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 30, 2014 by Steve

Former GIA Board member John Killacky posts to The Green Room, a blog from Walker Art Center in Minneapolis:

Three decades ago, choreographer Bill T. Jones jolted the New York dance scene. Bucking the prevailing stripped-down postmodernism, he and his partner Arnie Zane created sensational dances collaborating with composers, fashion designers, and visual artists. A new queer aesthetic emerged that was anything but minimalistic.
Posted on October 30, 2014 by Steve

In 2009, The Wallace Foundation launched the Strengthening Financial Management (SFM) initiative, a comprehensive multi-year intervention to improve the financial stability and planning of 26 nonprofit Chicago organizations that were providing afterschool programming. A new report by the management consulting firm CFAR — Differences a Day Can Make: Exploring the Effects of an Abbreviated Intervention on Improving Financial Management for Youth-Serving Organizations — examines the effectiveness of a one-day workshop and series of webinars offered to nonprofits by the consulting firm FMA as part of the SFM initiative.

Posted on October 27, 2014 by Steve

Anthony Mazzocchi is former Director of Fine and Performing Arts for the South Orange/Maplewood School District, where he launched one of the first K-4 Suzuki Violin programs in New Jersey. During his stay, the district was designated “One of the Best Communities for Music Education” by the NAMM Association, and he was nominated for the first ever GRAMMY Music Educator Award by the GRAMMY Foundation. He posts here to The Village Green of Maplewood and South Orange:

We are going down the path of so many other failed systems; teaching the creativity out of kids, and cutting the arts as an “easy fix” to making way for “new and improved” initiatives that often serve only as resume builders for transient administrators. These are the same cuts that many districts have made over the years, but not the great districts. Our district is supposed to be better than this, but perhaps I am wrong. Ultimately, we cannot continue to give lip service to meeting the challenges of the 21st century while embracing educational ideologies of the past. Our district needs to truly value different modes of intelligence and cultivate creative relationships between disciplines. Imagination, creativity, and innovation are not cultivated in a test prep factory.

Read the full post.

Posted on October 24, 2014 by Steve

Gary Steuer, posting in Huffington Post Education:

Arts in Education Week took place last month, and since then arts education has been on my mind and in the air. A recent blog post by Alan Yaffe that contended arts education advocacy should be focused more on art-making than art-viewing got me thinking. It is true, much energy goes into trying to get K-12 students to attend arts events, and that's wonderful and much-needed. We try to organize class trips, and bemoan the increasing challenges of getting access to buses, to getting the OK to leave school for an arts experience when the pressures of sticking to curriculum and "teaching to the test" are ever-present. And arts groups do all they can to provide "enrichment", to facilitate those out-of-school experiences and to also bring teaching artists or arts education programs into schools.
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.

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