Saturday, December 3, 2011

Questions for Candidates and Sample Platform Statement

1. What kinds of federal initiatives would you develop in order to support public/private partnerships to help cities and states expand creative economies and create new jobs—from music, arts, and architecture to computer software, games, and film?
2. What specific federal education policies would you promote to ensure our children receive a well-rounded education with comprehensive arts education in their local schools?
Go to your Caucuses and get support for the following:

Sample Platform Statement:
   “The Arts: Investment in the arts is an investment in our creativity and cultural heritage, in our diversity, in our communities, and in our humanity. We support art in schools and increased public funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. We support the cultural exchange of artists around the world, spreading democracy and renewing America’s status as a cultural and artistic center.”

Exploring the Past: Archaeology in the Upper Mississippi River Valley

Walking beside thousand-year-old burial mounds, flaking raw stone into tools, learning how potsherds tell us about human behavior, and understanding how humans adapt to complex, ever-changing environments­the 2012 NEH Summer Institute features all this and more. Read more about this professional development opportunity...

AP HIstory Petition

As an Arts Educator, you might be interested in signing a petition concerning AP Art History and college admissions scores in Iowa. The petition states, in part:

    ...All AP (Advanced Placement) classes deserve to be included in the RAI (Regents Admission Index). We understand that the  RAI Score is a formula which determines automatic acceptance to Iowa's State Universities.  It is also a factor in determining scholarships for our students. The index combines four factors deemed most valid in predicting success at regent universities: ACT or SAT test score, high school rank, high school cumulative grade-point average, and the number of completed high school core courses.
     Almost all AP classes are included in this formula. However, AP Art History, AP studio classes, AP Music classes and AP Computer Sciences classes are excluded because they are not "core" courses....

If you would like to read the full petition and have an opportunity to sign it, go to You are welcome to forward this link to friends of the arts. For more information, contact AP Art History at Linn-Mar High School, Gloria Zmolek at

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Summer Music Institute 2012

The National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute will take place from July 2 to July 30.

Every summer, approximately 60 students (ages 15-20) from all over the nation meet in Washington, D.C., to attend the Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra's Summer Music Institute (SMI). The Institute offers four weeks of private lessons, rehearsals, coaching by National Symphony Orchestra members, classes, and lectures to prepare aspiring musicians for their futures in music.

The deadline for application is January 27, 2012. In the past, SMI Chair Leon Kuehner submitted Iowa's selections to SMI. This year, applicants will apply online directly to the Kennedy Center.

For more information and links to the application and financial forms, go to the IAAE website.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

All-State 2011

An appreciative audience was entertained by the All-State musicians this weekend in Ames.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Iowa Talent on IPTV in November

Tune to Iowa Public Television during November to celebrate some of the great talent from around the state:

  • All-State Music Festival 2011--Thursday, Nov. 24, at 7pm and Sunday, Nov. 27, at 5:30pm
  • Iowa HS Cheerleading Championships 2011--Sunday, November 27, at 2pm
  • 2011 Iowa HS Marching Bands: ValleyFest--Sunday, Nov. 27, at 3:30pm, and Monday, Nov. 28, at 9pm
  • 2011 Iowa High School Marching Bands: ShowDown--Sunday, Nov. 27, at 4:30pm, and Monday, Nov. 28, at 8pm

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Art Educator Awards

Art Educators of Iowa, during their 2011 Fall Conference (Creativity in the City: 21st Century and Beyond) in Des Moines, celebrated the careers of several outstanding art educators at their banquet at the Hotel Savery. 

Dr. Clar Baldus shown with Chair Maggie Parks (left) and President Ronda Sternhagen (right), was named Outstanding Higher Level Art Education Art Educator. Currently, Baldus is the Administrator for Rural Schools, Inventiveness, and Visual Arts Programs at the Belin-Blank Center and the State Coordinator for Invent Iowa, an invention program that serves K-12. She is also dually appointed as Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Education and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Psychological & Quantitative Foundations Division of the College of Education at the University of Iowa. Read more...

Carol Webb (left) was named Middle School Art Educator of the Year. Webb has been the Art teacher at Miller Middle School in Marshalltown for 15 years, and has impressed parents and colleagues while working her way into the hearts of her students. Read more...

Nancy Sojka (center) was named 2011 Art Educator of the Year. Sojka has retired from teaching art at North Winneshiek School, Decorah, but continues to serve art education in the state as a webmaster for IAAE and Art Educators of Iowa and providing communications with arts educators around the state. She was also awarded the Belin-Blank Center's Mary Bucksbaum Scanlan Program in Visual Arts Award of Distinction. Read more...

Becky Sue Johnson (right) of Roosevelt High School received the 2011 Outstanding Secondary Art Educator Award. At Roosevelt she is a member of the Instructional Leadership Team and is the chair of the Fine Arts department. She is on the Art Advisory Committee and the Art Department’s Curriculum Committee for Des Moines Public Schools. She is constantly searching for ways to improve student learning. Read more...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Steve Jobs and Arts Education

"Stay hungry and stay foolish..."
We all owe a huge debt to creative people like Steve Jobs. We mourn his loss as one of our own. The Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs a few years ago has a message about arts education that we all need to hear again:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Davenport BASICS Team

Due to cuts in the Federal budget, funding for 2011-12 from the Kennedy Center for the BASICS program was not available. The Davenport BASICS Team has continued with local funding. Here are some highlights of their activities:
On July 21st, the Davenport BASICS Development Team held a reception for Dr. Art Tate, Davenport Community Schools new superintendent.

On August 11, 2011, Davenport Community Schools’ elementary music and elementary and intermediate physical education teachers experienced a dance workshop presented by Dorian Byrd of the Imani Dancers Studio.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"I'm hoping you can help..."

Parents are willing to do anything to help their child in need of arts education. But very often they do not know where to turn or who can help them. If parents knew where to look, there are, actually, many resources out there to help them. Here is a blog about a parent's desire to help and some resources you can share with dedicated parents. The Power and Passion is Apparent.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ten Things Every Teacher Should Know

From school of education experts to veteran teachers with decades of experience under their belts, eSchool News readers weighed in by the dozens with their best or most useful advice for beginning teachers. Based on these suggestions, here are the top 10 pieces of wisdom for those considering teaching (edited for brevity).
Every teacher of the arts could make additions or site examples... Have a wonderful 2011-12 school year!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

JFK Partners in Education Program

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is accepting applications into its Partners in Education program, which facilitates educational partnerships between arts organizations around the nation and their local school systems.

·         Representatives from these organizations work together as Partnership Teams to establish or expand professional development programs in the arts for teachers.
·         Teams consist of one or two representatives from the arts organization and a representative from a local school system, such as a senior-level administrator responsible for professional development.
·         The team participates in an Institute that provides models and planning strategies for professional development programs in the arts for teachers.
·         Beyond the Institute, the program provides follow-up consultation and professional learning to assist teams in their continued development. 
·         The Institute is the beginning of the Partnership Team’s participation in the program and Teams are accepted based on their application.
·         The next Institute will take place April 25 through April 28, 2012 at the Kennedy Center inWashingtonD.C.
For more information or to apply, please contact John Abodeely, 
202/416.8843 or visit  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Iowa Model of Excellence

Do you know a new arts educator? Would you be willing to mentor a new arts educator?

As part of the IAAE mentorship program, several great opportunities are available to new teachers during the first year of teaching, including the Fall Symposium for First Year Arts Teachers, to be held in Fort Dodge on October 29, 2011. The Iowa Alliance for Arts Education has developed a mentorship program for first and second-year arts educators in the state of Iowa. Each arts organization has a Mentorship Chair who coordinates the mentorship program.

This program is funded by a grant from the Department of Education to IAAE. As part of this program, active and retired arts educators have volunteered to observe first and second-year arts educators and offer suggestions for improvement. Mentors receive an honorarium for their work.

First-year Teacher
A $250 scholarship for professional conference attendance and/or membership dues.
Fall Symposium, meal and mileage paid. See brochure.
Observation Mentor Program, four visits

Second-year Teacher
Observation Mentor Program, two visits

Friday, August 5, 2011

Musical Brains and Old Age

While it is known that practicing music repeatedly changes the organization of the brain, it is not clear if these changes can correlate musical abilities with non-musical abilities. The study of 70 older participants, with different musical experience over their lifetimes, provides a connection between musical activity and mental balance in old age. “The results of this preliminary study revealed that participants with at least 10 years of musical experience (high activity musicians) had better performance in nonverbal memory, naming, and executive processes in advanced age relative to non-musicians.”


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thanks to West Music!

West Music of Coralville was one of the sponsors of the Governor's Education Summit. All IAAE members send our collective appreciation.  Steve was the only arts business who put his money where his passion is.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Integrating the Arts Webinar

Integrating the Arts Across the Curriculum
Tuesday, July 19, 2011, 2 p.m. EDT
Also available "on demand" any time 24 hours after the event.

Free registration is now open.
Many arts advocates suggest integrating dance, music, theater, and visual arts across the curriculum holds great promise to enhance student learning—and revitalize the arts in public schools.
Although not a new idea, teaching "through" the arts appears to be gaining a stronger foothold, proponents say. Examples span the country and content areas. Take dance, where the art form has been used in a Baltimore County, Md., school to help teach scientific concepts like photosynthesis, and in suburban Minneapolis to bring the Underground Railroad to life.
A White House advisory panel recently made the case for "reinvesting" in arts education and drew special attention to arts integration, suggesting that it can boost student motivation and provide both academic and social benefits.
This webinar will explore the potential of bringing together the arts with other subjects in a mutual learning experience and point to promising examples, as well as the challenges to ensure that such efforts achieve their academic goals.
  • Sandra Ruppert, director of the Arts Education Partnership.
  • Shana Habel, dance demonstration teacher, Los Angeles Unified School District and co-president of the California Dance Education Association.

This webinar will be moderated by Erik Robelen, assistant editor, Education Week.
Related Article:
"Schools Integrate Dance Into Core Academics"
Register for this free webinar.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sir Ken Robinson in Iowa

July 26, 2011
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Sheraton Hotel, Iowa City
Sir Ken Robinson is an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation, human potential and the people side of organizations. One of his speaking topics is “How to Profit from Diversity”. His 2006 talk at the TED conference is the most-watched video in TED history—more than 5 million downloads—and a brilliant example of his extraordinary speaking style; a perfect balance of content, anecdotes and humor. Read more...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

education roundtable discussions

Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will hold three hour-long roundtable discussions on Wednesday, July 13, to gain a deeper understanding of changes needed to create world-class schools across the state. The conversations will be live-streamed and videos will be posted afterward. 

The governor and lieutenant governor also will host seven town hall meetings around Iowa to listen to Iowans’ ideas for improving education before the Iowa Education Summit July 25-26.  “We have a wonderful line-up of participants for each roundtable,” said Branstad. “We are looking forward to great discussions, and hope many Iowans will have the opportunity to watch.”

“Iowa used to be a top performer on national tests, but has slipped toward the middle of the rankings,” said Reynolds. “We have a proud education tradition to build on, and must assure our students are not just best in the nation again but globally competitive as well.”

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

10 a.m.          Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds hold business leaders’ roundtable.
                        Governor’s Office – Large Conference Room
                        State Capitol
                        Des Moines, IA
Leaders will talk about the qualities, skills and knowledge they need in a globally competitive workforce.

Panelists are:

·        John C.  Bloomhall, President and Chief Executive Officer of Diamond V Mills, Inc.
·        Clayton M. Jones, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rockwell Collins, Inc.
·        Mary A. O’Keefe, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for the Principal Financial Group
·        Paul E. Schickler, President of Pioneer Hi-Bred
·        Suku Radia, CEO and President of Bankers Trust

1 p.m.            Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds hold college and university presidents’ and K-12 educators’ roundtable.
Governor’s Office – Large Conference Room
                        State Capitol
                        Des Moines, IA

Leaders will discuss how to better prepare more students for college and post-secondary training.

Panelists are:

·        Katie Mulholland, Linn-Mar Superintendent and Iowa Board of Regents Member
·        Deb Derr, North Iowa Area Community College President
·        Jon L. Erickson, ACT Interim President of the Education Division
·        Greg L. Geoffroy, Iowa State University President
·        Paul R. Gausman, Sioux City Superintendent
·        Kent Henning, Grand View  University President

3 p.m.            Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds hold teachers’ roundtable.
                   Governor’s Office – Large Conference Room
                        State Capitol
                        Des Moines, IA

Teachers will talk about what they need to be more effective in the classroom.

Panelists are:

·        Nick Bradley, Denison High School English Teacher
·        Jessica Gogerty, School Improvement Leader at North High School in Des Moines, where she previously taught science
·        Philip Moss, North Tama Junior High and High School Social Studies Teacher
·        April Pforts, Mount Pleasant Middle School Mathematics Teacher
·        Amy Prime, Berg Elementary School Second-Grade Teacher, Newton
·        Jerry Serrano, Wood Intermediate School Sixth-Grade Social Studies Teacher, Davenport

Linda Fandel, special assistant for education in the Office of the Governor, and Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass will moderate the conversations.

JDL Horizons, using its flagship Internet streaming solution EduVision, will produce and stream the roundtable events in cooperation with the governor’s office. eSchool Media will accept the stream and deliver the roundtable events to a national audience of nearly 1 million K-12 educators throughout North America and around the world. The stream can be seen live at go to the Iowa Department of Education website to find a link to the stream or to watch roundtable videos later.

The embed codes for the roundtable discussions will be made available to media outlets following the live event for on-delay viewing.

To learn more about roundtable participants and the town hall meetings, please go to:  The Iowa Department of Education Summit website is:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Setting New Priorities in Education...

Americans for the Arts says:

Last month, a piece of federal legislation named “Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act” (HR 1891) was introduced for the purpose of terminating 43 existing federal education programs, including Arts in Education. The Arts in Education program currently funds 57 active education projects around the country, and to date has supported more than 210 competitive grants serving students in high-need schools, as well as the affiliates of the Kennedy Center and VSA arts education programs.

The Arts in Education program also provides critical federal leadership in supporting a well-rounded curriculum throughout our nation’s public schools.

On May 25, the House Education & Workforce Committee approved HR 1891 by a party-line vote of 23 Republicans to 16 Democrats. Americans for the Arts worked with Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and other members of that committee who offered an amendment that sought to restore some of these education programs, including arts education, but that amendment failed to pass.

The full House of Representatives may vote on HR 1891 prior to their August Congressional Recess.  The Senate education committee, however, is not expected to consider HR 1891 as Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) plans on offering a separate, more comprehensive bill to reauthorize the Elementary & Secondary Education Act.

We call on arts advocates to contact their House Representative through our customizable e-alert and request that they oppose HR 1891 because it seeks to terminate the critical federal support directed to arts education. Don’t let this bill narrow the curriculum of our students.

Arts and Technology

Education Week has published a Special Report:


This report, Multimedia Transformation, examines the many ways multimedia tools are transforming teaching and learning as schools work to raise achievement and prepare students for careers that require increasingly sophisticated uses of technology. The section on the arts includes some prime examples of arts teachers and the technologies they use. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Funding of Arts Agencies

Jonathan Katz, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies' Executive Director:
This is not the last time we will hear the specious argument that funding the arts agency will compete with money for education, law enforcement, and health care. In fact, arts funding contributes to all those public purposes and state arts agencies are highly competitive in terms of cost effectiveness for the public dollar. We know the public cost of a high school dropout and we know that including the arts in the curriculum will help all students learn better and will keep them coming to classes. We know the costs of incarceration and we have known for decades that arts activities significantly reduce both violent incidents and recidivism rates. We know the costs of medication and falls and social isolation for the elderly, and we have solid research that arts activities significantly reduce all of these.

Read more... 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Kayla Burggraf Represents Iowa in JFK Summer Music Institute

An 18-year old aspiring orchestral flutist, Kayla Burggraf is currently studying with Leone Buyse, former principal of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, Wind Chamber Music Program and 20/21 Contemporary Music Ensemble. Kayla is the daughter of Marybeth Gallant and Marcus Burggraf of Decorah.

This summer, Kayla will have several opportunities to pursue her professional music career. As a finalist in the competition for the 35th Annual Glenn Miller Scholarship, she will compete on June 9, 2011 in Clarinda, Iowa. 
Glenn Miller, a Clarinda native, formed one of the most popular bands of the "Big Band Era" of the 1930's and 40's. During his assignment in the special Services branch of the Army Air Forces, in which he was in charge of bands and broadcasting, Miller was lost at sea in December 1944. 

He is honored by residents of Clarinda by the creation of a permanent instrumental and vocal music scholarship fund. During the Glenn Miller Festival, June 9-12, in Clarinda, three vocal finalists and three instrumental finalists will compete, with the winners performing on June 11. See more information about the scholarship competition and Festival at

June 18-22, Ms. Burggraf will be part of the Marina Piccinini Summer Master Classes at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Ms. Piccinini is widely recognized as one of the world's leading flute virtuosos. For more information about the Summer Master Classes, go to

From June 27 to July 25, Kayla has been selected as an Iowa representative in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Summer Music Institute in Washington, DC. She was nominated by the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education, an affiliate of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network--a consortium of 35 state alliances across the United States dedicated to arts advocacy and quality arts education for the nation's children.  
Each summer, approximately 70 student (ages 15-20) from all over the US, as well as a number of other countries, meet in Washington, D.C. for this program. Kayla qualified for a full scholarship and will play flute in the Summer Institute Orchestra, conducted by Elizabeth Schulze. 

The members of the Orchestra will also take part in private lessons, master classes, and coaching by National Symphony Orchestra musicians. The Orchestra members have several performance opportunities, including the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage. For more information about the Summer Music Institute, go to

Following this summer of learning and performing, Ms. Burggraf will spend a short time in August in Decorah before returning to Rice University. During her time in Decorah, she plans to play a recital for Decorah residents. Further information about the recital will appear in the local media. 

Ms. Burggraf began her music study at the age of five on the piano. At age twelve, she began studying flute, first in high school band with instructor Jim Fritz and then with private teacher, Suzanne Ernst of Decorah, Iowa. As a young child Kayla competed and performed extensively on the piano, participating in many festivals and competitions. Throughout high school, Kayla participated in her high school Band, Choir, and Orchestra programs, earning top honors in all three.

Before attending Rice, Kayla studied with soloist and flute professor at University of Iowa, Nicole Esposito. Most recently Kayla performed with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra after winning their Young Artist Concerto Competition in April 2010. In March 2010, Kayla won the soloist competition at the Dorian Honor Band at Luther College. In fall of 2009 Kayla was selected for the second year to the Iowa All-State Orchestra, winning co-principal chair. Kayla has participated in two intensive summer music festivals, Lutheran Summer Music Program (LSMP) and National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University (NHSMI), both of which she won the principal positions in the Symphony Orchestra.

In summer 2009 she attended NHSMI, where she studied with Walfrid Kujala former principal piccolo of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Other honors include six Best-of Center Awards at State Solo and Ensemble Contest, over 35 division one ratings at State Solo and Ensemble Contest, and chamber and solo honors performance selections at LSMP and NHSMI. 

Read more about the Symphony Orchestra Summer Institute...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Report

Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools

Washington, DC, May 2011

Over the past eighteen months the PCAH has conducted an in-depth review of the current condition of arts education, surveying recent research about its documented benefits and identifying potential opportunities for advancing arts education.
"While we found a growing body of research to support positive educational outcomes associated with arts-rich schools, and many schools and programs engaged in such work, we also found enormous variety in the delivery of arts education, resulting in a complex patchwork with pockets of visionary activity flourishing in some locations and inequities in access to arts education increasing in others."
Read their report... 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The High Cost of Low Teacher Pay...

WHEN we don’t get the results we want in our military endeavors, we don’t blame the soldiers. We don’t say, “It’s these lazy soldiers and their bloated benefits plans! That’s why we haven’t done better in Afghanistan!” 
This New York Times Op-Ed contributor piece is by Dave Eggers and Nínive Clements Calegari, founders of the 826 National tutoring centers and producers of the documentary “American Teacher.” Published: April 30, 2011  


Sunday, May 1, 2011

It Matters

This video was put together by students at Iowa City West HS in response to potential teacher layoffs/cuts for next school year.  At their April meeting, the school board decided to not make most secondary level teacher reductions by lowering their reserve unspent balance.  There were a couple hundred students, parents, and teachers in the audience with many who spoke against teacher cuts. 

Next the video will be sent to House Republicans and the Governor to get them to move off 0% allowable growth.

The students and staff at West High asked that this be shared.  They suggested that it would be a great organizing tool to get other schools to produce a short video about what 0% allowable growth would mean for their school programs.  If anyone has questions, you can contact Mitch Gross, West High teacher at

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Art Advocacy: A Video by HS Students

Art programs at Boyertown High School in Pennsylvania are in danger of being cut, so the students made a video to show the School Board Finance Committee how they feel about their art classes - they weren't allowed to show it. 

Now districts across the state are starting to use it to advocate for their own programs. It's a great video. 
See it on YouTube

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Apply Now for New BASICS Program

The Iowa Alliance for Arts Education
invites Iowa Schools to apply for the
 to improve the quality of their
arts education programs.

We trained three school districts this year.  Through a second proposed grant to the Kennedy Center Arts Education Alliance Network, additional school/community teams would be trained by the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education in the Kennedy Center process:
  1. auditing their arts education programs
  2. creating a local arts education Strategic Plan including action steps
  3. an expanded local Task Force and business partners
  4. advocating for these arts education programs together while developing community bridges to sustain the quality of these programs. 
More Information...
Please contact:
Diane Franken, Iowa Alliance for Arts Education, BASICS Program, 1610 Prospect Terrace, Davenport, Iowa 52803, to request an application
Call Diane Franken at 563-324-9423

Creativity Works in Milwaukee

A 2008 survey in Milwaukee discovered that there were lots of creative things happening in the area, but the infrastructure was very fragile. Meetings of regional leaders resulted in the formation of a Creative Coalition and the designation of issue-driven task forces on education, workforce development, communications, efficiencies, planning, and other groups.  

Find out more about an outstanding example of that creativity coalition in Milwaukee:

New Iowa Education Blog from The Office of the Governor

Linda Fandel, the Governor's Special Assistant for Education, has invited Iowans to weigh in on how to give every Iowa student a world-class education. 

Go to the site and respond to her posts in support of the arts in education in Iowa. Keep the IAAE point of view in mind when responding. 

The focus of a quality education for all Iowa students must include areas of rigorous study through which every student is actively engaged in an inclusive curriculum that will lead them toward becoming well rounded global citizens.  Toward that goal, a "curriculum based" arts education will be a crucial component. Through the arts, students learn to become active problem solvers, comprehensive and creative thinkers, who become enlightened participants in the workplace and society.

Actor Tim Robbin's Letter to Congress

In 1976, when I was 17 years old, I received a check for 50 dollars from
the National Endowment for the Arts.

I was a member of a touring theater company that performed free shows in
low-income neighborhoods throughout New York City. We rehearsed for five
weeks and performed for eight so my per hour income was paltry if not
pathetic, but I remember a great sense of pride when I cashed that check.

I was being paid by my government for entertaining people. I was proud
to live in a country where that could happen. It also gave me great
confidence in my talent. I continued to pursue this profession.

Within ten years the investment by my government of fifty dollars in
1976 was returning hundreds of thousands of dollars back to them in

Within the next decade the government received an even sweeter bounty on
their fifty-dollar investment. And I was proud to pay these taxes. As I
have been proud to invest back into the arts with The Actors' Gang, a
30-year-old organization that provides free educational programs to
public school children and at risk teens and offers affordable and
accessible theatrical and musical events to the citizens of Los Angeles.

I am one story amongst many Americans who have benefited greatly from
the arts programs the NEA has supported over the 46 years of its



Undivided Lives: A Conversation About Career and Creativity

The Kaneko Center, 1111 Jones Street in Omaha, has announced a program on April 29, 2011 called Undivided Lives: A Conversation About Career and Creativity from 6:-7:30 (just south of the Old Market).
The "Conversation" panel will include:
Roger Fransecky: CEO of the Apogee Group, Psychologist and Writer
Stanford Lipsey:  Publisher of the Buffalo News, Artist and Photographer
Molly Jarboe: Online Media Specialist, Artist and Photographer
James Salhany:  Scientist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Songwriter and Poet
Tom Kaminiski: Stockbroker at TD Ameritrade and Sculptor.
This is but one in a series of discussions presented at the Kaneko exploring creativity in business: making that connection between business and the creative mind.   
Tickets are $10 in advance/ $15 at the door/ $5 for students.
Prior to the program, an exhibit of the photography of Pulitzer Prize-winner Stanford Lipsey will be on display at The Kaneko.  The exhibit, entitled Affinity of Form, "reveals is keen photographic awareness of the subtleties of nature and landscape and the geometry of architecture." 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Iowa Arts Education Month 2011

A Resolution to recognize March 2011 as Iowa Arts  Education Month.
2 WHEREAS, arts education, which includes dance,
3 music, theater, and the visual arts, is an essential
4 part of basic education for all students, kindergarten
5 through grade 12, providing for balanced learning
6 and the development of the full potential of young
7 minds; and
8 WHEREAS, arts education contributes powerful
9 educational benefits, utilizing well-planned
10 instruction and activities in the arts through which
11 children develop initiative, creative ability,
12 self-expression, self-reflection, critical thinking
13 skills, discipline, a heightened appreciation of
14 beauty, and cross-cultural understanding; and
15 WHEREAS, experience in the arts develops insights
16 and abilities central to the experience of life, and
17 the arts are collectively one of the most important
18 repositories of culture; and
19 WHEREAS, arts education provides interdisciplinary
20 student learning in such essential skills as
21 collaboration and innovation, assisting students with
22 real-life situations and work readiness; and
23 WHEREAS, national leaders have acknowledged
24 the necessity of including arts experiences in all
25 students’ education for the “whole child”; and
 26 WHEREAS, March is officially recognized as National
27 -1- LSB 2742SC (3) 84 jr/rj 1/ 2
S.R. _____ Youth Art Month;
2 recognizes March 2011 as Iowa Arts Education Month and
3 encourages the support of quality school arts programs
4 for the Iowa children and youth.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Division Administrator of Iowa Dept of Cultural Affairs

Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Tiffany Cownie announced Matthew Harris has been named Division Administrator of the Iowa Arts Council.

“We are delighted to have Matthew joining us as the administrator for the Iowa Arts Council,” Cownie said. “His experience in the performing arts and his background in development will be significant assets to the department in promoting and nurturing the arts and history in Iowa.”

A Cedar Falls, Iowa, native, Harris earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Public Relations from the University of Northern Iowa and worked in advertising sales for the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center before serving as Development Coordinator for the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines for the past six years.

“I am looking forward to working with the Iowa Arts Council staff and cultural organizations across the state,” Harris said. “I have spent my career telling the story of the economic and community impact of arts and culture, and this new opportunity will let me continue to do so, but on a statewide level.”

At the Civic Center, Harris worked to grow its $1.8 million annual fund through donor cultivation, membership promotion and grant writing while managing benefits fulfillment for the center’s title sponsorships, including the Willis Broadway Series, Prairie Meadows Temple Theater Series and the Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Family Series.

As administrator, Harris said one of his immediate goals will be raising the profile of the Iowa Arts Council.

“With a challenging budgetary climate, we need to make the case for the importance of the Iowa Arts Council as both a resource and chief advocate for arts and culture in Iowa,” he said.

Harris is a graduate of the 2009-2010 Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute and remains active in the community through various board and volunteer commitments. Harris resides in Windsor Heights.