Articles by

Dennis Scholl

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    By Dennis Scholl and Tatiana Hernandez Today, the President’s Committee on Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) released its Knight Foundation funded report on the current state of arts education. For those of us passionate about the arts and concerned over recent trends, this report couldn’t have come at a better time. The Committee found that, despite decades of research linking high-quality arts education with increased academic achievement, school engagement and creative thinking, overall access to arts programs has been limited. So, where do we go from here? According to the PCAH, we need to develop more and stronger networks of support between educators, legislators and leaders in the arts, to build the social capital needed to move things forward. We must also deepen the integration of art throughout curriculums – establishing interdisciplinary touch points. Interestingly, the Committee also recommends expanding opportunities for teaching artists in the classroom similar to the suggested national “ArtistsCorp” program – mentioned in the President’s Arts Policy Platform. Professional development opportunities for working artists that educate and engage the community are exactly the kind of programming we want to see more of. The arts are once again demonstrating their importance in the development of strong, well-rounded and informed citizens. Click here for the full report.
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    I recently hit the road to see and discuss all things Knight Arts. I first went to Akron, then it was off to St Paul where I was joined by Knight Foundation St Paul program director Polly Talen, program associate Stuart Kennedy and assistant Delta Giordano for two days of...
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    Cross-posted from Knightarts.org On Wednesday, April 13 I was invited to be a panelist at a Christie’s panel discussion titled “A Second Look at the Future of Arts Journalism.” The auction house convened a pretty august group, including Lindsey Pollack, editor in chief of Art in America, a 98-year-old magazine and one of the big three in contemporary art and Eric Gibson, editor of the Wall Street Journal’s Leisure & Arts page, which has been become a must-read with for all things cultural with the infusion of Rupert Murdock's money. The panel was led by Sree Sreenivasan, dean of student affairs & digital media professor at the Columbia Journalism School The room was filled with some of the leading arts journalists in the world, including Blake Gopnik of Newsweek; Kelly Crow of the WSJ; freelancer Lee Rosenbaum, also know by her blog handle CultureGrrl; and Phoebe Hoban, author of the recently published and beautifully written biography Alice Neel: The Art of Not Sitting Pretty. The discussion was far ranging, but landed quickly on the search for the elusive business model that would allow arts journalists to make a living wage.  Doug McClennan's oft quoted statistic of the number of arts journalists in America dropping 50% from 5,000 to 2,500 in the last five years put the issue in perspective. I whispered about a yet to be formally announced Knight initiative in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts called the Arts Journalism Challenge. The challenge will launch in July in the eight Knight resident cities of Akron, Charlotte, Detroit, Macon, Miami, Philadelphia, Saint Paul and San Jose. Together with the NEA, Knight Foundation will be seeking ideas for how to increase community arts coverage in those eight cities. Knight and the NEA will send out an RFP, select the best ideas and fund the development of an action plan for each of them. The best plans will receive up to two years of funding to be launched with the goal to create a series of sustainable models to increase the level of community arts coverage. The eight knight cities are acting as a beta, with the possibility of a national launch in 2012. The crowd at Christie’s was quite interested and the Twitter traffic was significant. The panel was live streamed and you can take a look at the discussion here. I want to thank Mary Trudel of Trudel Macpherson for all her efforts in putting the panel together and including me.  And additional thanks to Toby Usnik at Christie’s for sharing feedback on Knight initiatives like Random Acts of Culture and the Knight Arts Challenge.
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    I recently hit the road to see and discuss all things Knight Arts. First, I spent two days in Akron meeting with potential arts grantees with program director Jennifer Thomas. The visit was highlighted by two sold-out performances of Porgy and Bess by the Akron Symphony Orchestra. I was able...
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    A packed crowd filled the New World Center Friday, April 29 for it's first poetry event as the month-long O, Miami poetry festival wound down. The crowd for Poetry and Persona was there for the headliner, the peripatetic movie star/ poet James Franco, but just as rock trumps scissors, President...
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    We’re less than one week into the Knight-funded O, Miami poetry festival and the impact is already being felt throughout the city. The countywide festival aims to give every single person in Miami-Dade County a change to encounter poetry this April. The festival got one step closer to that goal...
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    O, Miami's month of poetry is upon our community with a vengeance. The Knight-sponsored project seeks to impact all 2.5 million Miamians with a poem in the month of April. Here's a great start – one of Miami's best restaurants, Michael's Genuine Food and Drink, has kicked off the festivities...
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    Who represents the next generation of break-out visual artists in Miami? Where will the next Naomi Fisher, Jim Drain, Hernan Bas, Daniel Arsham, Mark Handforth, Dara Friedman, Bert Rodriguez and/or Michael Vasquez come from? They've all had international careers, multiple gallery shows and museum opportunities. Who might be the next...
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    By Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation VP/Arts and Miami Program Director We're just one week into 2011 and it's already promising to be a banner year for arts, particularly in the eight communities in which Knight Foundation concentrates its arts funding. Here are some signature events in the eight cities, that...