Art Works Blog

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A few years ago, when artist Maria Aldana was working with Baltimore residents to build a community altar for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a woman came in visibly excited to participate. “She said, ‘I used to make altars every year back home, but when I moved to the United States, I just...
"I think if we spent a little more time looking at what people hold so dear that they pass knowledge and art and practices on to their friends, their children, their communities, if we can appreciate that, we will be better people for it and the world would be a better place for it." -- 2010 NEA...
When Jennifer Feeley was in high school, one of her creative writing teachers encouraged students to read as many books of poetry as possible. It was during forays to the library in search of poetry volumes that Feeley stumbled upon 100 Poems from the Chinese , translated by Kenneth Rexroth. From...
The 36 NEA creative writing fellows who won their awards in 2018 for prose writing include a surprising number of poets, or at least writers who write and publish poetry more often than they write prose. That was interesting to those of us who work in the NEA literature department, and inspired us...
"The arts matter because they teach us how to be more fully human. I think that's incredibly important, especially in today's world as we seek to engage and connect with people who on the surface, superficially, seem unlike us." -- David Shook Read our interview with poet and 2016 NEA Translation...
"Without imagination we can go nowhere. And imagination is not restricted to the arts. Every scientist I have met who has been a success has had to imagine." -- Rita Dove Did you know that former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove is also a two-time NEA Literature Fellow? Listen to her in conversation...
As people gathered below the building and looked up, a dancer sprang out from one of the windows. Tethered by mountaineering ropes, she completed a graceful and joyous arc before landing feet first on the side of the building, using it as a stage to catapult herself again into space. Spectators’...
From the first hospital established in 1732 to the first meeting of the U.S. Congress in 1789 to the first zoo opened in 1847, Philadelphia has long been a city of national firsts. According to a 2007 New York Magazine article, the City of Brotherly Love was also the birthplace of modern graffiti,...
Beth King vividly remembers when her son’s fiddle broke during the Augusta Heritage Center’s annual summer workshop series. He was 11 or 12 years old, and had already taken a keen interest in learning the Appalachian fiddle traditions of West Virginia, where the center is housed on the campus of...
When most people think about public art, they think of a mural on a wall or a building, or perhaps a large sculpture in a park. While murals and sculptures are certainly public art, they are far from the only ways that public art can be expressed. Perhaps a better term for public art would be...

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