For the month of January, GIA's photo banner features work and projects supported by The McKnight Foundation. McKnight, a Minnesota-based family foundation, seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. In 2013, the Foundation gave approximately $86 million in grants, focusing its assistance primarily in the state of Minnesota. Learn more about the foundation here.

Posted on January 26, 2015 by Steve

From Diep Tran, writing for American Theatre:

Sometimes all you need is a push. At least that’s the thinking behind the 51% Preparedness Plan that was released last week. East West Players artistic director Tim Dang wrote the plan, which calls on Southern California theatres to diversify their staff and programming.

“We’re in Southern California, we prepare for earthquakes. Are we preparing for the demographic shift that is going to happen in 2042?” posits Dang. “We should prepare now, for theatre.”

But why 2042? That’s the date, in projections by the Census Bureau, that the minority population in the United States will reach 54 percent, outnumbering non-Hispanic whites. So what does that mean for theatre?

Read the full article.

Posted on January 26, 2015 by Steve

From Francis Hilario at The Philadelphia Business Journal:

Opera Philadelphia is in the midst of rehearsing for the East Coast premiere of “Oscar,” a new American opera based on Oscar Wilde that’s set to debut in February. But the company is also in the midst of a changing business model. The upcoming “Oscar” is the first of two productions co-commissioned by Sante Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia as part of the latter’s American Repertoire Program. The program has the lofty goal of producing one new American opera for the next 10 seasons. The second commission, an opera based on Charles Frazier’s “Cold Mountain,” will premiere next year. Along with providing audiences with fresh material, the opera’s new American program has also allowed it to go from being a local company to one that’s global.
Posted on January 26, 2015 by Steve

From Eileen Cunniffe, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

This weekend, the San Diego Opera will open its 50th anniversary season — a season that came perilously close to being cancelled when the company’s board voted last March to cease operations at the end of the 2014 season. Nearly ten months after the company and its board began a highly public meltdown, followed by a hard-won battle to re-engage the community and restructure the organization, San Diego Opera was featured at the 11th annual Nonprofit Governance Symposium at the University of San Diego on January 10. In a panel discussion titled “Saving the Opera: Lessons Learned from a Board Perspective,” current board president Carol Lazier, board members Linda Spuck and Joe Watkins, and new CEO Keith Fisher shared insights from the wild roller coaster ride they’ve experienced since last spring.
Posted on January 21, 2015 by SuJ'n

Last week the US Department of Housing and Urban Development PD&R Edge magazine published “Catalizing Culture and Community through CDFIs.” In this article, Judilee Reed, director of The Surdna Foundation's Thriving Cultures Program, discusses the importance of community development finance institutions in the creative placemaking movement.

Reed writes:

The cross-sector nature of this work suggests the existing infrastructure in the community development field, like community development finance institutions (CDFIs), could play an important role in helping artists, arts and culture organizations, and non-arts organizations build their capacity to sustain creative production long after dedicated funding for specific projects has passed. For many CDFIs, the role they play in providing both financing and technical assistance to support neighborhood-based projects and the growth of small business in low income communities implies they may also have the potential to pivot their services to engage artists and projects that support the development of arts and culture.

Posted on January 16, 2015 by Steve

From Tim Delaney at The Chronicle of Philanthropy:

Rather than focusing on what Congress will (or won’t) do in the new year, foundations and other nonprofits would do well to take a close look at a little-noticed overhaul of federal grant-making rules — in the works for three years and that took effect the day after Christmas — that could provide meaningful traction for ending the so-called nonprofit starvation cycle.
Posted on January 16, 2015 by SuJ'n

Released in the fall and in collaboration with D5 Coalition, OMG Center for Collaborative Learning (newly renamed Equal Measure) released Foundations Facilitate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Partnering with Community and Nonprofits. This report outlines eight specific practices that foundations can do to facilitate diversity, equity, and inclusion with non-profit grantees and their communities. While this report is not targeted to the arts and cultural sector, the framework and findings can be used to strengthen any sector's works towards racial equity and inclusion. Download the full report here.

Posted on January 15, 2015 by SuJ'n

The Community Development Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco recently published the Community Development Investment Review on Creative Placemaking. This anthology of articles and ArtPlace America profiles shares research and best practices in providing capital to low- and moderate-income communities through creative placemaking approaches.

Posted on January 15, 2015 by SuJ'n

In a study commissioned by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Arizona State University's Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship inventories business training programs and opportunities for artists outside of academic settings. How It's Being Done: Arts Business Training Across the U.S. looks at where arts business training programs exist by region, what kinds of organizations provide training, training modalities, topics, and costs among other distinctions.

If you are an organization that offers business-related training to artists and not included in the web-related research, please contact Tremaine Fellow Mollie Flanagan.

Download the full report here.

Posted on January 14, 2015 by SuJ'n

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) releases three reports using data from 2012 to show the life of the arts and cultural sector from three perspectives. The first report, When Going Gets Tough: Barriers and Motivations Affecting Arts Attendance, uses data collected from a NEA-sponsored topical module in the General Social Survey to learn more about why people attend different types of arts events. The second report, A Decade of Arts Engagement: Findings from the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, 2002-2012, investigates arts participation rates from 2012 and compares them with findings from previous surveys using 2002 and 2008 data. The third report in this series, The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA), analyzes the arts and cultural sector's contributions to the US gross domestic product (GDP), finding they exceed previous estimates of its impact on employment and the national economy.

Posted on January 14, 2015 by Steve

Nonprofit Finance Fund has just announced the State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey for 2015 is now open. NFF conducts the annual nationwide survey to examine challenges and trends in the nonprofit sector, and it has become an important source of information for arts and culture organizations. Last year, more than 900 arts and culture organizations responded to the survey, contributing a wealth of information to the field. With your help, we can do even better in 2015! GIA presented a Web Conference to examine last years survey findings. You can watch that Web Conference session online.

Posted on January 10, 2015 by Steve

The Joan Mitchell Foundation has announced the appointment of Christa Blatchford as their Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2015. Blatchford returns to the Foundation after serving as its Deputy Director. As CEO, she will oversee the programming, administration and operations of the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s two New York City locations, the home office and the newly opened Education & Research Center, as well as the Joan Mitchell Center, an artist residency center in New Orleans, LA. Prior to serving as the Foundation’s Deputy Director, Christa was the artist support director for the Foundation, overseeing such national programs as Creating a Living Legacy (CALL).

Posted on January 7, 2015 by Steve

John McGuirk, program director at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, has announced that Julie Fry will step down from her position of program officer on January 23. She will join Cal Humanities, the statewide humanities council, as President and CEO in early February. Hewlett has begun the search for a new program officer and the job description is available on the Foundation’s website.

Posted on January 7, 2015 by SuJ'n

Creative Capital announced today its 2015 awardees in the categories of Moving Image and Visual Arts. The list of its innovative and genre-stretching awardees includes 50 artists from all stages of their careers, 46 projects, 13 states plus Puerto Rico and Canada. The total investment in these artists and projects nears $4.4 million.

Ruby Lerner, Founding President & Exeuctive Director, says:

We believe it is so critical to sustain a commitment to invention and experimentation, to provocation and beauty. This class of Creative Capital awardees does it all; these artists are engaged with the world, and the immediacy of their projects is breathtaking.

Read the full announcement, including the list of awardees here.


Posted on January 6, 2015 by Steve

Barry's Blog sits down with Danielle Brazell, general manager for the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles:

Danielle was Arts for LA’s (the Los Angeles regional arts advocacy arm) first executive director, joining the organization in 2006 as it transitioned from an ad hoc committee of regional arts leaders to a formalized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Over the last eight years, she has steadily built Arts for LA’s capacity from an informal network of arts leaders to a respected coalition of advocates working in partnership with elected officials throughout Los Angeles County. Today, Arts for LA’s network includes over 160 member organizations and over 40,000 people...
Posted on January 6, 2015 by SuJ'n

From Jennifer Smith of The Wall Street Journal:

A mecca for the arts, New York City has also become one of the most multicultural cities in the country, with no single dominant racial or ethnic group and residents who speak more than 200 languages, according to the Department of City Planning. Whether its cultural institutions reflect those demographics is another issue.

To find out, the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs is embarking on its first effort to measure diversity at the city’s many museums and performing arts groups. The aim is to help cultural organizations connect with New York’s increasingly polyglot population.

“For the long-term vitality and relevancy of cultural institutions, it makes sense to have the staffs reflect that,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl.

Read the full article here.

Posted on January 5, 2015 by Steve

A report from the Philadelphia-based Wyncote Foundation, Like, Link, Share: How cultural institutions are embracing digital technology, highlights examples and lessons learned from legacy cultural institutions that are successfully embracing digital media in their work. The report and its accompanying website describe the leadership and organizational capacities required for pioneering such work. It presents 40 organizations’ work including art museums, symphony orchestras, theaters, dance companies, historical societies, libraries, and science centers in the U.S. and abroad. Based on site visits, interviews, and other research the report offers insights about how digital media work is getting done and what results and benefits have accrued.

Posted on January 2, 2015 by SuJ'n

During the month of January, GIA's photo banner features work and projects sponsored by The McKnight Foundation. For more than 60 years, McKnight has been seeking to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. Its grantmaking is primarily focused in the state of Minnesota where the foundation is established.

McKnight’s arts program is founded on the belief that Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive. It supports working artists to create and contribute to vibrant communities. In 2013, about 11% of McKnight’s total grantmaking payout — more than $9.5 million — went to organizations working to advance this goal.

Posted on January 2, 2015 by Steve

Duncan M. Webb, president of Webb Management Services, posts to The Clyde Fitch Report:

Here in New York City, the Department of Cultural Affairs has a wonderful program to help groups acquire, build and/or renovate spaces. As you might expect, when the funding source is attached to federal HUD grants, the process to qualify for this support and to work through the actual process of buying/building/fixing is lengthy as well as cumbersome. Groups are briefed and trained to go through the process with lots of warnings about how long it might take and how much effort will be required.

A few years ago, my firm surveyed 10 organizations that went through DCA’s capital funding process to receive City support toward developing a new or improved facility. Here’s what we found out:

  • Even though the groups factored some delay into the project timeline, it almost always took significantly longer to complete than anticipated.
  • Most groups underestimated the time required to develop new sources of earned and contributed income, and found that private funding did not increase to support the more expansive operation.
  • Groups did not anticipate staffing changes as a result of new facilities; and in some cases were unable to afford new staff, leading to significant burnout among existing staff even before new facilities were open.
  • Frustrated boards did not appreciate how long it would take to stabilize operations in new facilities, and did not foresee how few financing options exist to help cultural groups successfully transition into new facilities.
Posted on December 19, 2014 by Steve

From Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation:

Nearly a half century ago, during the final days of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, he penned what he called a “testament of hope,” an epistle he could not have known would be among his last. “Whenever I am asked my opinion of the current state of the civil rights movement,” Dr. King began, “I am forced to pause; it is not easy to describe a crisis so profound that it has caused the most powerful nation in the world to stagger in confusion and bewilderment.”

During these past few weeks, as each of us has attempted to make sense of Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s senseless killings, “confusion and bewilderment” abound. In private moments and public demonstrations, we have been overwhelmed with emotion. We have grappled with disbelief, frustration, shame, and anger. Yet, confronted anew with a crisis as old as the country, it’s my conviction that we must give our own testament of hope.

Read the full post.

Posted on December 19, 2014 by Steve

The National Endowment for the Arts has published guidelines and application materials for two funding categories. The 2015 Art Works and Challenge America programs support projects anticipated to take place beginning in 2016. Any nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, unit of state or local government, or federally recognized tribal community with at least a three year programming history is eligible to apply for project-based support through these two programs. Webinars are scheduled for January 21 and March 11, 2015 to provide technical assistance in the application process.

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