Art Works Blog

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...
"I always have a notebook with me, I eavesdrop, I write down what people say. It's very rare that one of those things will provoke a story, but I think that that kind of paying attention all the time, and keeping everything open, lets the stories come in. But where they come from is still...
Today is a big day for creative placemaking here at the Arts Endowment, as we are launching some long- anticipated new resources for folks around the country who care about arts-based community development. They include the Exploring Our Town online resource, the pilot of a funding stream to...
There’s no shortage of data outlining the benefits of reading for children. In the NEA’s own 2007 report, To Read or Not to Read , research suggested that reading proficiency was associated with higher test scores, and later, with higher-paying jobs, greater career growth, and higher...
Did you know that since 1982 we have awarded NEA National Heritage Fellowships in 211 artistic traditions? Among them, this year’s class of nine fellows represent diverse art forms within the fiber arts, music, dance, Native American cultural traditions, and religious musical traditions. Here...

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