Steve's blog

Nonprofit Finance Fund Details Barriers and Opportunities for Arts Nonprofits and Funders to Foster Financial Stability

Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) has released new analysis of its 2014 survey of nonprofit organizations, which includes responses from 919 arts organizations nationwide. The State of the Arts and Culture Sector report captures the challenges and triumphs of nonprofits grappling with financial pressures, changing demographics, new technologies and new opportunities to expand the reach of their programs and services.

Surdna Foundation Requests Proposals of Artists Engaging in Social Change

The Surdna Foundation is issuing a request for proposals to individual artists, culture bearers and nonprofit arts organizations. These funds are designed to support projects developed in response to communities’ specific challenges and to support artists and organizations whose long-term, deeply-rooted work has increased social engagement without necessarily being explicitly “activist.” The foundation will consider all artistic disciplines, including cross-disciplinary work. The deadline for submitting a proposal is November 12, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST. Grants will be announced in April 2015.

Creative Minds in Medicine Conference in Cleveland

Join the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture on October 29 and 30 for the Creative Minds in Medicine Conference to explore the fusion of arts and healthcare in Cleveland. Speakers include Gary Glazner, Alzheimer's Poetry Project; Sunil Iyengar, National Endowment for the Arts; Mel Chin, Operation Paydirt; and Nadine Licostie, Red Thread Productions.

Bloomberg Philanthropies Expands and Rebrands Global Engagement Program

Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced the expansion and rebranding of Bloomberg Connects (formerly known as the Digital Engagement Initiative). Bloomberg Connects provides funding for the development of technology to increase access to cultural institutions and enhance visitor experiences. The expansion includes a new $17 million commitment to support the American Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Museum, the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, and the Science Museum in London to produce innovative projects like immersive rooms, interactive devices and mobile applications that use cutting edge technology and enable visitors to share content.

Barry's Blog Lists the Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts

Barry's Blog returns with its annual listing of leaders in the nonprofit arts community. The list is rich with GIA members:

The trend of this list, towards an expansion of the people (from more established leaders to newer people) who are perceived to wield influence and/or power in our sector, continued again this year, and nearly half the names on this year's list were not on last year's list. Or, conversely, nearly half the names on last year's list are not on this year's list. I think that churn is a healthy indicator that our sector continues to evolve and that, to a greater extent than in the past, influence and power is not necessarily concentrated in static places.
NEA Webinar: Engaging Local Communities in Arts Education

The National Endowment for the Arts will host an arts education webinar featuring Rich Harwood, a leading authority on public innovation, who will discuss how to authentically engage local communities in collective impact. This webinar is part of a series on collective impact organized by the NEA’s Arts Education office. The webinar takes place on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 beginning at 3pm EDT / noon PDT.

Mobility Among Highly Creative People: What Data About MacArthur Fellows Reveal

MacArthur Foundation's Cecilia A. Conrad has published an article discussing research recently done on the geographic mobility of their Fellows.

MacArthur Fellows turn out to be a highly mobile population, prompting us to ask, “Do highly creative people move more than others, or does moving make people more creative?” We recently compared data on the geographic distribution of MacArthur Fellows at the time of the award to their distribution by place of birth. This is the first time that these data have been compiled and made available publicly. MacArthur Fellows are a distinctive demographic, people identified as “creative,” “talented,” “innovative,” and “intelligent” in a survey of thought leaders conducted for a recent program review. The data may shed light on the environments that nourish creative people.
Arts and Wellness Symposium Set for October 2

Arts & Wellness Symposium: Building a Community of Support, will take place on Thursday, October 2, at the University of Central Florida Fairwinds Alumni Center in Orlando. Stakeholders from across the nation and Central Florida will convene with the intention to provide awareness, experience, and information about how each of us can plan for and look forward to a future rich in potential and inspiration as we age and care for others.

The Lia Fund Legacy Report Documents Life of The Lia Fund

The Lia Fund, a private foundation, has closed its doors after six years of making grants to social-change organizations. To memorialize the life of the Foundation, The Lia Fund has issued The Lia Fund Legacy Report. Founder Randy Lia Weil made two highly unusual decisions about the $5 million she left to be donated after her death. The first was that she appointed 14 people she knew and trusted to select the organizations and individuals who would receive funding. The second unusual thing was that she left no instructions for how or to whom they should give her bequest.

GIA Successfully Advocates Arts in U.S. Department of Education Grant Program

Grantmakers in the Arts’ Arts Education Funders Coalition (AEFC) successfully advocated for the arts as part of the curricular approach in the Obama administration’s Preschool Development Grants. Through a competitive process, which has an October 14 application deadline, $250 million will be granted to states (and local providers). Without AEFC’s efforts, the arts would not be included in this program, which specifically helps preschoolers living below the poverty level.