|Message from the Director
Artistic Collaboration Shapes Our Life's Experiences
I didn't expect that the passing of singer Andy Williams would cause me to reflect on the interconnectivity of artistic disciplines and how the arts are interwoven with our popular culture. However with October being National Arts and Humanities month, the reflection is timely.
Like many people my age, "Moon River," was part of my early musical experience. The original Henry Mancini version with orchestra and chorus or Andy's Williams' lilting vocal arrangement was everywhere in the early '60s. It became the theme music for Williams' popular weekly tv variety show, and the sheet music sat on our piano, one of several pieces that could easily entice me from practicing my assigned lesson.
"Moon River" was composed by Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer -- both icons of American music. It was the theme song for the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's", winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1961 and a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1962.
The song may be the most enduring memory of "Breakfast at Tiffany's"; though the movie stands up well too. Audrey Hepburn as the main character, Holly Golightly, created what is still today an archetype of the "café society" girl - think "Paris Hilton" without the money and with a hidden past.
Directed by a young Blake Edwards who would become famous for other movies, (including the "Pink Panther" series), the film comprised a roll call of major actors of the '60s. The confluence of art forms only begins there.
"Breakfast at Tiffany's" came to life as a somewhat edgier novella by genius writer Truman Capote, and was first published in 1958 in Esquire Magazine -- even then, one of the most literary of the monthies.
One could argue about the transformation of Capote's work into a romantic comedy, but it's fascinating how many 20th Century artistic giants came to be associated with this one little film and its beloved theme song.
Such is the nature of artistic experience. Artists seek collaboration in pursuit of creating something wholly new that they couldn't conceive alone. The results help shape our life experiences, they enrich us and they inform our memories. They are what connect us to others with whom we share time and space.
These are among the reasons we should celebrate the arts every day, but most especially in October which is Arts and Humanities Month. Each of us can do it in our own way. You may visit Americans for the Arts website for assistance in your own celebration. Please share what you are doing with us, too, by posting on our Facebook timeline.
Catherine 'Rusty' Foley
Arizona Citizens/Action for the Arts
|The Presidential Candidates:|
Where Do They Stand on the Arts?
With about six weeks until the General Election on November 6, the focus - appropriately - now turns to the issues, particularly in the battle for the White House.
So, where do President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney stand on the role of public support for arts and culture? The Chronicle on Philanthropy recently examined the public record and comments of both presidential candidates regarding their support for agencies like the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
According to public records examined by the journal, Barack Obama proposed a slight increase in spending for the NEA and NEH in his 2013 budget, although they would still be getting less than when Mr. Obama entered Office. He proposed flat spending for the CPB.
Mitt Romney has stated a number of times that he would seek "deep reductions" or end federal spending for the three cultural agencies.
A full review of both candidates' positions is available here.
|Rusty Foley |
Named Arizona Capitol Times Leader in Public Policy
Arizona Citizens for the Arts Executive Director Catherine "Rusty" Foley joined an elite group of Arizona influencers with her selection by the Arizona Capitol Times as a Leader in Public Policy in Arts and Humanities.
Rusty was recognized at an event on Thursday, Sept. 27.
"I appreciate my nomination by Policy Development Group which does such excellent work on behalf of arts and culture at the Arizona Legislature," she said.
"This award, though, is shared by all of our individual and organizational advocates throughout the state," she said. "I'm proud and humbled to work with such committed and energetic citizens to ensure the sustainability of arts and culture in Arizona and to reinforce the fact that arts and culture are critical components to the state's economic and community vitality."
|And Speaking of the Elections:
Vote smART Arizona is Your One-Stop Resource
If you're looking for election information with an arts-and-culture focus, the place to go is votesmartaz.com.
A program of Arizona Citizens for the Arts to encourage voter engagement and civic education, the website includes local and statewide election information, instructions for registering to vote, voter education and information about the candidates.
The site is updated regularly and now includes information on relevant to the November 6 General Election.
|Former Arts Commission Chair
Speaks Up for AzCAAA Support for Advocacy in the Elections
"I firmly believe that now is the time when arts and culture have the greatest potential to pull our state out of hard economic times through attracting a talented workforce and promoting job growth. We must not cut back, but instead invest more in our cultural life," said Dino DeConcini, former Chair of the Arizona Commission on the Arts and a founder of the arts advocacy movement in Arizona.
Deconcini recently penned a impassioned endorsement of the role of arts and culture in Arizona to ask arts advocates to contribute to voter education and advocacy activities of Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts.
Noting the success of Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts in getting Legislative reauthorization for the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Deconcini said, "Now is the time to capitalize on our success and press forward. We must focus on the elections and support the people who believe in the vital role of the arts in Arizona."
A contribution to AzCAA today, will assist Arizona arts advocates in identifying candidates who support arts and culture, he said.
We appreciate Mr. DeConcini's endorsement. Read his full remarks here.
|Arts & Business Council
Falls Victim to the Economy
After more than 20 years as an effective resource and advocate for arts and culture in the Valley, the Arts & Business Council of Greater Phoenix recently announced that it is ending operations.
The organization's two signature programs - Business Volunteers for the Arts and Business on Board - will move forward under new management. The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits will assume control of Business on Board, a leadership training program for nonprofit board service. Negotiations continue with a potential manager of Business Volunteers for the Arts.
"This was an incredibly difficult decision for the board of directors," said Arts & Business Council President Debra Kuffner. "But after months of strategic conversations, financial reviews and discussions with community partners, the board determined that the current business model is not sustainable and we could not secure the necessary financial or human resources to maintain or rebuild in a timely manner."
Operations were scheduled to cease at the end of September.
|Valerie Vadala Homer Retires
From Scottsdale Cultural Council After 25 Years
Valerie Vadala Homer, who guided Scottsdale Public Art into a national model of best practices, retired from the Scottsdale Cultural Council at the end of September after 25 years of service.
She began with the Council in 1989 and, during her tenure, held positions that included interim direct of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. She took over the reigns of Scottsdale Public Art in 2001. Since then, more than 250 permanent and temporary works of art have been commissioned and installed throughout the community.
Chairman of the Board Mike Miller said that "through a creative, strategic and collaborative public art process second to none in the nation, Valerie directed development of a public art collection today valued at $15 million that is, without question, one of the finest in the United States."
The Children's Museum Tucson exists to provide fun, play-based, interactive, hands-on learning experiences for children and their families. Founded in 1986, the Museum is now located in the historic Carnegie Library in downtown Tucson. Last year, more than 125,000 children and families visited the 17,000 square foot facility that features 12 permanent interactive exhibits, including Tucson Electric Power's Electri-City, the Bodyology, the Art Studio, the Ocean Discovery Center, the Public Safety Station, Build It, Whistle Stop, Pet Vet and more. Children learn by doing in a visually and emotionally stimulating environment. Learn more at http://www.childrensmuseumtucson.org/information.
Mark your calendars now for Feb. 6, 2013, and plan to participate in Arts Congress 2013 at the Arizona State Capitol. Because of the decennial redrawing of legislative district boundaries, there will be many newcomers to the Arizona Legislature as well as many incumbents who now serve districts that are very different than their old ones. That means this is the prime time for arts and culture advocates to develop new relationships with the state representatives. One way to do that is to show up at our annual advocacy day at the Capitol to tell the story of how important arts and culture is in your local communities. Register here for Arts Congress 2013.
Dates to Remember
Voter Registration Deadline for General Election
October 9, 2012
Election Day November 6, 2012
Arts CongressFebruary 6, 2013
Board of Directors
President, Arizona Citizens
Vice President, Arizona Citizens
Vice President, Arizona Action
Past President, Arizona Citizens
Chair, Membership Committee
Chair, Finance Committee
Winslow Arts Trust
Representative Kate Brophy McGee
Arizona House of Representatives
Consulting & Policy Development
Musical Instrument Museum
Tucson Symphony Orchestra League
Representative Steve Farley
Arizona House of Representatives
Miller-Russell & Associates
Phillip C. Jones,
Frazer Ryan Goldberg & Arnold LLP
Tucson Museum of Art
Southern Arizona Arts & Culture Alliance
Retired Arts Educator
Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts
Arizona Zoological Society