OCTOBER SPOTLIGHT ON HOUSTON ENDOWMENT

For the month of October, GIA’s photo banner features a selection of artists and projects funded by Houston Endowment. Houston Endowment is the Anchor Sponsor for the annual GIA 2014 Conference happening this month. Learn more about the foundation here.

Posted on October 23, 2014 by Steve

South Arts has received a grant of $450,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support their Dance Touring Initiative (DTI) through 2018. The initiative, launched in 2009, is building a network of performing arts presenters throughout the South that can bring modern dance and contemporary ballet companies as part of their season for public performances and artist residencies. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as stated in their mission, “endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies.”

Posted on October 23, 2014 by Steve

From James McQuaid at The Guardian:

At this year’s Arts Marketing Association conference, the National Arts Strategies president, Russell Willis Taylor, made some thought-provoking points through a case study on Ikea from which she believed arts and culture can learn. One of these was about knowing your value proposition: what are you uniquely placed to offer and how can this exude through an organisation? Willis Taylor encouraged us to be opportunistic, to build in space, energy and money in order to learn, keep our eyes open and be flexible and responsive. Her example to illustrate this in Ikea was the employee who started screwing off table legs to get the furniture into customers’ cars, which led to a revolution in the brand’s production and the flatpack we all know and (mostly) love today.
Posted on October 23, 2014 by Steve

From Shelly Gilbride, writing for California Arts Council Blog:

This isn’t a class in your average school. This is a class at the Juvenile Justice Center in Alameda and these boys are incarcerated. They live in tiny, sparse cells. The walled courtyard isn’t big enough for a real game of catch. These are tough kids who have had tough lives and are currently dealing with really tough circumstances. But when they are dancing, they are just kids, trying to get the moves right. I was privileged to witness that class as part of the Alameda County Office of Education’s bold initiative to address the “School to Prison Pipeline.”
Posted on October 21, 2014 by SuJ'n

Last week at the GIA conference in Houston, Aaron Dworkin (The Sphinx Organization), Maurine Knighton (Nathan Cummings Foundation), and Roberta Uno (Ford Foundation) presented a session on addressing the significant disparity in how funding reaches underserved communities and smaller arts organizations. Per its design, the intended session outcome was to develop a list of key strategies to address inequitable funding in collaboration with the audience members.

Posted on October 21, 2014 by Steve

From Ruth McCambridge, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

GuideStar has announced a new initiative to monitor the diversity of the nonprofit sector. It plans to work with the D5 Coalition and a range of other partners to collect diversity data about staff, board, and volunteer demographics in nonprofits and philanthropy. Saying that past sporadic attempts to collect such information were inadequate, Kelly Brown, Director of the D5 coalition, said that the end game of the project is diversity in the sector that is reflective of current demographics, but also inclusion and equity.
Posted on October 21, 2014 by Steve

GIA Conference blogger Sarah Lutman provides some ideas for the Los Angeles Conference in 2015:

Compared to GIA’s early years, last week’s conference was more diverse demographically, and courageous in the difficulty of topics brought forward for discussion. The through-line of conversations about race, for example, was substantive and it is vital, challenging work to embrace. The question of whether grantmaking can do more harm than good also was raised. Bravo to GIA for broadening the discussion, involving more people, and creating urgency around deeds, not words, in addressing the field’s most deeply-rooted problems.
Posted on October 20, 2014 by Steve

Conference blogger Barry Hessenius turns in a final post to the GIA 2014 Conference blog:

The 2014 GIA Conference was, I think, very successful. This gathering remains small enough to be intimate, but large enough so that the conversations are expansive. As the funding community continues to grapple with some very large challenges, as a body it is making steady progress on working together to, if not collaborate on every approach, at least coordinate some of what use to be very disparate and wide ranging approaches. Perhaps the word that ought to be included in the vocabulary above is the word SHARING.
Posted on October 20, 2014 by Steve

The latest post from Sarah Lutman on the GIA 2014 Conference blog:

The staff of the John L. and James S. Knight Foundation offered a terrific session on Transmedia Narrative on Tuesday. Presenters were Eric Schoenborn, Creative Director at Knight, and Nicole Chipi, Arts Program Associate. In the three main parts of their presentation, they showed examples of narratives they consider well told; described their internal creative processes for telling Knight’s own stories and how they choose which media to use; and offered advice to other grantmakers for ways to work with grantees to tell their stories effectively and to get their stories out to more people.
Posted on October 18, 2014 by Steve

Barry Hessenius covers the GIA preconference, held on Sunday, October 12 in Houston:

This all day session was intended for newer program officers, trustees and foundation executives — but the reality was that the attendees were split between newbies and those who are recognizable names in the philanthropic community with long resumes. The combination of the two made the questions throughout the session very interesting and relevant.
Posted on October 18, 2014 by Steve

The latest post from Sarah Lutman on the GIA 2014 Conference blog is her report from the session Getting Beyond Breakeven 2.0:

Susan Nelson of TDC gave us a healthy dose of her thought leadership in her GIA session with Olive Mosier of the William Penn Foundation. She presented — for the first time — the findings of a new report on Philadelphia cultural institutions that comes five years after the breakthrough study, Getting Beyond Breakeven: A Review of Capitalization Needs and Challenges of Philadelphia’s Arts and Culture Organizations.
Posted on October 17, 2014 by Steve

From Tony Nitti, writing for Forbes:

It has to suck to make your living as an artist. For starters, you have to be able to sculpt, draw, or paint things that, you know… look like things. But even if you can, you know damn well that when you tell someone at a dinner party that you’re an “artist,” they’ll smugly assume that’s just a pleasant euphemism for “unemployed trust fund baby.” And on the off chance that all your creativity and hard work pays off and you have a piece prominently displayed in a gallery or museum, you’ll have to repeatedly deal with a boorish lout like me eyeing up your magnum opus and dismissively professing, “I don’t get it.”
Posted on October 17, 2014 by Steve

From Joel Brown at The Boston Globe:

Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s administration is preparing the canvas for an 18-month citywide “cultural planning process” to put the arts at the heart of the city’s future for at least the next decade, for artists, residents, and visitors alike. Under incoming Boston chief of arts and culture Julie Burros, the process can consider anything from festivals to public art, and from easier permitting for neighborhood arts events to affordable housing for artists who might otherwise move somewhere else to work. Everything is on the table.
Posted on October 17, 2014 by Tommer

“Culturally enriching field trips matter. They produce significant benefits for students on a variety of educational outcomes that schools and communities care about. This experiment on the effects of field trips to see live theater demonstrates that seeing plays is an effective way to teach academic content; increases student tolerance by providing exposure to a broader, more diverse world; and improves the ability of students to recognize what other people are thinking or feeling.

Posted on October 16, 2014 by Steve

A study released by the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project shows that America’s most recent arts graduates are using skills learned in school combined with internship experiences to find work, forge careers and engage their communities, despite higher student debt levels than older alumni. The report, “Making It Work: The Education and Employment of Recent Arts Graduates,” analyzes data from more than 88,000 arts alumni of all ages, with a particular focus on the 17,000 recent alumni — those who finished their undergraduate or graduate level degrees up to five years prior. Arts alumni participating in the study attended 140 degree-granting institutions in 41 states and the District of Columbia.

Posted on October 16, 2014 by Steve

Bloomberg Philanthropies is launching a new program to support temporary public art projects that engage communities, enhance creativity and enrich the vibrancy of cities. Bloomberg Philanthropies is inviting mayors in cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for innovative temporary public art projects that demonstrate close collaboration between artists, or arts organizations and city government. At least three cities will be selected to receive up to $1 million each over two years.

Posted on October 16, 2014 by Steve

The third session in a four-part Native American Educational Series from Philanthropy Southwest will explore the interplay of policy, philanthropy and the Native American and Alaska Native communities. Maximizing the Return on Your Investment will take place Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm (EST)/11:30 (PST), and is presented by Native Americans in Philanthropy in partnership with Casey Family Programs, Center for Native American Youth, Philanthropy Northwest and Philanthropy Southwest.

Posted on October 16, 2014 by Steve

Barry Hessenius posts his observations from the GIA Conference:

Roberto Bedoya (Executive Director Tucson Pima Arts Council) and Rick Lowe (Founder Project Row Houses, Houston, and 2014 MacArthur Fellow) are two very highly articulate leaders in the conversations – within and without our sector – on issues of diversity, equity, race, color and the arts (among other conversations). They have both been around long enough to know what they are talking about, and they both offer comments that are incisive, yet intended to educate and inform rather than accuse or corner.
Posted on October 15, 2014 by Steve

Conference blogger Latoya Peterson turns in her first set of observations from Houston:

Can a conversation about race be a performance? What does that simple framework shift do to the conversation? The answer: everything. The long table conversation is a fascinating thing to watch unfold. Participants come in and out as they please. There is snacking and scribbling, mostly on topic. Some people were determined watchers, setting up camp on the chairs on the far edge of the perimeter. And others eagerly queued up in the seats closest to the table, waiting for the moment they could tap someone on the shoulder, sending that performer out and putting themselves into the conversation.
Posted on October 15, 2014 by Steve

Days One and Two at the 2014 GIA conference in Houston have gone by quickly — jam packed days with sessions from early morning (8:00) through evening (9:00 or 10:00 + socializing) and almost no breaks... On Monday the very first session I attended was Art and Tech: Bending New Technologies to Native Traditions, organized by Wendy Red Star, Program Associate, and T. Lulani Arquette, President and CEO, of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, based in Vancouver, Washington.

Posted on October 14, 2014 by Steve

With the GIA 2014 Conference well underway in Houston, you can follow the thoughts and observations of the three conference bloggers at blogs.giarts.org/gia2014/. Barry Hessenius has posted his day one experience:

Note: There is no way I can possibly cover all the material I absorbed in today’s sessions and do justice to it all tonight. So, I am going to hit a couple of highlights and then come back later in the week and cover the rest, together with some personal comments and insights. And that is likely to be my approach tomorrow as well. I also plan on a separate post on the GIA Preconference on the Unique Practice of Arts Grantmaking this weekend.
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