Saturday, January 31, 2009


The House of Representatives on Wednesday, January 28, passed the economic stimulus legislation – H.R.1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – with provisions intact allocating $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. All Republican House members, joined by 11 Democrats, voted against the measure.

TAKE ACTION: The Senate expects to vote on its version of the stimulus legislation the week of February 2. If you have not yet done so, please contact your senators urging their support to retain the $50 million allocation for the National Endowment for the Arts when the economic stimulus legislation takes final shape by including the provision passed by the House, with 40% of the NEA funds going to state arts agencies and the remainder distributed in direct grants to fund arts projects that preserve jobs in the nonprofit arts sector.

Reach your senators by phone through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, or by email at

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

U.S. Dept. of Education: Teaching Ambassador Fellowship

The U.S. Department of Education is accepting applications for the 2009-2010 Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program, which offers highly motivated, innovative public school teachers the opportunity to contribute their knowledge and experience to the national dialogue on public education. Washington Fellows become full-time federal employees at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., participating in policy discussions and working alongside staff on education programs and strategies aimed at educational improvement. Classroom Fellows remain in their local schools under their regular teaching contracts and provide their experience and perspectives to the Department through various assignments and part-time projects. Maximum award: fellowship compensated at the federal GS-12 level. Eligibility: state certified pre-K-12 public school teachers of all subjects who have spent at least three years in the classroom. Deadline: March 16, 2009.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Save the Dates: Feb. 15-18

Iowa Not-for-Profit Alliance Conference 
February 16th – 17th, 2009
Marriott Hotel Downtown Des Moines


Cultural Advocacy Day 
Feb 18, 2009

Great Places Legislative Breakfast- 7:00-9:00, North Wing, Capitol Rotunda. Great Places communities host a legislative continental breakfast with legislators.

Meet with your Legislators to discuss the Cultural Legislative Platform – any time on February 18 – ICC table at north end of Rotunda from 9 am to 4 pm to check in if you are meeting with your legislator.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Nominate Yourself or Others!

Americans for the Arts Annual Awards

Presented each year in conjunction with Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, Americans for the Arts Annual Awards recognize the achievements of individuals, organizations, or programs committed to enriching their communities through the arts. Deadline for nominations is February 27, 2009 and you must be a member of Americans for the Arts to make a nomination. Awards are presented in the following areas:
Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award
Arts Education Award
Emerging Leader Award
Michael Newton Award for United Arts Funds Leadership
Public Art Network Award
Selina Roberts Ottum Award for Arts Leadership
To learn more or to nominate yourself or a colleague, visit

Arts Education for the Whole Child

Principal magazine's Jan/Feb issue is centered on Arts Education with several excellent articles. 
Using Interdisciplinary Arts Education to Enhance Learning
Arts Education and the Whole Child
A School Revitalized Through the Arts
Masterpieces in the Hallways
and a PS by the NAESP Ex. Director Gail Connelly

Monday, January 19, 2009

Orchestra Iowa (the Cedar Rapids Symphony) Invites You

Orchestra Iowa (the Cedar Rapids Symphony) says:
We are seeking 10 teacher-collaborators from throughout Iowa to develop learning activities based on Season 2 of the Emmy-nominated PBS television series, From the Top at Carnegie Hall. Each teacher will receive a $250 honorarium and eight hours of paid release time in return for working with us to develop one new learning activity and review four others. Multidisciplinary approaches are encouraged. All 13 episodes of the television series can be viewed online at, and you can see 24 learning activities created by From the Top to accompany the series (click on the “For Teachers” link on the home page). For the complete application see (and scroll down to “Opportunities for Schools and Teachers”). The application deadline is January 30, 2009.

For students throughout Iowa, the Iowa Makes Music + Media contest! Students between the ages of 11 and 18 create an original, 2-4 minute multimedia piece based on the PBS television series, From the Top at Carnegie Hall. Winners will receive recognition on the From the Top radio show, be featured on the web sites of From the Top and Orchestra Iowa, and will win a brand new FlipCam or iPod. Entries will be judged based on originality, artistic insight, and technical quality. For all the contest rules, go to Entry deadline: March 15, 2009. Contest winners will be announced May 19 at the live radio taping of From the Top in Cedar Rapids.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cabinet-Level Arts Czar?

Quincy Jones and two other New York artists have started a petition now signed by more than 76,000 to ask Obama to create a cabinet position for the arts. In December, 15 organizations joined Americans for the Arts in petitioning the Obama-Biden transition team to stop the fragmentation of cultural policy. The establishment of a Cabinet office would take the approval of Congress. A dedicated office in the West Wing would be up to the president.
Get Involved! Sign the petition.

The Work of Dan Pink

Karl Fisch, Director of Technology for Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, has a series of blog posts about how he taught the content of Daniel Pink’s book, A Whole New Mind.

"Best Community for Music Education?"

Since 1998, the NAMM Foundation has been conducting the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) Survey, a nationwide search for communities whose programs exemplify commitment to music education. The initiative recognizes and celebrates communities and their school administrators, teachers, board members, parents, community leaders and students for their support and commitment to their music education programs. The program also acknowledges community and school district commitment to assure access to music education for all students.

Americans for the Arts is proud to play a part in this important national recognition effort, and we encourage you participate in it as well by completing the tenth annual Best Communities for Music Education in America (BCME) survey. The 2009 survey will be conducted in collaboration with The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, KS an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

Visit The NAMM Foundation January 15, 2009 through March 13, 2009 to review and complete an online survey form on behalf of your community. If you prefer, you can forward this message to a school administrator, teacher, or Board of Education member who has more of the data close at hand.

Over the years, school districts have reported that being designated a “Best Community for Music Education” helped them gain valuable recognition for their communities that in turn aided their efforts to sustain and grow their music education programs. We encourage you to participate now on behalf of your community.

Wisconsin Task Force Om Creativity

An unprecedented task force, co-chaired by Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton and state Superintendent Libby Burmaster, has released its recommendations for improving arts education and creativity in Wisconsin.

Its recommendations include making sure all students have access to arts and creativity education and revising state school tests and standards to make sure developing creativity is a part of all schools' curriculum. The task force also called for more research to improve arts and creativity education.

The full report is online.