Art Works Blog

One of Ray Bradbury’s most famous quotes is “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” If that’s true, it stands to reason that getting people to read would, on the other hand, restore a culture and help it flourish. That...
"[T]he role of a community is to protect the solitude of its individuals--I emphasize solitude rather than loneliness. At the same time, one of the roles of the individual artist is to trouble the community. It’s a paradox, this mutual relationship of trouble and support." --...
Next year’s Big Read grantees—whom we’ll announce next Tuesday—had the option to focus their programming around two new books: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears and When the Emperor Was Divine. While we wait to see which grantees chose what, we started to think about...
The comprehensive budget proposal that President Obama submitted to Congress in March includes a report titled " Analytical Perspectives. " The document lists a series of "Social Indicators," data points meant to contextualize federal spending priorities. There, under the...
Tucked away above the main gallery halls, the library at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is filled with its own variety of treasures: rare books, research texts, and yes, even artwork. On May 12, the library will open a small exhibit on Helena Bochořáková-Dittrichová (1894-1980), a...
"The isolation of literary American readers from the wealth of work outside the U.S. is more than unfortunate. It seals us off not only from other ways of being and imagining, but from understanding ourselves and our own culture more deeply, if only by comparison. Conversely, literary...
"There is a reason that people seek out poetry, even if they’ve never read a poem in their lives, even if they think poetry is something totally esoteric or trivial or irrelevant. In the most powerful moments of our lives, in moments of love, passion, birth, death, marriage, all the...
You know what they say: in the end there can be only one. And at the end of the two-day 2014 Poetry Out Loud National Finals, that one was Anita Norman of Arlington, Tennessee. With bold, confident recitations of poems by Stanley Kunitz, Robert Hayden, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, the...
New to Poetry Out Loud or just need a reminder how it works? Don't worry, 2011's POL emcee Kerry Washington is here to help! Just click "play" and you'll know all you need to know about the rules before you join us tonight on arts.gov at 7pm ET to cheer on the next Poetry Out...
Interest has grown significantly from governments around the world in design as a methodology for connecting new ideas with people’s needs, reducing risk, and shaping public services and policies. In late 2013, I was fortunate to undertake a study trip to America looking at how design methods...

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