Lots going on this week in and around the Americans for the Arts (virtual) offices! Our October Member Briefing was all about how arts organizations can help communities get out the vote in the crucial final weeks before the 2020 election, featuring members and arts leaders Sheila Smith (Minnesota Citizens for the Arts) and Nate McGaha (Arts North Carolina). We also announced self-taught sculptor Vinnie Bagwell as the inaugural recipient of the Jorge and Darlene Pérez Prize in Public Art & Civic Design, and joined the U.S. Conference of Mayors in unveiling the City Song Collection featuring music from nine cities showcasing how music is helping those communities get through this challenging year.
In other public art news, a national task force is moving forward with a National Garden of American Heroes, ordered by President Trump earlier this summer; and the artist collective Masary Studios shared their story of creating protest projections of important Black Americans and victims of racial violence on prominent buildings around Boston, a project that seeks to expand the national discussion around public monuments and what it means to memorialize people and events in public space.
Protest Projections by Masary Studios
As creatives we are motivated by our feelings of wanting to speak up, make a difference, and be a part of or start the conversation. Using our experience in public spaces as artists doing projections, we wanted to continue to use this medium to make an impact for change in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests in our city of Boston.
Arts Leaders and Americans for the Arts Members Getting Out the Vote by Abigail Alpern Fisch
In this month’s Member Briefing, Americans for the Arts members Sheila Smith, executive director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and Nate McGaha, executive director of Arts North Carolina, discussed using the arts to Get Out the Vote and shared their experiences conducting voter outreach in their communities.
U.S. Task Force Moving Forward with National Garden of American Heroes
In July 2020, President Trump signed an executive order on Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes which, in part, assembled a task force “to establish a statuary park named the National Garden of American Heroes (National Garden).” So far, responses to the request for locations have come in from over 40 states and territories.
Make the Case for the Arts
Given the funding challenges in the arts today, do you have your arguments ready for supporting the arts in your community? Americans for the Arts has important information at the ready on the economic impact of the arts, the social impact of the arts, and the need to put creative workers to work.
Americans for the Arts Announces Artist Vinnie Bagwell as Recipient of Inaugural Jorge and Darlene Pérez Prize in Public Art & Civic Design
Bagwell has been a longstanding champion for utilizing the arts to drive social, educational, and economic growth in her community. The first-of-its-kind national award will include a cash stipend of $30,000, as well as additional support for Bagwell to participate in learning opportunities and discussion about her work with national leaders in the arts and other allied fields.
U.S. Conference of Mayors and Americans for the Arts Release ‘City Song Collection’
The ‘City Song Collection’ features nine songs inspired, composed, and performed by local artists from cities all over the country in a demonstration of healing, unity and city pride. The songs—from Louisville, Chicago, Reno, Austin, Detroit, Charleston, Oklahoma City, Atlanta, and New Orleans—showcase how cities are coming together through music in this unprecedented year.
October 2020 Member Briefing: Arts Leaders Get Out the Vote
As the 2020 election gets closer, and many voters are already voting by mail or in-person, arts organizations around the country are doing their part to help voters ensure their vote counts. This webinar explores voter outreach activities including candidate forums, messaging about important voting deadlines, and partnership with local and national organizations.
Photo of Breonna Taylor projection on Boston City Hall by Aram Boghosian.