Blogs

Top 10 U.S. Arts Policy Stories for 2009

David Moss posts his New Year’s list of the top 10 U.S. arts policy stories of 2009. Yikes! GIA appears twice.

"I know I’m a little late to the party with the year/decade-in-review lists, but since no one other than me apparently cares enough about arts policy to make a top 10 list about it, I’m happy to be the doofus who takes the plunge. 2009 featured no shortage of tumultuous and game-changing events in arts policy, and it was a pleasure (though sometimes an exhausting one) to cover them here on the blog. Here are my picks for the year’s top ten..."

Arts Community Mourns the Passing of Peggy Amsterdam

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance sorrowfully announces the passing of its president, Peggy Amsterdam. She died peacefully at home on December 26, surrounded by family and friends. Amsterdam established a new vision for the Cultural Alliance, focusing on arts and culture as a unifying force for the region. Among her many accomplishments were preventing the elimination of Philadelphia’s cultural funding in 2004.

Brooklyn Conference Videos Now Available On the GIA YouTube Channel

(1-4-10) We've posted complete video coverage of the 2009 GIA Conference at our YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/grantmakersinthearts).

Coverage includes plenary sessions with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar & Urban Bush Women, John Zogby, Wynton Marsalis, Kakuna Kerina and Rocco Landesman.

Footage of the 2008 conference is still there, too!

Local Arts Agencies - Still Filling the Voids

What I love most about local arts agencies is that you can’t define them, pigeonhole them or even tell anyone what a “typical” local arts agency does. I recently received the December 2009 copy of Americans for the Arts’ Monograph. Written by community arts developer and long-time friend (just for full disclosure), Maryo Gard Ewell, it is entitled “Effective Community Arts Development: Fifty Years, Fifty Tips.” And it does, in fact, go on to list fifty tips for successful community arts development.

Nurturing Leaders On a National Scale

This week my colleague and friend John McCann reminded me that leadership is a critical element to successful sustainability for organizations. I couldn’t agree with him more. I’ve always been fascinated by the study of leadership. I even wrote an “almost” dissertation on the subject. I say “almost” because it was a master’s program that required a final paper and not an official dissertation. It was still really long with lots of footnotes. The title was “Characteristics of Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership.”

Building Infrastructure for Artists and Arts Organizations

Is the nonprofit arts community undercapitalized because there isn’t enough money or demand for the product or have we focused on developing product at the expense of creating an environment that can support it? That environment includes more than audience development and public support. It includes an infrastructure that feeds the industry both internally, serving the needs of the organization, and externally, promoting that product on multiple levels to the public.

What's Up With Arts Education?

(Thank you to all the GIA members and nonmembers who made our conference in Brooklyn a huge success. As always, GIA is working to make your lives easier and more informed. I was humbled and empowered at the same time by your stories, your confidence and your commitment.)

Taking Culture Out of the Culture Wars

So it seems that the Big Government blog and Big Hollywood blog have been making big noise in the blogosphere about the NEA, the White House and artists. They have turned a small conversation to encourage “volunteerism in America” into a conspiracy of grants for political support. Of course, anyone who has any real working knowledge about the NEA knows how distorted and false these allegations are.

Recommendations for Rocco

Barry Hessenius asked me and several others to answer some questions about the role of the National Endowment for the Arts. He's running this multi-week huge series in his blog at WSTAF's site. There are interesting ideas and thoughts by many people lots smarter than me. You can read it at Barry's Blog.

Embedded Professional Development

In the work done by Helicon Collaborative this spring for NW area funders and for GIA’s summer Reader, Holly Sidford reported that grantees wanted arts funders to provide leadership. One of the areas where leadership is needed most, in my opinion, is in management evaluation and development for grantees. As I wrote last week, we are a field with no certification or degree requirements for management.