A recent article in CityLab describes how Rebuild Foundation, a nonprofit run by renowned artist Theaster Gates, has contributed to neighborhood revitalization in Chicago’s South Side. The organization has purchased and converted vacant buildings into art-inspired community hubs, including a community arts center, a movie theater, a cafe, and a bookstore.
President Obama will present the 2015 National Medals of Arts in conjunction with the National Humanities Medals on September 22, 2016 at the White House. Awards will be presented to Mel Brooks, Sandra Cisneros, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Morgan Freeman, Philip Glass, Berry Gordy, Santiago Jiménez, Jr., Moises Kaufman, Ralph Lemon, Audra McDonald, Luis Valdez, and Jack Whitten.
The National Endowment for the Arts has released new research that for the first time offers a complete state-by-state perspective on how Americans participate in the arts. In addition, the data reveal that despite decades of declining arts attendance by U.S. adults in the performing and visual arts, more recent rates are holding steady.
A new online tool, MuseumStat, and its corresponding iOS app called MuseumFinder map out museums across the United States and the communities they serve. The project was funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services. Neville Vakharia, an assistant professor and research director of arts administration in Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design led this research and development effort with a goal of not only gathering important data, but visualizing that data through an easily accessible tool to help the museum field make data-driven decisions.
The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) has announced a new, pilot grant initiative that will support the expanding definition of craft-based research and promote collaboration between the fields of craft, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The program is supported by the Windgate Fund at the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.
Roberto Bedoya has been appointed as the City of Oakland’s first Cultural Affairs Manager. Bedoya will oversee the City’s Cultural Affairs Unit, housed in the City’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development. The unit includes the City’s public art program and cultural funding program. He will also provide leadership for new initiatives such as completing a cultural plan for the city, supporting cultural districts within the City of Oakland, and growing a technical assistance program to help artists and arts organizations build capacity.
In a recent article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Justin Laing writes about grantee inclusion as “a critical and important step toward mutual accountability; when implemented deeply, it lets us imagine even more far-reaching practices of accountability, transparency, and partnership between grantmakers and grantees.” The article highlights work that The Heinz Endowments has done to develop mutual accountability between the organization and its Transformative Arts Process advisory board.
Joint Affinity Groups and its core partners – Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, Funders for LGBTQ Issues, Association of Black Foundation Executives, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, Native Americans in Philanthropy, Hispanics in Philanthropy, and Women’s Funding Network – have transformed their coalition into CHANGE Philanthropy. The coalition works “to raise the level of dialogue and shift practice among funders so that philanthropic dollars are dispersed through equitable practices.”
Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) has announced that CEO Mary Kennedy, who has held the position since 2002, has resigned her position effective October 1, 2016. Kennedy’s decision to resign comes after 27 years of service to M-AAA. She will provide consulting services to M-AAA until a new CEO is in place.
Aroha Philanthropies has announced the first cohort of its Seeding Artful Aging initiative. Fifteen organizations were chosen to partner with Aroha Philanthropies in a seminal initiative designed to support the development and expansion of successful Artful Aging programs. Grants awarded range from $17,000 to $50,000 for projects to run between January 1, 2017 and November 30, 2017.