Thursday, March 30, 2017
Since I started this project, I've been picking up crafty things from pretty much every clearance rack I come across, hoping that it will come in useful.
When I read the prompt I immediately had a great idea involving some bright patterned packing tape I picked up a while back.
As we were cleaning up from dinner, my oldest was actually nicely spending time with her sister. They were coloring at the dining room table. I went in to my computer to take care of a few things and a little while later, she brought me this.
I thought it looked like a postage stamp and I asked her if I could use it today. I told her how well it matched the prompt. I got a huge smile and she seemed so pleased. Done and done.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Easy enough prompt. Husband oversaw the whole process.
Started with an overview of my desk at home.
Settled on a couple of items. And returned to an old favorite - my Ohio shaped post-it note pad.
A few snips with scissors to trim the tape and I had my own version of "The Heart of it All".
And this is to prove that sometimes the prompt idea doesn't work out. And sometimes I run out of the time and energy to try again.
I was already a day behind because I couldn't figure anything else out until I remembered a secret message trick I learned when I was a kid.
I explained the concept to my son and drew a box on a piece of paper. I handed him a white birthday candle and told him to write a message or draw a picture. Then I had my daughter color over it to read the message.
But we couldn't read it. So I just asked him. His translation is at the bottom. I guess he's over my collaboration month.
Monday, March 27, 2017
I knew whichever kids were around were going to really like helping with this one.
We eat pretty natural in our house. We have slip ups here and there, but we always avoid artificial colors. Which can make decorating baked goods a little tricky. I didn't have time to hit Whole Foods, so I took my chances with Kroger.
Found some natural sugar cookie dough (because I'm incapable of making successful sugar cookies). Also found some all natural sprinkles in the organiz section, along with some natural candy.
I do make good homemade frosting, so I whipped that up while the cookies were in the oven. Then got our toppings together.
And then it was time to decorate. My helpers were my younger three.
And they said the best part was eating one when we were all done.
And then I finally got to eat mine!
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Today was another day of rushing to figure out the prompt.
I wish I could say the words were really moving to me, or something, but that would be lying. The picture was on a coloring app on my phone, and it was about all I had the energy for while winding down on the couch with my husband at the end of the day.
When I started this project, I thought the weekends were when I could do the more complex projects, really delve into the prompt. I couldn't have been more wrong. It seems like I'm always in a mad rush to get it done.
Today I had to find art in already in the world. The whole family went to visit our local science center. In the ocean area I found this lovely corner of a pool under the grand statue of Neptune.
Friday, March 24, 2017
Thursday, March 23, 2017
After being a couple days behind in posting, I was pretty brain tired when I read this prompt. Then I panicked, because of the aforementioned tired brain.
My husband (today's collaborator), had tossed this little velcro strip at me earlier when I said something smart-alecky to him. I used it to make a pen holder for my desk. Not at all useful, but I made it myself!
I knew whoever decided they wanted to do today's prompt was going to have fun.
In the end, my oldest and her friend that was over, but together this little scene. They said it's a library reading circle.
I mentioned that I was traveling and days would get a little mixed up. I thought about either trying to make them up later, or changing my interpretation of the prompts. But then I realized that this was a great place to talk about where I was and what I was doing.
I went with a group of OSU students and emerging arts leaders from Columbus. We attended National Arts Advocacy Day, sponsored by Americans for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For anyone not living under a rock, you know what a timely event this was. Just the week before, President Trump announced his suggestion to completely cut funding to the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Institute of Museum and Library Services from the national budget. It's important to note here that the funding to all four of these agencies COMBINED is less than 1/2 of 1% of the national budget.
At this event, we were specifically focused on funding to the NEA. Currently the NEA's budget sits at $147,800,000. Try to put that into perspective. (I know that always gets difficult when you think about hundreds of millions of dollars.) Try this: "The annual combined Federal budgets of the NEA & NEH equals 4hrs & 23min of spending on the US Military." Numbers like this have been flying around for the last week or so. But this one comes from Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I'm not as enamored with him as some, but he does tend to back up his statements with actual evidence.
This was a two-day event. The first day was filled with workshops, giving all 700+ attendees (a record in the 30 year history of this event), who represented all 50 states, all the tools, facts and figures we would need to properly advocate for support of the arts at the national level.
Also important to note in the first chart is the levels of funding the NEA has seen in its lifetime. This chart isn't adjusted for inflation. You might remember in the early 1990s, the NEA was under attack for its decision to fund a controversial project by Robert Mapplethorpe. That was also when the NEA reached its peak in funding at $176,000,000. That number was equivalent to $.11 of every $100 spent by the US government. Today, that percentage has dropped to just $.03 to every $100.
Very few industries enjoy the sort of ROI that is seen in the arts. For every $1 a patron spends on the arts, the community it serves gets $9 back. As a national average, in addition to their ticket or admission to the arts offering, the attendee will spend, on average, an additional $24.60. This could be dinner, concessions, drinks, etc. If the person attends from outside the county of the arts event, that number goes up to $46.00 per person. Arts and cultural productions contribute $730 billion, or 4.2%, to the national GDP. And they do that on less than $150 million in funding.
The second day takes attendees directly to Congress. Our delegation was organized by Ohio Citizens for the Arts. The day started in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Rayburn Congressional office building. We were cheered on by numerous members of congress and celebrities from the screen and stage.
|Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Jr. - MD|
|Rep. Debbie Dingell - MI|
|Rep. Nancy Pelosi - CA|
|Rep. Suzanne Bonamici - OR|
|Sen. Lisa Murkowski - AK|
|Jane Chu - NEA Director|
|Rep. John Lewis - GA|
|Sen. Tom Udall - NM|
|Brian Stokes Mitchell|
Next up we went directly to the congressional offices. My group met with Rep. Bob Gibbs from OH-7 and then Rep. Joyce Beatty from OH-3. The first was a little trickier. He's a staunch conservative from a district that is heavily populated by farms. We were taught to do our research and know our ask. There it was "the arts are thriving in your district", "funding from the NEA touches every congressional district in Ohio", and "PLEASE DON'T VOTE TO CUT THE NEA FROM THE BUDGET".
The next one was much easier. Rep. Beatty is one of 3 members of congress that represent Columbus. She is a long time supporter of the arts and funding them. There, the first thing we're told to do is thank her for her continued support. Then the ask is to get more involved and join an arts-friendly caucus. In this case we asked her to join the congressional STEAM caucus.
A quick hike across the capitol grounds, a metro and escalator ride and another 5 block hike and we were back to the bus to take us home.
So, yeah. I slacked on my project. I'll admit to it. But I think what I was spending my time doing was pretty important. The fight is not over. Now that it's been suggested that the arts don't matter, at least in terms of them being funded by our government, it will be suggested again. And again. But there will always be those that will fight for them. Those that know how important the arts are to a well-rounded education. Those that know how integral the arts are to their communities. And we're not going to keep quiet about it.
Monday, March 20, 2017
"He was there. He was known as “the gentle beast”. Everyone gasped when he came in the room. He had long brown hair. His shirt said “I’m the beast!” He came to talk to my teacher. He was very gentle. It turns out that he was my friend's dad. He went up to My teacher and said “Could I please pick up Eliza?” So that is him. The 'gentle beast'."
As I mentioned I'm traveling this week and I turned today's prompt over to my 9 year old daughter.
I couldn't love it more!