With more than 3.6 million residents living beyond its cities and their suburbs, Texas has the largest rural population in the nation. The Rural Initiatives program is how the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) answers the challenge of serving so many rural residents. Through the program, TCA helps rural communities lacking arts groups to apply for Arts Respond Project Grants by designating government agencies and nonprofits as Rural Arts Providers, and thereby recognizing them as eligible grant applicants. Non-arts entities that may earn the status of Rural Arts Provider include chambers of commerce, Main Street programs, libraries, schools, parks and recreation departments, and other departments of municipal, county, state or federal government. Through the Rural Initiatives, TCA also organizes artists on its Texas Touring Roster to provide free performances in designated counties. Communities not covered by the Rural Initiatives have to pay Texas Touring Roster artists' fees, though there is grant funding available to cover part of these costs. Find out more by contacting TCA Director of Communications Anina Moore.
The Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) has taken its commitment to strengthening the state's creative economy, places and communities to the next level with the recent launch of its Creative Mississippi Institute (CMI). Building off MAC's 2011 Mississippi's Creative Economy study, the new CMI is an on-line and broadcast-radio clearinghouse of technical assistance for creative economic development and creative place making, connecting people, organizations, institutions and businesses to research, policy information, partnership guidance and funding opportunities from a variety of sources. Its website features MAC tools for arts-based development, such as Framework for Building Mississippi's Creative Economy and Place, Cre8tive Steps, and Threads: A Guide to Cataloging Creative Assets, as well as a related set of on-demand trainings. Through its weekly Arts Hour on Mississippi Public Broadcasting's Think Radio, MAC is designating one show each month as the Creative Mississippi Edition, featuring interviews and discussions about communities leveraging their creative assets. Each episode will be coupled with information about best practices and other resources available on MAC's website. MAC created CMI in partnership with a number of public, private, nonprofit and community collaborators, including the Mississippi Development Authority, the Mississippi Main Street Association and the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development at Mississippi State University. For more information, contact Creative Mississippi Institute Director Allison Winstead.
Creative Mississippi Institute
Empowering Artists as Entrepreneurs
The Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) is leveraging the exposure, networking and community building of its upcoming statewide meeting, Latitude: 2014 Arts Convergence, to offer two professional-development opportunities to the state's creative class. Storm Sessions for Alaska Musicians is a seminar for helping independent Alaskan musicians expand their careers. The training will address the business of music in the digital age, focusing on marketing, audience development, social media, revenue streams, career planning and retirement. Creative Capital Professional Development, meanwhile, is a chance for artists to learn about strategic planning, fundraising, marketing and promotion, budgeting, contract negotiations and staff management. Through the workshop, which ASCA organized with Creative Capital, a national nonprofit organization, there will be lectures, peer critiques, practice exercises and written assignments. Storm Sessions is free to musicians registered for Latitude, and participation in the Creative Capital training costs only $100 because it is subsidized by ASCA, which also is awarding a limited number of $500 travel grants for the program. Learn more from ASCA Executive Director Shannon Daut.