Weekly Web Roundup: March 19, 2021

It’s been a difficult and painful week for the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. In the wake of the shootings in Atlanta, which left six Asian individuals dead, we reshared a suite of resources to combat anti-Asian racism from a recent issue of our Cultural Equity Weekly News Digest—we hope you find them useful to educate yourself and others, lend support, and take action. This digest is currently available to Americans for the Arts members via our listserv; if you are a member and want to receive news like this to your inbox, make sure you are signed up here.

Another big story for the arts field this week is the newly established American Rescue Plan and how its provisions to support the arts and culture sector will be distributed. We hosted a webinar with the Arts Action Fund to dig into the law and answer your questions; if you missed it, a recording of the webinar is available now on the Arts Action Fund Facebook page.

And there’s more: This week we also released VP of Research Randy Cohen’s annual “10 Reasons to Support the Arts,” a list of facts and figures to keep handy any time you are advocating for the arts, and made a fresh attempt at forecasting trends for the upcoming year that could impact the arts field. Two blogs look at the arts and community from unique angles: how the ballroom scene for queer BIPOC artists has shifted during COVID, and the importance of Indigenous artists exploring political, geographic, and cultural boundaries through public art. On ArtsU, the first of a two-part webinar opens a conversation on definitions and concepts for an inclusive creative economy, which we expect will be crucial tools for the field going forward. Finally, save the date for International Sculpture Day on Saturday, April 24—we’ve got some fun ways to celebrate in the works and hope you’ll join in.


Arts Spaces for Queer BIPOC During COVID: Paris Has Burned by Cedeem Gumbs
For some queer individuals, and specifically ones of color, the ballroom scene is an example of a community formed through the need to have a space where everyone understands each other through shared experience. In a pandemic, what happens when it is no longer safe to host these grand balls with hundreds of other people in the room?

10 Trends that Will Impact Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy in 2021 by Clay Lord
Across the arts field, most of us would agree that 2020 was a humbling, surprising, traumatic, and frustratingly unpredictable year. While trend forecasting in this moment is a tricky business, understanding what might be coming around the bend is crucial to our success as a field, particularly as we navigate such a volatile time. 

10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2021 by Randy Cohen
The effective arts advocate needs to articulate the value of the arts in as many ways as possible—from the passionately inherent to the functionally pragmatic—and to deploy the right case-making tool in the right moment. Consider these “10 Reasons to Support the Arts” as your Swiss army knife for arts advocacy.

Alan Michelson’s Public Art: History and Place Matter a Lot by John Haworth
According to the artist Alan Michelson—a Mohawk member of the Six Nations of the Grand River who is currently based in New York—history is unfinished business demanding our attention. Alan believes that the arts generally, and public art in particular, play significant roles both in addressing complex issues and making important social change.

News Room

Americans for the Arts celebrates International Sculpture Day—will you join too?
On Saturday, April 24, Americans for the Arts will celebrate International Sculpture Day, a worldwide event created by the International Sculpture Center (ISC) for anyone with an appreciation or commitment to the field of sculpture and its unique, vital contribution to society. We encourage all our members and followers to take part!

Resources to Combat Anti-Asian Racism
In the wake of the shooting in Atlanta that has left eight individuals dead, six of whom were Asian, we are re-sharing an excerpt from a recent issue of our Cultural Equity Weekly News Digest focusing on resources specific to combatting anti-Asian racism, which has been on the rise over the past year due to increased racist rhetoric around the coronavirus pandemic.


American Rescue Plan and the Arts
Watch a recording of a webinar that delves into details of arts funding opportunities in the newly enacted American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, featuring Americans for the Arts Chief Counsel and Arts Action Fund Executive Director Nina Ozlu Tunceli and expert guest speakers. Learn what burning questions your fellow arts professionals have about the law in an extended Q&A session at the end.

Exploring Inclusive Creative Economy Definitions and Concepts, Part 1
This first session of a two-part webinar exploring foundational concepts and definitions related to what an “inclusive creative economy” means focuses on terms such as “arts worker,” “creative workers,” and “artist,” and explores how using different language in different contexts and communities evokes different responses. Save the date for Part 2 on Tuesday, April 20.

Pictured: A detail of “Third Bank of the River” by Alan Michelson, 2010 Public Art Network Year in Review

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