Archive for the ‘Advocacy’ Category

2017 Education Award Recipient CREATE Arts Center

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

At this year’s County Executive’s Awards ceremony, Mr. Ike Leggett will present the 2017 Education Award to CREATE Arts Center.

Reserve your ticket today and join us on November 6 at 7 pm as we honor CREATE Arts Center, and many others, at the 2017 Montgomery County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts in Humanities

Read on and get to know a little more about CREATE Arts Center from Executive Director Jeremy Flick.

In what ways do you think your involvement in the Montgomery County arts and culture sector is impactful?

No one will disagree that science, technology, engineering, and math are “important,” but we must not overlook the importance, and essential role the arts and humanities serve in providing and improving our students’ a comprehensive education. At CREATE we measure our impact in pounds, feet, gallons, and sheets of paper…in 2017 our programs used 900 pounds of clay, 800 yards of plaster, 18 dozen pencils, 20 gallons of tempera paint, roughly 8,000 sheets of drawing/painting/construction paper, 144 rolls of masking tape, 450 glue sticks, 288 sets of watercolor, 1,440 colored pencils, 1,440 oil pastels, and 3 gallons of glue.

We are not trying to make great artists. Instead we recognize the importance of arming students with creativity and in providing opportunities for self-expression, where art is a vehicle to encourage increased problem-solving and critical thinking skills, social and emotional development, community connectedness, and most of all to empower them with the confidence and self-assurance that will carry them in their academic careers and beyond.

What do you love about the arts and culture sector in Montgomery County?

Its vibrancy! There is such a wonderful artistic and cultural diversity in the county. There really is something for everyone to see, participate in, and experience. The county’s support for the arts and culture is unmatched in the region. Our community members are highly engaged, and recognize the value of integrating the arts, not simply because of their direct economic impact, but because they also recognize the importance of the arts and culture preserving, promoting, and enhancing the potential of OUR community.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to get involved in arts and culture?

Now, more than ever, we need the arts and culture and we need as much involvement from as many individuals as possible. Not only do we need the artists, performers, and the producers to provide the objects, stories, music, and experiences, but we need the supporters, patrons, and audience members to keep the arts alive and thriving. There are so many ways to get involved and they can be as simple as going to see an exhibition, attending a performance, going to a festival or directly volunteering your time and experience to help an organization. Many arts organizations like CREATE do a lot with very limited resources. Our efforts would not be possible without the support of volunteers, many of whom have a strong interest in the arts and are simply looking for ways to get more involved in their community.

What do you see on the horizon for arts and culture in local and global communities?

We face the immediate and on-going challenges of funding, the threat of elimination to the NEA and NEH are the biggest examples of this. We continue to see cuts to the arts in favor of STEM initiatives in our schools, and as are communities are becoming increasingly divided along political, racial, and socioeconomic lines. While the county’s support for the Arts and Cultural is unprecedented in the region, we still need more. The Arts and culture are needed now more than ever. As community, arts, and cultural leaders we posses the tools to leverage today’s challenges as opportunities to begin to bring our communities together. To project and create a brighter future in which diverse cultural perspectives are celebrated, and one that recognizes access, participation, and involvement in the arts/culture as not simply an essential component of  a thriving community but also a basic human right afforded to every member of the community.

What was your earliest “art spark” or impetus for an interest in the arts?

As World War II raged, a seven-year-old Jewish refugee learned from her mother how to create art – and free her mind from the chaos outside. Forty years later, as a seasoned arts educator and therapist, Tamar Hendel founded CREATE Arts Center to share what she had learned.

CREATE was founded on the belief that art has the ability to engender in both children and adults, the ability to discover the innately creative parts of themselves to promote personal achievement and success, healing, the building of confidence and self-esteem, to forge new connections, and the ability to cope with physical and emotional challenges.

2017 Community Award Recipient Allison Weiss

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

At this year’s County Executive’s Awards ceremony, Mr. Ike Leggett will present the 2017 Community Award
to Allison Weiss for her work with Sandy Spring Museum.

Reserve your ticket today and join us on November 6 at 7 pm as we honor Allison, and many others, at the 2017 Montgomery County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts in Humanities

Read on and get to know a little more about Allison.

In what ways do you think your involvement in the Montgomery County arts and culture sector is impactful?

Sandy Spring Museum provides the environment and inspiration for community-driven activities. Most organizations hire professional artists, performers, actors, etc for their programming. We provide a venue for community members to present high quality exhibits, events, workshops, performances – cultural arts programming – for the general public. We provide support to professionalize these activities.

What do you love about the arts and culture sector in Montgomery County?

There’s room for everyone. There are so many diverse activities going on, so many different approaches to presenting the arts.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to get involved in arts and culture?

Don’t hold back and don’t wait for “the right moment.” The right moment is right now!

What do you see on the horizon for arts and culture in local and global communities?

I think that we will see even more platforms for User Generated Content that is shared on the internet. If organizations with a physical building want to stay relevant, we have to address the fact that millions of people are getting arts and culture content on Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and so on.

What was your earliest “art spark” or impetus for an interest in the arts?

I don’t think there was any “ah ha!” moment; it’s just part of who I am. It’s not something I do in my free time; it’s how I spend all of my time. I am driven to create arts and cultural experiences for others.

2017 Outstanding Artist Recipient Chelsey Green

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

At this year’s County Executive’s Awards ceremony, Mr. Ike Leggett will present the 2017 Outstanding Artist or Scholar Award to Recording Artist Chelsey Green of The Green Project.

Reserve your ticket today and join us on November 6 at 7 pm as we honor Chelsey, and many others, at the 2017 Montgomery County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts in Humanities

Read on and get to know Chelsey a little more.

In what ways do you think your involvement in the Montgomery County arts and culture sector is impactful?

I believe my involvement in the Montgomery County arts and culture sector was impactful through the variety of performances me and my ensemble have done through and for the county. From live shows to educational workshops to summer programs with Strathmore, I’ve done my best to bring my interpretation of string performance to audiences throughout the county.

What do you love about the arts and culture sector in Montgomery County?

I love that the arts and culture sector of Montgomery County presents year-round programming that is accessible, engaging and diverse. Catered to the sub-communities within the county, the arts and culture programming reaches its residents in every corner of the county.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to get involved in arts and culture?

My advice for someone looking to get involved with arts and culture is to just do it! Jump in and immerse yourself in a way that you make it happen. Practice your craft so you can be ready for anything when an opportunity comes and attend arts events to network with the community and start building. Also, be open to new ideas and new paths you may have not considered originally.

What do you see on the horizon for arts and culture in local and global communities?

Now more than ever, I see a trend of both local and global communities utilizing art as a unifying tool to bring people together. This couldn’t make me happier. We need to get back to the core of what makes our world turn. People helping people for the greater good. I hope we can turn this movement into more funding at federal and local levels to stretch arts programming in a way that it can tangibly aid the people of our local and global communities in an impactful way.

What was your earliest “art spark” or impetus for an interest in the arts?

My “arts spark” came around age seven when my private violin teacher took me to sit in the orchestra pit with her for a performance of The Nutcracker by The Houston Ballet. As she played in the violin section, I saw all the musicians performing together in the pit, the dancers on stage and backstage, the crew and everything coming together to make this production happen. I fell in love and knew art was something I wanted to dedicate my life to from that point forward.

2017 Volunteer Award Recipient Elli Swink

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

At this year’s County Executive’s Awards ceremony, Mr. Ike Leggett will present the 2017 Volunteer Award to Elli Swink for her work with Damascus Theatre Company.

Reserve your ticket today and join us on November 6 at 7 pm as we honor Elli, and many others, at the 2017 Montgomery County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts in Humanities

Read on and get to know a little more about Elli.

In what ways do you think your involvement in the Montgomery County arts and culture sector is impactful?

I think working with the youth in our community theater company, our DTC Kids, is the most impactful thing that we/I do.  We are training them to perform live theater and also in the technical aspects of theater. Many have gone on to make this their career. In a small community like Damascus, this offers children and entire families an opportunity to work together to create something really wonderful and entertaining and they gain confidence and become so proud of what we’ve created together through our hard work.

What do you love about the arts and culture sector in Montgomery County?

I love the variety of musical, theater, and cultural events that Montgomery County has to offer. There are many theater groups and particularly groups for children and teens to become involved with to learn theater arts. I’m proud of the role our group has had in teaching theater to children and at a very affordable cost in part because of our support from the Arts & Humanities Council.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to get involved in arts and culture?

Get involved! Reach out to your local theater company and ask how you can help. Start with ushering to meet a few people and then be open to learning how to house manage or paint and build sets. Arts groups welcome people willing to volunteer.

What do you see on the horizon for arts and culture in local and global communities?

It seems that each year more and more theater groups are forming. I think that will continue. In these difficult times, theater offers a beautiful distraction to the despair many people are feeling.

What was your earliest “art spark” or impetus for an interest in the arts?

My interest in the arts and theater began when my sister’s middle school teacher selected her to play ‘Amaryllis’ in our community’s production of The Music Man in Waynesboro, PA. Seeing Debbie up there on stage and watching that musical was magical. Years later, I signed up to be part of my high school’s productions, working backstage on props and crew. Once I married and moved to Montgomery County and our daughter Maggie was old enough to get involved too, we all joined the Damascus Theatre Company. I credit my parents for taking us to community theater shows. This was the impetus for my interest in the arts.

Montgomery County Council Approves the Largest Budget for Arts and Humanities

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

On Thursday, May 25, the Montgomery County Council approved the largest budget for the arts and humanities. The resolution for FY18 is as follows:

  • Operating Support Grants – $3,374,941 ($66,739 over FY17)
  • Small/Mid-Size Organizations, Creative Projects, Arts Education, and Individual Artist/Scholar Grants – $854,574 (increased $75,713 over FY17)
  • Advancement Grants – $295,094 (increased $45,044 over FY17)
  • AHCMC Administration – $540,519 (increased $10,689 over FY17)
  • Arts and Humanities Matching Fund –  $200,000 (flat from FY17)
  • Grants to Support Wheaton Arts and Entertainment District – $91,815 (increased $1,815 over FY17)
  • Grant to National Philharmonic – $150,000 (earmark in line with that of FY17)

Total Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County FY18 NDA $5,506,943

The FY18 budget also includes:

  • Capital Improvement Grants – $800,000*

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

*While $1 million is available for Capital Improvement Grants, demand does not exceed supply in this category. Therefore, in response to a request from the County Council and Office of Management and Budget a portion of the funds will support $200,000 in renovations for the Noyes Children’s Library in Kensington, Md. We support this decision as it is in line with our mission to support the humanities.

Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County Celebrates 40 Years!

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

On Friday, April 21 the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery (AHCMC) celebrated 40 years of service to communities across Montgomery County with a board reception and unveiling of our new five-year strategic plan. This was an incredible milestone and pivotal moment for the organization.

In 1976 a small group of individuals with a passion for the arts formed what was then called the Arts Council of Montgomery County. The new nonprofit had three objectives: (1) to establish an art center; (2) to provide grants to artists, and (3) to provide space for artists to work, exhibit, and perform. Over the past 40-years, these goals were realized and the scope of our work, programs, and activities grew and evolved, resulting in a new strategic plan and mission statement: The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, in partnership with the community, cultivates and supports excellence in the arts and humanities, expands access to cultural expression, and contributes to economic vitality in the region.

The new nonprofit had three objectives: (1) to establish an art center; (2) to provide grants to artists, and (3) to provide space for artists to work, exhibit, and perform.

To celebrate our new strategic plan and mission statement, AHCMC held a reception at the home of our board chair, Eric Siegel. The reception was an evening of reflection on our 40 year history in Montgomery County and celebration of our service to the arts and humanities. The guest list included current and past board members, donors, Montgomery County council members, and AHCMC staff. This past January, our board approved the new strategic plan, which includes four primary goals: optimize grant making; invest in the organizational capacity of AHCMC; strengthen the capacity of the arts and humanities in Montgomery County; and augment the social, economic, and cultural development of the county.  Click here to read the entire strategic plan.

In addition to our new strategic plan, we turned a fresh eye to the county’s public art program with the release of The Public Art Roadmap, which is included in the strategic plan. The county’s public art program launched in 1978 and it was time for us to develop a new roadmap for public art. The Public Art Roadmap is a collection of key information on the county’s public art program and sets forth recommendations that will elevate the visibility and impact of the Montgomery County Public Art Trust and its programs. Click here to read the entire Public Art Roadmap.

The strategic plan and Public Art Roadmap reflect our dedication to making arts programs and cultural events accessible to all residents in Montgomery County, and we are fully committed to providing sustenance, opportunity, and growth to the arts and humanities sector of the county.

The reception was a magical event – a time for attendees to celebrate the past and plan for the future. A future that includes continued support for sustainable arts, creative place-making initiatives to increase vibrancy, and a grant funding portfolio that builds capacity in Montgomery County. We are encouraged and excited to embark on the next 40 years as the designated arts agency for the county

See below for photos from the strategic plan!

Penguin Rush Hour Returns

Friday, March 31st, 2017

On Wednesday, March 29, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC), Metro and Montgomery County gathered to celebrate the installation of an old friend, Penguin Rush Hour, a public art mural outside of the Silver Spring Metro Station.

The 100-foot mural, designed by Sally Callmer Thompson, is a whimsical depiction of penguin commuters rushing through the Metro transit. The mural was the result of a 1989 design competition sponsored by Metro to create a temporary mural near the Red Line station. Metro intended to display the original mural for only one-year. Fourteen years later, the mural had become a fixture at the Silver Spring Metro Station.

After years of exposure, the mural needed repairs and in 2005, Silver Spring Regional Center and AHCMC launched “pennies for penguins” to help restore the work. The 25-panel mural returned to the community as a permanent piece of Montgomery County’s public art collection, which includes 258 artworks and approximately 500 works on paper.

What I love about public art is that, unlike art that is viewed intentionally by going to a specific exhibit, public art is experienced where many people might not expect to find art, and through those shared public experiences, a lasting connection to that community, and the artwork itself, can be formed. –Sally Callmer Thompson

The celebration included CEO of AHCMC Suzan Jenkins, County Executive Isiah Leggett, Council President Roger Berliner, Councilmember Tom Hucker and WMATA Board Member Kathy Porter.

L to R: Council President Roger Berliner, Arts and Humanities Council CEO Suzan Jenkins, WMATA Board Member Kathy Porter, County Executive Isiah Leggett, and Councilmember Tom Hucker

“I’m happy to be here today to see an old friend return to its home in Silver Spring,” said Councilmember Tom Hucker, who represents Silver Spring. County Executive Isiah Leggett said, “We’ve done a great many things that have been important for our community. But I tell you everywhere I go, people stop and say to me – ‘When are the penguins coming back?’”

Well, the penguins are back and residents and commuters are delighted at their return!

See more moments from the return of the penguins here.

Maryland Arts Day 2017 Recap

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

February 14 saw major support and love ❤️❤️❤️ for the arts across the state of Maryland with Maryland Arts Day 2017. Hundreds gathered in Annapolis to advocate for and share the impact of the arts on the state’s cultural and economic vitality. Lawmakers, artists, advocates, educators, administrators and many more voices were brought together in conversation around and about the importance and sustainability of the arts in Maryland.

There were a number of amazing sights throughout the day. Here are a few of our favorites:

To see more, visit our Twitter moment here.

County Council Approves an Historic FY17 Budget

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

On May 19, the County Council approved what will be an historic budget for the arts and humanities for FY17!  The Resolution, once adopted on May 26, is expected to be as follows:

  • Operating Support Grants $3,308,202
  • Small/Mid-Size Organizations, Creative Projects, Arts Education, and Individual Artist/Scholar Grants $778,861
  • Advancement Grants $250,050
  • Administration $529,830
  • Arts and Humanities Matching Fund $200,000
  • Grants to Support Wheaton Arts and Entertainment District $90,000
  • Grant to National Philharmonic $150,000
  • Total Arts and Humanities Council NDA $5,306,943

We certainly could not have achieved such historic heights without YOUR advocacy - congratulations to us all!!!

Following the budget approval on May 26, AHCMC staff encourages all members of the arts and humanities community to attend our 3:00PM Community-Wide FY17 Budget and Advocacy Recap Phone-In to learn more about the finalized county budget for the Arts and Humanities and the impacts of our combined advocacy strategies. We look forward to hearing you there!

Onward!


Advocacy Alert: FY17 Budget Strategy

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Dear Colleagues,

On Tuesday, March 15, the County Executive  proposed a FY17 operating budget for AHCMC of $4,873,615.  This restores the $200,000 Matching Fund and provides an additional $200,000.

AHCMC has proposed an advocacy strategy during our community-wide Advocacy call:

Ask County Council to SUPPORT the CE’s proposed FY17 budget proposed for AHCMC.

AHCMC supports MCAA’s platform which asks for $500,000 for grants and AHCMC is asking for $100,000 for administrative oversight. We encourage you to advocate accordingly when meeting one-on-one with Council members.

This is how it will break out with Matching Funds restored but without yet allocating the $200k:

  • Operating Support Grants – $3,004,852
  • Small/Midsize Orgs & Individual Artists and Scholars – $698,883
  • Advancement Grants – $250,050
  • Arts and Humanities Matching Fund – $200,000
  • Wheaton A&E District – $90,000
  • Administration – $429,830
  • Yet To be appropriated – $200,000

Total AHCMC FY17 PROPOSED NDA – $4,873,615

Additionally,  the County Executive has proposed a $140,000 budget for FY17 for the Public Arts Trust; the budget for Capital Improvement Projects has been approved at $1M/yr for 2017-2022.

Thanks again to ALL of you for your diligence and support! Don’t forget to register for the Advocacy Potluck on Wednesday April 6 at 11:30pm followed by my testimony for AHCMC’s budget at 1:30pm that afternoon.

Best,