Art Works Blog

"Inspiration is a powerful motivating influencer: an experience that offers possibility and breakthrough thinking. This is what I believe art can do in our society. It can provoke new thinking and perspective and can often invite us to experience the world with a new lens that taps into our...
Arts administrator and poet Jonathan Katz (NASAA's CEO) ruminates on what he's learned from poetry.
Some of NEA Chair Jane Chu's thoughts on the opportunities of creative leadership.
Just because it’s called the Big Read doesn’t mean little readers can’t be involved. Our Big Read communities design all sorts of programming geared toward children, and often choose children’s companion books that draw upon the same themes as the selected Big Read title...
In the late 1950s, while touring for the State Department, the jazz musician, Dave Brubeck became fascinated with the unusual meters he heard in the street music of Turkey and Bulgaria. Back in the U.S., he and composer Paul Desmond translated those elegant quintuple rhythms into a quartet, naming...
As I get to the end of my first quarter as NEA Chair, I’ve been thinking about how the arts foster creativity for the current generation of arts leaders, and also what we need to foster creative leadership for future generations. What defines a creative leader? What skill sets does that...
"When we bring people together to share stories, we create community. And that's what happens at festivals, and that's what I'm really interested in. It's not the idea that when you come to a festival you listen to culture or that culture is static, but more the idea that...
Kiran Singh Sirah of the International Storytelling Center talks about the relationship between storytelling and community.
"We want our students to be reflections of the poems that they write and make sure that they’re writing a life that they want to live and not just writing what they see. I mean we do have to write what we see a lot. But that power that their voice has to affect other people and to change...
"…When you read Hemingway as a young writer, you begin to really focus on the importance of every word. It's not about coming up always with the new word or the flashy diction, but it's about getting to a larger truth about subjectivity and character through the simple turns...
“I find as a writer that I always say to people, people who are waiting for inspiration, there isn’t any such thing. And you have to really write into your inspiration. And I always say to writing students--just finish. Just get the job done. Get started and finish it. And then you...

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