Steve's blog

ArtsWave Announces New Goals for Next Chapter

From Carol Motsinger at the Cincinnati Enquirer:

ArtsWave isn’t just an ATM for Cincinnati’s cultural institutions and efforts. Yes, the nonprofit supports over 100 local organizations with the nation’s oldest and largest community campaign for the arts: In 2015, some 42,000 donors raised $12.25 million. But, says president and CEO Alecia Kintner, the financial support is just the beginning. The new 10-year-plan for the almost 90-year-old organization is designed to ensure that this investment yields massive community-wide impact.
New from the GIA Reader: The CUNY Dance Initiative

Julia del Palacio and Alyssa Alpine, both from the City University of New York (CUNY), look at the ways the CUNY Dance Initiative works to enhance the cultural fabric of the college system (as well as the city) in the Reader article, The CUNY Dance Initiative: Building Bridges through Vacant Spaces.

Minnesota Leads the Way in Cultivating Rural Arts Initiatives

From Eileen Cunniffe, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

Earlier this week, NPQ reported on a novel approach to civic engagement in Minneapolis: artist residencies in city planning departments, aimed at sparking fresh ideas for solving urban issues. Today, we note that the North Star State is also an innovator when it comes to integrating the arts into its rural communities. As reporter Kristin Tillotson says, “Across Minnesota, small towns and farms are busy putting the culture in agriculture.”
National Arts in Education Week Begins Sunday
National Arts in Education Week Logo

Americans for the Arts will be focusing on issues of Arts Education on September 13-19. National Arts in Education week is a national celebration recognizing the arts importance to a well-rounded education. Designated by Congress in 2010, through House Resolution 275, the celebration is designated to bring attention of this cause to elected officials and educational decision makers across the country and to support equitable access to the arts for all students. National Arts in Education Week takes place annually during the week beginning with the second Sunday of September.

Could Effective Altruism Destroy the Arts?

Gary P. Steuer, President and CEO of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation (and a current member of the GIA Board of Directors) continues the discussion on effective altruism that is being held on the opinion pages of The Washington Post:

The effective altruists’ completely dispassionate assessment of “value” — lives saved per dollar — does not allow for a holistic approach to what makes a healthy society. If everybody gave as they did, we might well end up solving Third World crises at the expense of deepening crises right here at home. Rampant poverty and public health challenges in the United States would ultimately damage our local and national economies, diminishing our long-term capacity to help abroad. In addition, many of the things that are important to our souls — beauty, hope, joy, tolerance, inspiration — are fostered through the arts. They may be very hard to sufficiently measure in a world of purely data-driven philanthropy. This does not mean they are not important.
Most Americans Aren’t “Efficient” Philanthropists, a Good Thing

From William Schambra, in The Washington Post:

Effective altruists seem to believe that the sole purpose of charity is to eliminate human suffering, as efficiently as is possible. But in fact, charity is far more than that: it is the heart and soul of human community, the way that people gather and minister to the emotional, spiritual, and material needs of their neighbors. By ignoring this role, the effective altruist movement threatens the very foundation of compassionate generosity.
New from the GIA Reader: Enriching the Arts through International Cultural Exchange

Enriching the Arts through International Cultural Exchange is an article written by Guiomar Ochoa and Michael Orlove from the National Endowment for the Arts, who look at the work being done through the NEA’s International Activities office.

Colorado Arts Groups Take Sides In Battle Over Millions in Funding

By Ray Mark Rinaldi, writing for The Denver Post:

Front Range arts groups have begun squaring off heatedly over how to divide the millions of dollars in tax subsidies that come their way each year, especially as estimates show the pot could grow to $87 million annually. No one in the cultural community wanted to see a noisy fight erupt over the money. The theaters and history museums, dance companies, classical quartets and galleries all feared an ugly battle would leave a bad taste in the mouths of voters who they are counting on to reauthorize their funding for a third, 10-year period in 2016.
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Among Recipients of 2014 National Medals of Arts

President Barack Obama will present the 2014 National Medals of Arts in conjunction with the National Humanities Medals on Thursday, September 10, 2015, at 3pm EDT/noon PDT in an East Room ceremony at the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama will attend. The event will be live streamed at Among those listed is the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, who is honored “for supporting creative expression across the country. With generosity and a bold commitment to artistic risk, this foundation has helped artists, musicians, dancers, and actors share their talents, enriching the cultural life of our Nation.”

Part of Your World: On the Arts and Wellbeing

The latest feature article from the folks at Createquity looks at how the arts contributes broadly to our wellbeing:

For all our never-ending debates about how and whether to measure the impact of the arts, our field may be well poised to contribute to this complex but fascinating dialogue that spans so many disciplines and decades. After all, if anyone is accustomed to making value judgments within an environment that resists quantification, it’s us! Committing to that conversation could open new doors as we contribute to a broader, shared understanding of human progress without having to downplay some of the arts’ more unique, intrinsic contributions. Entering those doors, however, will require leaving the arts cheerleading that many of us are accustomed to at the coat check. It will require contemplating what it looks like to offer the freedom to participate in arts and culture while simultaneously honoring those who decline the invitation.