Art Works Blog

Art Talk

"This is how work gets done. People need to know each other. They need to connect. They need to have people that they can call and collaborate with." — Susie Surkamer, Executive Director, South Arts n the 1970s, Susie Surkamer had her first taste of how the arts can benefit communities when she...
"One of our core values is that we believe the freedom of cultural and creative expression is fundamental to humanity." — Todd Stein, President and CEO, Mid-America Arts Alliance Middle America has too often existed as the middle child of American arts discourse, forgotten in broader discussions...
“Artists and arts and creativity are life-giving sources to communities, so they need to be supported and they need to be more visible.” — Cathy Edwards, Executive Director, New England Foundation for the Arts Having grown up with a father who worked in cultural affairs for the U.S. State...
For 14 years, Pam Breaux served as a culture, recreation, and tourism leadership team member within Louisiana’s state government, including an appointment as the executive director of the Louisiana Division of the Arts. She was connected to the agency during what she described as the state arts...
Helen Sung’s life in music started with a red toy piano. As Sung recalled in a recent interview with National Endowment for the Arts Director of Music and Opera Ann Meier Baker, “Somehow, this little red plastic piano showed up. It had about 12 keys and they were multi-colored, and I carried it...
Few individuals have been regarded with the same fascination as Marilyn Monroe. And she was indeed fascinating, a woman who—thanks in large part to her physical appearance—appeared to have everything: celebrity, fame, wealth, and no shortage of male admirers. But as has been endlessly explored...
"You don't exist if you're not represented... I felt a need to claim my own social existence by making the representation happen." — Njideka Akunyili Crosby
As a young person, Jason Reynolds was a reluctant reader—he speaks frequently about how he did not read a full novel until he was in college. However, he was never a reluctant listener. His art form of choice was rap music, which he listened to enthusiastically. It was in listening to the rhythms...
"I feel like poetry introduced me to myself in a way that nothing else actually had." — Reginald Dwayne Betts At age 16, Reginald Dwayne Betts was tried and convicted as an adult for carjacking. Since his release at age 24, Betts has become an attorney, a doctoral candidate at Yale Law School, an...
Wilner Baptiste met Kevin Sylvester in high school orchestra, a place that initially, neither of them particularly wanted to be. Baptiste had wanted to play saxophone instead of viola, and Sylvester’s mother had thought the violin would help dissuade him from hanging out with the neighborhood’s...

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