March 2017
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Spring is right around the corner and we're gearing up for an exciting season! Read on for information on upcoming events, plus highlights from YAAW alumni, spotlights on volunteers, and words from our Mayor on the impact of the arts.

Dispatch from the Director

Earlier this week the President released his proposed federal budget.  In an unprecedented move, he called for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  The budget also called for elimination or drastic reductions to agencies that would impact The Arts Commission's partners and our collective work in cultural and community development in our city.  If enacted, this could reduce our funding by more than $150,000 in the next fiscal year.

We know that this is just the first step in a long federal budgeting process.  However, at every stage of this process, we must consistently advocate and loudly convey the importance that arts and culture play in the lives of our communities for our citizens.

In the last 48 hours my inbox has been full of updates and calls for action.  We strongly encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we will share these updates and actionable steps to make your voices heard.  Our fight is here.

This piece was composed by Margy Waller and Jamie Bennett and released a day before the proposal to eliminate the NEA.  It outlines current conditions, perceptions and how we can articulate the impact of arts and culture in meaningful and connectable ways.

The arts bring us together.  In Northwest Ohio, NEA funding, either directly or through the Ohio Arts Council, impacts nearly every community.  

We need to make ourselves heard.

-Marc D. Folk

Upcoming Events

Photo by Kara Fallon

Calling all young creatives! Young Artists at Work (YAAW) apprentices spend six life-changing weeks with amazing peers and instructors while getting paid to develop skills in art making and creative expression. Interested? Visit our website or stop by the library to meet the Arts Commission Programs Coordinator Michelle Carlson and YAAW Coordinator Jason Sanderson and fill out your application on the spot! We have three opportunities for you to get your questions answered, avoid procrastination, and apply for the opportunity of a lifetime! Application deadline is March 24.

Friday, March 17th 3:30-5pm - LaGrange Branch
Monday, March 20th 3:30-5pm - South Branch
Tuesday, March 21st 3:30-5pm - Kent Branch

Photo by Kara Fallon

Art Loop is Toledo's signature monthly arts experience. Each third Thursday of the month, April - December from 5:30-9 p.m. the Art Loop offers a unique celebration of the area's creative community featuring special visual arts exhibitions, live music and performances, literary arts, and youth and family-friendly activities in Downtown Toledo. Art Loops are free to attend and all are welcome. We are thrilled to present the first Art Loop of the season on April 20, 2017 with the theme Spring Sounds. Details coming soon!


The Mix is The Arts Commission's signature spring fundraiser, featuring an exciting and exotic mix of live entertainment, art, food, and much more. Join us in Downtown Toledo as we celebrate our creative community. Look for more information coming soon!

May 12, 2017
VIP Doors Open 7:30pm-12:30am, General Admission Doors 8:30pm-12:30am

Gathered Glassblowing Studio and Graphite Design + Build, 15-23 N. Huron Street, Toledo
Tickets on our website or 419-254-2787 x0

Thank you, Toledo!

Toledo City Paper's Best of Toledo Awards
It's no secret that we love supporting local artists. Thank you, Toledo,  for recognizing that love and voting us the 2016 Best Supporter of the Local Arts! We're honored!
2017 American Advertising Awards- Toledo
This year's ADDY award winner list is full of friends! Madhouse Creative won a Bronze ADDY for the design of The Arts Commission website (if you haven't been, visit!). Our partners AIGA Toledo were awarded a Silver ADDY for the Sit and Tell project. And Brick x Brick, a project by Christopher Hatfield benefitting OWENI Toledo received a Judge's Choice and Student Silver ADDY Award. Congratulations!

YAAW Apprentices and Alumni in Action

Photos by John Eikost

 Young Artists at Work Mural Enlivens Library
We're thrilled to see this outdoor display of the 2016 Young Artist at Work Apprentices murals at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library! Thanks to these amazing artists for sharing their talent and to our partners at the Library and the Lucas County Department of Job and Family Services. Read more about the inspiration for the project in the Toledo Blade.

YAAW Alum Updates Children's Library Mural
Stop by the Children's Library in the Main Branch of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library to view a mural by Anastasia Wagner, a two time Young Artist at Work apprentice (2012, 2013) and intern (2016). She painted a new and improved replica of the library's original mural inspired by the cover illustration for the children's book, The Gold Cadillac by Mildred D. Taylor. Nice work, Anastasia!


Elected Official Q & A

This month, we begin a series of short interviews with local elected officials on the role of the arts in our community. We're happy to hear from Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson about her personal experience of the arts in Toledo. 
What artwork, performance or cultural event has had a lasting impact on you?
The El Greco and the Sneakers exhibitions at the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Toledo Symphony’s concert during Black History Month at St. Martin De Porres Church are all very positive and memorable experiences that I loved for different reasons. The Sneakers exhibit helped me to see art through the eyes of young people.

Where do you see potential for growth of the arts in Toledo?
There is a direct connection with student exposure to the arts and their ability to create and enjoy a robust environment. There is tremendous growth potential for the arts in Toledo: in the built environment, in the cultivated natural environment, and in the culture that exists in more creative space. 
What needs do the arts fulfill in ways that nothing else can?
Whether performing, visual or literary, the arts provide the opportunity for each of us to transcend our current place, mood and space.

Thank you for being a friend of the arts, Mayor Hicks-Hudson!

Volunteer Spotlight

Photo by Kara Fallon

This month we celebrate sisters Kerry and Kayla Kirkpatrick in our volunteer spotlight! Kerry is a Digital Arts graduate from Bowling Green and Kayla is currently a Music Major at Toledo School for the Arts. “We have grown up around the arts and culture in Toledo. Because of the dedication our city has to the arts, there is always something to see and do.” Kerry began working as an intern at The Arts Commission last year and after her term continued as a volunteer at the Art Loop. “I enjoy volunteering for The Arts Commission because this organization has a big hand in helping the arts in Toledo thrive. Volunteering is so much fun because I know I am helping to make a difference.” She asked Kayla to join her and the two now manage the Hensville Information Station during the monthly event. Kayla shared, “I like volunteering because I am able to work alongside my sister, meet new people and be involved in the local art community.” Thank you for all you do, Kerry and Kayla!

Interested in volunteering with us? Get in touch! Or if you are looking for a summer internship, the next application deadline is March 22.

Resources for Artists

Artists! We want to help you stay informed of local and national opportunities. Check the For Artists section on our website for regularly updated information. Here are a few highlights: 

Wild About Art Call For Artists
Application Deadline: March 31, 2017
The Toledo Zoo & Aquarium seeks artists to participate in Wild About Art, a two-day art show on Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6, 2017. This unique show, taking place at the Toledo Zoo, will feature local and regional artists with various mediums on display for thousands of Zoo visitors. More information on this opportunity can be found here.


Ode to the Zip Code deadline extended!
Entries accepted through March 20

Every neighborhood has a story to tell, and we want you to share yours in our second annual Ode to the Zip Code poetry contest. Finalists will be published in the Toledo City Paper and be invited to a live reading at the Main Library on 419 Day. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top winners!

Around Town: Art in Public Places

Major Ritual, Beverly Pepper, painted steel, 1979

This year, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the City of Toledo’s One Percent for Art Program. Established in 1977, the program was the first in the State and is the model for the State of Ohio’s One Percent for Art Program as administered through the Ohio Arts Council, which was established in 1990.

Dedicated in 1979, Major Ritual was the first major work to be commissioned under Toledo’s One Percent for Art program. The large painted steel sculpture angles sharply upward as if it were forced up through the earth. Artist Beverly Pepper was awarded the International Sculpture Center's Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award in 2013. Due to the upcoming expansion of the Federal Courthouse, this sculpture will be relocated this summer to an as yet to be determined site. Take a moment this spring to visit  Major Ritual in the current location

Subscribe and stay tuned for our updates each month!

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