Webinar Series: Grantmaking Designs for Supporting Individual Artists
During the month of April, GIA will present a series of three webinars examining common myths about, and funder approaches to, some of the philosophical questions and technical issues related to supporting individual artists. Learn more and register online.
Posted on March 30, 2017 by Monica

From Chamber Music America:

As Chamber Music America prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary next season, the complex and challenging issue of racial equity looms large in the world, our country, and our field. Recognizing the disparities that persist as a result of existing practices, we adopted A Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity at our recent meeting.

The Commitment outlines goals and progress indicators for the coming year, with the expectation that we will learn from our efforts and recalibrate goals and strategies in the years that follow.

Read the full statement.

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Sustainable Arts Foundation

A GIA blog post by Tony Grant, co-director of Sustainable Arts Foundation

For decades, GIA and its members have been at the forefront of providing support for individual artists. While all forms of arts grantmaking are vital, the direct support of individual artists is, to co-opt an expression, where the paint meets the canvas.

A timeline, produced out of the 2013 GIA conference in Philadelphia, chronicles the deep roots of this support, and a formal case statement published in the Winter 2012 GIA Reader helps define clearly just how much individual artists are at the core of what we do. GIA's Support for Individual Artists Committee convenes regularly to discuss and share techniques and goals for supporting artists.

Posted on March 29, 2017 by Monica

The board of trustees of the Walter & Elise Haas Fund has announced that Executive Director Pam David will step down at the end of 2017, bringing her successful 15-year tenure to a close. During her stewardship, the vision and legacy of Walter and Elise Haas was enhanced and expanded for a new generation of trustees and residents of the continually evolving Bay Area.

Posted on March 29, 2017 by Steve

In the latest issue of the GIA Reader, Elizabeth Méndez Berry recounts a panel discussion of artists using the power of narrative to create social change. “Telling New Stories: Reflections from an Art and Social Justice Funder” considers how the work of arts and social justice can be expanded and encourages funders to investigate their role in this process.

Posted on March 28, 2017 by Monica

Ford Foundation President Darren Walker has recently published an op-ed on The Hill in support of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities:

Of course, there is something at stake here much greater than the economic impact of public support for the arts. In a time of discordant political discourse — of competing, conflicting ideas of our shared future — the arts open our hearts and our minds, build empathy among us, and reconnect us with the human experience we all share. They are no special interest; they are a national interest that strengthens who we are.
Posted on March 28, 2017 by Monica

A recent article in The New York Times highlights some of the art therapy programs funded by the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities which serve veterans and their families. Given government support of veterans services, the article discusses how the success of these programs might influence conversations and decisions surrounding continuing funding for the endowments:

The fate of projects like the Warrior Chorus is likely to be determined in key congressional appropriations committees as they consider whether the two endowments should be funded, and at what level. In the past, lawmakers have cited the military and veterans’ programs when justifying budget increases for the endowments, which now each receive roughly $148 million.
Posted on March 27, 2017 by Monica

The Vermont Arts Council announced that Executive Director Alex Aldrich will step down on April 14 after more than 20 years leading the nation’s only nonprofit state arts agency. They have hired an interim executive director, Teri Bordenave, who will oversee day-to-day activities as well as assist in a national search for a new executive director.

Posted on March 24, 2017 by Monica

An article on Cleveland.com discusses the ongoing process for Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (CAC) as it reenvisions its grant programs for individual artists. CAC received criticism from Cleveland’s arts community after announcing plans to eliminate its Creative Workforce Fellowship grants and replace them with a new program, the Creative Community Fellowship. The article details the circumstances and strategies surrounding the program change, as well as CAC’s intentions in developing “a new, more equitable funding process.”

Read the article at Cleveland.com.

Posted on March 22, 2017 by Monica

An op-ed by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation President Earl Lewis discusses the unique role that the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities play in funding arts and culture initiatives across the country. Lewis highlights ways the Endowments have enriched society and filled a niche in the funding arena – supporting programs in underfunded rural areas, lending “validation” to projects that may have otherwise been overlooked by private philanthropy, supporting veterans’ programs, leveraging public-private partnerships, and providing resources beyond what may be available on a state government level.

Posted on March 22, 2017 by Steve

The latest issue of the GIA Reader features our annual Arts Funding Snapshot, an overview of national arts funding by the numbers. The snapshot includes “Foundation Grants to Arts and Culture, 2014,” based on the most recent completed year of Foundation Center data, and “Government Funding for the Arts, 2016,” prepared by the National Assembly of State Art Agencies (NASAA). Findings of these two reports will be presented in our March webinar.

Posted on March 21, 2017 by Monica

PolicyLink has released a report supported by The Kresge Foundation revealing how arts and culture strategies are used to help create sustainable and equitable communities. Creating Change through Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development: A Policy and Practice Primer highlights both promising and proven practices that demonstrate equity-focused arts and culture policies, strategies, and tools. The report describes the role of arts and culture across many sectors: transportation, housing, economic development and financial security, health and food, youth and education, open space and recreation, and technology and information access.

View the report at PolicyLink.

Posted on March 20, 2017 by Monica

The Pop Culture Collaborative, a recent initiative founded by Unbound Philanthropy, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, and General Service Foundation, has announced its new leadership staff. The Collaborative aims to advance “the combined power of the entertainment, philanthropic, and social justice sectors to use pop culture strategies to create transformative change in the world.”

Posted on March 20, 2017 by Monica

In a new blog post at The McKnight Foundation, Arts Program Director Vickie Benson makes the case that the National Endowment for the Arts continues to illuminate the power of the arts, and that our communities are better off because of their work:

I’ve seen the fierce battles over these arts and cultural agencies play out before. I had a front row seat during my tenure as a program specialist at the NEA in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The critical difference is that the arts sector is in a better position now than it has ever been before in its ability to explain the value of these agencies and the work they support. Because of intentional strategies to support independent, large-scale research, the arts sector has far-reaching and deep data that we didn’t have twenty-five years ago.
Posted on March 16, 2017 by Monica

In a statement today, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) argues that “eliminating the NEA would hurt every state in our nation.” The statement outlines the national impacts of eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, and NASAA has voiced its resolve “to sustain the NEA and ensure that its important work continues.” Grantmakers in the Arts is committed to working with NASAA, Americans for the Arts, and other national partners to support the NEA.

Posted on March 16, 2017 by Monica

Jane Chu, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, has released a statement following today’s release of the president’s budget plan:

Today we learned that the president’s FY 2018 budget blueprint proposes the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. We are disappointed because we see our funding actively making a difference with individuals of all ages in thousands of communities, large, small, urban and rural, and in every congressional district in the nation. . . .
Posted on March 16, 2017 by Monica

President Trump released his first federal budget plan today, as reported by The New York Times:

President Trump, in his first federal budget plan, proposed eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. President Trump also proposed scrapping the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. . . . It was the first time a president has called for ending the endowments. . . .

Nothing will change for the endowments or other agencies immediately. Congress writes the federal budget, not the president, and White House budget plans are largely political documents that telegraph a president’s priorities.

Yet never before have Republicans, who have proposed eliminating the endowments in the past, been so well-positioned to close the agencies, given their control of both houses of Congress and the White House, and now the president’s fiscal plan. . . .

Arts groups have already begun a furious lobbying campaign to press Republicans in Congress to save the endowments. The House will draft a budget in the coming months, and arts groups have already been focusing its lobbying efforts there.

Posted on March 15, 2017 by Monica

An op-ed piece written by dance educator Amy M. Wilkinson and published in The Hill argues the importance of the arts as part of a well-rounded education. As states develop their plans as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), advocates argue that the arts must be included in those plans. The article highlights the state of Illinois, which today will vote on an ESSA plan which does not include arts programming as an indicator of school quality. Wilkinson presents evidence of the many benefits of arts education and urges states to “help its children by elevating arts programming within our schools.”

Read the article on The Hill.

Posted on March 15, 2017 by Monica

The president of The F.B. Heron Foundation, Clara Miller, recently published an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review about how Heron achieved its goal of investing 100 percent of its endowment toward fulfilling its mission, as well as seven lessons the foundation learned along the way:

We always knew that “getting to 100 percent,” while important, would be like reaching a false summit. The challenges remain, and they loom large. . . . That’s why, going forward, we will work to optimize our portfolio for mission and finance together. But beyond that, we will strive to capture and share what we’ve learned, and improve our approach to investing so that we can contribute to improving practices in the broader market.

In that spirit, we would like to share some lessons we learned on the path to our “100 percent” goal, as well as our thoughts on the significance of those lessons and our own plans for the future.

Posted on March 15, 2017 by Monica

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) announced that Theresa Colvin will be its next executive director. Colvin will succeed Alan W. Cooper who is retiring after 23 years as the Foundation’s director. Colvin will begin her tenure on May 1, 2017. She comes to MAAF from the Maryland State Arts Council where she has been the executive director for the past 16 years.

Posted on March 9, 2017 by Monica

A recording of GIA's recent webinar on federal arts education policy is now available online. The webinar includes the most up-to-date developments with the Every Student Succeeds Act, arts education policy, and the new administration, as well as tips on how funders and organizations working at the local level can advocate for arts education.

View the webinar.

Note: Some web browsers may require you to download the Adobe Connect Add-in to view this recording.

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