|Showcasing State Arts Agency Ingenuity|
Florida's Accessibility Webinars
The Florida Division of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is offering its constituents a series of lunchtime webinars in partnership with VSA Florida. Entitled Successfully Accessible, these one-hour webinar sessions will help arts and cultural organizations design, create and implement successful accessible programming, events and environments for their patrons. Topics include accessibility on a shoestring, sensory friendly shows, mobility issues, sight impairment, hearing impairment and staff training. Sessions, which run monthly until June, are free and open to the public, including staff from other state arts agencies. DCA and VSA staff and guest presenters will provide information and share experiences in both the visual and performing arts. Presentation materials are available on the DCA website following each webinar. For more information, contact DCA Accessibility Coordinator Maureen McKloski.
New Grant and Incentive Programs in Kansas
The Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC) has launched a new set of grant and incentive programs. KCAIC is the state agency within the Department of Commerce that replaced the Kansas Arts Commission (KAC) following the KAC's year-long hiatus precipitated by Governor Sam Brownback's veto of its budget in 2012. Within its new department, KCAIC is developing programs that encourage creativity as an industry and an economic development tool. For example, the Creative Economy Project Support program provides funding to communities and organizations working to leverage creative endeavors to facilitate economic development, to strengthen quality of life, to revitalize communities and to attract cultural tourists. Grants are available only to projects built on partnerships between the public, private and cultural sectors. Meanwhile, Kansas Creative Arts Industries Incentives offer financial support to creative professionals, businesses and organizations. Incentives—which include wage assistance grants, capital support, and training and education funds—are designed to foster a creative work force as well as facilities and technology expansion. The goal of the program is to encourage creative industries to locate and grow in the state. KCAIC Incentive Funds are available for for-profit applicants as well as nonprofits. For more information, contact KCAIC Director Peter Jasso.
Rhode Island Hosts Creative Economy Charrette
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and the state's Senate president and speaker of the House joined the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and other partners to convene last month at the Rhode Island Arts Charrette, with a focus on economic development. RISCA and the state leaders organized the event to catalyze a strategy to foster a visionary creative economy. More than 100 business, nonprofit and government leaders attended, including a number of state legislators. Following remarks from the governor and the legislative leadership, participants worked in breakout groups to brainstorm how Rhode Island can become the nation's "state of the arts." They also recommended tools and partnerships to that end. A video of the charrette is available on RISCA's website, along with the recommendations from the breakout sessions and other materials from the event, including a RISCA white paper, Economic Development and the Arts in Rhode Island. For more information, contact RISCA Executive Director Randy Rosenbaum.
Three-State Colloquium on the Arts and Community Change
The Indiana Arts Commission, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Ohio Arts Council are organizing a two-day colloquium in April for constituents from their tri-state area. Embracing Community Change through the Arts will focus on strategies for building diversity in arts organizations, with a special focus on engaging increasing numbers of culturally, geographically and socially diverse residents as well as underserved populations who experience barriers to participating in the arts. A team of 15 speakers and presenters will help attendees assess how their communities are changing and provide tools to take actionable steps to embrace those changes together. The first day of the colloquium will highlight best practices in leadership development, decision making, programming and community involvement. Day two will focus on practical planning tools for participating communities. In addition to the three sponsoring state arts agencies, the colloquium is supported by a variety of public and private partners, including The Joyce Foundation: Improving the Quality of Life for People in the Great Lakes Region and Across the Country; the Indiana Governor's Council for People with Disabilities; the University of Notre Dame's DeBartolo Performing Arts Center; Arts Midwest; the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture; and the National Endowment for the Arts.