Weekly Web Roundup: April 16, 2021

We are excited to launch registration for the 2021 Annual Convention, coming to a screen near you June 8-11! This year’s virtual convening is going to dive deep on the pressing questions artists and arts organizations face as we rebuild post-pandemic and consider how to reimagine the arts field as a whole. We’re also expanding access to the event through extended scholarships—all you need to do to take advantage is submit a request by May 3. We hope to see many of you there!

In related content, our Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs, Jay Dick, has shared two blogs exploring arts policy and issues at state and local levels, which will be of increasing importance to LAAs and other organizations as local governments develop and implement recovery plans in their communities. More potential good news for bolstering the arts locally is the reintroduction of the STAR Act to Congress, which would return control of funding for arts in transit projects to local authorities.

Also this week: don’t miss a powerful blog by anti-racism facilitator and Korean adoptee Kayla Kim Votapek on the need for anti-racism intersectionality beyond a black-and-white binary; read why companies more than ever are seeking employees with creative skills; and get to know Billy Ocasio of the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture in our latest Member Spotlight.


State Legislative Trends in 2021 by Jay H. Dick
As of this writing, Americans for the Arts is tracking 841 pieces of legislation across all 50 states, many of which could have an impact on the arts. While the vast majority of this legislation will not become law, it is always important to keep a watchful eye to prevent any bad legislation from being signed into law and to support legislation which is helpful.

Member Spotlight: Billy Ocasio by Linda Lombardi
Under Billy Ocasio’s leadership as executive director, the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture’s budget has tripled, staffing has grown, and visitor attendance has increased 67%. “At NMPRAC, our vision is to be the premier organization that both influences and connects diasporic arts, culture, and history to evolving generations.”

Why the Arts Matter to Counties (now more than ever!) by Jay H. Dick
Artists live everywhere and their work seeks to engage their fellow humans to ask questions, to look at a topic in a new way, to foster dialogue, or to bring people together. As arts advocates, it is up to us to recognize and educate others about the value that the arts bring to any county, to encourage it, to highlight it, and even to help support it.

If you aren’t including the AAPI experience within your anti-racism efforts, are you truly practicing anti-racism? by Kayla Kim Votapek
I have had conversations with individuals who question if we should call the hate crimes the AAPI community is experiencing because of COVID-19 “racist events.” When conversations and topics like these come up, my proximity to whiteness is questioned. This is white supremacy showing up. Not all Asians look like me. Not all Asians have a similar experience.

News Room

Saving Transit Art Resources (STAR) Act Introduced to Congress
Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) has introduced the Saving Transit Art Resources (STAR) Act, which would reinstate a federal flexibility that allows local transit authorities to incorporate art into federally-funded transit projects. “Public art is infrastructure. When incorporated into transit networks, public art increases ridership, reduces vandalism, and encourages safety and security,” said Rep. Adams.

2021 Annual Convention Registration Now Open
Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention is coming to a screen near you! Registration is now open to attend the virtual conference June 8-11, 2021. This is our opportunity to gather and reimagine our creative field and communities as we rebuild post-pandemic. Join us for a week of inspiring keynotes, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities focused on the pressing questions ahead.

Request a Scholarship to the 2021 Annual Convention!
The arts and culture field continues to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, Americans for the Arts is expanding access to Annual Convention through extended scholarship opportunities. We strongly encourage those that identify as, reside in, and/or directly serve intentionally marginalized audiences to submit a request for scholarship. Deadline is Monday, May 3.

Arts and Creativity Brings Humanity and Problem-Solving to STEM
As higher education institutions and elected officials have pushed for STEM programs, the resulting technology and innovations have only revealed the need for the arts and humanities within these spheres.

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