AHCMC Strives to Set National Example in Equity and Inclusion

July 20th, 2018 by Suzan

Dear Colleagues,

Earlier this week we were thrilled to learn that (for the 4th year in a row) our Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD Metro Division is officially ranked #8 on the list of top 20 most arts vibrant large communities, according to the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) Arts Vibrancy Index, proving once again that the inclusion of and investment in our County’s diverse communities contribute directly to our burgeoning creative sector’s $183M economic impact and serves as a model for our nation.  According to NCAR Director Zannie Voss, “…today’s climate of uncertainty makes it more important than ever to acknowledge and celebrate the essential role that arts and culture play in making communities…more vibrant places to live and visit.”

We are especially grateful for the entertainment, folk, and ethnic festivals produced in our Silver Spring, Bethesda, and Wheaton Arts & Entertainment Districts every year; we know that they add to the County’s vibrancy. AHCMC is proud to support these efforts and as a show of support, I encourage you to share this wonderful accomplishment!

As we strive to deepen our arts vibrancy and investment, we also endeavor to set a national example in equity and inclusion and learn from others. Recently, the Montreal Jazz Festival faced severe backlash for a controversial stage show, SLAV, featuring African-American slave songs performed by a largely white cast. The show’s performances were eventually canceled due to public protests and reproach of what many viewed as cultural appropriation. And historically in the musictheatre, and film/TV industries, the vast majority of featured artists and/or arts leadership directors are white men. This lack of inclusion leaves many voices and stories left untold, contributing widely to structural/historical racism and its effects on ALAANA communities in the arts. Considering the County Council’s Racial Equity Resolution adopted in April 2018, we know that the time is now to lead by example in Montgomery County. Our 2,000+ artists and scholars and 500+ arts and humanities organizations deserve nothing less.

In FY19 AHCMC is taking the necessary steps to realize our goal for more equitable grantmaking countywide. To that end, AHCMC is embarking on a fruitful partnership with Leadership Montgomery for the purposes of providing Racial Equity Training to our entire board and staff. Like our colleagues at  Arts, we believe this intentional examination of racial inequities will help us better understand root causes and systems, inform our understanding, and create solutions to address historical inequities in funding African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American (ALAANA) artists, communities and arts organizations.  As we strive to achieve our Strategic Plan Goals, this expansion of our knowledge base will benefit all residents of Montgomery County without exception.

Whether mixing classical Hindustani music with beatbox, bringing a traditionally-costumed Chinese opera to local residents, or examining issues of mixed-race identity through memoirs, our FY19 grantees are producing innovative and community-minded programs and initiatives. So take a look at our FY19 Grants Brief to learn more and get out in our community to experience the plethora of multicultural offerings through CultureSpotMC.com!

Onward!
Suzan Jenkins,
AHCMC CEO

Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD Region Ranks #8 in Most Arts Vibrant Large Communities

July 18th, 2018 by Ceylon
Southern Methodist University’s National Center for Arts Research has released its fourth annual Arts Vibrancy Index, which ranks more than 900 communities across the country. AHCMC is thrilled to share that the Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD Metro Division has ranked #8 on the list of top 20 most arts vibrant large communities (population over 1 million)! Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV and Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD – the two Metro Divisions that make up the larger Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) – made the list for the fourth year in a row.
The Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD, Metro Division, which encompasses Montgomery County and Frederick County, is part of the greater Washington MSA. Being partly inside the Capital Beltway, its arts and culture vibrancy benefits from being a close suburb of D.C., as evidenced by its 5th and 3rd place rankings on contributed revenue and total expenses, respectively, as well as its 4th place ranking on compensation to arts and culture employees. In addition to close social and economic ties to D.C.’s arts and cultural offerings, Silver Spring is home to the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, as well as several entertainment, musical, and ethnic festivals. The most notable of these festivals are AFI Docs and the Silver Spring Jazz Festival.
Montgomery County’s Silver Spring, Bethesda, and Wheaton Arts & Entertainment Districts include venues for live music, theater, independent films, visual arts, dance, and more. Other notable area organizations include Strathmore, Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, BlackRock Center for the Arts, Washington International Piano Festival, the Olney Theatre Center, Round House Theatre, and Imagination Stage. In Rockville, there is a civic ballet, civic chorus, and civic concert band. VisArts in Rockville provides arts education classes and camp programs, as well as gallery space for local artists.
In the Frederick Arts and Entertainment District, you will find the Delaplaine Arts Center, Griffin Art Center, Weinberg Center for the Arts, the annual Frederick Festival of the Arts and a vibrant independent artist scene in Downtown Frederick. This combined area has more than two dozen arts education organizations and two dozen dance companies. The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and the Frederick Arts Council foster environments where the arts may flourish through grantmaking, professional development, and capacity-building support programs.
Arts vibrancy continues to take many shapes and forms. Some communities have large, impressive nonprofit arts and cultural institutions, some have an explosion of smaller and mid-sized organizations and venues, some benefit from their close proximity and ties to another arts vibrant community, and others are artist magnets or tourist destinations. Numerous arts sectors flourish in some communities while a particular art form dominates in other cities. Vibrancy in very large metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) takes two distinct forms. Some large MSAs feature a strong concentration of arts vibrancy in the urban core with less going on in outlying districts whereas others feature vibrancy that is dispersed throughout the metropolitan area.
Read more to discover this year’s key findings.

AHCMC FY18 Grantees Receive “Best Local Nonprofits” Honors

June 21st, 2018 by Ceylon

Congratulations to several AHCMC FY18 Grantees who have been selected by the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington for its Class of 2018-19 Catalogue Charities.

Each of these nonprofits has been chosen, from 200+ applications, as “one of the best” local nonprofits in the region. The charities listed below have successfully passed a rigorous review process conducted by a team of 120+ experts in the local philanthropic field.

See all regional winners

Enjoy June with Free Summer Concerts, AFI Docs, Pride Month, and Heritage Days

June 14th, 2018 by Suzan

Dear Colleagues,

Summer’s here and the time is right for free summer concerts! Want to be in the know?  Check out our Free Summer Concert Guide 2018 from CultureSpotMC.com. You’ll see our favorite picks from Gaithersburg to Wheaton and all over Montgomery County. Whether you are young or old, lively or low-key, now is the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with our creative voices and cultural happenings. The month of June also affords us the opportunity to celebrate advances made in civil rights, racial equity, and inclusion as we recognize LGBTQ Pride Month, Caribbean American Heritage Month, Juneteenth, and the 21st Annual Heritage Days. So get out and go play in Montgomery County!

As our richly diverse community prepares to exercise its most cherished civic duty in the 2018 elections, you can make informed choices about your vote as you peruse the results from our 2018 Political Candidate Survey. AHCMC invited each candidate in the County Executive and County Council races to participate in the survey and share their platforms for the arts and humanities in the county with voters. The 39 participating candidates’ responses are available online at www.creativemoco.com/2018Election. Whether they serve as ushers, volunteer at festivals, perform as artists, or simply attend local events, all participating candidates realize the joy, inspiration, innovation and quality of life that the arts and humanities provide to residents and businesses in our county.

Unanimously, all candidates surveyed agree that, “appropriating local tax-dollars to advance Montgomery County’s cultural and creative industries is important in supporting the success of a strong local economy,” and outlined their ideas to stimulate the local economy through public-private partnerships between the arts and cultural sectors and the local business and philanthropic communities. Candidates shared views on arts education in Montgomery County Public Schools, public art and creative placemaking in the county, and workforce development. Of the candidates who participated in the survey, 97% strongly agreed that public funding of the arts and humanities is important for sustaining the nonprofit cultural and creative sector in Montgomery County, and nearly 90% of candidates support the incorporation of the arts and humanities into STEM programs, expanding from a STEM to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) philosophy.

That’s GREAT NEWS for our creative sector!

The time is NOW to hold candidates’ accountable for their words so GET OUT AND VOTE! Early voting begins TODAY Thursday, June 14 and runs until Thursday, June 21. Registered voters can vote early at any of the 11 early voting centers the county is running this year. As the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approves increased FY19 funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) at $155 million and our County Council supports our creative and cultural sectors with $5.3 million, I hope you will join me this election season and make your vote count for the arts and humanities!

Sincerely,
Suzan Jenkins,
AHCMC CEO

Montgomery County’s Political Candidates Vow to Continue Legacy of Local Support for the Creative Economy, Cultural Sectors, and Arts Education

June 7th, 2018 by Ceylon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 7, 2018

CONTACT:

Ceylon Mitchell

240-839-4520

Ceylon.Mitchell@creativemoco.com

SILVER SPRING, Md. (June 7, 2018) — The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) announces the results of its 2018 Political Candidate Survey. AHCMC invited each candidate in the County Executive and County Council races to participate in the survey and share their platforms for the arts and humanities in the county with voters. The 39 participating candidates’ responses are available online at www.creativemoco.com/2018Election. The survey includes responses from five of the seven candidates running for County Executive and thirty-four candidates from the six County Council races.

Unanimously, all candidates surveyed agree that, “appropriating local tax-dollars to advance Montgomery County’s cultural and creative industries is important in supporting the success of a strong local economy,” and outlined their ideas to stimulate the local economy through public-private partnerships between the arts and cultural sectors and the local business and philanthropic communities. Candidates additionally shared views on arts education in Montgomery County Public Schools, public art and creative placemaking in the county, and workforce development.

AHCMC believes these results will be informative and impactful as residents head to vote in the June 26 primary election. “The results of this year’s election survey demonstrates the overwhelming support and understanding that our future political leaders have for our vibrant local arts and humanities sectors,” said Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. “Whether they serve as ushers, volunteer at festivals, perform as artists, or simply attend local events, all participating candidates realize the joy, inspiration, innovation and quality of life that the arts and humanities provide to residents and businesses in our county.”

Supporting the views of many candidates, recent data provided by the Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 study from Americans for the Arts show that Montgomery County’s arts and humanities sector contributes $183 million to the local economy, supports 3,805 full-time local jobs and serves 3.5 million cultural event attendees annually. Of the candidates who participated in the survey, 97% strongly agreed that public funding of the arts and humanities is important for sustaining the nonprofit cultural and creative sector in Montgomery County, and nearly 90% of candidates support the incorporation of the arts and humanities into STEM programs, expanding from a STEM to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) philosophy.

Early voting begins on June 14 and runs until June 21. Registered voters can vote early at any of the 11 early voting centers the county is running this year.

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About the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC)
Established in 1976, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) is the county’s designated local arts agency. Our vision is to provide leadership that sustains arts and humanities organizations, artists and scholars, and inspires participation in Montgomery County’s rich cultural assets. For more information about AHCMC, visit www.creativemoco.com or connect with AHCMC on Facebook and Twitter.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 7, 2018

CONTACT:

Ceylon Mitchell

240-839-4520

Ceylon.Mitchell@creativemoco.com

Montgomery County’s Political Candidates Vow to Continue Legacy of Local Support for the Creative Economy, Cultural Sectors, and Arts Education

SILVER SPRING, Md. (June 7, 2018) — The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County

(AHCMC) announces the results of its 2018 Political Candidate Survey. AHCMC invited each candidate in the County Executive and County Council races to participate in the survey and share their platforms for the arts and humanities in the county with voters. The 39 participating candidates’ responses are available online at www.creativemoco.com/2018Election. The survey includes responses from five of the seven candidates running for County Executive and thirty-four candidates from the six County Council races.

Montgomery County Council Approves $5.3 Million Budget for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County

May 30th, 2018 by Suzan

On Thursday, May 24, 2018, the Montgomery County Council approved the budget of $5,356,943 for the arts and humanities. The resolution for FY19 is as follows:

  • Operating Support Grants: $3,374,941 (flat over FY18)
  • Small/Mid-Size Organizations, Creative Projects, Arts Education, and Individual Artist/Scholar Grants: $854,574 (flat over FY18)
  • Advancement Grants: $295,094 (flat over FY18)
  • AHCMC Administration: $540,519 (flat over FY18)
  • Arts and Humanities Matching Fund:  $200,000 (flat over FY18)
  • Grants to Support Wheaton Arts and Entertainment District: $91,815 (flat over FY18)
Congratulations to the entire arts and humanities sector. We thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the field. Our lives are richer and more creative as a result.
Onward!
Suzan

Celebrate Spring with National Preservation Month, National Chamber Music month, and Jewish American Heritage Month

May 14th, 2018 by Suzan

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome Spring! May provides us with many opportunities to celebrate our local arts, history and culture as we recognize National Preservation Month, National Chamber Music Month and Jewish American Heritage Month. These designations remind us to cherish our past and embrace the accomplishments of Americans working across the multidimensional, multicultural fields and sectors in the arts and humanities. With a plethora of offerings at our fingertips through CultureSpotMC.com, I invite you to get involved with these commemorations through inspiring programming throughout Montgomery County! Read the rest of this entry »

FY19 Budget Testimony with County Council

April 16th, 2018 by Suzan

On Thursday, April 12, 2017, I testified in support of the County Executive’s FY19 budget proposal of $5.36 million in funding for the arts and humanities, representing stable funding from FY18. Many of our FY18 grant recipients attended the public hearing and the preceding advocacy potluck, providing wonderful dishes and company for our councilmembers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Montgomery County High School Seniors Receive County-Wide Recognition for Creative Excellence

April 4th, 2018 by Ceylon

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) proudly invites you to an awards presentation & reception celebrating the recipients of the Ida F. Haimovicz Award for Visual Arts & The Fran Abrams Award for Creative Writing for High School Seniors.

Thursday, April 19, 2018
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Featuring:

An exhibition by Astrid Dong
Recipient of the 2018 Ida F. Haimovicz Visual Arts Award

Literary readings by Amal Haddad
Recipient of the 2018 Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award

Literary readings by Tara Campbell
Professional writer, Abrams awards panelist, author of TreeVolution

RSVP!


About the Haimovicz Visual Arts Award
The prestigious Ida F. Haimovicz Visual Arts Award is given to one Montgomery County high school senior who intends to pursue a career in the visual arts. The award winner is selected through a juried process based on the artistic merit of the applicant’s work and the applicant’s potential for a visual arts career.

Learn more about the Ida F. Haimovicz Visual Arts Award

About the Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award
The Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award for High School Seniors honors both a high school senior who excels in creative writing and Fran Abrams, who worked tirelessly throughout her career to support the arts and humanities in Montgomery County. The Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award is a competitive award open annually to all Montgomery County high school seniors. The award includes a cash prize and an award reception featuring a reading by the winner.

Learn more about the Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award.

Montgomery County Contemporary Works on Paper Collection – Call for Art 2018

March 28th, 2018 by Ceylon

 Montgomery County Contemporary Works on Paper Collection Call for Art 2018

Deadline: Friday, April 20 by 11:59PM

Download the Call for Art

Apply Now

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) and the Montgomery County Public Art Trust are issuing a call for art to reactivate The Contemporary Works on Paper Collection with new acquisitions from artists living in Montgomery County and the Greater Washington area. Artwork in this collection is owned by Montgomery County under the County’s Public Art Trust program and loaned to County agencies for display in public buildings.

This call is specifically for the purchase of original and unframed two-dimensional works of art that are contemporary and modern in style. These works may include but are not limited to paintings in various media, drawings in various media, photographs, mixed media, and limited edition prints.  These artworks should help create inspiring spaces that foster innovation, creative excellence and personal reflection. The Public Art Trust is especially interested in artworks that reflect the unique and diverse character of Montgomery County.

Required Application Materials

  • Artist Information: full name, current address, contact information, Artist Information: full name, current address, contact information
  • Artist Statement: 1 page maximum
  • Artist Resume: 1 page maximum
  • Images: High quality JPEG image files are preferred; professionally taken photographs of the artwork may be submitted.
  • Exhibition List: a document that includes the title, year, medium, dimension, price and edition number (if applicable) for each uploaded work of art. Listed price shall reflect a 20% discount.