Thursday, September 2, 2010
List your statewide event in the Community Calendar
Documenting the Impact of Nongrant Services
Arts Education Makes a Difference in Missouri Schools
Missouri Arts Council
According to a study recently released by the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education, students who receive instruction in the arts achieve significantly higher standardized test scores in math and communication arts. Funded by the Missouri Arts Council (MAC), Arts Education Makes a Difference in Missouri Schools also reports better attendance, graduation and discipline rates for students receiving arts classes. The positive relationship between arts participation and student outcomes holds true across the socioeconomic spectrum, even for children in districts with high poverty rates. The study analyzed school district data reported annually to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The results are being used by educators, administrators, policymakers, parents and advocates to increase support for quality arts education across the state. To learn more, contact MAC Program Specialist Julie Hale.
ENGAGING FAMILIES IN THE ARTS
Second Saturdays and Art Lunches
Hawai'i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts
Second Saturdays at the Hawai'i State Art Museum are free family events featuring hands-on arts activities and educational programs. These events, presented by the Hawai'i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (HSFCA) and the Friends of the Hawai'i State Art Museum (HiSAM), are designed to engage families in the arts and to create opportunities for both adults and youth to interact with experienced artists from around the state. The monthly workshops include a mix of traditional and contemporary art forms such as pottery, digital photography, printmaking, animation, storytelling, dance and more. Art Lunch, HiSAM's noontime lecture series, takes place on the last Tuesday of every month. Presentations are made by notable artists and cultural practitioners, including recipients of the HSFCA Individual Artist Fellowship Awards in Visual and Performing Arts, master teachers from the HSFCA Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program, and leading members of various cultural communities. To encourage access for all, these events are offered free of charge. The programs help the Hawai'i State Art Museum—a major attraction for national and international tourists—to deepen its connections with members of the local community. For more information, contact Teri Skillman or HSFCA Museum Educator Susan Hogan.
RAISING ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS
Mashapaug Pond Project
Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) has demonstrated how the arts can help a community raise public awareness about local environmental issues and health hazards. RISCA commissioned artist Holly Ewald in 2008 to collaborate with the community to help residents of the Mashapaug Pond area learn about the dangers of swimming or fishing in the pond, which contains unsafe levels of dioxins and PCBs. Because the community is culturally diverse with several different languages commonly spoken, the arts were an ideal way to communicate issues of importance to all residents. Kick-started with a long-term residency, this project engaged local school students in the design of posters and education materials. It also catalyzed what has become an annual Urban Pond Procession that raises public awareness about the condition of local waterways and includes workshops in which artists help educate the public about environmental issues. In addition to community arts collaborations, four state agencies were engaged in the project: RISCA funded the artist; The Rhode Island departments of Health and Environmental Management developed and approved warning information incorporating the children's artwork; and the Department of Transportation installed new signage around the pond to help protect the health of residents and visitors. For additional information, contact RISCA Executive Director Randall Rosenbaum.
EXPANDING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Customer Relationship Management System
Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, Arts Division
The Peer Advisor Network (PAN) is a flexible, short-term consulting service available to cultural organizations in Connecticut. Led by the Arts Division of the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, PAN provides peer advisors—seasoned Connecticut professionals trained to provide consultation—to help community cultural groups to address a variety of organizational health, capacity and management issues. This spring the Arts Division engaged the Arts Extension Service to develop a new customer relationship management (CRM) system, a web-based tool that allows the state arts agency and five local arts agency field offices to coordinate administration of the PAN program. The CRM system documents the impact of PAN services, helping the agency to make the importance of technical assistance more visible to policy decision makers and the cultural field. Using the CRM, the agency can produce reports on services provided in state House and Senate districts, by type of service requested or by type of constituent organization served. The Arts Division recently expanded the PAN program by partnering with the Connecticut Humanities Council to provide advisors with skills in the heritage and humanities areas. PAN is now marketed to all arts, cultural and heritage organizations across the state. The program is successfully administering approximately 10 times as many technical assistance applications and contracts as it did in 2008. To find out more, contact Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism Arts Division Director An-Ming Truxes or Community Development Coordinator John Cusano.
NASAA works continuously to keep you abreast of the latest trends in the state arts agency field and let you know about innovative state arts agency programs. The State to State column provides a sampling of state programs, products and services for you to browse for information and inspiration. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to this column.