- ABOUT US
- Texas Medal of Arts Awards
- Texas Women for the Arts
- Young Masters
- Founders for the Arts
- Adventures in the A.R.T.S.
- Economic Development
- Cultural Districts
- Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative
- Create Texas
The Texas Cultural Trust was selected to work with the University of Texas at Austin McCombs Board Fellows program, which places selected MBA students with local non-profit organizations as non-voting board members for one year. Board Fellows was launched in 2010 as an initiative of McCombs’ Net Impact chapter. The purpose is to give talented and committed graduate business students the opportunity to work with and learn from non-profit leaders, while contributing their time and business skills to benefit the organization and community. The Trust was selected as one of the partner non-profits. The Trust has two Board Fellows: Carey Beard and John Xu. Carey and John bring a wealth of business experience and we look forward to working with them in 2014! For more information on the McCombs Board Fellows program, visit http://www.strikingly.com/boardfellows
Q & A with McCombs Board Fellows
Why did you decide to do the Board Fellows program?
I decided to do board fellows because I wanted the experience of working with a non-profit board, and also because I wanted to give back to the community. As business students, we are taught skills that can be very valuable when applied in the right context. I wanted to take the skills that I’ve acquired and use them for a good cause.
I believe that Board Fellows accomplishes a number of great objectives. First, it connects McCombs students with the local Austin community, and gives them opportunities to interact and assist with organizations that need their specific knowledge and skillset. In addition, Board Fellows helps students to develop specific skills or experience in areas they may be lacking, such as board governance, strategic direction, operational excellence, etc… Lastly, it is a great opportunity for McCombs students to experience how non-profit boards work, and helps them shape their decision in joining or helping non-profit boards in the future.
Why did you want to work with the Texas Cultural Trust?
I wanted to work with Texas Cultural Trust because I believe in their mission. I think the arts and arts education are important and are regularly overlooked. The programs that they oversee do a lot to promote arts and music in Texas and have a significant impact in preserving the cultural capital that has been so important to the region.
I have always appreciated art and culture in developing both people at a micro level, and the economy at a macro level. I learned how to play the violin in elementary school, then learned the piano, and eventually joined marching band in High School. Learning and practicing instruments instill a number of important traits: Discipline, perseverance, and pride in yourself. This is the same whether you learn any other art programs ranging from dance to digital media and literacy. I believe fine arts is greatly undervalued in today’s society, and I fully support Trust’s mission in promoting and highlighting the importance of art in the Texas economy.
What project will you be working on this year with the Trust?
This year we are taking on two projects. First, we are going to create an annual report that the Trust will be able to distribute to board members, potential donors, and other affiliates. Our second project revolves around the Arts and Digital Literacy Program. We will be creating a scalable financial and implementation model for the program as well as benchmarking the program against other currently available curricula.
Happy New Year (a bit belated) from TCA. This spring is exciting as we get to work with individual artists at various points in their careers.
Grants: For its January 15th application deadline, the Commission received applications from arts organizations for the Arts Respond Project Support program. Applications have been reviewed by peer evaluators and are awaiting funding approval by Commissioners at their March 18 quarterly meeting.
Young Masters Program: At the same March 18 meeting, Commissioners will make a determination on the next class of Young Masters applicants. In January, TCA convened expert panels to review the applications and supporting materials of the 168 applicants, who applied from all corners of the state. Twenty Young Masters will be named to the 2014 class. This program awards grants of up to $2,500 per year to talented young artists in grades 8-11 to further their studies in their chosen field. Students must be participating in a school-based arts program, summer institute, a specialized course of study, or receiving private lessons from a qualified instructor to qualify.
Texas Young Masters is a joint program of the Texas Cultural Trust and the Texas Commission on the Arts. The Young Masters program was established with generous contributions from AT&T Foundation, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Applied Materials, Burlington Northern, The Honorable David Dewhurst, Emerson Electric, Mrs. Gene Jones, Mr. George Mitchell, Plum Foundation, Ray C. Fish Foundation, Raytheon, Texas Women for the Arts and Mrs. W. D. Noel.
Texas Touring Roster: The application deadline for inclusion on the next Texas Touring Roster was January 31, 2014. Roster artists provide high-quality performances, workshops, master classes, and other artistic services to communities across Texas. Review panels will be convened in April to review and score applications, with a final determination made by Commissioners at their June 3 meeting.
Rural Tours: To ensure service to the most rural areas of the state, TCA contracts with Touring Roster artists to provide free performances in designated rural counties. Rural tour artists will be approved at the March 18 Commission meeting to provide performances in six areas in spring, and six more in summer. The summer tours are oriented around libraries’ summer reading programs, while the spring tours can be focused on more general audiences.
Texas Women for the Arts Grants: TCA has started receiving applications for this year’s Texas Women for the Arts grants. We look forward to assisting the Texas Cultural Trust and Texas Women for the Arts with this grants process.
We are pleased to feature information on 2013 Texas Women for the Arts grantee, Kids Excel El Paso (KEEP) Arts Kids Outreach. They put on a “Wild West Show” in May of 2013 and are getting ready for their “Mathematical Mystery Tour” on June 6, 2014 at El Paso’s Plaza Theatre. More than 400 children from 4 elementary schools will participate in the show. An excerpt is included below:
More than 3,000 4th grade students in 30 elementary schools in west Texas dance, clap, stomp and leap their way to excellence each and every week in Kids Excel classes. Recognizing that the arts have a unique power to engage and motivate children, the mission of Kids Excel El Paso is to help children develop discipline, a standard of excellence, and self-confidence that will positively impact their education and all aspects of their lives. Using the award-winning National Dance Institute teaching techniques created over 30 years ago by former NYC Ballet dancer Jacques d’Amboise, Kids Excel brings its highly energetic dance program directly into public elementary schools as part of the curriculum, teaching students how to work hard, strive for their personal best, and never give up. Students participating in Kids Excel’s programming experience a fast-paced, challenging, inclusive and fun approach to learning dance technique and the meaning of excellence. Each partner school performs for parents, teachers and peers at a mid-year assembly and the season culminates in a year-end performance event. In addition to these shows, Kids Excel will hosts an annual gala fundraiser at the end of each school year. This year’s performance, entitled Mathematical Mystery Tour, will be held at El Paso’s historic Plaza Theatre on June 6th. The show will feature nearly 400 4th grade students and 20 Tiny Tots. Dancers have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend time rehearsing and performing on the majestic stage of the Plaza Theatre in front of an estimated 6,000 member audience.
As a consequence of their socioeconomic demographics, many Kids Excel students are marginalized in terms of societal expectations, extra-curricular opportunities, and support. Kids Excel programming aims to address the “arts opportunity gap” by providing students with access to arts instruction and high-quality arts education, which are critical components to ensuring El Paso’s students receive the world-class education they deserve. All Kids Excel classes are free of charge for children and their families and it is only through funders such as the Texas Cultural Trust that these programs can be made available.
For more information, visit www.kids-excel.org
Photo Credit: Raul Martinez
We are pleased to feature the Amarillo Symphony in this month’s Institutional Partner Spotlight and their latest project, Symphony Underground:
What was this Symphony Underground thing, you ask? In February 2014, the Amarillo Symphony presented a new kind of urban experience in the underground parking garage of the Amarillo Building at 4th and Polk in downtown. Attendees were treated to an incredible music performance by PROJECT Trio, whose high-octane mix of classical, jazz, hip-hop, and rock is taking chamber music to a whole new level. With art installations by Process Art House and furniture for sale to benefit the Downtown Women’s Center, this event was truly one of a kind. Yellow City Street Food even helped kick it up a notch by serving deliciously fresh street food! The event sold out!
Attendees had the opportunity to meet the members of PROJECT Trio, as well as Jacomo Bairos, Amarillo Symphony’s Music Director and Conductor. Symphony Underground and Project Trio’s performance fits with Bairos’s goals of connecting with the community and attracting new audiences. “This concert encapsulates everything Jacomo has been doing with the orchestra so far,” said Susan White, the Symphony’s Executive Director. “It all comes together in this concert.”
Photo Credit: Ralph Duke Photography
A new feature of the newsletter is a spotlight on a program and person who is partnering with the Texas Cultural Trust. For the third round of this feature, we will spotlight Mandy Epley, the Fine Art Director for Comal Independent School District (ISD), a member of the Arts and Digital Literacy Advisory Board. The Comal ISD is currently piloting Theatre and Media Communication I, one of the innovative courses offered under the Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative.
The Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative, is a program of the Texas Cultural Trust, in collaboration with The University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Arts, which bridges fine arts education and technology. It is a project-based, fine arts curricula for high school students that establishes the connection between traditional fine arts education and digital media. Digital literacy is the future of communication and commerce, and creates learning experiences that develop students’ capacities for critical thinking, creativity, imagination, innovation. The courses are based on a combined set of fine arts and technology standards, resulting in arts instruction that is rigorous and designed to specifically develop student’s media literacy, providing integrated relevant skills that will prepare them for the 21st century workplace.
“The Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative courses address a need for students to not only understand how digital information technology advancements affect them as consumers of the arts and media, but they also empower students to use that same technology to create, inspire change, and promote their ideas and skill sets,” said Epley. “Our experience with Theatre and Media Communications in Comal ISD has been inspirational. The curriculum and structure of the class supports a best practice atmosphere for the exchange of ideas and expression involving group dynamics, relationship building, critical thinking, audio and visual production, media literacy, performance, theatre literature, and production. We are excited to expand our course offerings to include Art and Media Communications next year. These courses help our students exercise their talents while mastering the digital literacy toolsets and team-based experiences necessary to succeed in the expanding arena of interactive media and the arts.”
Epley directed play productions and taught high school theatre for 16 years in Texas public schools. She graduated from Sam Houston State University with a B.F.A. in Theatre, with an emphasis in acting and directing, in 1997, and earned a Masters in Educational Administration at Lamar University in 2009. In addition to acting and directing professionally, Epley has served as a Texas A&M Corpus Christi guest artist, a University Interscholastic League play clinician, a University of Texas education mentor, and Artistic Director of Inception Theatre in San Antonio, TX. In 2012, she was named Texas Educational Theatre Association High School Educator of the Year. In 2009, she was named Brandeis High School Educator of the Year, Northside ISD High School Educator of the Year, and KENS5/SACU Excel Award winner. Epley is featured in Joan Lazerus’ book, Signs of Change-New Directions in Theatre Education and is a founding member of TTAC, Texas Theatre Administrator’s Conference.
Quick Facts on the Arts & Digital Literacy Initiative:
- The State Board of Education approved the new Fine Arts TEKS which include the Trust’s Arts and Digital Literacy Curricula (all eight courses). The new Fine Arts TEKS will be implemented in the 2015-2016 school year.
- House Bill 5, implemented by the 83rd Legislature, requires that schools teach 21st century learning skills, develop community partnerships and focus on digital learning.
- The courses in the Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative address all of these requirements with a strong level of rigor.
- Art and Media Communications I and II are both complete and being offered statewide as an elective.
- Music and Media Communications I is complete and being offered statewide as an elective.
- Theatre and Media Communications I is complete and being piloted in 13 schools and 15 classrooms across the state this fall and spring.
- Dance and Media Communications I is being written this year to be piloted in the 2014-15 school year.
- The University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Arts is hosting a day long intensive training for teachers on the courses on Saturday, June 14, 2014.
For more information on the Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative, please visit www.txartandmedia.org to download the curriculum.
We are pleased to announce that in conjunction with the Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative and SXSW Gaming, the Trust will present a panel at SXSW called, Using Games to Kick Start Education. The panel will take place on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm at the Long Center for the Performing Arts’ Kodosky Donor Lounge.
Digital literacy is the future of communication and commerce and creates learning experiences that develop students’ capacities for critical thinking, creativity, imagination and innovation. Digital communication requires skills learned through study of the fine arts, as well as the skills of using new technology. Digital games combine the power of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills in a program that fuses the arts (A) and humanities with hands-on experiential learning into complex eco-systems within, and extending beyond, the game space to involve networks of people in a variety of roles and rich interactions. Learning STEAM skills represents a critical activity within this larger, highly engaging system where the future economy is contingent upon students’ success.
The panel will be moderated by Jennifer Ransom Rice, Executive Director of the Texas Cultural Trust. Panelists include: Doug Dempster, Dean, College of Fine Arts, University of Texas at Austin; Bruce Pennycook, Professor of Music and Director of Digital Arts for the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin; and Warren Spector, Director of the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy at the University of Texas at Austin.
SXSW Gaming will be held at the Palmer Events Center in Austin on March 7-9, 2014.
City of Austin Cultural Arts Division Fiscal Year 2015 Core Programs Cultural Funding Applications Open March 7
Released: March 4, 2014
The application and guidelines for the FY 2015 Core funding programs will be available online March 7. The Core programs include Organizational Support, Project Support, and Project Support II. The application deadline is May 1, 2014.
National Assembly of State Arts Agencies
Posted: March 4, 2014
Written By: Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel
This morning, President Obama released his fiscal year 2015 budget proposal to Congress. The plan proposes increasing federal spending by more than $600 billion to fund key administration priorities, including universal preschool programs, the National Institutes of Health, transportation and infrastructure projects, and climate change mitigation and research. While not completely paid for, some of the costs are offset by imposing a new tax on wealthy Americans and reducing the level of payment for health care providers under Medicaid and Medicare.
To continue reading, click here.
National Assembly of State Arts Agencies
Released: February 19, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Legislative appropriations to state arts agencies increased by 10.5% in fiscal year 2014, according to the State Arts Agency Revenues report, published by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA).
Fiscal year 2014 marks the second year in a row that state arts agencies have received an aggregate budget increase. Between FY2013 and FY2014, state arts agencies gained $29.1 million in total legislative appropriations. These funds, at $306.6 million for FY2014, equate to an investment of $0.96 per capita.
NASAA’s State Arts Agency Revenues report indicates robust appropriations increases when analyzing revenues allocated to all 56 state arts agencies. Forty-one agencies experienced increased legislative appropriations and 23 of those agencies saw increases greater than 10%.
To continue reading, click here.
National Assembly of State Arts Agencies
Posted: February 6, 2014
Written By: Jonathan Katz
I’ve participated in several strategic forums on the future of the arts and arts education. One was convened by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and another by the Cultural Data Project with sponsorship from Bloomberg Philanthropies; a third was part of the Arts Education Partnership planning process. In each, there was discussion of the fact that there is all too often a difference between what the word art means to those who steward and advocate for the arts and what it means to others.
I was reminded how useful it is to remember that the word art means many different things to different people, depending on what they have experienced and how their experiences have been framed to them. Art can be understood as:
- a visual, performance-based, literary or media product; an artifact such as a painting or a play
- the market and market value of artifacts
- the industry that produces one or more kinds of artifact or sensory experience as its product
- the sensory competencies and artifacts used by workers to produce any goods and services
- a distinctive kind of sensory engagement with an artifact, such as that of an audience, reader or collector
- a creative process of sensory exploration, such as composing or choreography
- a set of competencies that might be studied in an academic curriculum, including skills such as creating, performing, appreciating and criticizing, as well as areas of knowledge, such as history, biography and aesthetic theory
- applying sensory competencies to problem solving, such as design, architecture and environmental planning
- the history of the forms, traditions and conventions of visual, performance-based, literary and media expression
- communal/community experience creating or interacting with visual, performance-based, literary or media artifacts
To continue reading, click here.