NCRP’s Responsive Philanthropy on Racial Equity

The Spring 2015 edition of Responsive Philanthropy is just out from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), and it delivers a great set of article covering Racial Equity issues and bias in philanthropy and grantmaking. From Aaron Dorfman’s introduction:

Like most white people in the United States, I grew up completely oblivious to the many privileges I enjoy because of the color of my skin. It wasn’t until I took courses in college like “Race, Power and Inequality in America” from Paul Wellstone or “Race, Reform and Rebellion” from Manning Marable that I began to develop an understanding of how our nation, its institutions and the experiences of its people are overwhelmingly shaped by race and racism. Serving as a community organizer for 15 years, primarily working with communities of color, deepened that understanding.
New from the Reader: Replacing Arts Appreciation with Arts Talk

Featured in the current Reader, Lynne Connor, Ph.D., from the Department of Theater and Dance at Colby College, explores the recent evolution, and possible future, of audience engagement in her essay, Replacing Arts Appreciation with Arts Talk.

Patron Loyalty Study Reveals New Data on Museum and Performing Arts Audiences

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance has just released an in-depth study of patron loyalty in the arts. The new report, 2014 Patron Loyalty Study: Loyalty By the Numbers examined the financial transactions (including ticket sales, memberships and donations) of almost a million Greater Philadelphia households, using seven years of data from 17 major cultural attractions in the region. One of the key findings of the report is that, despite the sector’s focus on developing new audiences, the erosion of current audience loyalty represents one of the most significant financial risks for cultural groups.

Will Philadelphia’s Arts Scene Get a Mayor Who Cares?

From Peter Dobrin at The Inquirer:

When it comes to insuring a healthy future for arts and culture in Philadelphia, does it really matter who becomes the next mayor? The answer is important because, like a prospector who discovers a gold mine then watches others pull riches from it, the Philadelphia arts and culture community has been looking around and wondering when its turn will come.
Six Ways Personalization Trends are Affecting Museums and Cultural Centers

From Colleen Dilen at her blog Know Your Own Bone:

Group tours are a fun way to visit a ...
Personalization has been an increasing and unrelenting theme in much of the data collected regarding visitor-serving organizations—and it is begging for more attention in the world of cultural centers. Typically, conversations about personalization within these institutions are interpreted as a need for crowd-sourced exhibits/programs or more creative, online initiatives. And those can be excellent ways to actively incorporate personalization into an engagement strategy! What’s decidedly NOT excellent is assuming that personalization doesn’t affect nearly everything in regard to operations and engagement these days.
NEFA Receives $1.7M to Launch Creative City Initiative

The New England Foundation for the Arts has received a grant of $1,700,000 from the Barr Foundation to launch Creative City, a three-year pilot that will make grants to Boston artists to create works that integrate public participation. Creative City will provide new resources to artists to bring their creative voices to Boston neighborhoods, and to further enliven the places where they live, work, and play with culture and creativity.

New from the Reader: Gwendolyn Zepeda, Poem for the Grantmakers

Featured in the current Reader, Gwendolyn Zepeda’s Poem for the Grantmakers, written for and read at the 2014 GIA Conference in Houston.

Createquity Studies Arts Participation in Report
Percentage of U.S. adults who attended a performing arts event, by art form and family income level, 2012

A new report from Createquity takes a deep look at the data on Arts Participation, and also trends in television usage, across segments of the US population at different income and education levels. “Why Don't They Come?” does in fact conclude that television is taking an increasingly dominant role in shaping our cultural lives, especially with the low-income and low-education population.

There is a rich irony lurking just beneath the surface here: television, a largely for-profit commercial industry, routinely does a much better job engaging the most economically vulnerable members of our population than our supposedly charitable nonprofit arts institutions that receive tens of billions of dollars annually in government-sanctioned subsidy.
NEA Awards $74 Million in Grants

From the development of a state-wide arts education plan in Alabama to a glassblowing program for wounded soldiers in Tacoma, Washington, funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) gives people across America the opportunity to experience creativity and participate in the arts. In the second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2015, the NEA will make 1,023 awards totaling $74,326,900 to nonprofit arts organizations in all 50 states plus five U.S. jurisdictions. Funding in this round is awarded through the NEA’s Art Works and State and Regional Partnerships grant categories.

NYC Council Set to Create a Cultural Plan for New York City

From Robin Pogrebin at The New York Times:

New York City is looking to join Chicago, Houston, Denver and other major cities by passing legislation to create its first comprehensive cultural plan. The legislation, which the City Council passed by a vote of 49 to 0 on Tuesday, requires the city to analyze its current cultural priorities, assess how service to different neighborhoods can be improved, study the condition of arts organizations and artists, and plan how the city can remain artist-friendly in a time of high rents and other economic pressures.