Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rio Rancho's Renaissance Faire is Here!

The Rio Rancho Arts Commission is proud to announce The Knights and Dragons Faire! After much hard work and countless hours, the Arts Commission has organized a series of activities and mini events throughout the month of August. For the last several months, this faire has been on our priority list as a great way to bring in the community to participate and interested in Arts and Cultural events. This has been an amazing and insightful learning process for us, lessons that will help us in the future to bring you quality art and culture. We hope that you will enjoy it and of course support us in our future artistic and cultural endeavors we pursue. With your support and interest we know that we can continue to build a bigger and better impact of the arts right here in our community, and thus helping New Mexico as well. Do you have any suggestions, ideas or feedback that you'd like to share with us concerning the Knights and Dragons Faire or future events? Then please let us know by contacting us here or at our Facebook page.

Please join the Rio Rancho Art Commission in welcoming Rio Rancho's own Renaissance Event! We will be hosting a wide range of activities from August 2nd - August 17th for all ages. Including arts and crafts, music, demonstrations and of course Knights! Please check the event schedule down below for dates and times.

       Please note:
        * August 2nd-16th events held at the Loma Colorado Library
                  * Contact to register for Aug. 2nd and Aug. 16th crafting events
        * August 17th events held at the Sunday is Funday event at Rio Rancho High School

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

True Success Stories of Art and Advocacy

...and how you can bring that success to your community.

Local arts agencies share their success stories and issues of advocacy, arts education, fundraising, leadership, public value and research in this 2014 session at the Americas for the Arts Convention.

Streamed live on June 15, 2014 at the Americas for the Arts Convention, Nashville, TN:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Can Art Really Have the Power to Transform a Community?

Recorded at the 2014 Americas For The Arts Convention-streamed live on June 14, 2014.

From the Americas for the Arts Youtube description of this video: "Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation, moderates a panel of conversation among artists, administrators and activists on how art can be viewed as essential to the local communities of the future."

Impact of the Arts and Culture on U.S. Economy

At the Rio Rancho Arts Commission, we are passionate about the arts in all its forms. You can read about the arts impact on communities and economy on this blog. Those were simple yet very informative articles and infographics that we looked at. But a more in depth look at the impact of the arts is beneficial to get a clearer understanding of the situation. With more comprehensive statistics and information concerning areas of education, events, venues, and employment allow for us to greater quantify the impact of the arts and culture. " According to these new estimates, 3.2 percent -- or $504 billion -- of current-dollar GDP in 2011 was attributable to arts and culture. In comparison, BEA's estimated value of the U.S. travel and tourism industry was 2.8 percent of GDP."(*) Although the arts economy suffered dramatically during the recession and then on until 2011, the arts and their GDP are slowly starting to grow again.

Infographic from Market Star
Graph from NEA impact report

(Article from National Endowment of the Arts,  U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and National Endowment for the Arts Release Preliminary Report on Impact of Arts and Culture on U.S. Economy  / December 5, 2013 )

"Washington, DC – The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released prototype estimates today from the new Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA). This is the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector's contributions to current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the final dollar value of all goods and services produced in the United States. According to these new estimates, 3.2 percent -- or $504 billion -- of current-dollar GDP in 2011 was attributable to arts and culture. In comparison, BEA's estimated value of the U.S. travel and tourism industry was 2.8 percent of GDP.

“The positive value of arts and culture on society has been understood on a human level for millennia. With this new effort, we are now able to quantify the impact of arts and culture on GDP for the very first time. Better utilizing this type of knowledge and information is part of the Department of Commerce's 'Open for Business Agenda,' through which we are seeking to provide more transparency and data to enhance decision-making, create more value, and better understand and grow our economy," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

"Art and culture is a significant part of the U.S. economy. Not just its contributions of ideas and creativity to the innovation economy, but also as an important part of the labor force and our country's GDP," said NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa. "The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account is an unprecedented resource for detailed, reliable data on the economic value associated with arts and cultural activity." (READ THE REST HERE)


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Volunteers Bring Much Needed Public Art to a Community

When a community comes together they can accomplish great things. But it's not often that you hear about a group of volunteers that puts over a year of their time to better a community.  This is just the case with the Boulevard Tunnel Initiative,  which started in 2013. The initiative was first started to create a safer and more pleasant experience through the tunnel, but has evolved into something even more powerful. Their goals were simple , albeit time consuming and labor intensive, to clean up the Boulevard tunnel which had been know as a dangerous and grimy place - but also functions as a major and almost unavoidable underpass which connects two cities. Nicki Mlynski, leader of the initiative, saw what it was becoming and decided to do something. Nicki is an example, that it only takes one person to CARE, to really get the ball running. This is the kind of initiative we need to see within the arts and for community engagement!

Before image of the tunnel.

After image of the tunnel.

(Article from Creative Loafing , Plan underway to clean up creepy Boulevard tunnel, a key connection between Cabbagetown and Old Fourth Ward by Max Blau / Fri, Jun 28, 2013 )

"For most motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who travel along DeKalb Avenue, the public art that decorates the nearby tunnels and underpasses is a beautiful thing.

But when it comes to the Boulevard tunnel just south of Edgewood Avenue, most pedestrians would prefer avoiding it altogether. That's why a group of Cabbagetown and Old Fourth Ward residents are now working to clean up and beautify the underpass.

The Boulevard Tunnel Initiative led by Cabbagetown resident Nicki Mlynski is attempting to make the route a safer and more walkable experience.

"It's become a hub for unsavory characters," the Grady Memorial Hospital emergency medicine physician says about the tunnel's stairwells that lead up to DeKalb Avenue. "Honestly, I run into folks using drugs in the stairwell or just hanging out. They're nice and fine, but people leave piles of trash and they use it as a place to poop and urinate."

Many residents avoid walking in the tunnel, the most direct path between the two neighborhoods, because of the same safety and aesthetic concerns.

"It smells." Cyerra Crumrine, an Old Fourth Ward property owner, tells CL. "It's not a pleasant experience walking through the tunnel."

But the group has started to change that through organized clean-up efforts including painting over unwanted graffiti, picking up trash, and pulling weeds. The tunnel still needs to have new guardrails installed, lighting replaced, and potholes fixed." (READ THE REST HERE)


Monday, May 12, 2014

Adding Arts to the STEM Curricula

With the arts being cut year after year or struggling with decreased funding; schools, communities, and the youth suffer at this loss. So when schools across the nation step up to change a dire situation, it is always inspiring. In this case, schools across Florida will now be adding Art to their magnet programs or the STEM program- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math- the addition of Art now makes it STEAM. The STEAM program is an encouraging way for schools to introduce students into new and different academic paths that they may not have had a chance to experience before. The STEAM program is about adding or updating everyday classes with new teaching methods and materials. Or creating new classes with professional materials such as software and programs for the students to use.

Image from Florida STEAM article 

(Article from The Science Monitor, Full STEAM ahead: Schools add art to STEM curricula By Mackenzie Ryan, Associated Press / April 21, 2014)

"It's a challenge tackled by engineers in the space program: Design a garment that can withstand a certain level of heat.

But next school year, students from Palm Bay High School in Melbourne, Fla., will be the ones trying to find the solution.

Thanks to a partnership with NASA, students will be designing prototypes in engineering classes, deconstructing space garments used in fashion design courses, testing materials in chemistry labs, and writing about the project for English assignments.

Across the nation, many schools are taking steps to integrate different academic disciplines, part of a growing effort to better connect science and technology with innovative thinking.

In Brevard County in Florida, four schools are rolling out new "STEAM" magnet programs. The acronym takes STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – and adds an "A'' for Art.

Teachers say STEAM programs are about exploring students' creativity. In biology class, for example, teacher Lauren Feronti asked students to create models of DNA after extracting it from a strawberry, or draw the anatomy of a fetal pig before they dissect it.

"It's more fun," says freshman Micheal Mingo of the hands-on assignments. "It grabs your attention."

While there's a place for textbooks and structured labs, the initiative breaks away from traditional methods to more fully engage students." (READ THE REST HERE)


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Impact of the Arts Infographic Comparisons

It's also amazing to see just how much the Arts impact our culture, society, and economy. The Arts also help to increase resident participation within community and art events around the city, just one of the ways in which the Arts help economically. This impact may not be something that we see everyday, but there are plenty of resources and statistics that help paint a picture of these important topics and artistic highlights. Valuable data that is recorded and organized in order to help  further grow the Arts value within a given city. Here within the Rio Rancho Arts Commission, we work hard to make sure that the arts have a solid and nurturing home here. However, since we are still growing and learning, we look to others to see in what ways the Arts are beneficial to a city and community. Take a look at some beautiful infographics of the Arts impact on various cities and it is clear just how influential the Arts really are.

Here is the infographic for Sarasota county in Florida. Full article can be found here. 

Go here to view an interactive version of this infographic and the article here.
Kansas City infogaphic- full version here and article here
It is easy to see just how much the Arts have an impact on a city and community. The Arts lead to increase in jobs, revenue, community engagement and participation, tourism, and spending which in turn greatly help the local economy. Not to mention that increased community education and art advocacy, as well as an overall richer quality of life. If you would like to see this kind of impact here in Rio Rancho, then please support the Rio Rancho Arts Commission!