Monica's Blog

Posted on July 26, 2016 by Monica

A recent article in The Washington Post highlights Canada’s shifting approach to arts funding and how it compares to common approaches in the United States and other Western countries:

As much of the Western world flirts with retrenchment into a nativist crouch, Canada is doubling down on what [Melanie Joly, minister for Canadian Heritage,] describes as the basic “social contract,” which has always included the arts as a fundamental part of the national budget. But she and [Simon Brault, the head of the Canada Council for the Arts,] also stress the need to reform the existing system of cultural funding.
Posted on July 25, 2016 by Monica

New research by Americans for the Arts provides an in-depth look at public perceptions and attitudes about the arts in the United States. An Americans for the Arts and Ipsos Public Affairs survey of more than 3,000 American adults over the age of 18 provides current insight on topics including support for arts education and government arts funding, personal engagement in the arts, the personal benefits and well-being that come from engaging in the arts, and whether those benefits extend more broadly to the community.

Posted on July 25, 2016 by Monica

With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Quentin Hancock Fund and the Wallace A. Gerbode Foundation, California Lawyers for the Arts has released a study exploring the feasibility of establishing a national network to support the work of arts in corrections. The report includes the findings of a stakeholder survey that included arts practitioners, formerly incarcerated participants, funders, and others. The results revealed agreement on the values and functions of a national network, potential challenges, potential models to consider, and recommendations for future development.

Posted on July 19, 2016 by Monica

In a recent blog post for Next Avenue, Heidi Raschke describes the growing movement for creative aging:

In the 1960s, boomers changed the world by transforming youth culture. Now they’re set to do it again by transforming the culture of aging. Philanthropists, scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs who are 50+ are redefining what it means to grow old in America, and many of them see the arts as a powerful tool to accomplish that goal.
Posted on July 19, 2016 by Monica

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies has announced the release of the State Arts Agency Fiscal Year 2017 Legislative Appropriations Preview report. This document summarizes how state arts agencies fared during this year's budget deliberations and includes information on the appropriations each state arts agency expects to receive for FY2017.

Posted on July 12, 2016 by Monica

In a recent blog post, Arleta Little, program officer for the arts at The McKnight Foundation, discusses racial disparities in arts philanthropy and how McKnight and other organizations are working to address it:

Given historic inequities and shifting demographics, increasing arts funding alone does not address the structural issues affecting how these funds are distributed. We must change the minds (leadership and decision making) and the mechanisms (the institutional policies and practices) that prevent more equitable distributions of resources. This is racial equity work.
Posted on July 7, 2016 by Monica

In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, Dan Pallotta makes a case for fundraising as an important and often overlooked part of nonprofit capacity building:

Of all of the various sub-categories in capacity-building, one and only one has the potential to multiply the amount of money that a funder puts into it, and that category is fundraising – the least loved of them all. It doesn’t belong in the bunch as an equal among the others. It has super powers. It’s time [funders] recognized this and funded fundraising at their favorite grantees as a priority.
Posted on July 6, 2016 by Monica

A new report published by the National Council of Nonprofits outlines the challenges nonprofits with government grants and contracts could face in implementing the Department of Labor’s new overtime regulations. A national survey of over one thousand nonprofits revealed widespread concern over increased costs which are not supported by existing contracts. The report concludes that government funders should help nonprofits fill in the gaps by offering short-term transitional resources and providing grantees the opportunity to renegotiate their contracts to account for the financial, operational, or programmatic changes needed for nonprofits to comply with the law.

Posted on July 6, 2016 by Monica

By Shia Kapos, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times:

Michelle Boone, commissioner of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, is stepping down and will be replaced by Mark Kelly, the vice president for student success at Columbia College Chicago. . . .

“For five years Michelle has worked tirelessly to expand and innovate arts across the city. She has successfully reimagined our most revered cultural traditions — including the Taste of Chicago and Blues Fest — and brought new experiences like the Architectural Biennial to our city . . .” [Chicago Mayor] Emanuel said in a statement issued by his staff.

Posted on June 23, 2016 by Monica

At the League of American Orchestras conference in June, the Honorable Elijah Cummings, U.S. Representative (MD-7), delivered an inspiring keynote speech on the importance of racial equity and opportunity in arts education. The theme of the conference, “The Richness of Difference,” focused on diversity and inclusion in the sector.

Watch the video.