Dec. 4: Iowa Arts Council Board meeting in Des Moines
Save the Date:
Cultural Advocacy Day is Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010!
(Iowa Artists - add your info to this!)Iowa PUBLIC ART Artists Registry
(For Iowa artists who create public art and are seeking public art commissions)
Apply for matching funds for arts-related projects. Note: Mini Grant applications are due the first business day of the month for January, March, and May 2010 for a maximum of $1,000 (NOT $1,500).
No Mini Grant applications will be accepted in February or April 2010, due to state budget cuts. Maximum Mini Grant awards in January, March, and May will be $1,000 instead of $1,500. NOTICE: Big Yellow School Bus
and EZ 1-2-3
grant funds have been depleted for the year, and will not be available again until July 1, 2010.
IAC Major Grant applicants: The next deadline for Major Grant applications will be April 1, 2010, for projects beginning no earlier than July 1, 2010 and ending no later than June 30, 2011.
Check it out regularly for articles of current interest, announcements, and hot topics that are important to the arts in Iowa.
Artist opportunities, cultural events listings and more at the In-Box.
Want to receive monthly updates from the Iowa Arts Council and/or the State Historical Society of Iowa? Join our mailing lists or forward to a friend!
|Major Grant Changes Coming Soon
By Mary Sundet Jones, IAC Administrator
If you have applied for an IAC Major grant in the past few years, you will notice big changes in the application the next time around. IAC staff members, with help from constituent advisors, have done deep thinking about the grant categories, review criteria, application content, and scoring.
Our goal is to reduce confusion for both reviewers and applicants. When the application (next due date is April 1) becomes available online in January 2010, here are some of the changes you will see:
CategoriesFirst, we are reducing the number of program categories from seven to five. We are eliminating the category of Artists in Schools & Communities Residency grants. Residency projects are certainly still welcome, but will be reviewed in the Arts in Education category.
We are also eliminating the program category for Conferences, Workshops & Forums. Again, we will still consider applications for these projects, but they'll be reviewed in the Organizations category.
The five program categories that will remain are: Artists, Arts in Education, Folk & Traditional Arts, Organizations, and Public Art
CriteriaWe've changed the names of the three primary Review Criteria. Artistic Excellence will now be called Artistic Excellence of the Project. Service to Iowans will now be called Who Benefits. Planning & Implementation will now be called Planning, Management, & Evaluation.
The specific criteria for the five program categories have also been substantially revised. We are not changing the overall intent of any program. We have, however, made the IAC's expectations much clearer and added details about how each part of what you submit in the application will affect each criterion.
Application NarrativeThe narrative section of the Major Grant application will be the most changed. Depending on which of the five program categories you select, you will need to respond to different narrative questions. All questions will still correspond to the three primary Review Criteria, but those you answer will more clearly apply to the particular category in which your project fits.
ScoringApplication scoring will also change. Instead of a total of 44 possible points, the total possible will now be 40. Artistic Excellence of the Project will be worth 20 points. The other two primary criteria will be worth 10 points each.
We've gotten even more specific with scoring. In each of the five program categories, there will be anywhere from 2 to 10 possible points available for each program-specific criterion. This should help reviewers' scores to become more consistent, and will help applicants better understand how the scores they receive connect to the application content.
Mini GrantsHow will this impact Mini Grants? We're still working on that. You should expect that Mini Grants in FY11 will also be available in five program categories instead of seven and will make use of the re-named review criteria noted above. We'll let you know about other changes as soon as we have more information.
By Alexandra Cook
Creative Classrooms Spotlight: Barry Kleider, "Picture This Story"
What do the phrase 'A picture is worth a thousand words' and Barry Kleider the artist have in common? Just ask the kids at Starmont Elementary in Arlington, Iowa.
Kleider has been working to teach students the art of creating a story in pictures as a way to "jump start the creative process." The children find inspiration and identify different story lines from the pictures, which also helps them understand the elements of writing a story.
Using slideshows, music, and popular children's stories like Where the Wild Things Are, Kleider brings the classroom alive. Once students see how it comes together, he has them create their own stories based on photographs Kleider provides. This process encourages students to understand the relationship between creativity and end product. For Kleider, the most rewarding aspect of his residency is to watch the children's progress.
"The students work very hard to write their stories," he said. "In the process, many of them faced a degree of self-doubt. Because I felt a sense of energy and discovery in their work, I feel they got a chance to experience both the joy and angst in the working life of an artist."
The Creative Classrooms program has honed Kleider's residencies. Although time restrictions forced Kleider to re-evaluate and focus the materials of his lesson plans, they also helped him figure out what was or wasn't working for his students and re-direct the material in a more beneficial direction. This, coupled with being well-prepared for each lesson (he jokes he couldn't understand why he initially resisted handouts so strongly), helped Kleider conduct a successful residency.
Creative Classrooms is a partnership between the Iowa Arts Council and the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center at the University of Northern Iowa to support arts education opportunities that expand and enhance classroom learning for greater student achievement. To learn more, visit http://www.uni.edu/gbpac/outreach/classroom.shtml.
Since joining the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony as its music director seven years ago Jason Weinberger has made a mark in Iowa with exceptionally committed performances, incisive and engaging programming, and extensive community engagement. Particularly, Weinberger devised the "Buck a Kid" program, allowing families to attend certain performances at an affordable price. Here, Weinberger explains how he Lives the Arts in Iowa.
How a Symphony Director Lives the Arts in Iowa
What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Listen. It's a quality that my principal conducting teacher, Gustav Meier, emphasized both on and off the podium.
What is a piece of advice you wish to give to others?
To young musicians: Stay in close touch with your love of music-it's the only thing you can rely on in an often difficult and unpredictable profession.
To listeners: Never be distracted by how others define musical genres or by preconceptions of what you are about to hear-- just open your ears and allow the sound to move you.
Tell us in 10 words or less what music means to you.
To paraphrase Mahler - a whole world of sounds.
Where do you find the most inspiration from and why? Who has inspired you the most?
As much as I love orchestral music, especially that of Mozart, Mahler, Stravinsky and others, it's not the only thing that inspires me. I draw inspiration from music of all kinds (hip hop to Latin to baroque cantatas) and I am also a student and lover of art, design, photography and literature. I also find great inspiration in nature, and in the personal challenge of confronting it physically (as I regularly do on my bike or on skis) or harnessing its processes though gardening.
What did you do last Friday night?
Got some rest. And the next day I led the WCFSO through a full rehearsal of Mahler's Fifth Symphony, had two wonderful pre-concert discussions with patrons and then performed the piece. Pretty typical schedule for me, actually; at least one day most weekends between September and May finds me introducing music and onstage. When I'm not working Friday nights I like to spend time at home with my wife, Jenette, and our dog, Lucy (and, in the near future, with our first child).
If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be?
Mozart, my favorite artist. I'd love to grab a beer with him and pitch a commission or collaboration.
What is one of the most surprising or unexpected musical experiences you've had?
One of the things I love about my career is that surprising things happen all of the time. I find that the impact of my work is definitely diminished if I don't challenge myself, my colleagues, and my listeners with new and unique musical experiences as often as possible.
What are some plans/wishes you have for the future?
I feel very fortunate to be living my dream-sharing my love of music with all kinds of audiences almost every single week-at such a young age. As I look to the future, my primary hope is that I can continue to learn and grow as an artist and make ever more immediate connections with audiences.
Iowa Poetry Out Loud Participating Schools 2010The deadline for schools to sign up for the 2010 Poetry Out Loud competition was Dec. 1. The state competition will be in Des Moines March 6, 2010. Participating schools, and their local competition dates, are as follows:
Ankeny High School, 2/11/10
*Central Academy, Des Moines, TBA
*Corwith Wesley Luverne, Corwith, 1/25/10
Johnston Middle School, 2/12/10
Kingsley-Pierson High School, Kingsley, 1/20/10
Marshalltown High School, TBA
Mason City High School 1/25/10
North High School, Des Moines, 12/10/09
*North High School, Sioux City, 2/15/10
*Northern University High School, Cedar Falls, 2/12/10
Norwalk High School, 1/12/10
Ottumwa High School , 1/7/10
PeaceMakers Academy, South Sioux City, TBA
Roland-Story High School, Story City, 1/27/10
*Sioux Central, Sioux Rapids, 12/11/09
*South Tama County High School, Tama, 2/8/10
Valley High School, West Des Moines, 1/26/10
Waukee Area Arts Council (including Prairieview School and Waukee High School), 2/11/10
Waukon High School, 12/10/09
*indicates new schools
2010 POL Interesting Facts:
- Approximately 1,744 students will be memorizing and reciting great poetry
- Approximately 48 teachers will be providing their students poetry curriculum and guidance in poetry recitation
- Participating teachers' content areas include: speech, English, drama, ELL, video, Gifted and Talented
- Three POL Partners will be judges for school competitions: Vince Gotera, Jeanne Emmons and Diana Wooley.
- Other judges include five retired teachers in social studies, fine arts, choral, band, speech and TAG, librarians, school administrators, district literacy coaches, representatives from community arts agencies and the business sector, and one Iowa State Fair Poetry Winner.
|Art in Great Places|
With the mission to promote thought, innovation and entrepreneurship at the local and regional level, Iowa's Great Places initiative emphasizes building communities one creative block at a time.
In October, Great Places held its first awards ceremony, awarding designated Places for creating "a unique sense of place," "an engaging experience," and "a vital, creative economy." The program also recognized exceptional projects, particularly "exceptional cultural facility or amenity."
Corning Center for the Fine Arts won this category in the small tract (a community with a population less than 24,999), which rewarded projects that included the creation or expansion of fine or performing arts venues, public art, museums and/or welcome centers.
Corning Center for the Fine Arts is in Adams County, which became an Iowa Great Place in 2006. The center opened its doors in September 2005, making a former hardware store its home. The Center offers a residency program that has created an artist community for visual and performing artists, designers, poets, writers, humanists and scholars. One of only 80 artist-in-residency programs in the United States, Corning is currently the only one in Iowa.
Rachel Sims took advantage of the small, affordable community's artistic offerings when she moved to Corning from Switzerland in 2007. Read more about Sims' story in the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil.
The Center also offers an annual En Plein Air festival to which artists are invited to create work inspired by their natural surroundings. In 2008, the CCFA held an ArtCar show in which the community painted vehicles and put them on display throughout the downtown district.
As noted in its Great Places award citation, Corning is becoming known as a "cultural destination amid the cornfields."
The Iowa Cultural Coalition encourages you to join them on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010 for Cultural Advocacy Day in Des Moines. Plans are still being made - watch for more information in the January Iowa Arts News.
The Iowa Cultural Coalition reminds you that it is a fundamental right of Iowa's citizens to speak up. You and/or your community have for a voice in funding and policies for the arts and culture. Here's information that may help:
The 83rd Iowa General Assembly convenes Monday, Jan. 11, 2010. Sometimes keeping up with bills that go for a vote, or even the entire legislative process, can be daunting. The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs' director, Cyndi Pederson, is also the department's legislative liaison. She watches what bills are coming before the Senate and House and monitors the action that is taken. Watch this newsletter and your email in-box for notices of updates as the session proceeds.
You can call the IAC if you're looking for specific information about IAC programs or funding levels. IAC Administrator Mary Sundet Jones can be reached at (515) 281-4641 or Mary.SundetJones@iowa.gov.
All information about the upcoming session can be found at www.legis.state.ia.us, including how to find and contact your legislators. Each of them has an email address, so it's easy to write them a small note to tell them how you've benefitted by receiving a cultural grant, or how funding decisions impact your community. Make it personal by simply telling your story.
Attend Cultural Advocacy Day on February 17 in Des Moines -you'll be in good company with other cultural advocates. CAD is the best opportunity to be visible to legislators. Bring along a buddy! The Iowa Cultural Coalition plans a day of free activities, learning opportunities and great entertainment highlighting Iowa artists for CAD.
|Arts Outreach Initiatives: Music for Seniors
by Jan Boland
"[C]ommunity-based art programs run by professional artists . . . point to true health promotion and disease prevention effects. . .[T]hey reveal a positive impact on maintaining independence and on reducing dependency. . . [T]hese community-based cultural programs for older adults appear to be reducing risk factors that drive the need for long-term care." - The Creativity and Aging Study
Red Cedar Chamber Music takes "Music for Seniors" directly to its constituents, performing at senior dining facilities and nursing homes throughout the Cedar Rapids/Marion area. Though flutist/Executive Director Jan Boland, and guitarist/Artistic Director John Dowdall are currently concentrating on performing at assisted living facilities (ALF), their appearances draw the general public as well.
Red Cedar's program involves an interactive live music experience for active listeners, something Boland and Dowdall incorporate often. The group includes selections from the classical to the very modern as a way to "set the stage" with musical examples and explanations that help provide a road map for the upcoming listening experience.
According to audience feedback from Cottage Grove Place, Meth-Wick Community, Village Place, Keystone and Summit Pointe:
"Just the right amount of explanation to make the music even more meaningful and enjoyable."
"I had a headache all day and the concert by the Red Cedar Trio finally made it go away. I feel so much better!"
"Absolutely delightful. Brought tears to my eyes and made my feet dance (not at the same time.)
While Red Cedar performs these ALF programs free of charge, its professional musicians are fully compensated for rehearsals and concerts thanks to foundation, individual, and corporate funding from sources such as the James and Norma Jean Rosborough Foundation and the Giacoletto Foundation as well as additional support from the Iowa Arts Council and the Friends of Red Cedar Chamber Music.
Red Cedar Chamber Music is a not-for-profit arts organization founded in 1997 and based in Cedar Rapids/Marion. The organization is a Cultural Leadership Partner with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. This article is the sixth in a series providing examples of artistic outreach to diverse groups in Iowa.
Kaiser Offers Sage Advice to Cultural Organizations in Times of Trouble
Michael Kaiser, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, was in Des Moines Nov. 20 for a community conversation about the arts in difficult economic times. His comments sparked great discussion and furious note-taking. Here are a few bullet points from Kaiser's presentation:
- "The real fundraisers in an organization are the artists and the marketers."
- Avoid planning just for the short-term, even when the economy is really bad. Plan programs at least five years in advance.
- Don't create programs to match the donor-have in mind a menu of five years' worth of programs. Listen carefully to donors to learn their interests, and then match the right program ideas to the right interests.
- Institutional marketing is highly important and often forgotten. Don't just create marketing for a particular event ; promote the organization as a whole. This is crucial to successful fundraising. It helps the community to know your organization and recognize its importance.
- Marketing is about repetition. People need to see and hear about your organization multiple times in multiple places. To get the community excited about your organization, you need to be visible and vital in the community.
- On arts education: "I'm much more worried about the arts 20 years from now than I am about the arts today." People between the ages of 15 and 45 have less discretionary time and money. They tend to leave the arts then, and come back later. "If we don't have strong arts education in the early years, they won't come back later."
- Endowments are excellent to have - but don't do a big endowment campaign if you're not really ready for it. Best time to do this is when the organization is "humming along."
- State, regional, and local arts agencies can play an important role in encouraging joint activities. They can also be leaders in bringing professional development to arts administrators, managers, and board members.
- "I force myself to spend a lot of time on items that will make next year easier. It's hard. Sometimes details fall through the cracks. But I'd rather make a few mistakes and keep moving forward."
- There must be one leader of the organization, and only one.
- The leader must have a plan.
- You can't save or cut your way to organizational financial health.
- Focus on today and tomorrow, not on yesterday (don't spend valuable time figuring out how things went wrong - start from now).
- Extend your planning calendar out multiple years.
- Marketing is more than just ads and brochures. It's about being seen and heard from in the community, in multiple ways.
- The organization should have just one spokesperson, and that person's message should always be positive.
- When in financial trouble, don't focus valuable time on getting little gifts - but also don't be unrealistic about trying for gifts that are too big and out of proportion to what your organization can really expect.
- An organization's board must be willing to restructure itself. The same board that started the organization may not be the board it needs now, several years later.
- Have the discipline to follow the first 9 rules.
At the Des Moines event, Mr. Kaiser added a "new" 11th rule to this list:
11. Spend more time thinking about joint ventures that your organization can engage in, whether with like organizations or with new and different partners.
The Kennedy Center's Arts in Crisis
initiative takes good advice from experienced arts managers available nationwide.
Public Art Networking Conference Continues to Spark Conversations
"Thanks for all of your good and hard work. I thought it was a very good survey of a plethora of possibilities in the field. I (and my wife and daughter who helped support your local economy/tax base in several boutiques) had a good time and I am pleased to see what's happening in Des Moines...a lot!" --Porter Arneill, Director, Director/Public Art Administrator, Kansas City Municipal Arts Commission
More than 75 people gathered in November in Des Moines to attend the 2009 Iowa Public Art Networking Conference, hosted by the Des Moines Art Center in celebration of the opening of the John & Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. The conference began with a public art grant writing workshop, followed by an evening lecture, where over 700 attended the free Des Moines Art Center Fingerman Lecture by Jaume Plensa, whose popular "Nomade" anchors the southern side of the Pappajohn Sculpture Park. One person commented that it have been the largest attended lecture in the art center's history.
The following day the conference participants attended a whirlwind series of panel discussions and presentations on public art, and a walking tour of the Pappajohn Sculpture Park.
This year's conference was sponsored by the Iowa Arts Council, with substantial support from the Public Art Foundation of Greater Des Moines. The conference poster was supported by RDG Dahlquist Art Studio.
The Iowa Public Art Network is a peer-group of Iowa Arts Council's Public Art & Design Program that seeks to advance the value of public art in Iowa and the professional standards and practices in the field of public art. IPAN represents artists, public art administrators, and public art enthusiasts. There are no dues, fees or required meetings to join IPAN. To join IPAN, email Bruce.Williams@iowa.gov your name, mailing and email address (type IPAN in the subject heading).
Photo: Artist Jaume Plensa addresses the audience at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines Nov. 12. The event kicked off the Iowa Public Art Networking Conference, at which Plensa appeared to discuss his sculpture, Nomade.
|Urban Revitalization Through Entertainment Theme of Crossroads Conference
Crossroads Entertainment and Art Experience is a unique and important two-day event that includes two days of professional development seminars and two nights of showcases for film, music, theatre, visual art and food and beverage. The Iowa Arts Council co-sponsors Crossroads, and we encourage you to participate!
A major focus of the Dec. 3- 4 event is urban revitalization. The entertainment industry has taken the lead in transforming blighted urban areas into vibrant districts that support the economy and put cities on the national map. To highlight this activity, five cities will be showcased during a keynote panel discussion on Friday, Dec. 4 from 4-6 p.m., led by panelists Jason Kulbel, Saddle Creek Records/The Slowdown (Omaha), F. John Herbert, CSPS/Legion Arts (Cedar Rapids), Brad Parks, 365 (Dubuque), Amedeo Rossi, Court Avenue District Des Moines and 80/35 Music Festival (Des Moines) and Zachary Mannheimer, The Des Moines Social Club (Des Moines). The keynote panel will be held at Central Library, 1000 Grand Avenue, Des Moines.
This year, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Cyndi Pederson will present the inaugural Crossroads Foundation Award during a special reception Friday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Des Moines Social Club.
Register and get more information about this statewide event (held in Des Moines) at www.iowatix.com.
|NEA's The Big Read Grant Opportunity, Guidelines |
The Big Read is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations to conduct month-long, community-wide reads between September 2010 and June 2011. The Big Read is a national program designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture. Organizations selected to participate in The Big Read will receive a grant ranging from $2,500 to $20,000, access to online training resources, educational and promotional materials, inclusion of your organization and activities on The Big Read Web site, and the prestige of participating in a highly visible national program. Approximately 75 organizations from across the country will be selected by a panel of experts.
To download the Guidelines & Application Instructions visit The Big Read Web site.
|Turning Economic Crisis Into Opportunity
In the past year, many nonprofits have had to cut staff, programs, and expenses to weather the economic storm. Many funders now project cutbacks in support, well into 2012. In four new webinars, the Foundation Center will help nonprofit leaders see beyond the recession to build a more sustainable organization.
Sessions will be held Dec. 1, 3, 8, and 10 for $45 per session. Topics are "Assessing Your Nonprofit's Financial Health," "Survival Strategies for Your Nonprofit," "Strengthening Your Nonprofit's Income Portfolio," and "Beyond the Recession: Building Sustainability." For more information and to register, visit http://foundationcenter.org.
Established in 1956 and today supported by close to 550 foundations, the Foundation Center is a national nonprofit service organization recognized as the nation's leading authority on organized philanthropy, connecting nonprofits and the grantmakers supporting them to tools they can use and information they can trust.
|ARTicles...of Note |
New Study Quantifies Economic Impact of Cultural and Heritage Tourism, Fox & Hounds Blog (10/29/09): "A new study, the first of its kind, confirms that cultural and heritage tourism is huge-and bigger than many of us thought in terms of economic impact."
Donor-Advised Fund Giving Steady, Despite Economic Crunch, Philanthropy News Digest (10/29/09): "Hoping to blunt the impact of the recession, individuals who use donor-advised funds to manage their charitable donations are giving to their favorite charities at levels similar to what they gave before the recession, even if many of them haven't been able to make new contributions to their funds, the Associated Press reports."
Crafting Becomes Primary Occupation For Many, But Drawbacks Exist, The Omaha World-Herald (11/8/09): "For some home crafters, the economy has driven them away from their hobby-turned-part-time job, as consumers reduce impulse purchases. Others, however, affected by layoffs, pay cuts, and furloughs are turning to crafting in hopes of making money."
Philanthropy Isn't Working -- But We Can Fix That, Wall Street Journal (11/09/09): "Much of current philanthropic giving, by foundations and individuals, neither meets the needs of our charitable organizations nor addresses some of our most urgent public needs. ... Here are nine changes that would go a long way toward making philanthropy do what we all claim we want it to do."
Rocco Landesman In Peoria (Or: Humble Pie! Yum!), Washington Post (11/09/09): The NEA chairman's unflagging ebullience during "a grueling day of arts appreciation" reflects "his natural tendency to play the extrovert.... But it should be remembered that he hasn't come all this way simply to launch his national cultural crusade, under the NEA slogan he dreamed up: 'Art Works.' He's also here because being off-the-cuff can land you in the soup."
FEAST Fundraising Concept Spreads Across the Country, Minnesota Public Radio NewsQ (11/10/09): "A new movement is spreading across the nation that combines grassroots arts funding with sustainable agriculture. It's called FEAST [Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics]."
Obama Names President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities Appointees, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (11/11/09): "Ronald Reagan picked Frank Sinatra and Bill Blass. Bill Clinton appointed Quincy Jones, Rita Moreno, and violinist Isaac Stern. The Bushes, father and son, chose a whole bunch of people you probably never heard of. But when it comes to sheer glitz and celebrity firepower, Barack Obama may have outstripped them all with his recent nominees to the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities."
Pilot Project Brings Arts to Healing,The Time Minden Ontario (11/11/09): "Healthcare facilities across the world are recognizing the healing powers of art. Fay Wilkinson, an artist who works in Creative Cocoon Art Studio, conducted a pilot project, 'Art Rx,' which brought art to 10 seniors in long-term care facilities."
Arts Can Make you Happier, Healthier: Research, ABC.net (11/13/09): "Antonette Collins interviewed four leaders in the Creative Aging field to explore the possibilities of arts programs for older adults, increasing the quality of life of older adults and decreasing medical costs."
|Bess Lomax Hawes (1921-2009)
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Bess Lomax Hawes, former director of the National Endowment for the Arts Folk Arts Program (1972-1992), National Medal of Arts winner, author, musician, and public folklorist. Bess was responsible for creating the network of public folklorists now employed in government arts and culture agencies and not for profits throughout the United States. The IAC Folk & Traditional Arts program would not exist were it not for her.
For more information: National Endowment for the Arts and Bess Lomax Hawes.