GIA Podcast: Justin Laing on Reflections of GIA Board Service

In the first installment of GIA Podcast, we speak with former GIA board member Justin Laing from The Heinz Endowments about his recent service on the GIA board, racial equity, and his hopes for the future of our field.

Americans for the Arts Releases 2016 National Arts Index

Americans for the Arts has announced the release of the sixth and final publication of the National Arts Index:

The 2016 National Arts Index delivers a score of the health and vitality of arts and culture in the United States, covering the 12-year span of 2002-13. The National Arts Index is composed of 81 national-level indicators—the latest annual data produced by the federal government and private research organizations.
ArtPlace America Releases Field Scans on Public Safety, Housing

ArtPlace America has released its first two “field scan” documents looking at the intersection of the arts and culture with other sectors of community development. The first two reports examine public safety and affordable housing. Each represents an exploratory first step that aims to surface:

  • Key goals or needs in that community development sector that arts and culture might address,
  • A typology or framework for understanding the ways that arts and culture has and might partner with that community development sector,
  • Barriers to integrating arts and culture within that community development sector, and
  • Strategies or tactics to advance collaborations with arts and culture in that sector.
The Nathan Cummings Foundation Selects Loren Harris as Vice President of Programs

From The Nathan Cummings Foundation:

The Nathan Cummings Foundation today announced that Loren S. Harris, a philanthropic leader with more than 20 years experience challenging structural barriers to equality and creating economic opportunity and social inclusion, will join the Foundation as Vice President of Programs. Harris, who will begin work on May 18, will report to the Foundation’s President and CEO, Sharon Alpert.

United States Artists Receives $20 Million Operational Endowment from Ford Foundation, Others

By Serge F. Kovaleski, writing for The New York Times:

The Ford Foundation, other philanthropic groups and some private donors have given nearly $20 million to United States Artists, an organization that makes grants to artists. … The money will serve as an operational endowment to support United States Artists’ staffing, conferences and the cultivation of nominators and the administration of grants, among other things. It will cover everything except the grants to artists themselves, which are financed separately.
A Cultural Equity Approach to Arts Leadership Development

In an article published on, Carlton Turner, executive director of Alternate ROOTS, advocates for an alternative model of arts leadership development for organizations that serve communities of color. He argues that a top-down, “one-size-fits-all leadership development program” does not meet the unique needs of these communities and offers the Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) as an example of a community-generated peer learning approach.

New from the GIA Reader: Crowdsourcing Cultural Policy

In Crowdsourcing Cultural Policy: The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, Arlene Goldbard explores the mission of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, which is not a government agency, but an action network of artists and cultural workers mobilizing creativity in the service of positive social change.

Artists, Investors, and Innovators Join Together to Launch Upstart Co-Lab

A new organization called Upstart Co-Lab aims to increase opportunities for artists as innovators, catalyze more capital for creativity, and enable artists to support themselves sustainably.

From the press release:

Rooted in the conviction that artists are social entrepreneurs and that a sustainable future depends on a creative economy, a group of artists, impact investors, philanthropic funders and social innovators today announced the launch of Upstart Co-Lab.
LA County Arts Commission Launches Capacity Building Assessment Toolkit

LA County Arts Commission, in partnership with LA County Quality and Productivity Commission and Harder+Company Community Research, has launched an online toolkit to help funders assess their capacity building programs aimed at intermediary organizations:

In order to ensure the public is receiving the best possible services, public agencies and funders often spend a significant amount of time supporting their grantees and contractors through technical assistance, capacity building and professional development services.

But does this work actually work?

This interactive toolkit offers a four-step process public agencies, grantmakers and others can use to assess your efforts to build the capacity of your intermediaries.

Hewlett Report Evaluates Impact and Reach of its Performing Arts Grantmaking

In a blog post by John McGuirk, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has announced a report assessing the progress of their Performing Arts Program:

2015 marked the mid-point of our current Performing Arts strategic framework, which runs from 2012-2017, and lays out the goals of our grantmaking, as well as measures for how we’ll evaluate our progress. … A key question for us in commissioning this assessment was which geographic and demographic communities have benefitted from Hewlett Foundation support and where are the gaps?