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Arts Extension Service 50th Anniversary

Join the Arts Extension Service (AES) in celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2024! From its base at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, AES has been an impactful local and national leader in the fields of community arts development, public art, arts entrepreneurship, creative economy, arts management training, primarily developing communities through arts and culture, and in the last decade, working at the intersection of art and climate.

A 50th anniversary event celebrating AES's impact over the past 50 years will be held at Old Chapel on the UMass campus on March 28th from 3:45 to 6 PM.

Articles by Faculty and Arts Extension Institute Board Members:

This series of articles invites past and present AES staff and Arts Extension Institute directors as well as esteemed national community arts leaders to share their experience and perspectives on AES’s distinctive approach, seminal programs in local arts council development, cultural leadership and arts management training, cultural planning, and public art and their impacts near and far. New articles will be released through March 2024.

The Arts Extension Institute, a 501(c)(3)nonprofit, is run by former AES Directors, staff, and others who work to bring the news from the field to AES to support AES research and programs.

  • In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union, by Dorothy Chen-Courtin (AEI board member, Worcester Art Museum Board president). Dorothy documents her conversation with Stan Rosenberg (AEI Board member and former State Senate president) about the founding of the Arts Extension Service.
  • What Goes Around..., by Bill Cleveland (AES instructor, director of the Center for the Study of Art & Community and host of the Change the Story/Change the World podcast). Bill recounts his collaboration with AES for community arts training.
  • State and National Arts Advocacy Methods Incubated at AES, by Robert L. Lynch (AEI board member, former AES Director, and former director and CEO of Americans for the Arts).  Bob recounts AES’s key role nearly 50 years ago in developing statewide arts advocacy strategies, coalitions, and impacts and then taking this passion and experience to Americans for the Arts to achieve national arts advocacy strategies and impacts.
  • Peer Advising Network: Tapping & Building Practitioner-Advisors by Craig Dreeszen, Ph.D. (AEI board member, former AES director, and educator and consultant in arts organization development). Craig chronicles how his personal passion for organizational development and UMass academic expertise combined to create the Peer Advisor Network program. Across the country, AES partnered with arts service agencies to develop networks of experienced arts professionals to advise peers and help strengthen their organizational capacity for success.
  • The Ripples Continue: The Peer Advising Network by Maryo Gard Ewell (groundbreaking community arts historian, chronicler, and leader with state and local arts agencies in CO, IL, and CT). Maryo recounts the broad and deep impacts of Peer Advising Networks formed during her decades of work with the Colorado Council on the Arts, Colorado Tourism Office, and the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley. PAN training has built reliable collegial advisor networks and purposeful and sustainable arts organizations and leaders.
  • Going Public: AES’s State and National Roles in Advancing Public Art by Pam Korza (AEI Board Member, former AES Special Projects Coordinator, and former co-director, Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts).  Pam recounts AES’s state and national roles at a catalytic moment in the burgeoning public art field and its contributions to advancing quality practices support the interests of artists, publics, and the field then and now.

If you have a story to share, email aes@acad.umass.edu or join the AES Alumni Facebook group.

Follow @umassaes on Instagram or Facebook to hear testimonials from past and present AES students.

Event Program

3:45 PM - 4:00 PM Reception
Music: Tony Vacca*

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM Program
Dee Boyle-Clapp*, Director, Arts Extension Service;  Joye Bowman, Interim Dean, College of Humanities and Fine Arts

50 Year Highlights and Impacts
Barbara Schaffer Bacon*, Board of Directors, Arts Extension Institute, former Arts Extension Service Director

Student Voices Video
Terre Parker, Program Coordinator, Arts Extension Service

Engagement on Campus and in the Community
Terre Parker

Chancellor's Remarks
Cnancellor Javier Reyes, UMass Amherst

AES Current and Future Work
Dee Boyle-Clapp

Culture for Climate Action (C4CA) Panel
Dee Boyle-Clapp;
Rhonda Anderson, Ohketeau Cultural Center;
Adam Bright, DoubleEdge Theatre;
Katy Moonan, Paper City Clothing Company;
River Strong, UMass Clean Energy Extension.

Thank You and Closing
Dee Boyle-Clapp

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Reception
Music: Tony Vacca Trio


*UMass Amherst Alum