News from Grantmakers in the Arts

Published in: GIA Newsletter, Vol 9, No 2 (Fall 1998)


Kudos to Retiring Board Members
The fall 1998 conference in Chicago will signal the end of GIA board service for a remarkable group of leaders. Each one of the six individuals leaving the board, along with Ben Cameron who departed mid-year, has given magnificently of themselves in building GIA into a much richer and more participatory provider of services to its membership.

As they return to regular membership in GIA, these individuals leave a board far more responsive to its members, supported by a wonderfully facilitative staff, and serving many more arts grantmakers.

Penny McPhee (John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and GIA's immediate past president) greatly professionalized the organization through insight, skill, poise, and example. It was at Penny's initiative that GIA began to explore the dimensions of becoming truly membership oriented and hired Anne Focke to facilitate the process.

Holly Sidford (Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund and retiring vice president of GIA) brought intelligence, commitment, and tireless effort to creating the underlying principles and documents for a new membership-oriented strategic planning process. As chair and sole member of the development committee she has set the stage for a strengthened financial future for GIA's new services, and as chair of the research committee she coordinated refining and updating the Arts Funding studies by the Foundation Center.

Janet Sarbaugh (Heinz Endowments and retiring GIA secretary) maintained, at times almost single handedly, the communication necessary to keep the board moving and coordinated. She produced the outstanding 1996 GIA conference in Pittsburgh and brought brains and infectious goodwill to all her other committee work.

Nick Rabkin (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation) produced this year's conference and was instrumental in organizing the 1993 La Jolla conference which resulted in the publication, Alternate Futures. Nick refused to let GIA be consumed by nuts and bolts, insisting that we keep at least one eye on better understanding today's larger cultural complexities.

Klare Shaw (Boston Globe Foundation) has chaired GIA's nominating committee for the past three years. The future has been in her capable hands. She has brought forward a great new group of board members, and in all her work has never been afraid to ask the tough questions that many of us try to avoid.

Tomás Ybarra-Frausto (The Rockefeller Foundation) has been, in equal parts, conscience, soul, and intellect of the board. With his gentle wisdom Tomás reminded us of humility, of democracy, and of service to our members. He has challenged us to deepen our questioning, broaden our understandings, and never succumb to easy or trendy answers. Tomás is a true mentor to many of us.

Ben Cameron (Target Stores) only spent three years on the board, but in that time he established himself as a true, enthusiastic, compassionate, and very funny leader. He left the board mid year to assume directorship of Theatre Communications Group. Curses (and congrats) to TCG!

All departing board members served on multiple committees, including ones for our conferences. Each undertook numerous tasks and gave
of themselves generously. They all helped clear the path for the new and wonderfully talented board members who follow them.

Peter Pennekamp, President - GIA Board of Directors

Membership Update
GIA continues to grow. In 1998, twenty-four new organizations have joined. We now have 215 organizational members with approximately 700 individuals who are designated by those organizations as membership participants. Listed here with their primary contacts are the organizations that have joined our ranks since the 1998 Members Directory was published:

American Express Company, New York, New York; Anne Wickham, Director, Philanthropic Program
Bonner Family Foundation, Fresno, California; Kaye B. Cummings, Executive Director
Hans G. & Thordis W. Burkhardt Foundation, Los Angeles, California; Gene Lesser, Executive Director
California Arts Council, Sacramento, California; Mercedes Paz, Deputy Director for Partnerships
The Center for Arts Education, New York, New York; Joseph J. Bardales, Administrative Manager
Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Art Fund, Inc., New York, New York; Debra Van der Burg Spencer, President & Co-founder
Colina Foundation, Taylor, Michigan; Nancy Colina, Director
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, New York, New York; Olga Garay, Program Director for the Arts
Fannie Mae Foundation, Chicago, Illinois; Polly Nyberg, Director, Midwest Region
Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Honolulu, Hawaii; Holly Richards, Executive Director
Institute of Museum & Library Services, Washington D.C.; Diane B. Frankel, Director
Kraft Foods, Inc., Northfield, Illinois; Amina J. Dickerson, Director, Corporate Contributions
Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation, Walnut Creek, California; Kathleen Odne, Executive Director
Montana Arts Council, Helena, Montana; Arlynn Fishbaugh, Executive Director
Musicians Foundation, Inc., New York, New York; B. C. Vermeersch, Executive Director
National Endowment for the Arts, Washington D.C.; William J. Ivey, Chairman
Needmor Fund, Boulder, Colorado; Chuck Shuford, Executive Director
Ontario Trillium Foundation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Sharon Wood, Director of Learning
The Rhode Island Foundation, Providence, Rhode Island; Barbara T. Wong, Program Officer
Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County, Aptos, California; Lynn Magruder, Executive Director
The Spencer Foundation, Chicago, Illinois; Patricia Albjerg Graham, President
Laurie Tisch Sussman Foundation, New York, New York; Laurie Tisch Sussman, President
Theatre Communications Group, New York, New York; Ben Cameron, Executive Director
Western States Arts Federation, Denver, Colorado; Anthony Radich, Executive Director

Update: Arts Funding Trends
A new update of GIA-commissioned research on arts funding trends will be published in two parts: a quantitative study which will be available by the date of GIA's Chicago conference, and a qualitative survey that will be published in spring 1999. Ultimately, the two will be distributed as companion documents.

Arts Funding Third Edition is one in a series of studies conducted by The Foundation Center under the direction of Loren Renz, vice president for research, and Steven Lawrence, director of research. The benchmark study in the series was published in 1993 and was based on data from 1983, 1986, and 1989. The first revision, published in 1995, produced a new snapshot of arts funding trends for 1992, updating the original study data by three years. The new report will provide a picture of trends in private giving to the arts between 1992 and 1996.

The quantitative study will examine the following areas, among others:

  • Total arts funding, in comparison to total giving for all grantmaking foundations, including a comparison with government funding sources and an examination of arts grants as a percentage of all grants by foundation type.
  • Trends specific to the arts field, including an examination of how foundations allocated their arts grants in 1996 in comparison to 1992, with specific information on largest funders and different foundation types.
  • Trends by recipient, including distribution patterns and grant size in different artistic disciplines and different regions, and percentage of giving committed to program grants, operating support, and capital projects.
  • Grantmaker trends, including profiles of leading arts funders and new funders in this field as well as patterns among family foundations.
  • Trends by geography, including the distribution of arts giving by region; the states receiving the largest percentage of foundation giving; the percentage change in arts giving by region between 1992 and 1996, and other information.
  • Trends by artistic discipline as well as information about arts intermediaries, giving to individual artists, and arts grantmaking that intersects with other fields such as community development.

The qualitative study will be based on a survey of twenty-five foundations that represent a cross-section of foundations active in the arts. The survey will probe current policies and future directions among these foundations, and will solicit commentary about the important changes they see occurring in the arts field and in philanthropic support of the arts.

Financial support for Arts Funding Third Edition was received from the AT&T Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and The Pew Charitable Trusts.

A copy of both reports will be mailed to all GIA members. Additional copies can be ordered from The Foundation Center, 79 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, 10003-3076.

Roundtables at 1998 GIA Conference
Time has been set aside for roundtable discussions at 8 a.m. on each of the three mornings of the conference. Vickie Benson (Jerome Foundation), who is organizing the roundtables for this year's annual conference, shared the following partial list of topics and moderators with GIA Newsletter editors as we went to press:

  • Arts Funding Study Update, Loren Renz (The Foundation Center)
  • Corporate Grantmakers Roundtable, Geol Weirs (Dayton Hudson Foundation)
  • Evaluating Arts in Education Projects (Carol Fineberg)
  • Evaluation: What Are Reasonable Outcomes? Kenneth Finkel (William Penn Foundation)
  • Family Foundations and GIA: Planning for the Future, Mercy Pavelic´ (Heathcote Art Foundation)
  • Foundations that Support Individual Artists: Preconference Followup, Frances Phillips (Walter & Elise Haas Fund) and Melissa Franklin (Pew Fellowships in
    the Arts)
  • GIA Newsletter: Writers and Editors, Sarah Lutman (Bush Foundation) and Anne Focke (GIA)
  • Grantmakers as Policy Makers, Marian Godfrey (The Pew Charitable Trusts) and Suzanne Sato (AT&T Foundation)
  • Grantmaker Funding of Commercial Media: Pros and Cons, Robert Byrd (Jerome Foundation)
  • Looking Ahead to GIA's 1999 Conference, Cora Mirikitani (The James Irvine Foundation)
  • Socially Responsible Investing and Arts Philanthropy, Cynthia Gehrig (Jerome Foundation)
  • The Supreme Court NEA Decision, M. Melanie Beene (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation)
  • When You Start to Hate Art, Neal Cuthbert (McKnight Foundation)

These and a few additional topics will be scheduled on Monday and Tuesday mornings. A complete list will be included in the conference program. Wednesday morning tables will be “self-organized” by conferees. A sign-up board will be available for use by anyone wishing to designate a topic and guide the discussion of it.

Poems in this Issue
GIA Newsletter editors welcome suggestions of poems for inclusion in the newsletter — especially poems that have special meaning for members. With the 1998 GIA conference in Chicago on her mind, GIA member Frances Phillips (Walter & Elise Haas Fund) suggested “The Golden Angel Pancake House” by Campbell McGrath. Phillips reviewed McGrath's book of poetry, Spring Comes to Chicago, for the September/October 1998, issue of Poetry Flash. GIA's administrator Anne Focke read “A Gift” by Denise Levertov at a recent meeting of GIA's board of directors to add extra life to her administrative report. Levertov spent the last years of her life in the Seattle area, Anne's home.

Invitation to Writers
If you have written or would like to write for the GIA Newsletter, and if you plan to attend the GIA conference in Chicago, the coeditors — Sarah Lutman (Bush Foundation) and Anne Focke (GIA) — invite you to join them for a roundtable discussion at 8:00 on Monday morning, November 16. We will discuss upcoming issues of the newsletter, editorial policies, member participation, and more.

If you have an interest in the newsletter but are not attending the conference in Chicago, please contact either of the editors. We would enjoy hearing from you.

Report from the Editors
We are pleased that the number of GIA members who write for the newsletter is growing. Members have written feature articles, reviews of reports and studies, profiles of members, regional reports, book reviews, and short items of interest to other members. Other members contribute by sending us copies of studies and reports published or funded by their foundations and by notifying us of topics and conferences of special interest.

The following members contributed to this newsletter: Marina Drummer (LEF Foundation), Mindy Duitz (Open Society Institute), Deena Epstein (George Gund Foundation), Carolyn Evans (Marin Community Foundation), Gita Gulati (The Cleveland Foundation), John Kreidler (San Francisco Foundation), Karen Masaki (Hawai‘i Community Foundation), Danton Miller (The James Irvine Foundation), Kathleen Pavlick (Chase Manhattan Bank), Claire Peeps (The Durfee Foundation), Peter Pennekamp (Humboldt Area Foundation and GIA board president), Frances Phillips (Walter & Elise Haas Fund), Natasha Terk (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation), Benna Wilde (Prince Charitable Trusts), and Gabriel Works (Frey Foundation). Thanks to everyone!

Through the recent members survey and focus groups, some members told us that the newsletter can be daunting when it lands on their desks. A couple of members suggested that having more information at the front of the newsletter about its contents would help them find their way to stories of interest inside. As one response, we developed a more complete table of contents for this issue. We welcome your ideas.

Sarah Lutman and Anne Focke

New Voice in the Office
If you've called GIA's office recently, you may have encountered a new voice, that of Administrative Associate Karen Haberfeld. Karen has been with GIA for almost a year, although she only recently began being in the office on a regular basis. Her hours are Tuesday-Friday, 9:30-5:00 (Pacific Time). Earlier in the year, Karen received an Arts Management Certificate and has previously worked in the book and publishing industry, as a publishers representative, among other roles. If you'll be in Chicago for GIA's conference this year, look for Karen and put a face to the voice.

Report on GIA Planning
A Members Bulletin on GIA's planning for the future should arrive in members' mailboxes about a week before the conference. The bulletin will include a report on findings from this summer's survey of members and follow-up focus groups. It will also contain a skeletal plan for the next three years with revisions based on what was learned from members through the survey. The report will be a topic of discussion at the annual members meeting on Tuesday of the GIA conference, November 17.

Join GIA!
Membership in GIA is available to any organization whose primary activity is grantmaking. GIA encourages grantmakers — large and small, from any region, and of any type (independent, family, community, and corporate) — to join. Nonprofit organizations whose primary activity is grantmaking in the arts may also become members, and public arts grantmakers are welcome as affiliate members. Membership fees are based on a member organization's arts grantmaking budget and begin at $100 per year. For information contact Marian Godfrey, membership committee chair, 215-575-4870, or GIA's office, P.O. Box 21487, Seattle, Washington 98111-3487, 206-624-2312.