Featured Blog: Bringing "Math in a Basket"
Into the Digital Age
Image source: Grand Canyon National Park Museum Collection.
Basket weaving is an ancient art. It's also full of pattern, with tons of potential for
combining art and math for young learners in new and exciting ways. In this month's
"I Am a Teaching Artist" feature, teaching artist Raquel Lira writes about how she's working to take her organization's "Math in a Basket" curriculum from analog to digital.
Arts Funding Boosted to $6.1 Million in Governor's Revised Budget
Excerpted from KQED Arts, by Cy Musiker
The California Arts Council will be getting a modest bonus this fall, as well as some fiscal security. Governor Jerry Brown’s revised budget, released last week, provides the council with $6.1 million, a significant $5 million increase over what the governor had recommended in his January budget proposal.
"It’s a modestly wonderful success," said Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks), who for years has been pushing for a bigger state investment in the arts.
"It’s a wonderful success though,” he said, “because the general fund investment to the arts by our state has been so minimal."
Nazarian had proposed even more for the arts council, but at least, he says, the governor’s budget would make the $5 million increase permanent. Late Wednesday a state Senate subcommittee voted to add $10 million in funding for the arts council, a figure almost certain to change as the budget goes to conference committee.
But any increase is welcome news for an agency that’s been starved for funds during the state budget crisis of recent years.
"This would be the first time a permanent increase has been seen in over a decade," said Caitlin Fitzwater, Communications Director for the state arts council.
Local arts advocates say they are pleased with the Governor’s proposal, as it makes sense in a state where one in ten people work in the creative economy.
But they also said they’d be happier if California matched the average per-capita arts budgets of other states. To reach that goal, California would have to allocate more than $42 million dollars a year to the arts.*****
What Teaching Artists Should Know About the Cultural Lives of Californians
The California Survey of Arts and Cultural Participation provides several visualizations of key data points, including this chart showing that even though arts attendance is down, art-making as a significant part of Californian's daily and weekly lives. See other charts,
as well as this one at its full-size by clicking here.
Last month, we highlighted some of the surfeit of arts research coming out this spring. This month, we wanted to take a closer look at just one of those reports -- the most recent California Survey of Arts and Cultural Participation (download the report here) -- and delve into what all this data might mean for our field.
First off, we recommend a recent blog post on the subject titled "What Arts Organizations Should Know About the Cultural Lives of Californians," from Josephine Ramirez, Program Director of Arts at the Irvine Foundation. We invite you to click over and take a look, but here's an excerpt:
For many years, arts nonprofits have been tracking a downward trend in arts attendance. By looking beyond the typical measures of participation, the study reveals a seemingly contradictory takeaway: the new narrative is not entirely about decline! Californians actually have a deep interest in the arts and lead active cultural lives. People want to engage, in art-making and arts-learning in particular. Emerging technologies, expectations, and cultural norms mean art is happening in new places and ways.
Let's repeat that: Research shows that Californians want to engage in art-making and arts-learning. Music to a teaching artist's ears!
As it turns out, Ms. Ramirez recommends in her blog post a list of priorities for arts organizations responding to the information in this report. And what should teaching artists know about the cultural lives of Californians?
Quite simply, that teaching artists can provide a really effective response to many of the report's recommendations. Click to read more about how teaching artists form an effective response to the "new arts and culture ethos" emerging in California.
Share your perspective! Where do you see teaching artists fitting in to what is being called "a new arts and culture ethos"? Does this description ring true for you? Join the conversation on our website or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.