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Exploring a Dance/Movement Program on Mental Health and Well-Being in Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence During a Pandemic

May 26, 2022

Aims: The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility and benefits of a 12-session dance/movement program for intimate partner violence survivors' mental health and PTSD symptoms during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The specific purposes were fourfold: (1) To determine the feasibility of delivering a virtual dance/movement workshop program; (2) to examine the effects of the program on symptoms of PTSD and psychological distress; (3) to determine whether heart rate variability improves; and (4) to describe the individual and shared experiences of a subgroup of participants of the program.Methods: Forty-five women ages 23-48 years were randomized to a 12-session virtual creative dance/movement program or a usual care control group, and completed questionnaires about PTSD and mental health symptoms, general health, physical activity, and underwent a brief measurement of heart rate variability. A subset of the intervention group participated in a semi-structured focus group.Results: The results of the study showed that the female survivors of intimate partner violence who participated in the virtual workshops felt better, and they experienced improved affect and reduced tension. They found new ways to express themselves, attune to their bodies, learn new self-care habits, and build community as they engaged in the workshops. Over the course of the study, the participants' symptoms of PTSD and psychological distress lessened. There were no changes in heart rate variability.Conclusions: This complex study was successfully completed during a global pandemic and resulted in improvements in some mental health symptoms and overall well-being. Given the importance of this work with intimate partner violence survivors, further work exploring dance/movement workshops for participants virtually and in-person is needed.

American Epidemic: Guns in the United States - Education Guide

October 19, 2021

This guide serves as a viewer supplement to the exhibition American Epidemic: Guns in the United States and can be used for engaging with the exhibition virtually or in person. The guide includes information about the works on view, questions for looking and discussion, classroom activities, and suggested readings.

In Pursuit of Equity: Four Case Studies of State Arts Agencies

September 30, 2021

This report describes how state arts agencies in four states—California, Maryland, Massachusetts and South Carolina—have integrated equity principles across multiple aspects of their work. This volume includes information on equity-centered planning, partnerships, grant making and programming, communications tactics, and managing change. Based on in-depth interviews, this research report is the first in a three-part series of publications produced in collaboration with the Washington State Arts Commission which also includes the reports Deepening Relationships with Diverse Communities: State Arts Agency Strategies and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in State Arts Agency Public Art Programs: A Roundtable Report.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in State Arts Agency Public Art Programs: A Roundtable Report

September 30, 2021

Public art or percent for art policies are present in more than half of states and jurisdictions, but little research has been conducted on the equity aspects of these state level programs. This roundtable report begins to address this need, offering an assessment of salient equity related challenges and solutions. Included are recommendations for diversifying artist rosters, making calls for entry more accessible and engaging communities in public art projects. The report was produced in collaboration with the Washington State Arts Commission along with the reports In Pursuit of Equity: Four Case Studies of State Arts Agencies and Deepening Relationships with Diverse Communities: State Arts Agency Strategies. 

Deepening Relationships with Diverse Communities: State Arts Agency Strategies

September 30, 2021

This report explores ways that state arts agencies can develop authentic and meaningful relationships with communities that have experienced limited access to state arts agency support in the past. These relationships, in turn, can inform the design of more equitable and inclusive state arts agency services. The report provides tips on initiating contact, establishing trust, redesigning grants and shared decision making. It was produced in collaboration with the Washington State Arts Commission along with the additional reports In Pursuit of Equity: Four Case Studies of State Arts Agencies and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in State Arts Agency Public Art Programs: A Roundtable Report.

The Saving Power of Community Creativity: Highlights of Arts, Culture, and Creative Placemaking Responses to COVID-19

June 29, 2021

For several years, the Center for Community Progress (Community Progress) and Metris Arts Consulting have explored how arts and culture organizations are revitalizing communities that have been hit hard with vacancy and abandonment. In mid-2020, as we began to understand the pandemic's devastating health, economic, and social impacts on communities and the policy demands surrounding the calls for racial justice, we also began hearing how community-based organizations using arts and culture had shifted their work to provide critical community support. This resource highlights the efforts of creative leaders during the pandemic and also seeks to inspire others trying to address acute needs. 

Investigating Causal Effects of Arts Education Experiences: Experimental Evidence from Houston’s Arts Access Initiative

February 1, 2019

The recent wave of test-based accountability reforms has negatively impacted the provision of K-12 arts educational experiences. Advocates contend that, in addition to providing intrinsic benefits, the arts can positively influence academic and social development. However, the empirical evidence to support such claims is limited. We conducted a randomized controlled trial with 10,548 3rd8th grade students who were enrolled in 42 schools that were assigned by lottery to receive substantial influxes of arts education experiences provided through school-community partnerships with local arts organizations, cultural institutions, and teaching-artists. We find that these increases in arts educational experiences significantly reduce the proportion of students receiving disciplinary infractions by 3.6 percentage points, improve STAAR writing achievement by 0.13 of a standard deviation, and increase students' compassion for others by 0.08 of a standard deviation. For students in elementary schools, which comprise 86 percent of the sample, we find that these arts educational experiences also significantly improve school engagement, college aspirations, and arts-facilitated empathy. These findings provide strong evidence that arts educational experiences can produce significant positive impacts on student academic and social development. Policymakers should consider these multifaceted educational benefits when assessing the role and value of the arts in K-12 schools.

Los Angeles County Arts Education Profile: Report on public schools, 2015-17

December 8, 2017

The LA County Arts Education Profile survey was administered to all 2,277 public schools in LA County to learn about the quantity, quality and equity of arts education. We found that nearly every school offers at least some arts instruction, and most schools offer at least two disciplines. At the same time, we found troubling inequities that reflect disparities in the wider society.

Los Angeles County Arts Education Profile: Online tool

December 8, 2017

The LA County Arts Education Profile survey was administered to all 2,277 public schools in LA County to learn about the quantity, quality and equity of arts education. Anyone can use this interactive tool to look up any school or district in LA County to find out what arts instruction is offered, and compare it to other schools and districts. The data can be downloaded as a CSV file. 

Leveraging Change: Increasing Access to Arts Education in Rural Areas

May 19, 2017

In 2015, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) received funding in the first round of collective impact grants from the National Endowment for the Arts to launch the pilot initiative, Leveraging Change: Improving Access to Arts Education in Rural Areas. The authors conducted research which included a literature review and interviews with arts education leaders in rural areas. Using the research compiled through this process, a pilot convening was held in western Massachusetts' Berkshire County to activate ideas, stimulate the exchange of information, and generate cross-sector collaboration focused on strengthening support for arts education in the region. This working paper is a summary of the research results and insights gleaned from this pilot initiative.

Racial / Ethnic and Gender Diversity in the Orchestra Field

September 1, 2016

For all cultural institutions, knowledge and information are becoming critical tools in the work of navigating a course through this new landscape. In particular, there is a recognized value in learning from the past in order to inform action for the future. By offering a new baseline, Racial / Ethnic and Gender Diversity in the Orchestra Field provides a clear and comprehensive picture of the demographic composition of orchestras: musicians, conductors, board members, and staff. Of course, each orchestra has its own unique story to tell. Nonetheless, the field-wide data in this report provides an essential foundation for analysis, understanding, debate, and action.Our report looks back over nearly four decades of orchestra demographics data to present an analysis intended to promote learning and action among orchestra stakeholders, inform public dialogue, and serve as a stimulus for further research. In this report, we present an analysis of the following data sets:Musicians: Race and Ethnicity (1980-2014); Gender (1978-2014)Conductors: Race and Ethnicity (2006-2016); Gender (2006-2016)Staff: Race and Ethnicity (2010-2014); Gender (2010-2014)Board Members: Race andEthnicity (2010-2014); Gender (2010-2014)Our analysis is shaped by available data, and the terms that we use to categorize people by race, ethnicity, and gender reflect those employed within our data sources.

Forty Years of Fellowships: A Study of Orchestras' Efforts to Include African American and Latino Musicians

September 1, 2016

This report, commissioned by the League of American Orchestras, is the first systematic effort to review the record of those fellowships from the perspectives of the orchestras and the musicians who have participated in them. Until now there has been no single source for information about which orchestras conducted fellowships, when they were conducted, and how many musicians were fellows. This report answers important questions about what happened to fellows across all the programs after their fellowships were completed: Did they successfully compete for orchestra jobs? Did their careers take other paths? It also provides a view of their experiences as fellows: How did they benefit from the experience? What kinds of problems did they experience? Until now, no data has been collected that reflects the judgment of orchestra leaders and other experts about the dynamics of launching and managing a fellowship program. Through the frame of these fellowship programs, what can be learned about broader diversity issues for orchestras? For the first time, we are able to present the following information and analysis:* The first section of this report, "Forty Years of Fellowships," presents all available program and impact data relating to orchestra fellowships, from 1976 to the present day. It reflects documentation supplied by orchestras themselves, following a scoping survey of League members, and the results of supplemental web research. It identifies the orchestras that have had fellowships, counts the fellows, and reviews the elements that are characteristic of fellowship programs. It defines the fundamental characteristics of fellowship programs, notes three different basic models, tracks career outcomes for fellows, and explores the cost and financing of fellowship programs.* The second section, "Forty Years of Fellows," explores the perspectives of musicians who have been fellows over the years. Interviews with 21 fellowship program alumni were conducted, including one or more fellows from every fellowship program.* The third section, "Fellowship/Leadership: Voices of Experience," examines the perspectives of orchestra leaders, program managers, and a few outside experts as they reflect on the dynamics of fellowship programs, their value for orchestras, and the place of fellowships within the larger challenge of making orchestras more inclusive and diverse institutions.