Archive for 2017

2017 NJ League of Municipalities Conference

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Join us at the NJ League of Municipalities Conference from November 13-16 at the Atlantic City Convention Center.  ArtPride staff will share information on Art Matters, a co-sponsored project with the NJ State Council on the Arts, and first steps to create public art in towns throughout the state. Kelley Prevard, an artist from the Atlantic City Arts Foundation, will paint a 4 x 6 foot mural panel live at the ArtPride booth (105/107), and the Art Matters video celebrating 40 years of public art in New Jersey will be on display along with videos that show public art being created locally in Atlantic City.

A panel discussion, “Creative Partnerships that Transform Neighborhoods,” will take place on Tuesday, November 14 at 2 pm in Room 308 of the Convention Center. The panel is coordinated by ArtPride NJ and the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ, and the presiding mayor is Mayor Barry Conaway of Burlington City. Panelists include Marie Mascherin, Chief Lending Officer, NJ Community Capital, Anthony Smith, Executive Director, Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District, Julia Taylor, Deputy Operations Officer, Isles, Inc., and Leo Vazquez, Executive Director, National Consortium of Creative Placemaking.

Panelists will discuss the ingredients necessary to transform vacant spaces and stranded real estate assets into dynamic, community-revitalized neighborhood, and how partners come together to develop and sustain creative spaces that not only house and engage residents, but also entice businesses and visitors.

 

Making Art Matters Real

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By Ann Marie Miller,
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy, ArtPride New Jersey

No matter how you get your news, you have to admit that there is a lot of it. The delivery of news is rapidly changing the way and rate that we respond to it. As a result, too often there is little time to really think about the news and the content we receive before resorting to social media with an immediate emotional response.

We end up with a cluttered email inbox and social media news feed that is difficult to sort through to prioritize for response, read carefully or file for future reference. Often social channels are just filled with emotional responses that exponentially precipitate even more “chatter.”

As Facebook algorithms dictate what you see and target marketing tailors the news you read to your psychographic profile, it is more important than ever to be mindful of your values and personal priorities. This mindfulness assures that your attention is not diverted to chatter and that, in addition to responding, you take action on issues that are important to your life.

And here’s where the arts part fits in: Art matters.

You’ve heard ArtPride NJ use that byline repeatedly, particularly through the work of the co-sponsored project with the NJ State Council on the Arts, but it REALLY DOES matter. And if you truly believe that, it requires you to not only “like” that two-word sentence, but do something about it.

Since it is Discover Jersey Arts Month and National Arts & Humanities Month, besides sharing social media posts and promoting awareness of our state’s awesome arts (which we also want you to do), here are three easy action items that make a difference and will give you that great feeling of accomplishment.

  • Support your local arts organization financially. Whether it is a large institution or a small community group that uses the arts to bring your community together, make a donation. This may require you to 1) find them on the internet, or 2) respond to the direct mail piece you will receive between now and the end of the calendar year requesting your donation. And, hey, here is the link to donate to ArtPride NJ. Remember that buying a ticket is definitely support, but a donation is the extra step that makes a difference. No donation is too small (or too large!).
  • Volunteer at an arts organization. ArtPride learned through the Arts & Economic Activity 5 study that more than 14,000 people volunteered at a New Jersey cultural event last year – and the value of 17,000+ hours of volunteering is $16.7 million! Volunteers help make art happen all over the state, from being an usher to using professional expertise in social media, advertising and graphic design and event planning.
  • Know how candidates feel about local, state, and federal support for the arts and arts education and vote on November 7. Consult ArtPride NJ’s candidate survey and learn what those running for office are interested in and if they are involved in the arts through family and social ties. Also, Arts Ed NJ will soon feature a school board candidate survey that provides similar info on candidates for local school boards all over the state. It is your privilege and obligation as a U.S. citizen and your vote really does count!

These are three action items that are not terribly difficult to remember or do, but they can cut through the daily noise of news and views and make a real difference. Accomplishing even one task is guaranteed to give you that warm fuzzy feeling of completing a meaningful task—one that ties to your personal values and priorities. Email us and let us know how the arts factor into your daily life, how you support them to make sure they survive and thrive, and what actions you are taking that provide you with personal satisfaction knowing that art matters to you!

 

Ann Marie Miller is currently director of Advocacy & Public Policy for the ArtPride New Jersey Foundation and served as Executive Director there for 20 years. Prior to joining ArtPride in 1995, Miller served as director of Development at McCarter Theatre and as grants coordinator for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Miller serves on the Executive Committee of the State Arts Action Network of Americans for the Arts; as chair of the Hightstown Cultural Arts Commission in her hometown; as member of the Governance Committee of the NJ Arts Education Partnership; and served on the board for the Center for Non-Profit Corporations in New Jersey. Miller is a graduate of Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia with a B.S. in art education.

The Music in Me

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This special Voices from the Field comes from our own Ann Marie Miller in honor of National Arts Education Week (September 10-16). Miller recently interviewed Jada Quin, a 17-year-old singer-songwriter from Howell, NJ. Now entering her senior year in high school, Jada is in marching band, concert band, chorus and taking classwork in music theory.

Passed by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 designates the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week. During this week, the field of arts education joins together in communities across the country to tell the story of the impact of the transformative power of the arts in education.


I first met Jada Quin, and her parents Lori and Sebastian, at ArtPride New Jersey’s 30th anniversary celebration last November. She offered to perform and blew us all away with her stunning vocal solo.

A 17-year-old singer-songwriter residing in Howell, NJ, Jada incorporates her own life experiences and those of others around her into her soul-searching lyrics. Now entering her senior year in high school, Jada is in marching band, concert band, chorus and taking classwork in music theory.

I had the privilege of interviewing Jada to learn more about how art and music is a part of her life. We had a wonderful conversation and it was great to share ways that our passions – music and visual art – while different from each other, provide us with similar delight and comfort and are indispensable parts of our lives. Coincidentally, but not surprisingly, we both took a path toward developing our talents with the help of an inspired arts educator.

 

Ann Marie Miller: How did you get into arts education?

Jada Quin: I was in band, and my middle school band teacher, Miss A, made the difference for me. From that time on, I was hooked and got into music construction.  I was not great at making friends, so music became an outlet for me. It helped me express everything I wanted to say, and better than I could ever say it in words. Many kids won’t go into band thinking it’s lame, but for me it was life changing and gave me a way to express myself.

 

AMM: What type of art is important to you, and why?

JQ: Music is my life.  I love music composition. There are two ways to compose, with lyrics and without, and notes help you express yourself without words. My instrument is the marimba. I was in drum line, but not the healthiest kid, and I got involved in small ensemble. The marimba captivated me. Its sound is both sharp and warm! Most bands don’t have a marimba, or if they do, it’s not in great shape. I finally was able to purchase one dirt cheap this summer.

 

AMM: What have you learned from arts education?

JQ: I learned how much I actually like to learn! Music composition to me is like problem solving. The payoff is when everything comes together and you are pleased with the results. There’s nothing like it. And I have learned that I can compose without worrying if everyone else is going to like my work. If it represents me, it’s authentic and not fake, that’s enough to make me proud.

 

AMM: What would you like to see for the future of arts education?

JQ: I come from a family of five that struggles financially, so I’d like to see more access to funding for music and the arts, because it’s expensive. The curriculum may be there through a great band teacher, but it’s still expensive to keep studying music. It would be great for increased funding to give kids more access and also to help with scholarships to continue music education in college.


AMM:
How can the arts positively impact your community, our country, or the world?

JQ: Music can make a community healthier. When you are deeply involved, it almost feels like taking a little vacation. I think if the arts were more widely accepted with enthusiasm, our entire country – including our youth – would be happier and healthier.

 

You can hear Jada Quin by subscribing to her YouTube channel, and on Facebook and Instagram @jaja_quin. Her first album, “Beginnings,” is downloadable on Bandwave. Jada hopes to continue her music education past high school into college with dreams of attending the Boston Conservatory at Berklee School of Music.

 

CANCELED: Fall Tourism & Arts Forum October 12

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Due to unforeseen circumstances, the NJTIA ArtPride
Fall Forum has been canceled.

The New Jersey Tourism Industry Association (NJTIA) and ArtPride NJ invite you to the New Jersey Fall Tourism & Arts Forum on October 12 in Newark. Hear from the gubernatorial candidates and from national experts in both tourism and arts.

Invited Guests: Gubernatorial Candidates
Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno
Former Ambassador Phil Murphy

Keynote Speakers
Robert Lynch, President & CEO, Americans for the Arts
Jack Johnson, Chief Advocacy Offer, Destinations International

Click here for full details

 

Presented by:

Sponsors:

Bronze

Supporter

 

One Big Tool for the Arts Advocacy Toolkit

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By Ann Marie Miller,
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy, ArtPride New Jersey

Did you attend an arts event last year? A performance, exhibit, music festival, or poetry reading?  If you did, you are in great company. New Jersey nonprofit arts groups drew more than 7.5 million people to their programs in 2015—that’s four times more than all New Jersey professional sports events! And those same groups and audiences generated a half billion dollars for the state’s economy.

When you went to an arts event, did you by any chance stop for a bite to eat? Pay for parking? Fill the tank? Pay a babysitter? What about that gift shop nearby; did you stop in to buy a birthday gift? Maybe you purchased a lovely scarf at the museum store? Nearly all arts participants spend something more than the ticket price—much more.

Our 7.5 million arts patrons spent an average of over $31 for a wide variety of goods and services. And 1 million visitors from out of state spent more than $50 each. Patron-related spending totaled more than a quarter billion dollars, demonstrating that arts activity supports other industries and local businesses.

ArtPride New Jersey is proud to have recently released the results of yearlong research that studied spending by NJ arts and cultural organizations, along with the spending habits of people who attend their events. The project is part of Americans for the Arts’ national Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study, supported by funding from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, and an anonymous donor.  It examined how nonprofit cultural groups contribute to the economy, from meeting payroll and mounting productions down to office supplies and professional services like accounting, custodial, and legal.

But why, you might ask, is this important? Simply put, because it gives the arts a powerful tool by which to demonstrate yet another way that they have profound positive impact on our lives and communities, and deserve public and private support.

It all started with the 1993 Port Authority of NY & NJ study The Arts as an Industry—Their Economic Importance to the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan Region.  Jaws dropped to learn that the arts at that time contributed more than $5.6 billion to the regional economy. Yes, that includes Broadway, but that is still billions.

New Jersey leaders were among the first nationwide to explore the impact of the arts for an entire state.  In 1994, under the auspices of the NJ State Council on the Arts and the South Jersey Cultural Alliance, a report was released using data from Arts Council grantees, which showed that direct spending by arts groups and patrons totaled $272 million.  The study was updated in 2001 and 2009, each one revealing sizeable increases in economic activity from the previous report.

It is now very clear that New Jersey’s arts mean business.  They mean jobs.  They mean downtowns that are more vibrant, and the impact continues to grow.

This data, especially when we marry it to compelling personal stories that illustrate how art changes people’s lives, can be tremendously helpful and persuasive to policy makers and elected officials who face hard choices.  It reminds government and business leaders why investment in the nonprofit arts is an investment in healthier communities.

For instance, the recent study shows that the arts generate more than $41 million in local and state tax revenues—nearly triple the amount of funding annually appropriated to the NJ State Council on the Arts. Thus, state spending represents about 3 cents of every $1 dollar of economic impact. This is a tremendous return that can only grow with larger state investment.  The ArtPride website holds all the delicious study details.

ArtPride New Jersey is using this new data as part of its campaign to make a difference in the upcoming gubernatorial and legislative elections.  All 120 seats are up.  Each candidate was just mailed a survey that asks about arts policy and funding (also available online).

Your active involvement is needed to urge candidates to complete their survey.  Responses will be posted online to inform voters in the November election.  And guess what? The recent study also revealed that nearly 90% of over 4,000 people surveyed voted or planned to vote in the 2016 election.

The arts and arts voters mean business and ArtPride NJ is dedicated to making sure they have all the tools they need to remind policy makers that when you invest in the arts, you in invest in a better NJ and in concrete ways that improves everybody’s bottom line.

 

Ann Marie Miller is currently director of Advocacy & Public Policy for the ArtPride New Jersey Foundation and served as Executive Director there for 20 years. Prior to joining ArtPride in 1995, Miller served as director of Development at McCarter Theatre and as grants coordinator for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Miller serves on the Executive Committee of the State Arts Action Network of Americans for the Arts; as chair of the Hightstown Cultural Arts Commission in her hometown; as member of the Governance Committee of the NJ Arts Education Partnership; and served on the board for the Center for Non-Profit Corporations in New Jersey. Miller is a graduate of Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia with a B.S. in art education.

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