Grantmakers in the Arts is now accepting session proposals for the GIA 2015 Conference in Los Angeles, October 18-21. If you are a member, you can outline your idea(s) and submit them via an online form. Deadline for submissions is Friday, April 3. Details on how to submit proposals is here.

Posted on March 30, 2015 by Steve

From Abby Ellin at The New York Times:

Conventional wisdom holds that if you do not write your “Farewell to Arms,” paint your “Starry Night,” start the next Twitter or climb Mount Everest by young adulthood, or at least middle age, then chances are you will never do it. But that idea is becoming increasingly outdated as people are not only having successes later in life, but blooming in areas they never expected. Maybe they are not making millions, or wielding a brush like Rembrandt. Still, many people are discovering that the latter part of their lives can be just as (or even more) rewarding creatively, emotionally and spiritually.
Posted on March 28, 2015 by Steve

From PBS Newshour:

As part of a growing national movement to revitalize the symphony experience for patrons, the San Francisco Symphony recently launched SoundBox, a show series meant to create new musical experiences and entice new audiences.
Posted on March 26, 2015 by Steve

The Regional Arts Commission (RAC), the largest annual funder of the arts in the St. Louis region, has announced the appointment of Felicia Shaw to the position of executive director. Shaw succeeds Jill McGuire, who served for 30 years as RAC’s founding executive director. A native St. Louisan, Shaw will assume the position of executive director effective May 11, 2015. A nationwide search had been conducted by Arts Consulting Group. Shaw, a current member of the GIA Board of Directors, was previously the director of arts and creative economy at The San Diego Foundation.

Posted on March 26, 2015 by Steve

Diane Ragsdale posts to Jumper:

This is the sixth post in a series of posts focused on the course on beauty that I am coordinating/teaching for business students at UW-Madison. In the fourth week of the Beauty Class I wanted to explore the notion, articulated by Jeanette Winterson, that “art can waken us to truths about ourselves and the world.”
Posted on March 26, 2015 by Steve

From Kaitlyn Buss, The Detroit News:

Over a cup of coffee downtown, it was quickly obvious Tod Machover’s passion for “Symphony in D,” the first sonic portrait of Detroit, is largely due to the material at his disposal: The city’s rich, yet often overlooked, relationship with music and a community eager to continue it. “In many ways, I think Detroit’s the place I always wanted to do this project,” he says. His research into Detroit’s neighborhoods and people, along with sounds submitted by Detroiters over the coming months, will be the basis for the symphony, set to debut in November.
Posted on March 24, 2015 by Steve

Grantmakers in the Arts releases a statement of purpose for racial equity in arts philanthropy, which will direct the work of the organization moving forward.

Posted on March 19, 2015 by Steve

From Michael Hodges, fine arts writer for The Detroit News:

Aaron P. Dworkin, founder and president of Detroit’s nationally recognized Sphinx Organization, will be the new dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance. University regents voted to confirm the appointment Thursday afternoon. Dworkin, 44, takes over in July. His wife, Afa Sadykhly Dworkin, Sphinx’s executive and artistic director, will become president.
Posted on March 19, 2015 by Steve

Rebecca Thomas finishes her six myths piece for Associated Grant Makers:

In my last piece for In Philanthrophy, I offered three recommendations for how grantmakers can overcome commonly held misconceptions about the role of money in strengthening nonprofit effectiveness. I encouraged funders to: support comprehensive capitalization planning, reward financial management practices that promote surpluses and savings, and consider seeding cash reserves as a source of funds for handling and taking risk. Here, I share three additional myths that get in the way of healthy nonprofit finances and suggest funder practices that, in my experience, create an environment more supportive of organizational success.

Read the full post.

Posted on March 19, 2015 by Steve

Vickie Benson, posting to The McKnight Foundation blog:

Simply stated, creative placemaking builds strong, cross-sector partnerships grounded in arts and culture, by people and for people, to celebrate the lifeblood of a place. And while the cross-sector aspect is undeniably important, a crucial factor for success, in my opinion, is that arts organizations and artists are treated as leading or equal partners in the broad mix. It was important for the arts field to have researchers as experienced, thoughtful, and knowledgeable as Markusen and Gadwa — each with their own long histories working with artists — to tackle the phenomena of creative placemaking.
Posted on March 17, 2015 by Steve

Insights and Lessons: Community Arts and College Arts is a new report commissioned by The Kresge Foundation at the completion of a pair of multiyear initiatives that were intended as a way to challenge communities to use art and culture as a tool to address broader community issues in underinvested urban neighborhoods.

The foundation saw the two pilots — Community Arts and College Arts — as learning initiatives that would enable staff to experiment with a different kind of grantmaking. They would also test the assumption that the arts can address society’s pressing issues, transform communities and lift spirits during an economic downturn. While many local funders have deep experience in community arts, it was new territory for Kresge’s Arts and Culture Program.

Posted on March 16, 2015 by Steve

On April 28th and 29th, Aroha Philanthropies will convene an intimate gathering of philanthropists, grantmakers and thought leaders to explore the emerging field of artful aging — and the transformative potential that learning, making and sharing art can have for people 55 and over. The convening will be held at the offices of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, California.

Learn more and request an invitation to attend.

Posted on March 11, 2015 by Steve

Julia M. Stasch, who has served as interim president for the past eight months, has been chosen as the next President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Before becoming interim president, she had served as Vice President for MacArthur’s U.S. Programs for 13 years and led work in juvenile justice, affordable rental housing, community development finance, and policy research, as well as community and economic development in Chicago.

Posted on March 10, 2015 by Steve

Corporate Social Responsibility & the Arts, a new report from AFTA’s Animating Democracy program, explores the current landscape of corporate support for arts and culture — one in which more corporations are focusing strategically on issues that align with their business interests and have a positive social impact on their employees, their consumers, and/or the communities in which they do business.

Posted on March 10, 2015 by Steve

From Rebecca Thomas, writing for Associated Grant Makers:

Given the power that grantmakers have to influence nonprofit missions and finances, it’s crucial to “get capital right.” In this two-part series for AGM’s InPhilanthropy, I highlight six false ideas about money that I often hear and offer some suggestions for how grantmakers can improve how they communicate with and support the sector. While strengthening the sector’s financial health will certainly require some heavy lifting by nonprofits themselves, funders are in the driver’s seat, so change starts with you.

Read the full post.

Posted on March 9, 2015 by Steve

From Ruth McCambridge, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

The Council on Foundations just released its latest salary survey, so we thought we would share some of its most pertinent findings as they relate to diversity and leadership data from other surveys. Some of it conforms to what we see happening in the rest of the sector — older, relatively white CEO leadership with relatively long tenures.
  • Relatively long CEO tenures: More than 40 percent of grantmaker CEOs have been CEO for ten or more years. This is almost exactly the same percentage as was found in the recent survey of nonprofits performed by BoardSource, where it was reported that 41 percent of the CEOs who responded had been in their positions for 10 years or longer.
Posted on March 9, 2015 by Steve

Vickie Benson, arts program director for The McKnight Foundation (and former GIA Chair), talks to Barry Hessenius:

Foundations are in business to be in support of their missions. McKnight’s arts program follows a legacy set early on by the McKnight Foundation Board of Directors—the arts program supports working artists. We rely on arts organizations to provide the support structures that working artists need to be successful — institutions of all types, sizes, and ages that support working artists.
Posted on March 6, 2015 by Steve

Doug Israel, Director of Research and Policy for The Center for Arts Education, posts to Huffington Post Education:

After years of budget cuts, and a narrowing of curriculum at public schools across the country, urban school districts, such as New York and Chicago, are taking bold steps to expand the school day curriculum and once again invest in arts education.

Owing largely to mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, school districts of all sizes spent years focusing educational goals very narrowly on improving test scores in just two subject areas — English Language Arts and Math. This came at the expense of the arts, music, and other subject areas that were not being tested.

Read the full post.

Posted on March 5, 2015 by Steve

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced on March 5 the 12 finalist cities in the running to receive up to $1 million each as part of the Public Art Challenge, a new program aimed at supporting temporary public art projects that engage communities, enhance creativity, and enrich the vibrancy of cities. Bloomberg Philanthropies invited mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for innovative temporary public art projects that address a civic issue, and demonstrate close collaboration between artists or arts organizations and city government. More than 230 cities submitted proposals for consideration in the Public Art Challenge, representing 68 million residents across the United States.

Posted on March 5, 2015 by Steve

From Robin Pogrebin at The New York Times:

The city’s initiative comes as the lack of racial diversity in culture has been widely noted, including Neil Patrick Harris’s recent reference to the whiteness of the Oscars. In addition, the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, just released its second “Hollywood Diversity Report,” which found racial and gender imbalances in film and television.

The Department of Cultural Affairs announced its planned survey at a meeting in January at the Ford Foundation that was attended by about 230 representatives of arts groups. An additional 200 attended a second meeting last month at BRIC, a nonprofit arts and media organization in Brooklyn. Arts executives who went to the meetings said they welcomed the city’s effort and did not view it with alarm.

Read the full article.

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