Felicia Shaw Named Executive Director for Regional Arts Commission

The Regional Arts Commission (RAC), the largest annual funder of the arts in the St. Louis region, has announced the appointment of Felicia Shaw to the position of executive director. Shaw succeeds Jill McGuire, who served for 30 years as RAC’s founding executive director. A native St. Louisan, Shaw will assume the position of executive director effective May 11, 2015. A nationwide search had been conducted by Arts Consulting Group. Shaw, a current member of the GIA Board of Directors, was previously the director of arts and creative economy at The San Diego Foundation.

Awakening to Truths About Ourselves and the World (In the Beauty Class)

Diane Ragsdale posts to Jumper:

This is the sixth post in a series of posts focused on the course on beauty that I am coordinating/teaching for business students at UW-Madison. In the fourth week of the Beauty Class I wanted to explore the notion, articulated by Jeanette Winterson, that “art can waken us to truths about ourselves and the world.”
Detroit’s Sound Infuses Music, Community

From Kaitlyn Buss, The Detroit News:

Over a cup of coffee downtown, it was quickly obvious Tod Machover’s passion for “Symphony in D,” the first sonic portrait of Detroit, is largely due to the material at his disposal: The city’s rich, yet often overlooked, relationship with music and a community eager to continue it. “In many ways, I think Detroit’s the place I always wanted to do this project,” he says. His research into Detroit’s neighborhoods and people, along with sounds submitted by Detroiters over the coming months, will be the basis for the symphony, set to debut in November.
Aaron Dworkin to Head University of Michigan Music School

From Michael Hodges, fine arts writer for The Detroit News:

Aaron P. Dworkin, founder and president of Detroit’s nationally recognized Sphinx Organization, will be the new dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance. University regents voted to confirm the appointment Thursday afternoon. Dworkin, 44, takes over in July. His wife, Afa Sadykhly Dworkin, Sphinx’s executive and artistic director, will become president.
The Long View on Artist-Centered Creative Placemaking in Minnesota

Vickie Benson, posting to The McKnight Foundation blog:

Simply stated, creative placemaking builds strong, cross-sector partnerships grounded in arts and culture, by people and for people, to celebrate the lifeblood of a place. And while the cross-sector aspect is undeniably important, a crucial factor for success, in my opinion, is that arts organizations and artists are treated as leading or equal partners in the broad mix. It was important for the arts field to have researchers as experienced, thoughtful, and knowledgeable as Markusen and Gadwa — each with their own long histories working with artists — to tackle the phenomena of creative placemaking.
Kresge Report on Pilot Programs in Community Arts and College Arts

Insights and Lessons: Community Arts and College Arts is a new report commissioned by The Kresge Foundation at the completion of a pair of multiyear initiatives that were intended as a way to challenge communities to use art and culture as a tool to address broader community issues in underinvested urban neighborhoods.

The foundation saw the two pilots — Community Arts and College Arts — as learning initiatives that would enable staff to experiment with a different kind of grantmaking. They would also test the assumption that the arts can address society’s pressing issues, transform communities and lift spirits during an economic downturn. While many local funders have deep experience in community arts, it was new territory for Kresge’s Arts and Culture Program.

Artful Aging Convening: The Transformative Power of Creativity

On April 28th and 29th, Aroha Philanthropies will convene an intimate gathering of philanthropists, grantmakers and thought leaders to explore the emerging field of artful aging — and the transformative potential that learning, making and sharing art can have for people 55 and over. The convening will be held at the offices of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, California.

Learn more and request an invitation to attend.

Stasch Chosen to Lead MacArthur Foundation

Julia M. Stasch, who has served as interim president for the past eight months, has been chosen as the next President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Before becoming interim president, she had served as Vice President for MacArthur’s U.S. Programs for 13 years and led work in juvenile justice, affordable rental housing, community development finance, and policy research, as well as community and economic development in Chicago.

Corporate Social Responsibility & the Arts

Corporate Social Responsibility & the Arts, a new report from AFTA’s Animating Democracy program, explores the current landscape of corporate support for arts and culture — one in which more corporations are focusing strategically on issues that align with their business interests and have a positive social impact on their employees, their consumers, and/or the communities in which they do business.