Blogs

Herb Alpert, Founder of Herb Alpert Foundation, to Receive UCLA's Highest Honor

From UCLA:

National Medal of Arts recipient and nine-time Grammy winner Herb Alpert will be awarded the UCLA Medal, the campus’s highest honor, on June 16 at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s inaugural commencement ceremony. . . . In the 1980s, Alpert began to devote himself to philanthropy in support of artists, arts education, and compassion and well-being. Launched in 1988 by Alpert and [wife Lani Hall], the Herb Alpert Foundation creates opportunities that enable people of all ages and socioeconomic levels to harness their creativity, develop their talents and lead more productive and fulfilling lives.
Member Spotlight on The Heinz Endowments

For the month of April, GIA’s photo banner features work supported by The Heinz Endowments’ Transformative Arts Process (TAP) program. As an organization, The Heinz Endowments comprises two private foundations, the Howard Heinz Endowment and the Vira I. Heinz Endowment, that share a mission to help southwestern Pennsylvania thrive economically, ecologically, educationally, and culturally.

How Arts and Culture Improve Health, Safety, and Well-being in NYC’s Low Income Neighborhoods

A new study funded by The New York Community Trust and Surdna Foundation found correlation between the presence of arts and culture resources and the health, safety, and well-being of low and moderate income neighborhoods in New York City. According to the report, culture does not work alone but is one ingredient that makes neighborhoods stronger. The findings will be used by The Trust and Surdna Foundation in grantmaking, and by the City’s Department of Cultural Affairs to design a cultural plan for the city later this year.

NEA Local Arts Agency Director Moves to Head Florida Arts Center

As reported by Tampa Bay Times, Michael Killoren, director of local arts agencies and Challenge America at the National Endowment for the Arts, has accepted a position as executive director of the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, Florida:

Killoren, 60, has worked at the NEA since 2010 as the head of Local Arts Agencies and Challenge America, programs that support arts and culture at the local level. Before that, he was the head of Seattle's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, where he led an initiative to restore arts education in public schools. In 2001, he was tapped to serve as Seattle's first director of cultural tourism.
In Funding Individual Artists, The Risk is the Reward

A GIA blog post by Tony Grant, co-director of Sustainable Arts Foundation

For decades, GIA and its members have been at the forefront of providing support for individual artists. While all forms of arts grantmaking are vital, the direct support of individual artists is, to co-opt an expression, where the paint meets the canvas.

A timeline, produced out of the 2013 GIA conference in Philadelphia, chronicles the deep roots of this support, and a formal case statement published in the Winter 2012 GIA Reader helps define clearly just how much individual artists are at the core of what we do. GIA's Support for Individual Artists Committee convenes regularly to discuss and share techniques and goals for supporting artists.

Executive Director of Walter & Elise Haas Fund to Step Down

The board of trustees of the Walter & Elise Haas Fund has announced that Executive Director Pam David will step down at the end of 2017, bringing her successful 15-year tenure to a close. During her stewardship, the vision and legacy of Walter and Elise Haas was enhanced and expanded for a new generation of trustees and residents of the continually evolving Bay Area.

New from the GIA Reader: Reflections from an Art and Social Justice Funder

In the latest issue of the GIA Reader, Elizabeth Méndez Berry recounts a panel discussion of artists using the power of narrative to create social change. “Telling New Stories: Reflections from an Art and Social Justice Funder” considers how the work of arts and social justice can be expanded and encourages funders to investigate their role in this process.

Darren Walker: The Arts Are Not Just a “Special Interest”

Ford Foundation President Darren Walker has recently published an op-ed on The Hill in support of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities:

Of course, there is something at stake here much greater than the economic impact of public support for the arts. In a time of discordant political discourse — of competing, conflicting ideas of our shared future — the arts open our hearts and our minds, build empathy among us, and reconnect us with the human experience we all share. They are no special interest; they are a national interest that strengthens who we are.
Can Programs that Help the Military Save the Federal Arts Agencies?

A recent article in The New York Times highlights some of the art therapy programs funded by the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities which serve veterans and their families. Given government support of veterans services, the article discusses how the success of these programs might influence conversations and decisions surrounding continuing funding for the endowments:

The fate of projects like the Warrior Chorus is likely to be determined in key congressional appropriations committees as they consider whether the two endowments should be funded, and at what level. In the past, lawmakers have cited the military and veterans’ programs when justifying budget increases for the endowments, which now each receive roughly $148 million.
Vermont Arts Council Executive Director to Step Down

The Vermont Arts Council announced that Executive Director Alex Aldrich will step down on April 14 after more than 20 years leading the nation’s only nonprofit state arts agency. They have hired an interim executive director, Teri Bordenave, who will oversee day-to-day activities as well as assist in a national search for a new executive director.