Steve's blog

New Report Asks How Foundations Can Help End Racial Inequity

An article from Foundation Review — authored by Gary L. Cunningham, Northwest Area Foundation; Marcia L. Avner, University of Minnesota-Duluth and Romilda Justilien, BCT Partners — explores the multiple approaches that foundations can use to advance racial equity and prosperity. “The Urgency of Now: Foundations’ Role in Ending Racial Inequity” is built on the premise that if we remain on the current trajectory with no significant change in the socioeconomic position of low income people of color, everyone will pay a price.

NEA to Award More Than $74 Million to U.S. Nonprofits

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced today that the NEA plans to award $74.85 million in 971 grants to nonprofit organizations nationwide as part of the second half of its fiscal year 2014 funding. In addition to direct grants through the Art Works category, this round of funding also supports the state arts agencies and regional arts organizations – the NEA's partners in bringing the arts to all parts of the nation – as well as grants for research projects that build evidence on the value and impact of the arts.

Arts Leadership and the Changing Social Contract

Emiko Ono writes for ArtsBlog:

In the past, a productive arts organization was understood to contribute to a community’s quality of life and help drive its economy — it was inherently perceived to be a public good. This “social contract” is fraying based on a growing awareness of the very real inequities that exist in the United States... The nonprofit arts sector, including its funders, is increasingly expected to do more for distressed and marginalized communities if it is to merit designation as a public good.
Buyers Find Tax Break on Art: Let It Hang Awhile in Oregon

From Graham Bowley and Patricia Cohen, writing for the New York Times:

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, tucked into a quiet corner of a college campus here in the hills of the Pacific Northwest, is hardly the epicenter of the art world. Yet major collectors, fresh from buying a Warhol or a Basquiat or another masterpiece in New York, routinely choose this small, elegant redbrick building at the University of Oregon to first exhibit their latest trophy. The museum’s intimacy and scholarship are likely to play some role in their choice. But a primary lure for the collectors is often something more prosaic: a tax break.
EmcArts Accepting Proposals for Innovation Lab, Deadline May 30

EmcArts, the social enterprise for learning and innovation in the arts, is taking proposals for Innovation Lab, their 16-month-long immersion programs for U.S.-based arts and arts service organizations seeking to uncover adaptive strategies and responses to their most complex challenges. The program was launched in 2008 and will deliver two more rounds of the program to eight participating organizations from across the country in 2014 and 2015. These new rounds are funded by a $1.58 million grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Four organizations from across the country will be selected for each of these two rounds.

Tom Finkelpearl Appointed NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner

New York City Mayor de Blasio today appointed Tom Finkelpearl as Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs. A sculptor by training, he most recently served as executive director of the Queens Museum, where he completed a major expansion that doubled the size of the museum. Finkelpearl began his career in arts management at Long Island City’s PS 1 Contemporary Art Center in 1982, which he joined as a public affairs officer, and then went on to organize a number of major exhibitions. In 1990, he joined the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs as Director of the Percent for Art Program, overseeing more than 100 public art projects across all five boroughs.

NASAA CEO Katz Announces Plans to Retire

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies has announced that CEO Jonathan Katz intends to retire late in 2014. Katz has served 29 years at the helm of NASAA. “It has been my great privilege to serve as your CEO during the last three decades,” Katz said. “So much so that I've effortlessly postponed putting more energy into what has now become a demanding writing agenda. Also, my enjoyment of leadership development and strategic planning has never stopped growing. I'd like to invest more time and creativity in those pursuits in the future.”

National Exhibition Will Fill US Billboards with Art

From Jillian Steinhauer, writing for Hyperallergic:

Five American art museums and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) will mount a nationwide public art exhibition this summer. Art Everywhere will bring reproductions of some 50 artworks from the museums’ collections — chosen how else but through an online public vote — to billboards, subway platforms, train stations, and more, filling space usually reserved for advertising with art.
NFF 2014 State of the Sector Survey Data Released

The economic recovery is not offering signs of relief for the nonprofit sector, and many organizations are now looking to new models of funding, according the results of the Nonprofit Finance Fund’s 2014 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey. Leaders from more than 5,000 nonprofits nationwide participated in this sixth annual survey. Many reported daunting financial situations, and said they are looking at new ways to secure the future of their organizations for the benefit of the people they serve.

Creative Capital Receives $1 Million Bequest

Creative Capital has announced a gift of $1 million from the estate of photographer Theo Westenberger. The gift will be used to establish Theo Westenberger Awards for Creative Capital artists; a loan fund for Creative Capital alumni in literature, film/video, visual arts, and emerging fields. A new program in estate planning, initially designed for Creative Capital artists, will eventually be made available to all artists funded through Creative Capital’s ancillary programs, as well as participants in Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program for artists.