SuJ'n's blog

Catalyzing Culture and Community through CDFIs

Last week the US Department of Housing and Urban Development PD&R Edge magazine published “Catalizing Culture and Community through CDFIs.” In this article, Judilee Reed, director of The Surdna Foundation's Thriving Cultures Program, discusses the importance of community development finance institutions in the creative placemaking movement.

Reed writes:

The cross-sector nature of this work suggests the existing infrastructure in the community development field, like community development finance institutions (CDFIs), could play an important role in helping artists, arts and culture organizations, and non-arts organizations build their capacity to sustain creative production long after dedicated funding for specific projects has passed. For many CDFIs, the role they play in providing both financing and technical assistance to support neighborhood-based projects and the growth of small business in low income communities implies they may also have the potential to pivot their services to engage artists and projects that support the development of arts and culture.

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Releases Investment Review on Creative Placemaking

The Community Development Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco recently published the Community Development Investment Review on Creative Placemaking. This anthology of articles and ArtPlace America profiles shares research and best practices in providing capital to low- and moderate-income communities through creative placemaking approaches.

NEA Releases Three New Reports on the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) releases three reports using data from 2012 to show the life of the arts and cultural sector from three perspectives. The first report, When Going Gets Tough: Barriers and Motivations Affecting Arts Attendance, uses data collected from a NEA-sponsored topical module in the General Social Survey to learn more about why people attend different types of arts events. The second report, A Decade of Arts Engagement: Findings from the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, 2002-2012, investigates arts participation rates from 2012 and compares them with findings from previous surveys using 2002 and 2008 data. The third report in this series, The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA), analyzes the arts and cultural sector's contributions to the US gross domestic product (GDP), finding they exceed previous estimates of its impact on employment and the national economy.

Member Spotlight on The McKnight Foundation

During the month of January, GIA's photo banner features work and projects sponsored by The McKnight Foundation. For more than 60 years, McKnight has been seeking to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. Its grantmaking is primarily focused in the state of Minnesota where the foundation is established.

McKnight’s arts program is founded on the belief that Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive. It supports working artists to create and contribute to vibrant communities. In 2013, about 11% of McKnight’s total grantmaking payout — more than $9.5 million — went to organizations working to advance this goal.

The James Irvine Foundation Releases New Study as Part of Its Arts Engagement Focus Series

The James Irvine Foundation shares its research findings about arts groups that are expanding their settings and venues to engage new and diverse audiences.

Josephine Ramirez of the Foundation writes:

This release is part of an Arts Engagement Focus series intended to uncover valuable, practical information that can help arts organizations better address key questions: Who participates in arts? How can we engage new participants? Where can arts participation take place? Together, these studies provide a timely and substantive view of arts engagement across the sector — they can inspire ideas and fuel discussion in arts organizations of all sizes, ages and types.

The Hewlett Foundation Shares Its Assessment of Regranting Intermediaries Strategy

Earlier this year, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation conducted an assessment of its approach to support regranting intermediaries. It sought to forecast the funding environment for current intermediaries in its Performing Arts Program, better understand who benefits from the foundation's current intermediary funding strategy - and who doesn't, and develop recommendations on how to better serve the Bay Area performing arts ecosystem in accordance with its strategic framework. The foundation makes assessment available to the larger arts and culture field as a way to share "lessons learned."

NEFA Names Cathy Edwards as Executive Director

From the News page at New England Foundation for the Arts:

Lawrence J. Simpson, board chair of the New England Foundation for the Arts, announced that Cathy Edwards will join the organization as executive director, beginning late January, 2015. Ms. Edwards comes to NEFA from the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, CT, where she has served as director of programming since 2006. She has also served as the artistic director of the Time-Based Art Festival at PICA in Portland, OR. Previously, she was artistic director of Dance Theater Workshop in New York City, and co-director of Movement Research in New York City.

Why One Funder Eliminated Grantee Budgets to Improve Financial Due Diligence

The Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock on Long Island awards approximately $12 million annually to nearly 200 organizations nationwide. After working with a consultant to overhaul the financial component of its application process, the program eliminated requests for budgets last year. The Foundation Review published the case study titled, "In Other Words, the Budgets Are Fake: Why One Funder Eliminated Grantee Budgets to Improve Financial Due Diligence." Through this report, the Veatch Program proposes one model for reducing administrative burden on applicants while simultaneously getting a clearer picture of an applicants' financial well-being and capacity to fulfill project goals.

Who's There for Musicians When Times Get Tough?

Funders can do more than just support artists with discrete project needs; they can help artists survive unexpected challenges.

From Mike Scutari, Inside Philanthropy:

Who's there for musicians when times get tough? The answer is the MusiCares Foundation. Established in 1989 by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, its primary purpose is to focus the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues which directly impact the health and welfare of the music community.

National Endowment for the Arts Awards $29 Million for Arts Projects

From the News page at National Endowment for the Arts:

From partnerships to develop a districtwide arts education plan in North Carolina to poetry from a combat engineer to a folk arts festival in rural Wyoming, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) continues to support the arts and creativity to improve lives and communities in the United States. In its first fiscal year 2015 announcement, the NEA will award $29.1 million in 1,116 grants in three categories: Art Works, Challenge America, and NEA Literature Fellowships in Creative Writing.