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  • Barry's Blog: The Arts' College of Cardinals Equivalent
    what political junkies like me have long thought would be great fun if one of our own political parties at their national presidential nominating conventions were deadlocked and there were a truly brokered convention wherein deals were made in backrooms among fractious and likely contentious camps to agree on a selection How fun to watch and arguably just as rational a way to choose a nominee as the current primary process that locks up the nomination for one candidate long before the actual convention takes place The Papal selection process is somewhat akin to Supreme Court appointments you can never be sure of what you are getting Eisenhower s nomination of former California Governor Earl Warren as Chief Justice thought to be a conservative resulted in one of the most liberal courts Ditto the result of the election of Pope John XXIII an election that resulted in changes to the Church that older hardliners were none too pleased with So that got me thinking about our next Chair of the NEA as we wait for the President to put forth a name for Senate confirmation Obviously this particular political appointment is not high on the priority list They will get to it when they get to it And the name ultimately put forth will likely not be the result of any organized systemic search or vetting process That s not how it works Someone in the administration will ask someone else if they have any ideas and a name will somehow emerge It may well be a political process Not however likely to be transparent in any sense To be fair this process has yielded us some very good Chairmen even if they were not from the field itself But perhaps we are squandering a great media opportunity a chance to call attention to not just the agency but the role of art itself in our society So only partially tongue in cheek I suggest we copy the Vatican s process and form our own College of Cardinals as it were A hundred arts leaders from all walks of our field Lock them in a room no better yet a museum or residential arts retreat let s stay on theme here and let them come up with the name of the new NEA Chair One of their own Insider political intrigue Deal making Great theater Great media p r No worries Mr President I suspect that the final selection would probably be a good one And if you don t like this idea Mr President perhaps you could provide the name of a contact within the White House handling this appointment so that we might at least provide names for your consideration I know I know this will never happen But if it did all I would want would be to be an inside observer who could blog on the whole thing Handicapping the front runners and speculating on power plays A political junkie blogger dream Have a great week

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/03/the-arts-college-of-cardinals-equivalent.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Research and Data Blogathon - Day #5
    artists do not and cannot make a living through the arts as if the NEA wants artist research to demonstrate that public support for individual artists through fellowships needs to be restored and that research that offers alternatives to that assumption are to be omitted out of hand Yet if one hypothesizes that the era of the patron state is waning then perhaps other ways of fostering creativity and the economic conditions of artists might need to be explored and we can find that they are altho not always under the name of arts based entrepreneurship Arts research in the UK also offers some tantalizing questions by looking at the interaction of multiple variables For example their research that indicates that individuals tend to recognize and gravitate toward intrinsic value when surveyed about their own preferences and opportunities for their families but these same people then tend to switch to an instrumental value standard when the issue of public funding for the arts in thrown into the equation In other words are attitudes about the public value of the arts really about the arts or about how people feel about the role of government Randy Cohen Making the Arts Unavoidable in Our Communities It is perfectly appropriate to try to answer questions about how the arts address social educational and economic development issues as long as those investigations are done with scientific rigor and presented factually At its best arts research is as solid as that found in education health technology and other sectors This is not quick easy or inexpensive work but providing a better understanding of how the arts affect a community and what the public reaps from its investment is important work I believe the area to aggressively pursue next is less about place and more about person If the last research epoch was about ramping up product let s make the next one about building audience demand Past NEA studies have demonstrated the socialization aspect of the arts that arts participation begets more arts participation Whether this is caused by an amazing performance that leaves you seeing the world differently or losing one s sense of place and time while personally creating art or an accumulation of many smaller meaningful experiences is unclear There is little doubt however that somewhere on that continuum a transformative experience takes place that makes you hungry for more This is not a new concept see Duke and Wallace Foundation efforts but thanks to larger and more dynamic data sets we can begin the conversation anew We know from the National Arts Index that the share of the population attending art museums and live performing arts events declined significantly between 2003 and 2010 even as we saw growth in the number of nonprofit arts organizations and the percentage of them filing 990s with a deficit Yet we also saw upswings in personal creation electronic arts participation and college arts degrees conferred We read reports of 275 000 choirs with 32 million singers 21 million quilters and growth in the number of dance schools Taken together this tells me that the public is not walking away from the arts but they are walking away from some traditional models of delivery And many of them are not coming back In the last half year I have had the privilege of visiting more than 50 cities What I saw is how people are choosing to experience the arts the Public Library s rotating art exhibits bedside arts carts in the hospital opera simulcasts in the movie theaters and on the big screen at the baseball stadium on the streets where the traffic signal boxes are artist wrapped and manhole covers are artist designed performances at faith based organizations at the workplace with employee art shows and Corporate Battle of the Bands competitions live concerts in the airport public art tours across town using my iPhone The art finds the people as much as the people find the art What I love about these is that they are arts centric popular with the community and most are low budget Every city seemed to have something innovative and all were thirsty to hear what my previous destinations are up to Let s make the arts unavoidable in our communities in our schools libraries hospitals public art in the built environment and if the socialization theory holds participants in these arts experiences will want more arts experiences putting a virtuous cycle in motion We could be on our way to a more artful society Sunil Iyengar a I wouldn t say it s our biggest challenge but yes there are routine conflations of causal and correlational evidence in the arts In recent years though I ve been pleasantly surprised how often I ve heard non researchers ask about the distinction when presented with a research finding or to denigrate the failure of an article or report to make the distinction clearer I ve said it previously but to gain currency and credibility with other fields of research it seems desirable that arts funders consider pooling together to support the third party design and implementation of a large multi site randomized controlled trial RCT comparing the effects of an arts intervention alongside those of other programs or therapies Concurrently we need more theoretical groundwork to identify a mechanism of action whereby the arts produces any outcomes we might want to investigate All of this takes time money patience and even courage the courage to encounter results we may not especially welcome I ll add that even if we can t achieve randomization in such studies we can invest in more clearly defined control groups and examine the potential of other study designs e g natural or quasi experiments or research methods e g daily diaries to get us closer than we are today b I ll just raise two areas ripe for further exploration They are bound by a central question what s the unique value proposition of

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/03/research-and-data-blogathon-day-5.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Research and Data Blogathon - Day #4
    heavily represented among the participants I see no participants among this group that do not belong at the proverbial table but many who do belong I do not see listed The answer to my concern is likely hidden in the diplomatic bureaucratic and logistical details of this report s creation but such an oversight bedevils an otherwise exemplary effort I do hope that whatever feedback the agency has received from the public will be either integrated into future modifications of the report or responded to publicly One direct benefit of the field if it is to be realized is the report s emphasis on the complex ways that the arts benefit individuals and societies Beyond economic impact the report theorizes individual and communal level health effects psychological and quality of life impacts and even the admittedly difficult to categorize capacity to innovate and express ideas This theory of diverse impacts should remind policy makers and arts advocates that the arts has more than one horn to toot and more importantly more than money to ask for in return for all that we do If the system map presented in the report is a theory of how art works then it is a theory that needs to be tested Given the complexity of the map this testing will take a long time much longer than the five year expiration date of the NEA s research agenda Undoubtedly the results of these tests of the system map will also require revisions theory and research always exists in an ongoing reflexive relationship The true value of this project will not be known for some time in the meantime we should take it as a sign of good things to come Also worth watching is how the NEA funds research that does or does not follow the system map I ve temporarily shelved my project on the social construction of the human spirit until I see how all of this is going to shake out Randy Cohen During the release event for the How Art Works 5 Year Agenda American University s Andrew Taylor reminded us of George Box s quote All models are wrong but some are useful The arts system is a complex one As someone who has worked in the sector for decades I find it multifaceted and not always intuitive Imagine what it must look like to those outside the arts who are used to measuring success by number of potholes filled on time flight departures or widget sales The NEA systems map provides an excellent starting place to share the arts system s complexity with people whose understanding stops at a reflection on the last exhibit they attended The NEA has been very effective in connecting with non arts government agencies e g HHS NSF or Transportation Having an OMB approved research blueprint is a useful calling card as the agency continues to build those relationships The success of this effort will be measured over time If How Art Works is treated as a living document one that is regularly revisited used to provoke discourse and added to over time it will provide not just a research agenda but a better understanding of the arts system That takes us one step closer to understanding how to make the arts thrive I would expect the map to change over time because the industry changes over time As I listened to the presentation I wondered what the systems map with its stocks and flows would have looked like 17 000 years ago when they were painting caves in Lascaux Would it have any complexity or share similarities I can imagine the Human Impulse to Create and Express box would capture the moment that first bull was drawn There were painters probably many given the 2 000 images and presumably torch carrying admirers so the Arts Creation and Participation circle still belongs Was there an apprenticeship program to facilitate branching out to new caves There is your Education Training box we can save the arts integration into caveman learning vs arts for arts sake debate till later Someone was in charge of pigment collection and fire tending to keep the rocky canvas well lit so the Arts Infrastructure box stays Safe to say that funding and patronage came later but did those early societies risk their best artists on the most dangerous hunts arts saves lives even back then content for the Benefit of Art to Individuals box With all those artists and images new jobs were spawned among the first was undoubtedly The Art Critic I was surprised at how well the systems map helped me imagine even a caveman s arts system Is there anything missing in the NEA report Sure I would like to see more about money who pays for the arts and where is it on the map international connections and aesthetics Will the system be interpreted differently based on cultural differences Reflecting on George Box s quote certainly the model is not yet right but I expect that these and others questions will be addressed as the document evolves thus making this useful Sunil Iyengar a What is excluded from the agenda The system map at the the heart of the How Art Works document shows on p 37 how the NEA s current planned and ongoing research projects track with various components or nodes of the arts ecology that we think worth studying Looking at the map you ll notice that some nodes are left entirely bare For example we currently do not have a research project planned that would attempt to figure out how arts engagement can result in new forms of self expression and new outlets for creative expression both of which are tagged as secondary outcomes of arts participation Nor do we have near term plans to study the human impulse to create and express which operates outside the system being its first cause according to our map Still one can imagine

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/03/research-and-data-blogathon-day-4.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Research and Data Blogathon - Day #3
    state arts agencies because they largely act as independent agencies However collectively SAAs play a vital if independently consequential role in the arts ecology of the United States Serious research attention to SAAs is not commensurate to their position in the field Scholars such as Paul DiMaggio Kevin Mulcahy Julia Lowell John Urice Margaret Wyzsomirski Michael Rushton and others have produced important research on SAAs NASAA consistently provides valuable descriptive data about the activities of SAAs including staffing and funding trends However given the central position of SAAs in the field the shortage of high level either applied or scholarly research is problematic Resources for the arts are tremendously scarce and the field must turn a critical empirical lens on SAAs both in service and critique of their cause If research on SAAs is concerning so is the research infrastructure of SAAs An informal count of research directors at state arts agencies reveals less than a handful I know of one and Ryan Stubbs research director at the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies suspects there are a couple more NASAA can do much to support the research needs of SAAs but it alone is an insufficient provider of serious research especially as the field trends toward increased research sophistication Another perhaps more serious concern is how often non research staff at state arts agencies are tasked with research related tasks such as collecting analyzing and reporting on data I work with many of these staffers through our Creative Vitality Index project and I can report that they are all dedicated and talented individuals However they routinely express concerns about being adequately trained to handle research Even when research is conducted for arts agencies by outside parties or related agencies larger parent offices like tourism or economic development for example arts agency staffers are left with the sizable task of interpreting the findings In the worse case scenarios researchers with very little understanding of the arts are tasked with providing data to the arts arts staffers with little research training are charged with interpreting and using those findings the result is often an empirical mischaracterization of the arts by the arts The picture of research sophistication for small local arts agencies is grimmer as many of these have small budgets and few paid staff These agencies however experience similar pressure to conduct and use research to advance their missions In fact as I applaud the National Endowment for the Arts for elevating the importance of research to the field I also share the concern of many art agencies that the resources needed to be research ready are either unavailable or lowly prioritized National arts organizations can do a service to all arts organizations by providing high quality nationally available data at affordable rates However some concerted effort must be put into strengthening the overall research arm of the arts at all levels And to complicate matters further we cannot turn every arts organization into a miniature university nor can we sustain funding over multiple years for rigorously but expensively done studies A new model for supporting sustained affordable scalable and high quality research in and for the arts must be developed and I am not convinced that such an effort currently exists A new model will likely involve asymmetrical partnerships between private and public entities expanded interest in applied and public scholarship at the university level continued and increased direct criticism of arts research Whether or not you agree with Markusen s critique of fuzzy concepts it s worth acknowledging the importance of critique to good research Finally the effort to increase the research infrastructure of the arts will most certainly be aided by technology The newly announced National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University could be a promising model to advance the field of arts research I am hopeful that the program will succeed and will remain cautiously optimistic that the Center can successfully navigate the funding political and institutional instability that characterizes much of higher education these days I do not know if there is a new frontier with which the arts as a field should be more or less concerned The role of music in brain lateralization is newsworthy but no more so than the economics of Spotify I am intrigued right now by the following topics to name a few the relationship of art to social entrepreneurship how the value of the arts can be studied as a nationally standardizable concept and a locally meaningful one and how digital storytelling and democratizing communication technologies can be used to develop and test cultural policy Additionally my work on the I ndependent Music on Tour program at WESTAF has raised many questions about innovation in the nonprofit arts presenting world and the the abilities of independent musicians to sustain artistic careers financially WESTAF s work on the Public Art Archive is opening up new possibilities for understanding crowdsourcing as a form of public art engagement and critique We are also working to understand the institutional preparedness of the United States to create the next generation of creative workers workers that are said to the future of our economy What has not been said however is with what means are we prepared to foster these creative workers Sunil Iyengar 3 a I have at least three answers to this question One is my usual refrain about research into arts education being in sore need of causal arguments It remains to be seen whether any strategy other than a prospective randomized controlled trial will get us there My second answer also concerns causality this time to investigate the relationship of public funding to other charitable giving to the arts and so to learn how one stream influences the other My third answer is more of a dark horse Is there a rational empirical basis for differentiating between masterful and mediocre artworks What are the known elements of mastery art form by art form and how can we assess

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/03/research-and-data-blogathon-day-3.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Research and Data Blogathon - Day #2
    more work will need to go into that effort for the data to be usable by broader audiences especially field practitioners who often do not have knowledge of research and data analysis methods The field also needs to address the question that such a data portal begs Who needs it If the answer is no one then we either have a useless resource or maybe a larger problem a resource and no one to use it Our WESTAF s Creative Vitality Index portal and Americans for the Arts Local Arts Index web portal are also positive contributions but ones that need to be expanded in terms of data availability and usability Quite frankly before the age of big data there was a need to surface the rich data sets produced by arts researchers over the years Now like the volume of arts data that exists the need for data access is even greater No one organization should be or can be responsible for meeting the growing need for access to data Consider the considerable resources that have been invested in the Cultural Data Project a project that attempts only to surface a single section of the arts data landscape The CDP is an important resource for the field but gathering and surfacing a census of information about nonprofit arts and culture organizations is a Herculean task The CDP is not even close to completion in terms of its potential as a national resource and the cost of building and maintaining such a system may be unsustainable Imagine the difficulty and cost of centralizing all arts data Also imagine the lack of imagination and systemic inflexibility that often characterize the type of large bureaucracy that might volunteer for the task of centralizing arts data Informal and crowd sourced data scraping sites HackFests and other open data phenomena may be the most nimble inexpensive and effective options for surfacing arts data currently available Instead of centralization the field would benefit from multiple data surfacing efforts and even some overlapping of such efforts Just because one can find data online does not mean that one should use it or that the finder knows how to use it The field would benefit from a more concerted effort to encourage online data literacy and competency With such literacy and competency we could as a field have an ongoing discussion about the benefits and pitfalls of having access to all of these data We could also have a meaningful discussion of the merits of responsible research For example the field could have more candid conversations about criteria for data validity excellence and use WESTAF s 2012 Cultural Policy Symposium Arts and Culture Research in the Digital Age was an attempt to contribute to the field s growing awareness of big data Proceedings from this symposium including Geoff McGhee s keynote address will be published on the WESTAF website in June followed by the publication of excellent presentations by Steven Tepper Margaret Wyszomirski Laura Zucker Anne Gadwa Eric Rodenbeck and others National arts organizations and major funders could collaborate in their efforts to help the arts field thrive in the age of big data They could do so through the sponsorship of informational convenings professional development opportunities and by supporting data literacy in the field more broadly In fact I often find myself defending a plurality of efforts in the arts field like a capitalist defends free market competition but the one place where collaboration would be most beneficial would be helping the field find big advantages in big data The field also would benefit from influencing the existing collection of arts data by large data collecting organizations such as the IRS Elizabeth Boris Director of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy recently advanced a similar position regarding nonprofit data According to Boris w hile the time is ripe to deepen and standardized information collected on the nonprofit sector independently we must acknowledge that the IRS data collected annually on Forms 990 are critical to our ability to understand the sector There must be ongoing interaction with the IRS if we want sector information to be robust inclusive and ongoing In other words there are good reasons to centralize our efforts in the field to improve the national data sources such as 990 data that the field relies on regularly Working with the major federal agencies that collect and maintain data relevant to the arts to refine and improve the measurement of the arts is a cause we can all get behind Going back to the implications of big data for the arts field researchers and non researchers should be concerned about the field s ability to access and gain insight from big data We likely need access to big data in order to support the inquiries now being launched about participation in the arts the value of arts education patterns of art consumption etc Rather than becoming fixated on data centralization I propose we spend more time on field literacy regarding data and research A research literate field will be a critical consumer of big data Let s find unity in the language we bring to big data Doing so will pay larger dividends than attempting to create a centralized source of arts data The arts field must unite around big data but we do not need to be united in our approach Randy Cohen I remember my first 100MB computer hard drive and thinking This is so big I ll never need another Today I email that much data before lunch The amount of data generated globally doubles every 2 3 years and arts data is expanding at amazing rate as well Big Data is more than an archive of large and complex data sets It also refers to their accessibility and usage The Big Data magic happens when we can compile enough data about past events and behaviors that we are able to predict future ones There are some solid Big Data efforts in

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/03/research-and-data-blogathon-day-2.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Research and Data Blogathon Day #1
    field are the following The Social Impact of the Arts Project at the University of Pennsylvania the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project a collaborative project between the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and Vanderbilt s Curb Center the many many projects of Ann Markusen et al James Catterall s academic and applied research on arts and creativity and Future of Music Coalition s Artist Revenue Streams There are numerous individual scholars doing important work relevant to the arts field such as Fred Wherry Diane Grams Gordon Shockley Joaquin Herranz Carl Grodach and others I am limiting my responses to the U S here and the pool grows larger if we look at arts research internationally but so does breadth of comparison Large arts funding institutions are increasingly stressing the importance of research to the field even if there are growing pains along the way So called design thinking also bodes well for the arts as computer scientists designers artists educators and policy makers have framed artful thinking and inquiry in a manner that is catching on rapidly Blogs like Createquity and this one are very thoughtful about research in the arts and do an exceptional job of what I can call critical flag waving for arts research I do believe that the field is experiencing an exciting period of growth So are the aforementioned sectors And as I will discuss in the next question the age of big data may in fact widen the gap between the research haves and have nots if we are not all careful Two final thoughts those individuals and organizations that have long carried the torch for arts research should be acknowledged The culture of the arts field is currently ripe for a growing and sophisticated research agenda and this support has not always been so abundant In particular the field owes a debt of gratitude to those who have pushed the field beyond advocacy and toward accuracy Finally while writing this I am reminded of Rocco Landesman s oft quoted remark about the ratio of arts administrators to artists and I suspect there are those reading this who think I am advocating for more research and less art I am not exactly I am suggesting that an investment in more and better research is an investment in art more art better art more impactful art more valuable art I know the question also asked about best practices and common mistakes but I will respond to those concerns in questions 3 4 and 5 Elizabeth Currid Halkett Research in the arts field is about impact and take away and real world implications Academic research sometimes addresses these issues particularly in the areas of planning and policy e g impact on tourism gentrification but often is much more concerned with the intellectual and theoretical framework of the research which does not necessarily directly impact the arts One of the regular problems within arts research both in the field and the academy is how to define the arts which sectors are included Which occupations Who is undercounted Who has the greatest economic impact Because artists often have more than one job sometimes their art work is not captured in government data and so we don t have a precise count or sense of artists Also many different scholars and practitioners use varied definitions of the arts for example do we count media industries and publishing or just fine art Other conceptions of the creative economy like the creative class are criticized for being too broad and yet definitions that just include fine art film music and fashion may be too narrow Randy Cohen Quality is on Par Scale of Investment is the Bigger Issue At its best arts research is as high quality meticulous impactful and durable as any sector Regardless of field the researchers I meet are typically intelligent hard working people with integrity who genuinely seek to do good work and find a better answer to persistent questions Every sector has its disagreements about what should be studied and how as well as interpreting what is meaningful academics dedicate entire conferences to debating these questions Since we are in for a week of research blogging it is worth remembering that research is as complex and multi dimensioned of a word as art Regardless of whether one is studying medicine behavior crime statistics or the arts there are many types of research Three that Barry s Blog readers typically come across would be Applied research solves practical problems It gathers information and creates knowledge that helps us evaluate the efficacy of programs and policies which can then be used to help in the development of new and hopefully better ones Basic research builds knowledge for knowledge s sake typically thought of as more experimental and theoretical Its pay off may be decades down the road Evaluation research measures the effectiveness or performance of a program or concept in achieving its objectives One of the big differences between the arts and other sectors is funding and research opportunities If arts research is a rose garden medical research is a field of sunflowers There are billion and billion for research in the sciences public health and technology This resource differential brings the arts up short in several important ways Da Capo Music performers will recognize that command Again from the beginning Good research is replicated Scientist Karl Popper wrote that a scientifically true effect is one that can be regularly reproduced by anyone who carries out the appropriate experiment in the way prescribed Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery but good science too and increases confidence in our findings Benefits of the Long Haul Periodic updates of research enable us to track changes over time and more observations means more learning e g does attendance change seasonally with the economy or with societal trends The Framingham Heart Study was created because not enough was known about heart disease Now we know what cigarette smoking

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/03/research-and-data-blogathon-day-1.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Upcoming Blogathon On Research and Data
    results from the 2008 survey along with findings on specific arts related topics The next survey will occur in 2012 Significantly expanded it will reach a population twice as large as in prior years For a decade Iyengar worked as a reporter managing editor and senior editor for a host of news publications covering the biomedical research medical device and pharmaceutical industries He writes poetry and his book reviews have appeared in publications such as the Washington Post The New York Times San Francisco Chronicle The American Scholar The New Criterion and Contemporary Poetry Review Iyengar has a B A in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor Bryce Merrill WESTAF s senior associate director He helps guide WESTAF s research effort and other projects Previously a research fellow at WESTAF Merrill co authored a study of Denver s burgeoning music scene with Director of Research Ryan Stubbs The study Listen Local has been used to improve city level support of music in Denver and has also led to the creation of a Denver Music Task Force Merrill is a musician and an active volunteer with Girls Rock Denver He earned a doctorate in sociology from the University of Colorado Boulder specializes in research about art and music and has published research in academic and popular media outlets Merrill co edited a volume on music and society and he is currently a co editor of an international volume on social theory He is an associate faculty member at Royal Roads University where he teaches a course in advanced research methods Margaret Wyszomirski Faculty Professor Department of Arts Administration Education and Public Policy Ohio State University Wyszomirski is a faculty member of both the Department of Arts Administration Education and Policy and the John Glenn School of Public Affairs She has served as staff director for the bipartisan Independent Commission on the National Endowment for the Arts as director of the Office of Policy Planning Research and Budget at the National Endowment for the Arts and as director of the Graduate Public Policy Program at Georgetown University She joined the faculty of the Federal Executive Institute of the U S Office of Personnel Management in 1988 Professor Wyszomirski has been on national advisory committees for a Foundation Center analysis of arts funding for the economic impact study of arts and tourism conducted by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and for the National Center for Charitable Statistics She was a founding member of the Research Advisory Committee of the American Council for the Arts and was chairman of the steering committee for the 1997 American Assembly on The Arts and the Public Purpose She is currently chairman of the Research Task Force of the Center for Arts and Culture in Washington DC Elizabeth Currid Halkett associate professor at USC s Sol Price School of Public Policy She teaches courses in economic development and urban policy and planning Her research is in economic development with a particular

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2013/02/upcoming-blogathon-on-research-and-data.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Jamming
    more Jam Sessions at our conferences instead of the talking head panels and keynote speeches I think it might produce some interesting and impressive results Have a great week Don t Quit Barry Posted by Barry at 10 07 PM 3 comments carter gillies February 18 2013 at 7 46 AM Hi Barry I definitely believe that blogs such as your s are a base line in the important jam sessions of my life Really any spontaneous conversation has the creative character of a jam session and it is obvious to me how the food for thought in one person s post will gather momentum and get riffed on by other bloggers and picked up in the new ways of looking at things we have in our daily lives Blogs such as yours have this great potential to reach across the miles and engage a similarly minded audience some to participate in the conversation and others to simply digest and be transformed through witnessing I had had hopes that my own blog would be a platform for discussion especially in the comments section And while I do my jamming duty of posting riffs on whatever crosses my inbox I have only occasionally received more than off the cuff responses very rarely an in depth back and forth I guess I m a little disappointed Many of the artists I know who have blogged are even trading that in for the ease and superficiality of status updates on facebook and tweets on twitter So I wonder if this is the direction that many are heading are we doomed to an eventual jam future of discordant mini bursts or can we recapture the beautiful melody that you Diane Ragsdale Roberto Bedoya and Arlene Goldbard captured in that blogfest early last year In my mind that was one of the great jams in my internet experience And I hope to see more of their like Thanks as always for sharing and the hard work you do to bring light to these issues Long may the jam continue Reply Delete Replies Barry February 18 2013 at 6 15 PM Thank you Carter I share your disappointment and frustration that there are so few comments to one s postings I too often hope a wider discussion might ensue I am often envious that my fellow bloggers like Diane stimulate so many responses All I can tell you is that my experience is that all of our postings are read and talked about more than we often think a lack of comments notwithstanding So hang in there and keep posting I think we are reaching people And I think we add just a tiny bit to the conversation and that s enough really It s just that no one has much time anymore and so responses are few and far between sometimes I appreciate your kind words Every once in awhile I get a response such as yours and those infrequent though they may be keep

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