institute: Americans for the Arts’ 2013 National Arts Policy Roundtable (NAPR) and our Executive Leadership Forum (ELF).  

The National Arts Policy Roundtable (NAPR) was launched in October 2006 by Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Robert Redford, founder of the Sundance Institute to reflect and discuss issues that affect the arts, and thus, society at-large. This year’s topic, Arts and Healing:  Body, Mind and Community,  explored the role that the arts play in building healthier people and stronger communities. There is a growing awareness among the medical, public health, government, civic, and military communities about the arts’ capacity to heal mental and physical traumas. Research has shown that incorporating the arts has numerous benefits not only for the patients, but also for their families, their caregivers, the hospitals, the communities, and our economy. Check out the complete

In addition to rigorous discussion, The 2013 National Arts Policy Roundtable included presentations of best practices, listening to those engaged in the work, participating in arts and healing demonstrations, and brainstorming how to best further the role of the arts as a tool for rejuvenating our nation and our world.  In addition to a powerful group of leaders including Acting Surgeon General of the United States, Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak; General George W. Casey, Jr., 36th Chief of Staff, US Army, Retired; Commander Moira McGuire; Program Manager, Warrior Clinic and Director, Creative Arts Program, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center; Dr. Tommy Sowers; Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs; US Department of Veterans Affairs; artists Ben Folds, Vijay Gupta and Darden Smith,  we annually award a National Arts Policy Roundtable Fellowship to recent high school graduates who are  alumni from the Youngarts program of the National YoungArts Foundation. These stellar young people add an important voice to the conversation and are committed to carrying the issue for years to come.  This year’s National Arts Policy Roundtable fellows were:

  • ·Liisi LaFontaine; 2013 YoungArts Winner in Voice, graduate of Los Angeles High School of the Arts, CA
  • ·Peter Eom; 2013 YoungArts Winner in Music and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, graduate of Highland High School, Gilbert, AZ

Our CEO, Robert Lynch, with Ben Folds at the NAPR
The Executive Leadership Forum (ELF), held simultaneously with Americans for the Arts’ National Arts Policy Roundtable, gathered eighteen executive directors of Local Arts Agencies from Alaska to Florida to strengthen their leadership skills and contribute to a dialogue on policy and trends facing the field. They covered a wide range of topics, including diversity, cultural districts, the art of healing, and navigating change through discussions, presentations, and screenings. Read Ken Busby’s post on ARTSBlog about his favorite session of the 2013 ELF: “Thinking Past Urgent:  Organizational Assessment, Decision Making, and Change.”

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