8 July Message from the Executive Director July 8, 2015 Public arts, budget, donna collins, ohio, ohio arts council, tradition 4 Honoring Tradition In the July issue of the Ohio Arts Council's ArtsOhio newsletter, our theme of “tradition” resonates loud and clear with stories about Ohio's 50 years of support for arts and culture, guest post from Ohio Heritage Fellow Rick Good, and the national success of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), now 25 years old. Another exciting and notable tradition currently underway is that of thanking Ohio's executive and legislative leadership -- Governor John R. Kasich and members of the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate -- for their continued investment in arts and culture through the OAC. Just two weeks ago, Governor Kasich and state lawmakers approved an historic funding increase to invest in artists, arts organizations, and others who provide the arts for all Ohioans. For fifty years, we've been entrusted with public dollars to support arts and culture. Through our grantees, the return on the state's investment continues to grow -- a tradition we treasure. And here’s the good news -- your work strengthening the arts has been recognized in a big way by Ohio’s elected leaders. Looking Forward Breaking tradition is important too. I am reminded of Lemony Snicket, the author of A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Composer Is Dead, and 13 Words who wrote: “Just because something is traditional is no reason to do it, of course.” When I arrived at the OAC last July, one of the first things we did as a staff was to review every program, grant area, resource, and process thoroughly. It was a time-intensive but critical exercise -- looking at traditional practices, relevant ways of doing business, and innovative changes for the future. This review has resulted in some very positive changes on the horizon: 1. Development of a new online grant application system, ARTIE (Arts Resources Through Investment and Engagement), will be finalized this fall and available for the next grant cycle. Streamlined OAC grant applications and final reports -- with questions that center around your mission and vision -- will accompany ARTIE. 2. An updated OAC website with improved user-experience, intuitive navigation, and valuable resources is underway. 3. Professional learning resources -- including peer networks, communities of practice, webinars, facilitated in-person gatherings, regional conversations, and a statewide convening -- will be rolled out in the coming months. These are just a few of the big improvements we have in-store for you! At the OAC, we've started a new tradition: We will review our practices and programs regularly to make positive needed changes to the benefit of Ohioans. We strive to be innovative, engaged leaders seeking to invest your state and federal tax dollars to the greatest benefit of all Ohioans through arts and culture. Thank you for inspiring us. Your leadership in the arts makes our jobs all the more meaningful. Until next time, Donna Comments are closed.