Steve's blog

Corporate Social Responsibility & the Arts

Corporate Social Responsibility & the Arts, a new report from AFTA’s Animating Democracy program, explores the current landscape of corporate support for arts and culture — one in which more corporations are focusing strategically on issues that align with their business interests and have a positive social impact on their employees, their consumers, and/or the communities in which they do business.

Does the Diversity on Foundation Staff Exhibit Good Leadership?

From Ruth McCambridge, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

The Council on Foundations just released its latest salary survey, so we thought we would share some of its most pertinent findings as they relate to diversity and leadership data from other surveys. Some of it conforms to what we see happening in the rest of the sector — older, relatively white CEO leadership with relatively long tenures.
  • Relatively long CEO tenures: More than 40 percent of grantmaker CEOs have been CEO for ten or more years. This is almost exactly the same percentage as was found in the recent survey of nonprofits performed by BoardSource, where it was reported that 41 percent of the CEOs who responded had been in their positions for 10 years or longer.
Barry’s Blog Interviews McKnight’s Benson

Vickie Benson, arts program director for The McKnight Foundation (and former GIA Chair), talks to Barry Hessenius:

Foundations are in business to be in support of their missions. McKnight’s arts program follows a legacy set early on by the McKnight Foundation Board of Directors—the arts program supports working artists. We rely on arts organizations to provide the support structures that working artists need to be successful — institutions of all types, sizes, and ages that support working artists.
Bloomberg Announces Finalists Cities in Public Art Challenge

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced on March 5 the 12 finalist cities in the running to receive up to $1 million each as part of the Public Art Challenge, a new program aimed at supporting temporary public art projects that engage communities, enhance creativity, and enrich the vibrancy of cities. Bloomberg Philanthropies invited mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for innovative temporary public art projects that address a civic issue, and demonstrate close collaboration between artists or arts organizations and city government. More than 230 cities submitted proposals for consideration in the Public Art Challenge, representing 68 million residents across the United States.

Stanford Hosts Symposium on Equity in Entertainment

From Jenna Shapiro at The Stanford Daily:

“Getting Played,” Stanford’s “first annual symposium on equity in the entertainment industry and awards” took place on Feb. 21 in Annenberg Auditorium. Leaders in the industry discussed issues of diversity and equality as part of the event, which also honored individuals who have advanced equity in entertainment. The symposium’s organizer and moderator, Kathleen Tarr, is a lecturer in Stanford’s Program in Writing and Rhetoric. She created the symposium to open up discussion about how the entertainment industry treats and represents people of color.
Ron Chew’s Keynote Speech at National Guild for Community Arts Education Conference

Ron Chew, a leader in the community-based model of museum exhibit development, delivered a keynote address to the Conference for Community Arts Education in November 2014 called The Five Essentials: Arts and the movement for social justice. The text of the keynote is published at Northwest Asian Weekly:

How Art Morphs in Pursuit of Money

From Peter Dobrin, writing for the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Is the act of funding great art its own reward? Or does the funder have the right — or even the responsibility — to make sure that what gets produced accomplishes a set of objectives for both the giver and the recipient? It is a given now that in order to get a foundation grant, it’s often not enough to simply apply for funding of what you do day in and day out. What do funders want? Innovation! New ways of “engaging” younger audiences! High-impact special projects that others will want to emulate!
Partnership Explores Role of Arts in Health Care

From Naseem Miller, writing for the Orlando Sentinel:

The Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of Arts and Wellness, unveiled on Thursday morning, aims to integrate various forms of art into wellness, whether it’s in the community or in health-care settings to help families, caregivers and people with conditions such as autism, dementia, trauma or anxiety… The center’s effort is part of a national movement — from the military’s National Intrepid Center of Excellence that integrates arts into care of returning soldiers to the Arts & Medicine Institute in Cleveland Clinic — but data and standards are still emerging.
Creative Minnesota Reports on Health and Impact on State Economy, 2015

Creative Minnesota: The Impact and Health of the Nonprofit Arts and Culture Sector is a report and accompanying website that breaks out data both statewide and regionally and serves as a snapshot of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences, as well as other indicators of the sector’s health and impact on the economy in 2013. The broader initiative called “Creative Minnesota” is a new effort to fill the gaps in available information about Minnesota’s cultural field and to improve our understanding of its importance to our quality of life and economy. It kicks off a new centralized, concentrated and long term endeavor to collect and report data on the creative sector every two years for analysis, education and advocacy.

Explore the website.

While Large Operas Flounder, Small Companies Flourish

From Theresa Agovino, writing for Crain's New York:

In contrast to the troubles at bigger institutions, many small opera companies are flourishing, and their numbers are expanding. Some 33 such companies exist in New York City today, more than double the number a decade ago, according to Opera America, a membership organization that promotes the art form. They are surviving and thriving because their budgets and number of staged productions are only a fraction of that of the big boys, and they specialize in niches. LoftOpera presents scaled-down versions of classic operas staged in nontraditional settings, such as former factories. Gotham Chamber Opera sets itself apart by featuring seldom-performed compositions created for smaller venues.