Art Works Blog

Taking Note

The NEA’s Research: Art Works grants program supports research that investigates the value and/or impact of the arts for individuals and communities. The application deadline for the 2017 grant round is October 11, 2016 . Last month, we released the 2017 application guidelines for the program...
Recently, a New York Times opinion article cited statistics from the NEA’s Survey of Public Participation of the Arts . The article (“ How the Rich Are Hurting the Museums They Fund ,” July 22, 2016) noted that between 2002 and 2012, “adult attendance at art museums and galleries declined, by as...
In the latest issue of NEA Arts magazine, there appears an interview I did with Leon Wieseltier, the current Isaiah Berlin Senior Fellow of Culture and Policy at the Brookings Institution, and former literary editor of The New Republic . The title of that interview— On (Not) Measuring Arts and...
Last month, the U.S. Department of Education released results from its National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP, or “The Nation’s Report Card”) study of 8th-graders’ technology-and-engineering literacy skills . How is this study relevant to arts research? Let me count the ways. 1) As with...
For a while in the mid-90s, I shared a house with a group of strangers who rapidly became friends. We lived in a Queen Anne-style oddity in the Dupont Circle area of Washington. A couple of years out of college, I worked most days at a nearby nonprofit called TV-Free America (“TVFA”), whose mission...
Too bad the word “opportunistic” is laden with negative, Machiavellian connotations. Otherwise, it’s just the term I would use to flag some of the more inspired hook-ups in arts research today. For at least five years, the NEA's research office has exploited (the very verb smacks of cunning) the...
Have you ever been in the audience of a performance of the Brahms Requiem and felt the stillness of the listeners around you? Have you ever attended a children's theater production and witnessed laughs-out-loud or applause in unexpected places? If you think about these moments through the eyes of a...
As if program evaluation in the arts were not already difficult, a fresh layer of complexity arises from what I’ll call, without meaning to be cute, the “terms of art” associated with this enterprise. In designing or conducting an evaluation—as with strategic planning in general—one is bound to use...
"Let the children boogie. " -David Bowie, “Starman” For years before Every Student Succeeds, which the President signed into law last month, proponents of K-12 arts education were fond of claiming that a federal focus on test-based accountability—particularly for math and reading—had the unintended...
I'm writing this from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, just off Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. Although the focus of the workshop I'm attending is not explicitly (or even largely) on global welfare, the dialogue here, if it precipitates action, could have striking implications for...

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