Maryland Arts Day is February 11, 2021 . . . As we prepare for tomorrow's event
Dear Arts Advocates,
Harford County Cultural Arts Board is looking forward to seeing you tomorrow on our screens at Virtual Arts Day 2021! We are grateful that you plan to share this special morning of creativity and solidarity.
Hopefully, you received an email from our hosts, Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA), yesterday, with some "tips and tricks." If you or your registered colleagues did not get these but would like to read, please let me know ASAP & I will forward. There is also a thorough Advocacy Toolkit on the MCA website, if you'd like to read more.
Virtual Maryland Arts Day 2021 will begin at 9:00 AM on Thursday February 11th. I believe people will start to arrive around 8:30. The link to join the large-scale presentation of speeches, both informative and inspirational, is here.
Beginning at 10:30, we will break out into local “rooms” by clicking on links provided by MCA. If you miss the initial direction, or lose the link, their staff will be staying in the main room (link above) for the duration of the program, to help anyone who gets “lost.”
Once in the Harford County Delegation Meeting Room, you will see me and your fellow Harford arts advocates. We will have time to talk among ourselves, get used to the way Zoom is working, and come to an understanding of the best way to organize our talk with our lawmakers, and hopefully - take a little break.
There will then be one hour reserved for Harford County lawmakers beginning at 11:00 AM. During that time, we are all tasked with helping them understand that the arts and creativity are fundamental to a healthy, happy, and prosperous community, and that the Governor’s proposed funding cuts to the Maryland State Arts Council must be avoided to ensure our county, state, and region can recover fully from both the pandemic and the economic crises.
In preparation, I encourage you to think about what you will say - including your full name and a bit about the arts organization/s you represent or patronize, including where it is located and who it serves. If you are inspired to tell a story, please brainstorm the best way to illustrate how arts and culture positively impacts life and brings vitality to the community.
This year’s virtual event makes it possible to include multimedia. Feel free to email me an image or even a super-short video if you’d like to include that in your comments.
Please let me know if there is any other information I can share with you today. Whether this is your first or 25th Maryland Arts Day, I want to ensure you are ready and comfortable with plans to make it a success. Thank you again for planning to join us, and for all you do for the arts!
Jessica L. Cleaver, Coordinator
Harford County Cultural Arts Advisory Board
Maryland Arts Day 2018: A nice memory from a warm February day not too many years ago, in Annapolis.
The following is adapted from a blog post published February 25, 2019 by Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research Americans for the Arts --
10 Reasons to Support the Arts
The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts bring us joy, help us express our values, and build bridges between cultures. The arts are also a fundamental component of a healthy community—strengthening them socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even in difficult social and economic times.
Arts improve individual well-being. 69 percent of the population believe the arts “lift me up beyond everyday experiences,” 73 percent feel the arts give them “pure pleasure to experience and participate in,” and 81 percent say the arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world.”
Arts unify communities. 72 percent of Americans believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race, and ethnicity” and 73 percent agree that the arts “helps me understand other cultures better”—a perspective observed across all demographic and economic categories.
Arts improve academic performance. Students engaged in arts learning have higher GPAs, standardized test scores, and college-going rates as well as lower drop-out rates. These academic benefits are reaped by students regardless of socio-economic status. Yet, the Department of Education reports that access to arts education for students of color is significantly lower than for their white peers. 91 percent of Americans believe that arts are part of a well-rounded K-12 education.
Arts strengthen the economy. The production of all arts and cultural goods in the U.S. (e.g., nonprofit, commercial, education) added $804 billion to the economy in 2016, including a $25 billion international trade surplus—a larger share of the nation’s economy (4.3 percent) than transportation, tourism, and agriculture (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis). The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $166.3 billion in economic activity annually—spending by organizations and their audiences—which supports 4.6 million jobs and generates $27.5 billion in government revenue.
Arts drive tourism and revenue to local businesses. Attendees at nonprofit arts events spend $31.47 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters—valuable commerce for local businesses. 34 percent of attendees live outside the county in which the arts event takes place; they average $47.57 in event-related spending. Arts travelers are ideal tourists, staying longer and spending more to seek out authentic cultural experiences.
Arts spark creativity and innovation. Creativity is among the top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders, per the Conference Board’s Ready to Innovate report—with 72 percent saying creativity is of high importance when hiring. Research on creativity shows that Nobel laureates in the sciences are 17 times more likely to be actively engaged in the arts than other scientists.
Arts drive the creative industries. The Creative Industries are arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. A 2017 analysis of Dun & Bradstreet data counts 673,656 businesses in the U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts—4.01 percent of all businesses and 2.04 percent of all employees. (Get a free local Creative Industry report for your community here.)
Arts have social impact. University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated that a high concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social cohesion, higher child welfare, and lower poverty rates.
Arts improve healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and even staff. 78 percent deliver these programs because of their healing benefits to patients—shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication.
Arts for the health and well-being of our military. The arts heal the mental, physical, and moral injuries of war for military servicemembers and Veterans, who rank the creative arts therapies in the top 4 (out of 40) interventions and treatments. Across the military continuum, the arts promote resilience during pre-deployment, deployment, and the reintegration of military servicemembers, Veterans, their families, and caregivers into communities.
Harford County Cultural Arts Board was founded in 1973 to
“Preserve, Enhance, and Promote the Culture of Harford County, Maryland." As the official county arts agency, Harford County Cultural Arts Board is the premier local resource for arts organizations, independent artists, and the audiences of Harford County, Maryland. The government-appointed board provides advocacy and administrative support, sponsors workshops, events, and promotional opportunities, and encourages and invests in the advancement of the arts for the community.