Steve's blog

Rockefeller Foundation Puts $1.46 Million to Theater Access for Low-Income Students

The Rockefeller Foundation has announced, at a press conference on the stage of Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre, that it has pledged $1.46 million to pay for 20,000 New York City 11th graders, all from schools with high percentages of low-income students, to see Hamilton, a history-laden hip-hop hit that will be part of a series of Wednesday matinees starting April 13, 2016 and extending into the 2016-2017 Broadway season.

Lifetime Arts Training Institute Coming Up for New York Arts Organizations

Lifetime Arts is holding its Winter Training Institute, a creative aging professional development program for metro New York arts organizations, November 30 through December 3, 2015. The program will take place at Fordham University at Lincoln Center in New York City. Hosted by Lincoln Center Education, the Training Institute is a multi-phase Creative Aging program designed to help arts organizations and teaching artists expand their education programming to older adults.

New from the GIA Reader: Public Funding for the Arts: 2015 Update

In the annual report from NASAA on public funding trends, Ryan Stubbs and Henry Clapp update the data from 2015 in the Reader article, Public Funding for the Arts: 2015 Update.

An Executive Director’s Guide to Financial Leadership

An important article from Nonprofit Quarterly's archives, authored by Kate Barr and Jeanne Bell:

There is an important distinction between financial management and financial leadership. Financial management is the collecting of financial data, production of financial reports, and solution of near-term financial issues. Financial leadership, on the other hand, is guiding a nonprofit organization to sustainability. This is the job of an executive director.
Lara Davis: Final thoughts from GIA 2015

Blogger Lara Davis turns in her final thoughts on the 2015 Conference Blog:

This year’s theme, Experience the Unexpected, situated the arts as a vehicle for transformation. From community development and cultural equity, to tools for public voice and advocacy, funders were called to center their work in supporting artists and organizations as key to these efforts. As a first-timer, I was not quite sure what to expect. I attend and present at a fair share of conferences, but primarily within the youth development and arts education sector. Participating in this convening has been really beneficial and eye opening. More than anything, the personal connections and relationship building have had the deepest impact on me.

Read the full post.

EPIP Names Tamir Novotny Executive Director

Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy has announced that Tamir Novotny has been selected as its new Executive Director, beginning Monday, November 16, 2015. Novotny has been an active member of EPIP since early 2013 and has served on the EPIP New York Steering Committee, and as Regional Coordinator for the Northeast chapters. He has contributed to EPIP’s national programming, including EPIP’s 2015 national conference and its Wednesday Webinar series. He joins EPIP after nine years at Living Cities, a philanthropic collaborative of 22 major foundations and financial institutions focused on improving the lives of low-income urban residents.

Post GIA Conference Thoughts from Barry Hessenius

Barry Hessennius puts a wrap on his reports from the GIA 2015 Conference, held in Los Angeles last week:

Too often people only have complaints against funders. I would like to thank them. I admire their tenacity, their positive attitudes and their creativity. And now that I have thanked them, I would like to encourage them to push the envelope more; to have a sense of urgency about changing the dynamic and move us quicker in the area of equity. It’s frustrating not to move quicker where the need is great. There is so much that might get done if society had the right priorities and we had the necessary tools and resources. But things are getting a little bit better all the time.
Lara Davis: Tuesday Conference Report

GIA 2015 Conference blogger Lara Davis shares her notes from Tuesday at the Los Angeles Conference:

Tuesday morning’s Idea Lab of artists was on point, my people. I was particularly struck by Rosten Woo, who in a nutshell, produces communication art. Putting “interpretation” at the center of his work, he creates things like aesthetically-designed and clearly legible pamphlets on zoning so that street vendors know their rights, and glossies that highlight art and cultural occurrences in neighborhoods that, “due to racism, or the mere fact it takes place in someone’s backyard,” are not recognized as cultural staple within a community. I’m a fan. crystal am nelson’s visual and spoken artwork was stunning, and affirming. It invokes “historical trauma combined with pleasure as complicity”, naming society’s collective involvement in the violence and de-humanization of the Black body. This is a mirror we need right now.
Barry Hessenius Reports on Tuesday at the GIA 2015 Conference

The latest post from Barry Hessenius covers his notes from the second day of the Los Angeles Conference.

The major afternoon sessions were three hour offsite. I choose to attend the Digital Media for Arts Grantmakers session, focusing on the need for grantmakers to learn to deploy digital media to reach and engage audiences and to become fluent in digital capabilities and tools. Takeaways:
  • Have an articulated game plan, informed by the organization’s overall vision strategy
  • Build capabilities, don’t just do projects. Technology is not a project but a process
  • Shake up the organization chart with an integration of digital competency positions, including training
  • Put audiences first and be prepared for constant change.
  • This is, of course, a big, complex area where many arts leaders feel lost and / or incompetent and there are numerous obstacles to embracing full digital knowledge. But as the generational shifts become more urgent, so too is the necessity of overcoming reticence and fears to understand the basics of IT and appreciate the rapidity of change as a constant.

Read the full post.

Barry Hessenius: GIA Conference Monday Report

Barry Hessenius checks in with his observations on the first day of the Los Angeles Conference:

The first day of any of our art conferences seem to always be the longest. Janet Brown opened the conference with the reminder that the three operating principles of GIA continue to be: Inclusiveness, Collaboration, and Curiosity. Recent GIA Conferences have featured Idea Lab — short Ted like presentations by a trio of different working artists. The first three were all excellent. The one that caught my attention was Yuval Sharon, founder and artistic director of The Industry, an L.A. based experimental opera company that produces performances that can only be categorized as way outside the box. He touted three