This week, we take a moment to reflect on our work in 2020 addressing the urgent and unprecedented challenges we and the entire arts & culture sector are facing. Read on to learn about the research we’ve undertaken on the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on our field and tackling the pandemic priorites we identified from that research, including tools and information sharing platforms like our COVID-19 Response Center, advocacy efforts around relief funding for the arts and protecting creative jobs, and free informational webinars on ArtsU. You can also learn more about our increasing focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, including staffing and budget changes, internal and external learning and training on DEI topics, the continuation of our 28-year-old Diversity in Arts Leadershp intern program in a COVID-safe virtual environment, our Cultural Equity Resource Center, and more initiatives in progress and launching in 2021. We also look at our Board of Trustees’ recommitment to cultural equity, the role of our member-elected Advisory Councils, the impact of the Arts Action Fund’s Arts Vote campaign, and more.
Also this week, we’re pleased to feature a new public art toolkit from our friends at Forecast, developed with artists and consultants to share ideas for creative alternatives to in-person arts experiences and to keep artists working through the pandemic. And on ArtsU, check out a pair of webinars with Philadelphia’s Monument Lab that explore two of the studio’s projects designed to engage communities in rethinking monuments and memorials in their communities.
As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday (and gatherings that may look different than usual), we want to lift up our gratitude to all our donors, members, and friends. Thank you as always for being here with us and for the arts. Wishing you a safe, happy, and creative season!
How the Work of Americans for the Arts Is Addressing the Urgent Challenges of 2020 by Robert L. Lynch
In 2020, Americans for the Arts continued its commitment to our vision and planned work, while also pivoting and taking on new, urgent work like so many of our 5,000 member organizations. Here are highlights of some key areas of the new and urgent work of Americans for the Arts in 2020 that are in addition to our planned work portfolio.
Toolkit Developed by Artists Keeps Creatives Working During COVID-19 by Jen Krava
“Innovation in the Time of COVID” is designed to be an ever-evolving platform that contains strategies for adapting in-person arts-based activities during the COVID-19 pandemic for everyone to share, use, and contribute to. “This toolkit was born out of a desire to fight despair,” shares Candida Gonzalez, artist and consultant to Forecast, a nonprofit for artists working in the public space.
Mapping Monuments: A Monument Lab Project
In Public Iconographies, Monument Lab wanted to locate monuments in the imagined, remembered, and idealized landscapes across St. Louis. Hear from the studio’s Laurie Allen and Allison Nkwocha in this webinar exploring the ways maps, monuments, and participatory data projects can illuminate historically-informed research and future building projects.
Investigating Representation in Public Spaces: Monument Lab’s Field Trip Project
The Monument Lab Field Trip is a free hands-on activity guide to help participants take a closer look at the monuments in their city or town, inspired by the challenges presented this year to reckoning and reflecting on our monument landscape. In this webinar, Monument Lab’s Paul Farber, Patricia Kim, and Kanyinsola Anifowoshe discuss the Field Trip as a platform for engagement, imagination, and dialogue.
Pictured: Artist’s rendering of “70×7 the Meal, act XXXIV,” a visual and performative work of public art held Oct. 5, 2013 in Philadelphia, PA. The work was included in our 2013 Public Art Network Year in Review.