Art Works Blog

Despite a dearth of ways to engage in the arts in the small Michigan community in which she grew up, Heather Raffo knew from the time she was able to talk that she wanted to be an actress. Later, as a graduate student pursuing an acting degree, she realized that she couldn’t find plays that...
NEA Big Read author Jeff VanderMeer spent his early years in the Fiji Islands where his father, an entomologist and research chemist, went to study rhinoceros beetles until he turned his attention to fire ants and moved the family to Gainesville, Florida. A lifelong birdwatcher, VanderMeer has...
Of all the career guidance composer Julia Adolphe has received over the years, it was advice offered by an inmate she met while teaching music theory at Auburn Correctional Facility that has proven to be among the most impactful. "Julia, all you have to do is write the music that you love and then...
These days, much of the visual imagery we have of Muslim culture comes from news publications. They are by turns tragic and heart-breaking, gruesome and bloody. These are images of death, destruction, and violence from a region of the world that most of us only know through its conflicts. But that...
In late 2017, the National Endowment for the Arts published results from an analysis of business establishments in rural areas hosting performing arts centers. The report , which agency research staff co-authored with an economist from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), concluded that rural...
"Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes." — Maggie Smith
We couldn't quite figure out how to bring all of you to Mardi Gras, so how about we bring a little bit of Mardi Gras to you! Here's 2016 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow Joseph Pierre "Big Chief Monk" Boudreaux--a master Mardi Gras Indian Craftsman and Musician--at the 2016...
Here is 2016 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow Theresa Secord on the importance of the folk and traditional arts. Stay tuned for more from the October 2018 NEA and NASAA convening, Close Listening: A National Case for the Value and Impact of Folk and Traditional Arts as well...
"The arts draw our communities together, they tell our stories, they question power, they elicit our emotions, they strive for justice and equity, and they inspire us to imagine new possibilities." — Aaron Jungels According to Aaron Jungels, co-artistic director of Everett: Company, Stage and...
"Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you're doing. If you're not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it." -- Aretha Franklin

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