Janet's blog

Your Project: Who Needs It?

From Janet Brown from her blog Better Together

I took a short hiatus from blogging in the first quarter 2013. I was “blogged out.” I've been storing up some ideas and am ready to put them out there again for better or worse.

Hurricane Sandy Arts Recovery Resources

By Janet Brown from her blog Better Together

On behalf of Grantmakers in the Arts, I want to express how saddened we are by the terrible losses brought on by Hurricane Sandy. GIA has created a special site, Hurricane Sandy Recovery Resources, to list relevant resources as they become available to us. Please contact us at janet@giarts.org with new information so we can pass it on to our members and the public.

Forging Connections: A Blog on the GIA 2012 Conference

By Janet Brown from her blog Better Together

Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) met in Miami October 14-17 to share knowledge, debate issues and discover new pathways to supporting artists and arts organizations. As with all convenings, I wanted to be everywhere and hear everything. That’s the frustration of having diverse programming that speaks to a diverse audience. And we are a very diverse group. I wasn’t able to be in every room but here are some personal highlights.

A Community of Practice: Why We Convene

From "Better Together," a blog by Janet Brown

As we prepare the final details for Grantmakers in the Arts’ 2012 national conference in Miami, October 14-17, “communities of practice” have been at the top of my mind.  Associations like Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) serve the valuable purpose of convening members to discuss important topics, trends, challenges and solutions.

Set In Stone

By Janet Brown from her blog Better Together:

I enthusiastically encourage anyone who has ever been involved with an arts organization that renovated, expanded or built new;  a board that said, “if we only had more seats, we could sell more tickets;” a feasibility study that overstated the need for the building and understated the community’s ability to raise funds; an elected official who said, “what our small city needs is a world-class __________ facility;” or a funder that has been asked to support a building project to read Set in Stone, a recently released report from the University of Chicago’s Cultural Policy Center and NORC.

Reality is Not Perception

What do you think the general public thinks these days when they hear the words “the arts?” Does it conjure up images of what they do on a daily basis: listening to music, watching television, singing in church choir, reading a book, attending the theatre? Or do most people think of an elite special interest group for people with money? I’m thinking about language again because it gets us into so much trouble.

Getting Our *&%# Together

Diane Ragsdale’s recent blog entitled “When did being pro-artist make one anti-institution?” is a thought-provoking response to a speech she heard at the Theatre Communication Group conference in Boston a couple weeks ago.

Talking About Race in America

On June 11-13, 2012, thirty individuals met at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh for a Grantmakers in the Arts Thought Leader Forum on Racial Equity Grantmaking. They were all there because they were experienced arts funders working in social justice. Some are relatively new to their positions, others have been around for a while leading discussions in and outside of GIA on the topic of the arts, equity, and social justice.

Teaching Arts Administration

I spoke at the Association of Arts Administration Educators(AAAE) annual conference at Claremont University, in Claremont, CA last week. Since I taught in a masters in arts administration program for 12 years and chaired an undergraduate performing and visual arts department for four, I was delighted to be part of this conference and to attempt to connect my current world of arts philanthropy with those who are teaching arts managers and leaders.

Resurrecting Howard Gardner

I had an “aha” moment recently listening to Jonathan Katz, executive director of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies speak to New Jersey funders. I was reminded of the hard work we did in the 90s to get the arts into national and state education standards and the arguments we used to get there. It’s time to revisit those arguments after a long draught of “teaching to math and reading tests” brought on in 2000 by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act dubbed No Child Left Behind.