All posts tagged: news

5 Tips for Tipping the Scales Towards Excellence

On the left is a photo of me at age three, on the right, my daughter at the same age. I loved the violin and had supportive parents to guide me. Both artists, they had the cultural affluence to make certain I practiced every day and they expected excellence from the start. Now, 37 years later, my wife and I have the same expectations for our children as they start their lives as artists. It is through this personal lens that I think about the way many organizations serve high-need students as many programs are set up with an eye towards

Thoughts on the National Endowment for the Arts

On January 20th, I wrote this post in response to the inauguration of our 45th President. Now six months in to his presidency, I feel compelled to share thoughts on what we—the electorate—should expect from our politicians. These writings represent my vision for the future rooted in empathy, compassion, and an attempt to close the political canyon between our two parties.   Vision Statement: Access to high quality arts and arts education is a human right. The attempt by the Trump administration to cut the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) from the FY18 budget came as no surprise to me. This has happened before. Thankfully, the House Appropriations Committee has a different opinion and has largely kept NEA funding in place. For now.


I read about #39 in history books. Though I have distinct memories from the 80’s, #40 came and went in the fog of my preteen years. #41 taught me the power of patriotism, yellow ribbons, and pride in my country.  #42 arrived during my coming of age years and helped me grow my progressive roots. I found my political voice when #43 was in office and it marked the first time I remember bonding over politics with my father.  Both of my children came into this world during #44, thank you for making the world a better place for my children. 40 years of Presidential power.  40 years of life. Every single moment fleeting.

Ebola, The Arts, and the culture of fear in the United States

America lives in fear.  Our current nightmare is the Ebola virus.  Last week, ISIS.  Before that, Ferguson.  Each newsworthy event seemingly moves faster than the last.  Meanwhile, back in reality, many of the things that have made our country great are being threatened—and nobody seems to care. Boring things like our nation’s infrastructure, education system, and yes – the arts – fall by the wayside when more urgent and newsworthy subjects like Ebola come into focus.  To be clear, Ebola is scary—especially for health care workers working on the front line.  But the current threat of the deadly virus is relatively small in this country. The Obama administration’s appointment of an Ebola Czar is the latest governmental attempt to quell our fears, drawing our attention towards a singular human being to save us.  The media has been all over this newsworthy crisis.  Ratings are up.  Money is made—until the next “crisis” comes along. The Ebola Czar is a point person put in place to calm fears and show that there are steps being made by our government to solve a problem.  What …