By Carla Ledbetter, specifically for Donne Tempo. ALEXANDRIA, La, January 28, 2011—One of the really wonderful thing about art is that it speaks to every one of us in a unique manner? Whenever we read a great novel or story, hear a particularly moving piece of music, view a painting or sculpture or watch a play, we are transported to another place and time. Whenever this happens, our lives are forever enriched.
Americans for the Arts, an organization that is our nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts. In 2010, they celebrated their 50th anniversary. This organization serves more than 150,000 organizational and individual members and stakeholders, and one of their goals is to build environments that allow the arts to thrive, which has the added benefit of making our cities, towns and communities more interesting, vibrant and creative.
This organization also works to build an appreciation of the value of arts and art education through a variety of programs. Although local arts agencies comprise their core constituency, they also work with a variety of unique partner networks such as public art and emerging arts leaders.
One of the ways they achieve national visibility for the arts is through annual events such as the National Arts Awards and Public Leadership in the Arts Awards. In addition to heightening awareness of the arts, these events also help them motivate leaders and allow them to engage with ever-broadening audiences.
Americans for the Arts understands that our nation is comprised of uniquely diverse individuals—and each person or group has something different to contribute. Because this organization “gets” this particular concept, they encourage the development and preservation of art expression in ways that can be enjoyed, and participated in by individuals and cultural groups throughout the United States.
Another thing they offer is a wealth of information on and links to topics such as arts education, emerging leaders, public art, fostering civic engagement, community art education, economic impacts, and marketing tools. Their blog includes posts by staff about the arts field, commentary about events and news, and posts by guest bloggers during conferences. This organization’s accomplishments are many, but their work is ongoing to ensure that not only the Arts, but also art education continues.
Like all the organizations and individuals highlighted in this column, Americans for the Arts saw a very specific need, found a way to work collaboratively with others to meet that need, and in doing so, truly Teamed Up For Success.
In addition to writing articles for the Washington Times Communities, Carla is the author of four published suspense novels, and her latest book, Artful Misdirection, is currently available in Kindle format on Amazon.com. Read more of her work at the Washington Times Communities.