Danielle Walter

AAD ePortfolio!

Learning Reflection: AAD 510 Media Management Praxis

Posted on | June 11, 2013 | No Comments

Digital Placemaking. Image source: http://www.digitalplacemaking.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/bigstock-city-17634020.jpg

I feel that I contributed a high level of commitment to written assignments, in-class discussions, and assigned readings during my time in Media Management Praxis. I found the presentations by Patti Zimmerman, Courtney Stubbert, and Rebecca Gates to be most inspiring and thought provoking because they encouraged social entrepreneurship/social enterprise and stressed the importance of cross-sector collaboration in media management and media literacy. As stated in my final essay, I feel that taking this class alongside my final research capstone revealed surprising connections between media management in online environments and cultural management in urban space. I found myself naturally connecting course concepts and lexicon terms with concepts of urban design interventions for community engagement and social change. As someone who is interested in pursuing a career in arts-based community development, themes of place, pattern recognition, and rhythm resonated strongly with strategies of cultural mapping, civic dialogue, equitable access, and empowerment. Today, arts administrators, cultural workers, arts advocates, and creative leaders are working to create vibrant and culturally expressive environments in their cities and online. Drawing connections between the management of these two types space highlight new strategies for both. Through the combination of creative placemaking theory and new technology, new possibilities for integration of theory and practice emerge. Digital placemaking creates virtual environments for spatial discovery, rhythmic organization, and interpretation of the built environment. Digital placemaking approaches to media management provide creative possibilities for arts administrators to use their existing knowledge of community engagement and cultural competency in new and effective ways for greater positive social impact online and offline. Opportunities for web-based community engagement and user-generated content are key factors in creating successful online space. It is the responsibility of arts administrators to drive this vision within the organization or institution. If arts administrators treat the management of their public media landscape like the development of a “third space” and approach it as if they were fostering a vibrant urban public space, they can use new media technologies to create strong communities online and offline.


+exhibits [Special Problems Reflection Post]

Posted on | March 19, 2013 | 1 Comment

This was a great learning experience!  As an individual member of our special topics group, I attended all meetings and completed my assigned tasks and responsibilities in a timely manner. I was originally given the role as “Exhibition Coordinator”, which meant that I would be in charge of coordinating the initial +exhibits exhibition (or pilot program) with predetermined artist and business. My role, however, evolved throughout the process due to several factors and I took over the position of “Business Outreach Coordinator”.

Early on in the term, I identified the new Bijou Art Cinemas location (on Willamette and Broadway) as one of the first participating businesses for +exhibits. In the heart of downtown Eugene, their new location is an ideal setting to launch the first +exhibits show. Through ongoing communication with Ed Schiessl, co-owner of the Bijou, I confirmed their interest and commitment to the program. The Bijou, however, will not be available to install a +exhibits show until the beginning of June. This pushed our original timeline back slightly and coordinating the pilot exhibition was no longer a top priority.

As a team, we realized that we needed to devote more effort to developing thorough program documentation – for both internal and external use. One of my biggest contributions was through the editing and revisions I provided to our documentation, including:

  1. Student Information
  2. Artist contract / Student Copy
  3. Artist contract / ECA Copy
  4. Business Information
  5. Business Contract / Business Copy
  6. Business Contract / ECA Copy
  7. Faculty Information

As Tracey took on a bigger role developing the artist professional development literature, I took over more of the business outreach and focused on the business perspective. In addition to the Bijou, here is a list of businesses I have been in contact with regarding potential interest in +exhibits and will be following up with our finalized documentation soon:

  • Cowfish
  • The Barnlight
  • Noisette Pastry Kitchen
  • The Pearl Day Spa
  • The Downtown Athletic Club & Conference Center
  • David Minor Theatre

Our team was most productive when we would come together for our weekly meetings. It was a time for us to collectively review the revisions we made on our own and discuss our progress of development. I was always fully engaged and respectful to my group members during these meetings, was everyone on the team, and this allowed us to work well and efficiently. In this way, this Special Topics experience was a great lesson in effective meeting management, task delegation and project organization.

Another valuable aspect of this experience was working with Courtney Stubbert at Eugene Contemporary Art. It was useful to gain his insight, not only as a leader of a small nonprofit, but as a graphic designer, artist, and a young professional living in Eugene.  I am looking forward to continuing to work with him and the rest of the +exhibits team during spring term. We have brought on Sarah Turner to be the “Exhibition Coordinator” for the pilot program in June, and I will continue to be the liaison with interested business.

During our discussions about +exhibits, I learned that ECA was in need of a grant writer. In conjunction with my Grant Proposal Writing course in spring term, I will research and write a grant for ECA. I am very excited to have the real world learning experience and I’m hopeful that I could make an impact on a local community organization.


Think Tank Final Reflection

Posted on | November 16, 2012 | No Comments

As often happens at the end of my most valuable and inspiring classes, I feel overwhelmed with all the rich topics and themes that we covered. I feel as if the issues addressed and questions raised during our class sessions (and on our blog site) “stirred the pot” of ideas in my head and now those newly formed concepts, inquiries and connections are still swirling around at a rapid pace while I try to make sense of it all. I suspect the processing and recognizing my take-aways from the Community Arts Think Tank will be an ongoing process throughout the rest of my graduate coursework and beyond. After all, I feel that I am still discovering the amount of foundational knowledge I gained and conceptual framework I built as a result of last year’s Community Arts Praxis course. In this final reflection, I will attempt to highlight some of the major affects this course had on my academic and professional trajectory, as well as some significant themes I want to pursue further… Click here to read more.

Arts Learning Synthesis

Posted on | June 12, 2012 | 1 Comment

Arts Learning Synthesis:

I entered this course with a variety academic and professional experience in art education, which had a profound influence on how I took in and processed class material and discussions. During my undergraduate studies, I brought art integration in to the classroom of a 1st grade Portland during a 3-month practicum. I volunteered for and later served as Arts Program Intern for the Portland Children’s Museum. During my time at the museum, I conducted a research study for a developmental psychology course, in which I examined the quantitative and qualitative outcomes of sensory-based exploration of clay. Most recently, I worked as Art Director at a private arts and science preschool, where I developed arts curriculum, trained teachers, and managed an arts studio for child-led art exploration. Although I enjoyed teaching and found it rewarding, eventually I realized that my passion for supporting the arts was not going to be an art educator. In addition, I saw the challenges, the frustration, and the burnout among arts educators I knew and read about. I highly doubtful that being an arts educator was an effective way to enact change and improve the state of the arts in this country.

Admittedly, I was apprehensive about this course. My professional goals include working either in local arts-based community development or national arts advocacy. At first, I was unsure how I would be able to apply this course to a career in that type of out-of-school setting. As I look back and reflect on those initial assumptions and perceptions, I realize that my definition of arts learning was far too narrow. Since taking this course, I have learned how broad arts learning practice really is. More importantly, I have learned that the structure and policy surrounding arts learning is complexly woven through all other aspects of arts and culture in the U.S. and the public education of future citizens. As an arts administrator it is critical that I have this solid understanding of arts learning practice and policy. I found that my background in arts education enabled me to contextualize all aspects of arts learning policy and practice, and allowed me to form deeper connections between the academic and the pragmatic.

Even though it was challenging, I found the Best Practices Rubric to be extremely valuable because it made me pair down key concepts in to just a few strong statements. It is easy for me to get overwhelmed with the amount of information and examples that we cover throughout the terms, so it is helpful to distill down major concepts. I learn best during in-person discussion. Verbally expressing my thoughts/questions; hearing ideas/questions from others; and working through challenging ideas together helps be build and solidify key ideas. Working in a group for this project allowed for this type of dynamic collaboration and engagement. The misunderstanding that resulted from our group approach to the assignment emphasized the importance of thorough source citation, and the value of clarifying expectations and details far in advance.

When it came time to create our own arts education plan from the ground up, I felt I had all the tools I needed. I could apply my newly established analytical framework to key aspects of programming development and implementation. For example, when designing an assessment strategy for CENT’s digital storytelling pilot program, I knew instinctively that the evaluation plan must directly address the anticipated outcomes; the survey process should be integrated throughout the program and adapted for accessibility; data collection should measure more quantitative and qualitative results; and the analysis of results should be used to inform the continued development and expansion of CENT’s arts programming.

I found my ePortfolio to be a valuable learning platform for this course. I enjoyed reflecting on class assignments, sharing out-of-class learning experiences; and posting relevant course resources. As we so often discussed in Arts Learning, real learning is making connections. Whenever possible, I try to relate my in-class topics to out-of-class experiences and outside material. My participation in the Rustbelt to Artistbelt Community Arts Convening and the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention was especially valuable because it challenged me to engage in arts learning discussions outside an academic setting arts educators, program managers, teaching artists, funders, and policy makers. It was not until my participation in the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention that I realized the true impact of the Arts Learning, when I found myself in a conversation with Urban Planner from Oklahoma City. She shared with me her dream for public art education to someday be as mandatory as physical education and as supported and celebrated as team sports. I agreed with her and shared what I knew to be the fundamental value of arts learning, both integrated learning and discipline-based. I told her that real change is possible when arts advocates look beyond the issue of funding and address main barriers including the national focus on standardized measurements of success; one model of arts education policy doesn’t fit all; the huge gap in professional development of teachers, teaching artists, and school administrators; the lack of buy-in from middle management leaders such as superintendents and the school board; and a lack of consensus among arts education spokespeople. She seemed impressed by my knowledge on the subject and said I gave her a lot to think about. During that conversation I realized that I was able to dialogue and brainstorm about arts learning in a way I couldn’t earlier this year. It really made me realize the amount of knowledge I gained from this course.

Reflections on Skype Discussion with Deb Vaughn

Posted on | May 19, 2012 | No Comments

I found Wednesday’s discussion with Deb Vaughn, Art Education Coordinator for the Oregon Arts Commission, to be extremely enlightening and thought provoking. She made several striking points on the state of arts learning in Oregon:

1. Oregon lacks any statewide art education priorities. The governor’s revised state education plan contains no mention of the arts and uses the word “creativity” only a couple times. This is extremely discouraging and reflects negatively on the future of public arts education in Oregon.

2. Deb acknowledged the fact that Oregon is not a like-minded state and people are resistant to state level mandates. All reform has to come from the bottom up and happen on the local level. This is important to be aware of when attempting to make any sort of impact on the quality and support for arts learning.

3. “Creativity and innovation is a feather in cap of Oregon,” Deb said. Oregon has a decision to make: Are we going to be a cradle for the arts – growing creative young people that eventually grow up and move away? Or are we going to be a magnet for the arts - attracting creative adults and cultural industry? Deb seemed to imply that it was one or the other.

4. When asked to address the issue of arts integration vs. artistic disciplines in schools, Deb admitted that at this stage, she believes arts integration has the most impact potential and should receive priority support. She explained that when funding and resources are limited, “quality of product should be sacrificed for quality of process.” I agree.

5. One of Deb’s long-term goal is to develop a set of state-wide objectives for arts eduction along with a strong and dedicated alliance of Oregon arts educators. She currently acts as the states convener of arts educators and hopes over time they can produce a state-wide coalition of goals and a collective plan of action. She mentioned goals suggested that professional development and reforming the way schools do business could have the most powerful impact. She looks to Connecticut’s art education agenda as one successful model.

Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project

Posted on | May 9, 2012 | No Comments

I came across this resource while researching out-of-school arts learning. For over three years the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project has worked on developing the framework and tools to effectively measure the three main outcome areas characteristic of youth arts programs. These areas relate to:
  1. Artistic expression (I Create)
  2. Identity (I Am)
  3. Community (We Connect)

Here is a link to the website.
Below is the handbook they developed. Their Framework for Outcomes is a particularly useful model.

Open publication – Free publishingMore arts

Marketing Research Presentation

Posted on | May 6, 2012 | No Comments

Infographics: A Powerful Marketing Tool










How is the arts and culture sector is using infographics?
Arts Across the Nation
Tech Savvy Museums

How can individual arts organizations use infographics to their advantage?
Springboard for the Arts Annual Report
The Place: Resolution!

Fun Examples of Infographics
Inforgraphic of Infographics
Intimate Look at Infographics

Infographic Resources and Tools
Do-It-Yourself Guide
Infographic Street Art

Rustbelt to Artistbelt Community Arts Conference Report

Posted on | April 30, 2012 | No Comments

At the beginning of April Savannah Barrett and I attended Rustbelt to Artistbelt: Convening at the Crossroads in St. Louis, MO. Organized by the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute of the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission (RAC), the purpose of the conference was to join 280 practitioners of arts-based community development programs to generate a discussion on the artist’s role in facilitating social change, community development, and regeneration. Like the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute, the convening is designed as a cross-sector forum for learning, sharing, and exchange. Participants ranging from artists to policy-makers to community development experts contributed to a collaborative and interactive forum.

The keynote speakers were Bill Cleveland and Arlene Goldbard, and the conference is supported by the Ford Foundation, Leveraging Investments in Creativity, the Kresge Foundation and the Regional Arts Commission. Other notable speakers included Liz Cranelyz, Matthew Fluharty (editor of Art of the Rural), Barbara Schaffer-Bacon, Will Sheffie, among many others that you’re sure to know about soon.

The following materials include our notes from the various sessions we attended. Inspiring moments, conversations, and connections abound from this conference, many of which could not be captured in the pen to paper format. For more information, photos, and notes from other sessions, visit the blog: http://rustbelttoartistbelt.com/blog/

Feel free to flip through the following notes that Savannah and I collected. The sessions/topics are as follows:

Rustbelt to Artistbelt: Reflection #1

Posted on | April 28, 2012 | No Comments

Mapping the Landscape of Art for Social Change

Friday, April 13 ~ 10:30am – 12pm

Presenters: Barbara Schaffer-Bacon, Co-Director of Animating Democracy
Bill Cleveland, Executive Director of Center for the Study of Art and Community

What is the motivation for the work that you do?

The ART?

What would you chose?

The first break-out session I attended at the Rustbelt to Artistbelt conference was definitely the most hands-on and dynamic. Bill Cleveland and Barbara Schaffer-Bacon gave an overview of the art for social change field using the following model.

We were asked to locate our work in one of the four main categories and move to the corresponding part of the room. From there, we engaged in small group discussions about how the nature of our work and our motivation for pursuing it. We addressed questions such as:  What unique skillset does our work require? What characteristics allow individuals to move more freely between sectors? The conversation opened up in to a broader discussion about the ethical implications of art for social change. To whom are we, as arts practitioners, accountable? How do we ensure and foster accountability? How do we establish credibility? How do we ensure best practice and cultivate sustainable relationships? It is essential to be explicit about the expectations and intentions of this work. Make your tools and methods visible, transparent, and accessible. Trust, open dialogue, and sufficient resources are vital to effective partnerships and community buy-in.

Barbara ended the session my charting the recent work of Animating Democracy, which aims to identify the indicators around which we can document and evaluate arts for change work. The goal is to communicate the impact with more specificity through evidence and accountability. This diagram, the Continuum of Impact, was shown to help us visualize and articulate the complex potential of the arts and encourage us to locate where our strengths and weaknesses fall within this expansive range. We, as individuals and organizations supporting art for social change, need to develop and enhance our vocabulary; cultivate resources to produce quantitative measurements of success; focus on sustainability through strategic planning; get connected with local and national networks; and be ever conscious of ethical implications and accountability.

I look forward to working for the Arts & Social Change Mapping Initiative during summer internship with Animating Democracy. I will be expanding Animating Democracy’s web-based LANDSCAPE database through a combination of research, invitation, and communications strategies to recruit new profiles from artists and organizations doing arts for change work.


Mapping the Field: Arts-Based Community Development By William Cleveland
Resources for Evaluating the Social Impact of the ArtsAnimating Democracy’s Arts & Civic Engagement Impact Initiative.

Rustbelt to Artistbelt: Reflection #2

Posted on | April 28, 2012 | No Comments

RogueHAA: The Architect’s Call-to-Arms

Friday, April 13 ~ 2:45pm – 4pm

Presenters: Melissa Dittmer, Architect/Associate
Dan Kinkead, Architect/Urban Designer
at Hamilton Anderson Associates (HAA) and rogueHAA

This session was of particular significance to me because it directly applies to my terminal research topic: How can artist-led spark civic dialogue about the revitalization of the urban landscape and inform development projects?

Here were the big ideas…


The city of Detroit is in trouble and the traditional role of the architect is no longer sufficient. rogueHAA is a volunteer-based collaboration of architects and designers addressing issues of urban revival through bold creative interventions and civic dialogue.

Striving to provide meaningful ways for citizens and creative workers to enact change, they pursue a collaborative regional agenda that recognizes Detroit’s strengths and the region’s shared destiny.

To effect change, we have to take ownership.
To effect change, we have to break the rules.
To effect change, we have to engage the young.
To effect change, we must extend our professions.

RogueHAA is committed to re-energizing the spirit and economy of Detroit’s post-industrial urban landscape by promoting stewardship through interdisciplinary and innovative design strategies. They carry out their work based on the following core principles:

We must provide residences with meaningful ways (tools) to make change in their community.

We must be dedicated to implementing ourselves

We must pursue a collaborative regional agenda that recognizes Detroit’s strengths and our region’s shared destiny.

We must promote stewardship for all areas of the city by implementing short- and long-term strategies.

We must reenergize Detroit’s economy.

We must support current residents and attract new residents.

We must make use of vacant land.

Projects Examples – read more!
Detroit Storefront Design Competition
The Detroit Wildlife Refuge Project

Design 99 (The Power House Project): A design studio situated in the public realm offering over-the-counter design consultations and seeking out opportunities to experiment with art and design within their community.
Model D: A web-based magazine creating new narratives for Detroit since 2005. We tell stories of development, re-development, creative people and businesses, vibrant neighborhoods and cool places to live, work and play.
Fractured Atlas: A national organization that supports folks at every level of the cultural ecosystem.
Detroit Works Project: A process to create a shared, achievable vision for the future that would serve as a guide to help improve the physical, social and economic landscape of our city Detroit.


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