Takeaways from the world's first international teaching artist conference

Eric Booth, Teaching Artist Journal, 11/6/12

In late August 2012, 130 eager individuals gathered for three days in Oslo for the world's first International Teaching Artist Conference. Representatives came from 23 countries, some with a clear sense [of] professional identity as a "teaching artist," others with mere curiosity about the term, all with a mix of experience and uncertainty about the hybrid way art and education combine and live in different cultures around the world. The delegations from the U.S. and Norway were larger than those from other nations, understandably, as the host country and the nation with the most developed history of teaching artistry. Perhaps we had the most to learn. Over three days of structured activities and informal dialogue, the learning was much more intense than [at] a typical conference; many said they had never experienced anything quite like it. We came away with a sense that something significant had just happened; we were somehow changed. Various individuals promised to write about the impact on them and their practice, and some blogs and reports are already surfacing. As the conference co-leader and co-designer, I offer this essay as my first reflection. One key question drove me to create the conference with Marit Ulvund of Norway's SEANSE. I posed the question to the participants at the opening: What are the core elements of teaching artistry as it appears in its various expressions and uses in cultures around the world? [Click here to read the rest of this blog post.]


Report: The future of arts education at London schools

Arts Professional magazine, issue 259, November 2012

According to [recommendations] by the Mayor of London's Education Inquiry, students would learn about London from a number of perspectives, including its cultural impact, and should be offered the chance "to take forward a creative project with support from a professional arts company, creative adult or cultural organisation and present the end work to others, in exhibition or performance". The value of 'accrediting and celebrating' achievement in the arts is seen as important, and the report echoes the recommendation made by Darren Henley in his Review of Cultural Education in England earlier this year for a passport scheme in which children's engagement with cultural and sporting activities is recorded throughout their school career.


Related: The importance of arts education beyond a school setting

Lawrence Becko, Arts Professional magazine, issue 259, November 2012

There is much to be heartened about in the Mayor's new report. [Its] recommendations present a unique opportunity for all those in the non-formal community arts sector to reassert the case for creative intervention, not only in schools but beyond the mainstream, in collaboration with the youth and voluntary sectors. The report is notable for its calls for high standards, outstanding teaching, an 'excellence' fund and a 'gold club' of schools. Away from the formal sector, we might ask what a 'gold club' of community arts organisations would look like and where new excellence might come from in the future. We must also continue to advocate for the contribution the arts can make to the 'rising tide' which will lift even the most vulnerable young people towards success. Community music has a proud track record of working with those at the margins of society and, beyond mainstream school settings, it will be our role to continue to create these life-changing experiences for young people. [Mr. Becko manages participatory projects and youth voice programmes (including Wired4Music, the music council for young Londoners) for the nonprofit organization Sound Connections.]


A Wall Street trader invests his fortune in free art schools around the world

Zeke Faux, Bloomberg News, 11/9/12

Tim Reynolds, who made his fortune at Jane Street Capital, has a new obsession: teaching poor students to master photorealistic painting. Reynolds stepped aside in September from the multibillion-dollar-a-day arbitrage operation he co-founded in 2000. He's already donated more than $10 million to endow free art schools in Anguilla, the Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka and Thailand, and he's developing luxurious hotels nearby to bring in potential collectors. "It will change the art world in a way," Reynolds, 46, said. "You're going to see very specific art movements come out of the schools and develop on their own." On Anguilla, in the eastern Caribbean, local students are already practicing charcoal shading at one of Reynolds's schools, called the Ani Art Academies. The studio is about 150 yards from an Ani resort, where hedge-fund managers and sports-team owners pay $42,000 a week to rent five-bedroom glass villas perched on a cliff above the sea. Profits will help fund the academies, and the villas will be decorated with student art that's for sale. "People want to bring back a keepsake from a dream vacation," Reynolds said. "Now the $2,000 that goes to that artist, that's transformative and that's one transaction." Students are given free materials and meals at the Ani schools and Reynolds said he plans to provide food for their families as well so they can concentrate on completing the 6,000-hour program: "Over 10 years, we're going to have several hundred great artists coming out of a small community in a place that happens to be an exotic tourist destination. I believe that's going to start a virtuous cycle."


"The dancing philanthropist" gives millions to new USC School of Dance

Deborah Vankin, The Los Angeles Times, 11/9/12

In the arts world, they call her "the dancing philanthropist." And now, with her latest and largest endowment to date, Glorya Kaufman has a new dance partner in the University of Southern California. Her groundbreaking gift for the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance will establish the first new endowment-funded school at the university in 40 years. Robert Cutietta, dean of USC's music school, who will head the new dance school, calls the gift one of the largest donations in the history of dance. Kaufman won't reveal the dollar amount of the gift -- suffice to say it will surpass by far the $20 million she gave Los Angeles' Music Center in 2009 to bring major dance companies to L.A. If all goes according to plan, the Kaufman School will open in the fall of 2015. The endowment will also fund dance scholarships for students. "We have so much [dance] talent here in L.A.," Kaufman said, "and there's no place for them to go. We want to get the best students, the best teachers, and the kids, when they graduate, will be able to make a living right away."


FROM TC: While this next story is not specifically about the arts, it is related to today's theme so I decided to include it.


Some of the wealthy prefer giving time, not money, to schools

Paul Sullivan, The New York Times "Wealth Matters" column, 11/9/12

A recent study of high-net-worth households found that education was the leading concern among affluent donors, ahead of health care, the economy, poverty and the federal budget deficit. The report, by Bank of America and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, also found the largest proportion of gift dollars was going to education [and] the amount given to education increased more than any other category last year. Some portion of this money certainly went to alma maters. But as I talked to the people who conducted the study, I realized people were giving more than just money to education causes. They were giving their knowledge and experience. "One of the more strategic issues in philanthropy is looking at root causes and not at symptoms," said Claire Costello, philanthropic practice executive at Bank of America's US Trust division. "Education is a root cause. One interpretation of the data could be people feel if you rectify our education system, prosperity will flow to all of us." The study of high-net-worth households found that 89% of those affluent people said they had volunteered their time -- up 10 percentage points from 2009, when the study was last conducted. Ms. Costello said researchers had also asked people about the level of personal satisfaction they derived from their charitable giving and found that it was linked more to engagement than dollars.
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