Archive for April, 2012

Advocacy Potluck Gets Big Turnout

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Thank you, Montgomery County, for the great turnout for AHCMC’s annual Advocacy Potluck. This year, over 50 arts and humanities advocates prepared and shared a meal with six of the nine County Councilmembers, including Council President Berliner, Craig Rice, Nancy Floreen, Marc Elrich, Phil Andrews, and Hans Reimer. Councilmembers Leventhal and Navarro sent regrets that they could not attend this year.

I’ve been at AHCMC nearly seven years now and I’m still impressed with the upbeat advocacy platform of this event. Volunteers flood the room with great tasting food. The room rings with laughter and conversation. And Councilmembers always show up (is there a Pavlovian aspect to this?).

Council President Berliner’s welcoming remarks were complimentary to the cultural community. A supporter of the arts and humanities as well as the green movement, Mr. Berliner was the motivation behind AHCMC’s creation of the Non-Profit Energy Alliance, which is currently saving 50 non-profits nearly $400,000 in energy costs. Mr. Berliner reminded everyone that we’re at the beginning of the budget discussion and that the County’s budget could still be affected by the State. But even that reality check didn’t dampen the enthusiasm in the room.

After the Potluck, advocates filed into the 3rd floor Council Hearing Room for testimonies. AHCMC submitted three testimonies this year: two in person and one in writing. Click on the names below to see testimonies by:

Suzan Jenkins, CEO of AHCMC, How the arts and humanities enrich Montgomery County’s community

Bethany Mattocks, Marketing Manager of CVB, How the arts and humanities in Montgomery County spur tourism

Business owner, Gary Skulnik. How the arts and humanities foster creative business


Exploring the Works on Paper Collection: Richard Anuszkiewicz

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

When I volunteered to help out with AHCMC’s Works on Paper collection, I had no idea what to expect. Works on Paper – could be anything, right? So imagine my delight when, during my first day going through the list of works, I came across Untitled, a silkscreen by Richard Anuszkiewicz.

Untitled, Richard Anuszkiewicz. Silkscreen, 25 1/2"H x 19 1/2"W, 1965ca. Our inventory #: WP0016

Born in Erie, PA to Polish parents, Anuszkiewicz is a true American artist. After getting his degree from the Cleveland Institute of Arts, his painting underwent a major change when he got the chance to study under Josef Albers at Yale. Albers – another artist in our collection – was a leading abstract painter and color theorist, and under his guidance, Anuszkiewicz began to explore a more abstract vision.

It may seem easy to dismiss this type of abstract work if you don’t know the ideas behind it. Actually, though, this piece is a look at how our perception of one color is affected by the colors and light around it. It examines the way our eyes work, and the ways in which they can deceive us. To see examples of these, click here. Then go back and look at the Anuszkiewicz work. Don’t you wonder whether the color you think you see is the color that’s actually there? I, for one, find it pretty fascinating that the color I see might not actually be painted there.

The work owned by Montgomery County is one of the works Anuszkiewicz produced after his studies with Albers, since it is not realistic. Based on the colors and patterns, it’s quite likely that the work dates from the mid-to-late sixties. And thanks to Montgomery County and AHCMC, this beautiful work is available in a county office for staff – and visitors, which means you and me – to enjoy!

How the arts and humanities foster creative business

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Last week, we also submitted this testimony from Gary Skulnik, President of Clean Currents. Here, he talks about how arts education fosters the kind of creativity he looks for in his employees. Read his testimony below!

Good Afternoon Council President Berliner and Members of the County Council:

My name is Gary Skulnik and I am the President of Clean Currents; a home-grown company that was developed, incubated, launched and now conducts business in Montgomery County, MD. As a business executive and partner of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, I am pleased to show my support today for the County Executive’s FY13 recommended budget for this worthy agency.

Clean Currents has had the good fortune to work with the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County in the Non Profit Energy Alliance, a creative partnership of the non profit sector, county government, and private business to provide clean energy to area non profits at rates that save them money, enabling them to focus more resources on meeting their mission. The Arts and Humanities Council was instrumental in making this happen. Without them, it would have gone nowhere. (more…)

How the arts and humanities in Montgomery County spur tourism

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Last week at our Public Hearing with Montgomery County Council, Bethany Mattocks, Marketing and Communications Manager at the Conference and Visitors Bureau (CVB) of Montgomery County, gave a thrilling testimony on how the County’s cultural scene spurs tourism in Montgomery County. Read her testimony below.

Good afternoon President Berliner and honored Councilmembers. Thank you for all of the great work you do on behalf of our County.

My name is Bethany Mattocks and I am the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Conference and Visitors Bureau (CVB) of Montgomery County. Our primary mission is to promote Montgomery County as a destination for business and leisure travel. Our secondary mission is to encourage local day trips and provide tourism related resources for County residents.

I also serve on the Arts & Humanities Council Marketing Committee and on the Board of Directors for VisArts Rockville. I am a lifetime Montgomery County resident and grew up in Silver Spring. I have seen Silver Spring flourish in the past few years, largely due to the number of arts organizations in the area. It is rare that within walking distance there are major arts venues such as AFI Silver Theatre, Round House Theatre and the new Fillmore.

As a County resident, it’s fantastic that I don’t have to go all the way to D.C. to experience a live music concert; I can experience a live music concert just minutes from my house! And next Tuesday, I’m taking a mosaic tile class at VisArts. Thanks to support provided by the County through the Arts and Humanities Council, opportunities for the CVB to promote Montgomery County, our great quality of life, stellar visual and performing arts and humanities, are truly endless.
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How the arts and humanities enrich Montgomery County’s community

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Last week, we encouraged Montgomery County Council to support the FY13 arts and humanities budget. Read my testimony below!

Good afternoon. I am Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and a twenty-three year resident of Rockville. I begin my testimony today by simply saying Thank You!

Thank You! for your past support for funding the arts and humanities in previous Montgomery County Operating Budgets.

Thanks for considering support of the FY13 budget recommendation which includes flat funding for arts and humanities grants.

Given the slow economic recovery in the County and the nation, we appreciate that all areas of the budget are under close scrutiny. We understand the tough choices you make every budget season and the uncertainty of the County’s FY13 appropriations in the wake of State’s failure to pass a budget. So, first of all let us say Thank you!
(more…)

Link Roundup: Facebook+Instagram, arts education and creativity tests

Friday, April 13th, 2012

What a week! Here’s what we tweeted this week:

#MondayMarketing

Takeaways: As a digital native, I’m definitely guilty of this: “watching” a show on TV while working on my laptop (switching between Word, Facebook, Twitter and Gmail) while having my phone handy for miscellaneous things (like Instagram, which is only available through iPhone and Android). It’s turning our brains to mush and making things difficult for marketers. Not great for anyone involved.

#TuesdayTech

Takeaways: The internet was all atwitter of Facebook’s one million dollar purchase of Instagram, and here’s one digital strategist’s take on it: this is “the official shift to an image-powered web.”

#FridayFun

Advocacy activities regrettably got in the way of posting #WednesdayWinning and #ThursdayTips articles on their respective days, so here they are, under the #FridayFun hashtag:

Takeaways: Such a great story of how arts education helps kids build confidence and become lifelong artists!

Takeaways: It’s Friday. Test your creativity a little!

As always, follow us at @creativemoco!

Link Roundup: CEOs tweeting, Instagram for Android and The Voice

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Here are the articles we tweeted this week:

#MondayMarketing

Takeaways: “Consumers believe C-suite engagement in social media can benefit how they view a brand and its executive leadership. The majority of survey respondents, 78%, said CEO participation in social media leads to better communication, while 71% said it leads to improved brand image and 64% said it provides more transparency.” Wow. On a related note, follow our CEO, @SuzanJenkins!

#TuesdayTech

Takeaways: Like Pinterest, Instagram is another new social media darling (click here to see how brands are using it). Instagram was previously only available for the iPhone, but now that they’ve released a version for Android, I see a lot more of my friends taking advantage of this free photo-sharing app. Will your brand join in?

#WednesdayWinning

Takeaways: I’m obsessed with The Voice. I’m really interested in the whole music-making/recording process in general, so everything from the blind auditions to the coaching sessions intrigues me. What’s even more exciting is that a Gaithersburg native is competing — and she’s good.

#ThursdayTips

Takeaways: Really interesting breakdown of the kinds of work that take up your time (Reactionary, Planning, Procedural, Insecurity and Problem-Solving). How does your workday stack up?

As always, follow us at @creativemoco for these daily article tweets!