Art Works Blog

Although the POL National Finals were cancelled due to COVID-19, we're happy to announce we're working with our POL partner, the Poetry Foundation, to recognize and celebrate the 2020 state POL champions. Over the coming weeks we will honor both the students who won their state Poetry Out Loud...
Are you short on time but want to celebrate both Jazz Appreciation Month AND National Poetry Month? We can help with that! Click on the name of the poem to read the enire text. "…Hawk melodicized my ear of infatuated tongues/ & Blakey drummed militant messages in/ soul of my applauding teeth...
"Do you realize that what we do is what the Constitution is all about? In jazz, each of us has individual voices, but we must listen attentively to one another as we play—and out of this whole, comes what we call jazz." — Max Roach , National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master This quote appears in...
Being under stay-at-home directives in the Washington, DC region (and elsewhere) has led to many of us revisiting the art we have at home. Music, in particular, is a great balm in this time of great unease and anxiety, so I often turn to the thousands of recordings lying about my house. It being,...
I first met Matthew Whitaker on his 16th birthday, when he performed in front of a large audience at the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He appeared that evening in honor of Dr. Lonnie Smith, who was being inducted into that class of NEA...
The dramatic impact of American Indian and Alaska Native (Indian) art market postponements and cancellations, temporary closures of brick and mortar Indian art galleries and businesses, and the current halt in tourism to Indian Country resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic is severely undercutting...
In many ways, NEA Creative Writing Fellow Kiki Petrosino ’s latest book, White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia , is deeply personal, exploring the genealogy and legacy of her African-American ancestors in Virginia. At the same time, she grapples with the messy history of slavery and discrimination in...
The next time you visit our nation’s capital, if you walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, past the White House, you are sure to see someone standing outside with a sign picketing for a cause that is important to them. If you ask Amanda C Burdan—a curator at the Brandywine River Museum of Art —where the...
Like many of you, we're also adjusting to the new normal of sheltering in place, homeschooling kids, and generally figuring out how to cope with a life that's suddenly not very normal at all. The four of us in Folk and Traditional Arts (Bill, Cheryl, Cliff, and Rachel) have looked to folk and...
"[P]oetry has always existed & always existed in a communal context. So I feel like, well, people must need it because people always did it & never stopped doing it & that part of what people get from that is the story of who I am and who we are." — Elizabeth Alexander...

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