Sunday, November 16, 2008

Arts News for November

We have just completed an historic election. What can you expect from the new administration on arts policies and/or issues? Check the following site: http://blog.artsusa.org/2008/11/05/americans-for-the-arts-action-fund-statement-on-the-2008-election/#more-300 for an outline of what might be a bold new initiative for the arts under the leadership of President Elect Obama.

Arts issues may not be on the top ten list of problems for our new president and the members of congress, but this is still the opportune time for you to re-connect with your elected officials and remind them of your interest in promoting theatre and the arts. The ideal vehicle is a short phone call, fax, letter, or e-mail that congratulates them on their election or re-election as the case may be. Then you add a short paragraph that tells them that you work in the arts. Mention that you belong to or support arts groups—including the Illinois Theatre Association—and that you would hope that they would be amenable in the future to legislation that encourages the development of the arts and arts education. Find appropriate addresses below. http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml or for state addresses go to http://capwiz.com/nea/il/directory/statedir.tt?state=IL&lvl=state
At a recent Illinois Theatre Association meeting board meeting some members called for more information on the efficacy of theatre and arts instruction and its relationship to overall leaning. So here are two more sources that comment on that. The first one is out of Colorado and contends that “creativity in the curriculum boosts academic performance.” http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_10655058 If your tastes run to the more academic you might look up a new book by two Britons titled The Social Impact of the Arts Palgrave Macmillan, 2008 http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?PID=281230 The volume traces the history of this debate from classical Greece to the present day.

Have you noticed that your audience is graying? Most surveys suggest that the average age of arts attendees is rising, but here is an intelligent article that makes an argument that this is not a new insight and might not be all bad. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/arts/la-ca-newgray5-2008oct05,0,4427896.story?track=rss

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