Monica's blog

Arts Funders Respond: Engaging the Political Climate

Grantmakers in the Arts heard from members that they are looking to learn from each other and from GIA about strategies to address the changing political climate and its effects on the arts community. To that end, GIA has created Arts Funders Respond: Engaging the Political Climate, a new website with regular updates on actions and statements funders are making across the country, as well as news updates and resources for advocacy. Learn how arts funders are taking action with program and policy changes. Read statements, op-eds, and blog posts by foundation leaders and others in the field. Get updates on the latest news and articles on issues that impact the arts community. And discover resources to support advocacy efforts for public and private funders.

Survey: Grantmakers Expect Philanthropy to Play Bigger Role in Society Due to Changes in DC

A new survey by Exponent Philanthropy shows the vast majority of its members (82%) expect the institution of philanthropy to play a more important role in society as a result of recent changes in Washington, DC. Issued in late March to Exponent Philanthropy’s members – foundations with few or no staff, philanthropic families, and individual donors – the informal “Pulse Check” survey looked at how changes today in politics may impact philanthropic behavior in the year ahead, both in terms of giving practices and investments.

LA County Arts Commission Executive Director Laura Zucker to Step Down in July

Laura Zucker has announced her plans to leave her position as executive director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission on July 31, 2017. Zucker has been a driving force in the development and support of the arts and culture ecosystem of Los Angeles County over the last 25 years. Under Zucker’s guidance, the County’s organizational grant program grew eight-fold and now funds almost 400 nonprofit arts organizations through a two-year $9 million grant program.

New Public-Private Partnership in Colorado Funds Programs that Combine Arts and Social Services

A recent article in The Denver Post highlights a new public-private partnership to fund arts programs that also support human services:

The grants are a public-private partnership between the state, through its Colorado Creative Industries division, Denver’s Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and the Hemera Foundation, based in Boulder.

It’s rare for government and nonprofit grant-makers to work together, but even more unusual for them to break out of their regimens. Bonfils-Stantion CEO Gary Steuer said it happened because the foundations saw these cross-over efforts happening organically in the community and wanted to come up with a way to provide support.

More and more, artists and performers were offering programs with a social service component — not just making art for art’s sake, but conducting theater workshops at rec centers and presenting plays to combat teen suicide.

How Foundations Are Using a Systems Change Approach to Work Toward Social Change

A recent article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review discusses how some foundations are using a systems change approach to work toward social change in the current political climate. "A key differentiator for systems change foundations," author Mark R. Kramer writes, "is that they no longer try to pilot a small-scale program first and then take it to scale later; they confront the system at scale from the start."

NEA Report Reveals Arts and Culture Sector Makes Up 4.2 Percent of US Economy

A collaboration of the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the [Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account] is the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector's contributions to the U.S. economy. This latest ACPSA data is from 2014 and reveals that the arts and cultural sector contributed $729.6 billion or 4.2 percent to the U.S. economy that year. Between 1998 and 2014, the contribution of arts and culture to the nation’s gross domestic product grew by 35.1 percent.

Setting a Strategic Lifespan, Quixote Foundation Spends Down its Endowment and Closes its Doors

In a recent blog post, June Wilson and Lenore Hanisch of the Quixote Foundation discuss the decision to close the foundation and spend its entire endowment:

Spending up allowed us to see clearly that our philanthropy was not about our personal, family or institutional legacy, it was about the work of our grantees and the change they work tirelessly to realize. It enabled us to embrace conflict and seek resolution. It encouraged us to approach our grantmaking strategy with a greater sense of creativity, not restriction. Knowing that we had limited time and resources, we found a clearer path that was ultimately more satisfying to us as individuals and more impactful for our organization and the field.
Aroha Philanthropies Supports New Arts Education Program for Older Adults in New Hampshire

A recent article in Valley News highlights a new arts education program for older adults in New Hampshire supported by Aroha Philanthropies:

The idea behind the program’s design is based in a growing body of research that shows that “more intensive, skill-based, sequential arts learning is particularly valuable to older adults, and is shown to have a variety of health and social benefits,” Selchen said.

According to one 2006 study funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, seniors who participated in cultural programs like Experience/Arts reported better physical health and morale, and less loneliness, one year after the completion of their programs compared to control groups who did not participate in those programs.

Jason Schupbach to Leave NEA, Moves to Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

From The Architect's Newspaper:

Jason Schupbach has been selected as the new director of the Design School at Arizona State University’s (ASU) Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Schupbach is considered one of the founding leaders of the national creative placemaking movement and will head to ASU after working as the director of design and creative placemaking programs for the National Endowment of the Arts. At the NEA, Schupbach oversees Our Town and Art Works grants, the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design, as well as the NEA’s community development-related federal agency collaborations.

How NEA Funding Supports Arts and Culture in Small Town Indiana

A recent article in The Washington Post highlights how funding from the National Endowment for the Arts supports arts and culture across Indiana, including in many small towns and rural areas:

In Indiana, artists and nonprofit leaders in small towns or underserved communities fear that lawmakers don’t understand how much they depend on the millions of arts dollars distributed each year outside booming metropolises. NEA dollars give children access to the arts at a time when schools are cutting back. They provide performances for people who don’t live in cultural centers. They keep such handmade traditions as basket-weaving and quiltmaking alive.