(2-23-10) The Ford Family Foundation has announced a new $3.5 million visual arts program that is sweeping in its potential effect on Oregon's artists and the institutions that support artists. The new program also builds upon the cultural legacy of one of the founders of the Roseburg-based foundation, the late Hallie E. Ford, an art patron and major benefactor to Willamette University and the Pacific Northwest College of Art.
(2-23-10) Here's a great video produced by Artist Trust of Washington for their annual supporters auction. It features a number of artists and others making the case for the arts in their own words. It asks the questions why is art important? and why fund the arts?
(2-21-10) Here's a brief audio interview with David Byrne by Mark Frauenfelder of Boing Boing following Byrne's TED talk on the way artists create their music and other works to look and sound their best in the venue in which they appear.
(2-17-10) Apparently people are asking him. Read his comments on Huffington Post “As donors decide which organizations to continue to support, the institutions that are doing vital, important work are the ones who will continue to be supported. Not only must the work be interesting but the marketing of that work and of the institution as a whole must be aggressive and creative.”
(2-12-10) There are dozens of federal agencies in Washington, D.C., and dozens of men and women running them, but it's hard to imagine that any of these civil servants has a Tom Sawyer streak wider than Rocco Landesman's. His CV includes the kind of grown-up adventures that his fellow (if fictional) Missourian might envy. He started and ran a multimillion-dollar investment fund, owned and bet on racehorses, and faced the most ludicrous odds of all by becoming a Broadway producer. Nor did this exhaust his energies.
(2-11-10) Video and documents from Dynamic Adaptability: Arts and Culture Puget Sound, the first of a three-part series designed to give arts and cultural organizations in the Puget Sound region the skills and support to respond to evolving realities in the environment are now on the GIA website.
Cultural Capital: Tools for Managing Revenue and Risk featured an opening plenary by Clara Miller, President and CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, followed by afternoon workshops for both nonprofits and funders led by NFF staff.
(2-10-10) I recently attended a session led by Clara Miller of Nonprofit Finance Fund on capitalization. NFF has spent years working with nonprofits as lenders and advisors on financial systems and practices. They are part of a handful of knowledgeable experts in the arts and finance. Much of what Clara said rang a bell with me.
(2-9-10) President Obama has picked six people to join the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanties; two of them, painter-photographer Chuck Close and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short-story writer Jhumpa Lahiri, will become the first visual artist and writer on an advisory panel weighted with actors and business people.
(2-8-10) Upcoming webinar based on two articles by David Peter Stroh and Kathleen Zurcher in The Foundation Review. Drawing on case examples from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and other social change initiatives, the series will help foundations leverage their resources by working more effectively with how social systems behave and evolve.
(2-3-10) What's proposed? Cut the Cultural Affairs Department almost in half, laying off 48% of staff. (Of 1,003 planned citywide job cuts, 30 would come from this one tiny agency.) [Correction: The proposal would cut the department's staff of 63 employees by 43%, 16 by layoffs and 11 by early retirement.] The move would do inevitable, serious damage to venues all over the city, such as the Municipal Art Gallery and the Watts Towers Art Center.