Member Spotlight on Rasmuson Foundation

During the months of November and December, GIA's photo banner features artists and projects supported by Rasmuson Foundation.

Established in 1955 as a private family foundation, Rasmuson Foundation has a proud history of grantmaking in Alaska, including a major focus on support of arts and culture throughout the State. The Foundation directs support in the cultural sector through several channels, including direct financial support of individual artists, arts in education, museum collections and conservation, arts and cultural organization sustainability, performing and visual arts exhibition touring, and capital project support. It is also committed to strong national partnerships, including United States Artists and ArtPlace America.

Story/Time: Bill T. Jones on John Cage

Former GIA Board member John Killacky posts to The Green Room, a blog from Walker Art Center in Minneapolis:

Three decades ago, choreographer Bill T. Jones jolted the New York dance scene. Bucking the prevailing stripped-down postmodernism, he and his partner Arnie Zane created sensational dances collaborating with composers, fashion designers, and visual artists. A new queer aesthetic emerged that was anything but minimalistic.
Exploring the Effects of an Abbreviated Intervention on Improving Financial Management for Youth-Serving Organizations

In 2009, The Wallace Foundation launched the Strengthening Financial Management (SFM) initiative, a comprehensive multi-year intervention to improve the financial stability and planning of 26 nonprofit Chicago organizations that were providing afterschool programming. A new report by the management consulting firm CFAR — Differences a Day Can Make: Exploring the Effects of an Abbreviated Intervention on Improving Financial Management for Youth-Serving Organizations — examines the effectiveness of a one-day workshop and series of webinars offered to nonprofits by the consulting firm FMA as part of the SFM initiative.

Arts Education: The Need for More Arts Teachers in School

Gary Steuer, posting in Huffington Post Education:

Arts in Education Week took place last month, and since then arts education has been on my mind and in the air. A recent blog post by Alan Yaffe that contended arts education advocacy should be focused more on art-making than art-viewing got me thinking. It is true, much energy goes into trying to get K-12 students to attend arts events, and that's wonderful and much-needed. We try to organize class trips, and bemoan the increasing challenges of getting access to buses, to getting the OK to leave school for an arts experience when the pressures of sticking to curriculum and "teaching to the test" are ever-present. And arts groups do all they can to provide "enrichment", to facilitate those out-of-school experiences and to also bring teaching artists or arts education programs into schools.
South Arts Receives $450,000 Grant to Build Modern Dance and Contemporary Ballet Audiences

South Arts has received a grant of $450,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support their Dance Touring Initiative (DTI) through 2018. The initiative, launched in 2009, is building a network of performing arts presenters throughout the South that can bring modern dance and contemporary ballet companies as part of their season for public performances and artist residencies. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as stated in their mission, “endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies.”

Audiences in Arts, Culture and Heritage: Solutions to our Problems

From James McQuaid at The Guardian:

At this year’s Arts Marketing Association conference, the National Arts Strategies president, Russell Willis Taylor, made some thought-provoking points through a case study on Ikea from which she believed arts and culture can learn. One of these was about knowing your value proposition: what are you uniquely placed to offer and how can this exude through an organisation? Willis Taylor encouraged us to be opportunistic, to build in space, energy and money in order to learn, keep our eyes open and be flexible and responsive. Her example to illustrate this in Ikea was the employee who started screwing off table legs to get the furniture into customers’ cars, which led to a revolution in the brand’s production and the flatpack we all know and (mostly) love today.
Reflection: How the Arts Breach the 'School to Prison Pipeline'

From Shelly Gilbride, writing for California Arts Council Blog:

This isn’t a class in your average school. This is a class at the Juvenile Justice Center in Alameda and these boys are incarcerated. They live in tiny, sparse cells. The walled courtyard isn’t big enough for a real game of catch. These are tough kids who have had tough lives and are currently dealing with really tough circumstances. But when they are dancing, they are just kids, trying to get the moves right. I was privileged to witness that class as part of the Alameda County Office of Education’s bold initiative to address the “School to Prison Pipeline.”
Strategies to Increase Equity in Grantmaking & Empowerment

Last week at the GIA conference in Houston, Aaron Dworkin (The Sphinx Organization), Maurine Knighton (Nathan Cummings Foundation), and Roberta Uno (Ford Foundation) presented a session on addressing the significant disparity in how funding reaches underserved communities and smaller arts organizations. Per its design, the intended session outcome was to develop a list of key strategies to address inequitable funding in collaboration with the audience members.

GuideStar Will Collect Diversity Data “At Scale” with Nonprofit Sector

From Ruth McCambridge, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

GuideStar has announced a new initiative to monitor the diversity of the nonprofit sector. It plans to work with the D5 Coalition and a range of other partners to collect diversity data about staff, board, and volunteer demographics in nonprofits and philanthropy. Saying that past sporadic attempts to collect such information were inadequate, Kelly Brown, Director of the D5 coalition, said that the end game of the project is diversity in the sector that is reflective of current demographics, but also inclusion and equity.
Sarah Lutman: Ideas for #GIA2015

GIA Conference blogger Sarah Lutman provides some ideas for the Los Angeles Conference in 2015:

Compared to GIA’s early years, last week’s conference was more diverse demographically, and courageous in the difficulty of topics brought forward for discussion. The through-line of conversations about race, for example, was substantive and it is vital, challenging work to embrace. The question of whether grantmaking can do more harm than good also was raised. Bravo to GIA for broadening the discussion, involving more people, and creating urgency around deeds, not words, in addressing the field’s most deeply-rooted problems.