Our country and local communities are at a pivotal crossroads as we face an election year, grapple with social justice issues, and learn to continually adapt in a 21st century globalized community (cue Jetsons theme song). Artists and arts managers are not only wondering where they fit in these conversations, but also how they can artistically intervene in these current issues. This is the theme of the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium 2016: + ARTand also the focus of the Americans for the Arts New Community Visions Initiative (NCVI).

The NCVI explores local arts in America and how art positively impacts communities by joining forces across sectors. Through national meetings and a series of essays from prominent arts managers working at the intersection of art and other sectors, the NCVI aims to produce a guide for arts managers and communities to be transformed through the arts.

The following quote from the DIY Community Visioning Forum Workbook and Toolkit (being released later this year)  clearly demonstrates the importance of incorporating art into a community’s many components and our yearlong theme, + ART:

When integrated fully, the arts can:

  1. Transform systems by working at the intersection of different sectors, individuals, and communities
  2. Amplify positive effects and mitigate negative effects
  3. Increase participation, opportunity, and access

Clay Lord, VP of Local Arts Advancement and the leader of the New Community Visions Initiative at AFTA will be speaking on the importance of this initiative in the context of this year’s + ART theme at the EALS Open Meeting this Wednesday. We will then be having a broader discussion the most prevalent issues currently facing arts leaders right now, and everyone will have the opportunity to weigh in on panel topics for the Symposium.  Get a head start on Wednesday’s meeting by taking this week’s poll!


Join EALS for an open meeting to discuss the most prevalent issues currently facing arts leaders. Wednesday’s conversation will directly impact programming decisions made for our annual Symposium, March 6, 2016. We will be joined by Jeff Poulin, Abe Flores, and Clay Lord of Americans for the Arts to hear about their New Community Visions Initiative, an effort that powerfully demonstrates the importance of + ART. Wednesday, November 4 at 8:15pm, Katzen Arts Center Room 128.

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