HURRICANE RELIEF: HOW FUNDERS CAN HELP
Our hearts and thoughts are with the communities affected by recent hurricanes in the Southeast. Grantmakers in the Arts has a page of resources for arts funders who may be seeking information. Watch this page for updates as they become available.
Posted on September 22, 2017 by Monica

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) and The California Endowment (TCE) have released the first report in a series exploring the connections between traditional arts and cultural practices and community well-being. The report is a case study examining Engaging Cultural Assets Pilot Project in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, work funded by TCE and conducted by ACTA.

Posted on September 21, 2017 by Monica

From the Houston Chronicle:

The Houston Arts Alliance has hired a nationally-known figure with a strong background in arts education as its next CEO.

Board chair Philamena Baird announced that John Abodeely, former acting executive director for the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, will become the alliance's new leader on Nov. 6. His "experience, skill and high energy" are just what the city and the alliance need, she said.

During his four years with the President's Committee, Abodeely oversaw strategy and operations for four pillar programs, managed a $4 million fundraising program, and directed the first bilateral government delegation to Cuba. He also co-designed an innovative program that integrated arts to boost academic achievement and increase student engagement.

Posted on September 21, 2017 by Monica

The Washington Post has published an interactive and multimedia article that explores what happens in the human brain when watching a ballet performance:

Scientists studying various aspects of the arts believe certain components especially excite the brain. Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran proposes several universal laws of art, or common patterns found in works of art across time and cultures. These principles powerfully activate our visual centers. In theory, they tap into evolved survival responses.
Posted on September 20, 2017 by Monica

Flynn Center for the Performing Arts announced that its executive director, John Killacky, will step down from his role in June 2018. Killacky previously served on the board of Grantmakers in the Arts and as program officer for arts and culture at The San Francisco Foundation. As reported by Seven Days:

During his tenure [at the Flynn Center], the organization flourished, "growing to a $7.7 million operating budget while maintaining the organization's commitment to presenting exceptional artistic, educational and community engagement programs."
Posted on September 19, 2017 by Monica

Rebecca Thomas recently published a blog post outlining "Six Steps for Sustainability Planning."

A good financial plan plots a realistic route to fiscal health. It makes visible whether, and how, an organization is achieving its financial goals. It anticipates the goal of sustainability, but recognizes that the direction of travel won’t always be a straight line. It enables flexible decision-making by identifying targets that have been missed or exceeded.

Rebecca Thomas facilitates GIA's Conversations on Capitalization and Community workshops.

Read the full blog post.

Posted on September 14, 2017 by Monica

Arts patron and philanthropist Alice Walton announced the formation of Art Bridges, a 501(c)(3) foundation focused on sharing outstanding works of American art. Collaborating with museums and institutions of all sizes and in all regions of the country, Art Bridges will help create and fund exhibitions, bringing together art from museums, private collections, foundations, and a collection established as a part of Art Bridges.

“Our country’s significant works of art should be available for all to see and enjoy,” said Walton. “Outstanding artworks are in museum vaults and private collections; let’s make that art available to everyone, and provide a way to experience these cultural treasures.”

Posted on September 14, 2017 by Monica

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation President Earl Lewis will step down in March 2018 after five productive years at the helm. At the completion of his five-year term, Lewis will return to the academy, and launch a new initiative, The Center for Social Solutions, to focus efforts on three core areas of concern — race and diversity; water; and the future of work. He expects to announce more details in the new year.

Posted on September 12, 2017 by Monica

The Alliance of Artists Communities has announced the six inaugural recipients of its Diversity and Leadership Fellowship. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the fellowship aims to promote equity in the residency field through direct support of emerging arts administrators of color and administrators with disabilities regardless of their current role. It supports the cost of participation in the Alliance’s annual conference; a site visit to a leading artist residency center in spring 2018; facilitated peer exchanges; and the cost of participation in the 2018 Emerging Program Institute. The fellowship expands upon a successful pilot program undertaken last year.

Read the full announcement.

Posted on September 11, 2017 by Monica

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) will receive a funding increase to its current base of $60 million, bringing it to $80 million over four years by fiscal year 2020-21. Over the next four years, this added investment to OAC programs will ensure that Ontarians have increased access to arts activity throughout the province and ensure that they see themselves represented in the arts. Two-thirds of the increased granting budget will be used to augment operating grants to arts organizations.

Posted on September 7, 2017 by Monica

Older adults who create art and attend arts events have better health outcomes than adults who do neither is one of the conclusions in a new report published by the National Endowment for the Arts. Staying Engaged: Health Patterns of Older Americans Who Engage in the Arts presents the first detailed look at arts participation habits, attitudes toward the arts, and related health characteristics of adults aged 55 and older.

Posted on September 7, 2017 by Monica

Not-for-profit organizations dedicated to serving the Greater Houston arts and cultural sector have joined together to launch the Harvey Arts Recovery Fund.

The Fund will accept tax-deductible donations to provide aid to individual artists who suffered personal and professional losses during Hurricane Harvey and the flooding that followed, as well as financially assist small and mid-sized arts and cultural organizations rebuilding after Harvey.

The Fund will be housed at the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), a 501(c)(3) public charity, and support the disaster recovery needs of the Greater Houston arts, culture, and creative community in the 10-county region of Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria, Galveston, Liberty, Waller, Chambers, Austin and San Jacinto.

Read the full announcement.

Posted on September 6, 2017 by Monica

In a recent blog post, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker reflects on recent political events and the need for moral courage in America:

Like so many of you, I am bewildered, almost daily, by the onslaught of dispiriting, sometimes debilitating news. Just this week, a new, politicized (and heartless) assault on young, mostly Latino immigrants—the cancellation of DACA—has left me reeling. When I travel to visit the organizations we work with in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, friends and colleagues express shock about America’s leadership and standing in the global community.

While we’ve endured challenging times before, I have always maintained an unwavering faith in America’s promise and, more broadly, in our democratic values—and I still do. I have always believed that progress is cumulative—that, as more people and communities win their place in the circle of American equality and opportunity, this circle will continue expanding, in a virtuous cycle.

Posted on September 6, 2017 by Monica

A guest post on the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s blog describes how federal agencies like the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities have been important in supporting disaster recovery:

When museums, libraries, and performing arts venues are at their most vulnerable, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) are essential responders with a responsibility to preserve and protect these invaluable resources. Where collections have been damaged by hurricanes, earthquakes and other disasters, these federal agencies can—and do—respond quickly. These funders work in collaboration with other key federal and national organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Smithsonian Institution when disasters strike.

Read the full post.

Posted on September 5, 2017 by Monica

Music celebrity Chance the Rapper is partnering with arts education advocacy group Ingenuity to fund arts education in response to budget cuts in Chicago Public Schools. ABC reports:

Chicago native and Grammy winner Chance the Rapper announced on Friday that his non-profit organization SocialWorks has raised $2.2 million that will be given to 20 [Chicago Public Schools] for arts education programs.

SocialWorks, in partnership with CPS and arts education advocacy organization Ingenuity, created the New Chance Arts & Literature Fund to bring arts education to schools where budgets have been cut.

Read the full article.

Posted on August 31, 2017 by Monica

From artnet:

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced plans to award $1 million in emergency grants to libraries, museums, colleges, universities, and other cultural and historical hit by Hurricane Harvey, which has devastated parts of Texas and Louisiana with record-breaking rainfall and flooding.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) also released a statement from chairman Jane Chu in response to the storm, on August 29, noting that “the National Endowment for the Arts is prepared to direct additional funds to these state arts agencies for re-granting to affected organizations, as we have done in the past.”

Read the full article from artnet.

Posted on August 31, 2017 by Monica

From HuffPost:

Along with being home to one of the most diverse populations in America, Houston and its surrounding areas also house a stunning accumulation of modern, contemporary and community-based art. How did museums throughout Houston and its surrounding area prepare for the Category 4 hurricane and the catastrophic flooding in its wake? And how are they dealing with, or preparing to deal with, its effects?

HuffPost reached out to a variety of art institutions in the area, who graciously took the time to describe how they readied themselves for Harvey and what they plan to do after the storm subsides.

Read the full article on HuffPost.

Posted on August 30, 2017 by Monica

An article in the Houston Chronicle surveys the damage of Hurricane Harvey to cultural institutions in the Houston Theatre District:

The gems of Houston's vaunted arts district have been swamped by floods from nearby Buffalo Bayou and face significant repairs, threatening the fall performance season that would have begun next week.

The Alley Theatre, which completed a $46.5 million renovation just two years ago, appears to have suffered the most damage so far, although arts companies will not be able to fully assess the destruction for a week or more.

Read the full article from the Houston Chronicle.

Posted on August 28, 2017 by Monica

From Funders Network:

Hurricane Harvey, the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since 2005, has led to catastrophic and deadly flooding across an enormous swath of Texas. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Harvey in Houston and across the region.

We invite you to join Tuesday’s webinar [Aug. 29 at 3:30 p.m. ET], Hurricane Harvey Recovery: How Donors Can Help, organized by The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) and the Council on Foundations. The webinar will offer information on how funders can assist in the immediate aftermath of Harvey, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm—as well as with what will likely be a protracted and costly recovery for the region.

Learn more from Funders Network.

Posted on August 25, 2017 by Monica

ArtsReady offers resources and recommendations for preparing for Hurricane Harvey:

Hurricane Harvey is anticipated to be the strongest storm to hit coastal Texas in decades, and may cause damage in many areas. If you have an ArtsReady/readiness plan, we hope that triggering it into action provides you with the ability to prepare for the storm. If not, we encourage you to take a few basic steps to prepare your office/venue/studio for the potential impact before departing for your personal preparation – unless you are under an evacuation order, in which case you should follow the instructions of local/state officials immediately. If you aren’t in the hurricane’s path, please use this time to take a look at your own readiness planning in the event of a future emergency.

View resources and recommendations from ArtsReady.

Posted on August 24, 2017 by Monica

The Walton Family Foundation has made a $120 million gift to the University of Arkansas to establish its School of Art with an interdisciplinary approach to learning. A letter from Alice Walton explains:

I am thrilled that through collaboration with the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the University of Arkansas announced today a groundbreaking initiative with the establishment of the new University of Arkansas School of Art.

From Northwest Arkansas, we will inspire students and scholars from around the globe with a fresh approach that will help redefine collaboration and experimentation by infusing the study of art into disciplines across higher education including business, education, architecture and engineering. And with a close connection to Crystal Bridges, we will bring a new level of study to American art to help create a better understanding of our history and our future.

Read the full announcement from Walton Family Foundation

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