Thursday, June 18, 2009

General Session: Lunch, Awards, Statements on the State of the Arts, American’s for the Arts Annual Report

Fun Fact: 1200 artists, arts educators and arts administrators are attending the convention.

The general session was a wonderful mix of networking and time to reflect on the current state of the arts. I was seated between an architect from New York City who specializes in public art projects and city/organizational collaboration and the ED of an arts council in Tennessee. Bill Ivey, the guest speaker and advisor to the Obama campaign, spoke passionately about how to move forward in a new administration. He encouraged everybody to walk away and do the following: 1. Trust in your national leadership – even if it may not work as quickly as you would like, he knows first-hand how important the arts are to our new administration 2. Work hard to make your leaders follow through with their promises 3. Move from sustaining the arts in a community to the arts sustaining a community.

Lunch ended with the Americans for the Arts Annual Report where Robert Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, highlighted four goals defined in their 3-year (2009-2011) strategic plan:
1. Strengthening informed leaders – from emerging leaders to state and national policy makers
2. Increasing resources and meaningful policies in the arts
3. A better understanding of the broad value of the arts
4. Ensure the organizational stability of Americans for the Arts.

At the general session I had (what I think is) a great idea – let’s put together a resource library for the Emerging Upstate Arts Professionals. The idea came to me while Bill Ivey was discussing and (admittedly) shamelessly, promoting his book, published in 2008, Arts Inc., Let me know what you think – would you use a resource library? What books and/or publications should we include? Does anybody know of any grants or funding opportunities for something like this….for a group that is not a 501c3?

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