Steve's blog

Nathan Cummings Foundation Names Sharon Alpert President and CEO

Sharon Alpert will become the Nathan Cummings Foundation’s fourth president and first female leader, according to Adam Cummings, the foundation’s board chair. Ms. Alpert comes to the 25-year-old multi-generational family foundation from the Surdna Foundation, where, over 11 years, she rose from associate program officer to program director to her current position as the vice president of programs and strategic initiatives. She will assume her role as president and CEO of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and ex-officio member of the board of trustees, in November 2015.

Career Transition for Dancers Merges with The Actors Fund to Help Dancers Nationally

From Olivia Clement, writing for Playbill:

The services of Career Transition For Dancers will be integrated into the ongoing programs of The Actors Fund, it was announced September 21. The two non-profit human service organizations will unite in their sharing of providing programs and services to dancers and the dance community; the merger is expected to be fully integrated by the end of the year. “Career Transitions For Dancers has helped thousands of dancers over the past thirty years in taking their first steps in discovering rewarding second careers,” said CTFD chairman Emerita and former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Cynthia Gregory in a press statement.
New Art Galleries Enjoy a Los Angeles Advantage: Space

From Melena Ryzik, writing for The New York Times:

Michele Maccarone, in a flowy black jumpsuit, was striding across the cement floor of her cavernous new gallery (in Los Angeles) last week, debating where brightly colored abstract paintings by Alex Hubbard should go. “There’s just, like, this endless amount of really incredible space,” she said, as Mr. Hubbard and assistants moved the weighty frames for his solo show. At 35,000 square feet indoors, with an additional 10,000 square feet outside earmarked for a sculpture garden, the Maccarone gallery, in industrial Boyle Heights, is the length of a city block.
Kresge Foundation Commits $350 Million to Social Investments

The Kresge Foundation Board of Trustees approved an ambitious plan to invest $350 million by 2020 through the foundation’s Social Investment Practice, making clear that using a variety of investment tools is central to bringing enhanced opportunities to low-income people in America’s cities. The $350 million represents approximately 10 percent of the foundation’s corpus as of 2015. As the foundation expands its use of these types of investments, it will continue to align them with its six program areas — Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Health, Human Services and Community Development in Detroit — and make nearly $140 million in grants each year.

Roots of Miami’s vibrant arts scene were planted in the 1980s

From Jordan Levin at the Miami Herald:

As Miami’s arts season gears up with an overflowing slate of museum exhibits, ballet premieres, and more culture than any individual could ever absorb, it’s easy to take the city’s vibrant artistic life for granted. But only one generation ago, Miami was widely derided as a cultural wasteland. The dynamic creative scene that has become such an integral part of Miami’s character was created in an extraordinary — and extraordinarily unlikely — burst of cultural energy in the 1980s.
What the Data Tells Us: You Need Staff to Do Certain Things Well

From Phil Buchanan, writing for The Center for Effective Philanthropy:

CEP’s data and analysis confirm that foundations just can’t do certain things well without staff. This isn’t just a theory, and the story about Wilburforce Foundation I told in my last post isn’t some fluke. Analysis of CEP’s grantee survey demonstrates the link between foundation staffing and certain aspects of performance, as experienced by grantees.
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.