I caught a thoughtful conversation about the importance of supporting the arts on “In Contact” with host Angela Yvonne Robinson on Public Broadcasting Atlanta. Great commentary from Ayoka Chenzira, Spelman College Professor and founder of their Digital Moving Image Salon, former…
AFRICA has continued to receive more interest as an investment destination from investors looking to emerging markets to access their growth potential, according to a report issued by professional services firm- PwC.
Essentially, a significant number of corporate executives have declared their company’s intentions of growing their presence in Africa, and the number of global companies looking to establish a foothold on the continent has increased. These are some of the findings of PwCs’ sixth edition of its biennial Valuation Methodology Survey.
The publication titled ‘An African perspective: Valuation methodology survey 2012’ reflects the views of 49 financial analysts and corporate financiers. This year, the study broadens the reach of the previous Southern African surveys by including perspectives from analysts in East and West Africa.
The Partner and Head of Deals at PwC, Farouk Gumel, said: “A key characteristic of the post-2008 recession period has been the increase in prominence of Africa as an investment destination. With an already higher than average growth rate, Africa is fast becoming an attractive place to do business – even more so as the vast informal trade sector on the continent means that measured growth over the past decade is likely to have been understated.”
HELP STOP THE ELIMINATION OF ARTS FUNDING IN FULTON COUNTY!!!
Arts Funding in Fulton County has been in a steady decline. Over the past five years the Department of Arts and Culture funding has been cut an average of 14-20% annually, and since 2001 the cut to funding has been over one million dollars. While these were difficult cuts, they were in line with unilateral cuts across County departments. Our current scenario is diferent and much more dire. The County Manager has recommended a TOTAL ELIMINATION OF ARTS FUNDING FROM THE BUDGET. The Department of Arts and Culture would cease to exist, Arts Centers in Fulton County communities would be closed, Contracts for Services funding to arts organizations in the County would be eliminated as well as all other programs that support the work of artists and culturalists in our community.
I am a realist and understand that in order to balance the budget, cuts have to be made. The Commissioners have a difficult job, no doubt. However the EXTREME position of totally ELIMINATING funding doesn’t serve anyone very well. The idea that the County Manager sees arts and culture and libraries as “expendable” cuts is the first issue. But that aside for the moment, the County Manager’s proposed cuts include the very elements a community needs to develop, innovate and thrive. Participation in art and culture allows us to explore and embrace our humanity more than anything else. You can call it idealism if you wish, but I call it keeping it real. In dollars and cents I mean that pulling arts and culture out of a community might balance the budget in the short term but it depletes the quality of life in the long term. What kind of communities are we developing for the future? Failing education systems, crumbling infrastructures and increased crime has no balance when you remove the balance and the remedy. We actually need some of the creative solutions that artists offer to help figure this out, but that’s another blog.
Today, it’s time to mount up in opposition to this short sighted proposal and to let our voices be heard about the kind of communities we want to live in. My Fulton County Arts Council colleagues need your help and recommend the following steps.
1. Contact Your Commissioner! The Commissioners are politicians who like to be politicians. When their constituency calls or sends emails, they listen because if they don’t, they might lose that politician gig. Get their attention over the next few days and let them know that you want them to support Arts and Culture in Fulton County. Voting any other way is unacceptable!
District 1 (At-Large) Chairman John Eaves, 404-612-8206, email@example.com
District 2 (At-Large) Commissioner Robb Pitts, 404-612-8210, firstname.lastname@example.org
District 3 Commissioner Liz Hausmann, 404-612-8213, email@example.com
District 4 Commissioner Tom Lowe, 404-612-8218, firstname.lastname@example.org
District 5 Commissioner Emma Darnell, 404-612-8222, email@example.com
District 6 Commissioner Joan Garner, 404-612-8226, firstname.lastname@example.org
District 7 Commissioner William “Bill” Edwards, 404-612-8230, email@example.com
2. Join Us at Wednesday’s Board of Commissioner’s (BOC) Meeting! This is the only opportunity for you to publicly address the commissioners on this issue. The meeting will be held on August 21 at 10 AM in the Assembly Hall at 141 Pryor Street. The recommendations will be presented to the Board formally at this meeting for consideration. We are encouraging everyone to wear green so our presence can be recognized.
This effort will hopefully help us maintain more of our annual Arts and Culture funding than not, but as a creative community we have to start innovating and figuring out new ways to fund the arts in Fulton County and Atlanta. Let me know how you are supporting this effort so we know how effective we are being in getting the word out. Thank you for your action on this matter. It matters!
Leatrice Ellzy, Fulton County Arts Council Member (District 2)
“For a country regarded as the paramount leader in a multicultural world, the United States has yet to embrace its own diversity; continuing failure to do so will have profound consequences for governance.”—Allan E. Goodman, former executive dean at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service (via thesmithian)
National Black Arts Festival 2013 ... The Curator's Perspective
Over the last 30 days I have been in the lab curating a program mix for NBAF’s 25th Anniversary. It’s a tough year. When they first told me the budget number I seriously considered walking away. There was no way I could make this work. No money for the big shows at Symphony Hall or to fly in the mandatory celebs from all over the place or to fill Centennial Park with non-stop music for four days. I’m good at what I do, but not that good.
I didn’t walk away because I intimately understand that the heart of the National Black Arts Festival was never its perceived largess. The heart of the Festival has always been the artists, the art and the audiences and how we connected through experiencing something authentic in the space the Festival created. The boldness of talented artists who, through music, theater, dance, film, visual art, literature and the humanities; unapologetically told the stories of our collective Blackness in relation to the diverse worlds in which we LIVE is the heart of the National Black Arts Festival. The lack of resources made me remember what I have loved and appreciated about this Festival since I first experienced it in 1990. It forced me to process everything differently as I designed the programming. This summer it’s simple. You, me, the artists and the art.
I’m as temperamental as any artist when it comes to my creative pallet. Like Eryka Badu said … “I’m sensitve about my shit.” Many will dismiss this 3-month program series and harken back to the NBAF 10-day, big budget heyday. But others will appreciate the beauty of creating AMAZING in the void. This summer’s schedule is full of gems, brilliant in their simplicity.
Thanks in advance to my team … Ravi A. Windom, Roni Nicole, Jonathan Johnson, Stephanie S. Scott and Keith Knows. Big ups to Darlene Brown Hamilton, Tracy Murrell and Evette Dorham for executing the marketing and web components.
Join me in reflecting on 25 years of a cultural organization that changed lives, influenced creative culture, built careers, introduced artists to the masses, presented dope art, and has literally impacted people throughout the African Diaspora. I look forward to seeing you at NBAF’s 25th Anniversary Program Series, curated by Leatrice Ellzy for Beatrix Moss (that’s me!).
Question Bridge: Black Males is a transmedia art project that seeks to represent and redefine Black male identity in America. Through video mediated questions and answer exchange, diverse members of this “demographic” bridge economic, political, geographic and generational divides.
It appears that yesterday as a woman in PA was searching for words to articulate her feelings about the celebratory spirit that had erupted across the county in the aftermath of the death of Osama bin Laden, she posted a quote from Dr. King, but introduced it with her own sentiment: ” I mourn the deaths of thousands…enemy”. As it was re-posted her sentiment became incorporated into the quote that circulated across digital space. My good friend Wendi Grantham has provided the correct text from A Testament of H ope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Are we seeking power for power’s sake? Or are we seeking to make the world and our nation better places to live. If we seek the latter, violence can never provide the answer. The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
Yep. What he said is exactly how I’m feeling about all of this.