Do we take the arts for granted?

Chicago has thriving arts communities, artists,and arts organizations in spite of the economy,declining and aging audiences, and reduced attention to the arts in schools. The arts are as much a part of any community as sports teams, parks or shopping areas. While we cheer on our teams - winners or not - we may not show community support for arts organizations. Do they have fans that show up with painted faces? A cheer? A mascot? And why not?

We assume the arts will be there when we want to participate or attend. If one theater company disbands, another will appear quickly as will another dance company or gallery - although with a different aesthetic or audience perhaps. Parents have rallied when budget cuts threatened the arts in the schools - but the cuts were made anyway. It's been up to families who value the arts to find a way to provide arts education for their kids.

Arts organizations rely on earned income and grants and contributions for survival - and may or may not pay their artists. We have many artists earning a living other ways in order to do what they love - performing or painting or writing.

We're familiar with the public faces of the arts: the art form itself; the performers and visual artists and authors. What we forget is that the arts happen because they have support from arts organizations. We take the organizational aspects of arts organizations more for granted than the arts themselves. There are managers and administrators; business managers, marketers, development officers, interns and others who make sure that the artists can do what they do in front of an audience or on-line.

Millennia recognizes the need for strong arts organizations with staff and board capabilities, sound financial practices, and presence in social media. Supporting the arts means supporting all of the activities behind the scenes as well. We provide a range of organizational capacity building services to arts organizations. Contact at us for more information. We are always willing to talk. I want more info on Millennia Consulting.

Raising Education Funds in Vermont

Good Will-Hinckley Charter School

Good Will-Hinckley began life as a Maine orphanage in the 19th century. Today, its more than 1,800 acres are home to several educational programs including the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences, the State's first charter school.The Maine Academy works with at-risk youth and offers a curriculum that centers on hands-on natural science and agriculture projects.

Glenn Cummings, Good Will-Hinckley's President and former Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, asked Millennia's David Steven Rappoport to assist the Academy in preparing an application to the federal Department of Education's Charter Schools Program Planning, Program Design, and Initial Implementation grant competition. The resulting application was one of 16 funded out of 71 applications, for a three-year funding total of $551,112.The proposal received reviewer scores of 320 out of a maximum of 327 points.

In a separate assignment, Millennia was also engaged by the State of Vermont to develop its $37.5M Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge application to the federal Department of Education.

Millennia Partner Shares School-Based Health Center Experience at Leadership Conference

On October 4,2013, Millennia partner Brenda Bannor, Jeanne Ang, Director of Primary Care Services at the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center, and Karen Molnar-Smith, former Health Services Coordinator of Round Lake Area School District - 116 co-presented at the Illinois Primary Health Care Association's 2013 Annual Leadership Conference. Their session, A Case Study: A Community Collaborative Approach to Starting a School-Based Health Center, highlighted a successful community collaborative approach undertaken in the Round Lake Area to open a school-based health center. Their presentation delineated the steps involved in creating and maintaining a community collaborative, shared the benefits of engaging in a collaborative approach to planning, and identified examples of strategies for engaging the community.