Posted in GAP News

ArtWorks | Did You Know…? (Red, White & Blue Edition)

Our friends at the NEA posted a great article on their ArtWorks blog about some fun patriotic facts in the arts! Enjoy after the jump!

Did You Know…? (Red, White & Blue Edition), July 3, 2012

By Rebecca Gross

Contemplating Jasper Johns by flickr user a tea but no e

Did you know that the idea to start painting flags apparently came to Jasper Johns in a dream?

Did you know that history has a soft spot for jazz hands? When Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards turned the story of our country’s founding into the musical 1776, their work won three Tony Awards, ran for 1,217 performances, and was made into a movie.

Did you know that the image we today associate with Uncle Sam (white beard, star-spangled hat, bushy white hair) was introduced by artist and illustrator James Montgomery Flagg—and bears a striking resemblance to its creator? The image first appeared on a cover of Leslie’s Magazine in 1916, and became an icon when it was used on the famous “I Want You for U.S. Army” recruiting posters. Rather than go to the trouble of hiring a model, Flagg based Uncle Sam on his own reflection.

Did you know that the melody of “The Star Spangled Banner” was borrowed from a popular British drinking tune, “Anacreontic Song”? On a slightly more inspiring note, the lyrics come from The Defence of Fort McHenry, a poem written by Francis Scott Key after he witnessed the British bombardment of the fort during the War of 1812.

Did you know that Norman Rockwell, one of America’s most patriotic painters, was denied entry into the U.S. Navy in 1917 because he was underweight? After some quality gorging, he adequately tipped the scales and was able to enlist.

Did you know that it’s possible to pirouette to John Philip Sousa? In 1958, George Balanchine used Sousa’s marches as the score for his ballet, Stars and Stripes, which he choreographed for the New York City Ballet. The 28-minute piece has been performed on a number of important occasions, including the inauguration of Nelson Rockefeller as the governor of New York.

Did you know that Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” was originally recorded as part of a movie soundtrack? Although the final cut of the movie, eventually released as Light of Day, didn’t include the song, “Born in the USA” did just fine on its own. It peaked at number nine on the U.S. Billboard charts in 1984, and is considered by Rolling Stone to be one of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

via ArtWorks, the official blog of the National Endowment for the Arts



The mission of the Greenville Arts Council is to promote the rich cultural heritage of the region and stimulate and encourage cultural activities, arts appreciation, arts education, and the creative works of artists. Some of the responsibilities that help define the Greenville Arts Council as the primary promoter of the arts in our area include offering art classes to children and adults, organizing community events, presenting an ongoing series of free exhibits featuring visual artists from the area and the state, and coordinating educational programs which teach arts-integration in local schools. The Greenville Arts Partnership between the Greenville Arts Council, the Greenville Public School District and our three community arts partners, Delta Center Stage, Delta Symphony Association and the Delta Children’s Museum, is focused on full arts integration in the GPSD elementary schools. Plentiful research documents the value of the teaching in and through the arts to help students understand core academic concepts on a deep level. The partnership was the first in the state of Mississippi accepted into the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program in 2003, joining over 100 other partnerships between school districts and arts organizations across the country. The partnership provides professional development for teachers, arts experiences for students and resource and referral on arts integration issues. Professional development has been provided in two ways, through workshops with Teaching Artists from the Kennedy Touring Roster and grade-level and/or discipline-specific professional development with our local staff. We present a series of model demonstration lessons to teachers in grades K to 6, demonstrating connections between Partnership free arts programming and required state frameworks. The partner arts groups present a series of live performances allowing each elementary child in the GPSD to attend at least once each year. The groups work with the Arts Council staff to develop accompanying curriculum-based educational material for distribution to teachers prior to each performance. Over the years, we have succeeded in providing basic arts integration training district-wide as well as in-depth professional development to allow groups of teachers to increase their level of mastery.