Blogs

New from the Reader: US Cultural Engagement with Global Muslim Communities

Featured in the current Reader, an article by Jennifer C. Lena and Erin F. Johnston examines cultural engagement with global Muslim communities.

Wallace Foundation Announces $52 Million Audience Building Initiative

Twenty-six performing arts institutions from across the U.S. have been selected to take part in The Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for Sustainability effort — a new, six-year, $52-million initiative aimed at developing practical insights into how arts organizations can successfully expand their audiences, the foundation has announced.

Facing Facts: Artists Have to be Entrepreneurs

From Seth Lepore, posting to HowlRound:

In order to be a successful (a word that I grapple with constantly) performing artist, you need to understand business fundamentals, and disseminating this information is crucial. How do you run a crowdfunding campaign that doesn’t make your friends block you on Facebook? How do you identify and brand (ugh… brand) your work? How do you really figure out who your audience is? How do you have a good working relationship with the press? Knowing these key aspects gives artists a leg up, not to mention more validity and credibility in a world that still views artists as quaint and a little off.
New from the GIA Reader: Culture in Crisis: Deploying Metaphor in Defense of Art

Featured in the current Reader, an article by Terence E. McDonnell and Steven J. Tepper examines the use of metaphor to defend cultural organizations under the threat of closing.

Boston Mayor Details Cultural Planning Initiative

From Malcolm Gay at The Boston Globe:

Making good on his campaign promise that the arts will play an integral role in Boston’s future, Walsh is set to announce Thursday the details of his long-anticipated cultural planning initiative, an 18-month survey that will send teams of volunteers deep into the city’s neighborhoods, interviewing thousands of individuals and groups to try to quantify and define what Bostonians want when it comes to the city’s cultural life. The sprawling conversation, known officially as “Boston Creates,” will stretch from Brighton to South Boston, Charlestown to Hyde Park, resulting in a plan that outlines Boston’s cultural priorities and identifies ways the government can enhance the city’s creative life, setting an agenda for the next decade and beyond.
Ford Foundation Launches Effort to Advance Arts, Culture, and Social Justice in the 21st Century

The Ford Foundation has announced a new effort centered on the roles art and culture play in illuminating and addressing urgent issues of equity, opportunity, and justice in the U.S. and around the globe. The yearlong exploration, The Art of Change, which builds on the foundation’s decades-long interest in advancing freedom of expression, reaffirms the central importance of creativity and cultural expression to healthy societies at a time when they are increasingly under threat.

Philanthropy’s Misguided Ideas for Fixing Ghetto Poverty

From Peter Dreier, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

One hundred years ago, progressive thinkers and activists who called for women’s suffrage, an end to lynching, the right of workers to form unions, health and safety standards for workplaces, the eight-hour workday, a federal minimum wage, a progressive income tax, old-age insurance, and government-subsidized healthcare were considered impractical idealists, utopian dreamers, or dangerous socialists. Fifty years ago, those who called for women’s equality, laws protecting the environment, civil rights for gays and lesbians, and greater numbers of black and Hispanic/Latino elected officials were also considered clueless or hopelessly radical. Now we take all these ideas for granted. The radical ideas of one generation have become the common sense of the next.
A Difficult Century

Michael Kaiser, from Huffington Post:

I recently read an article about the imminent retirement of a local government arts council executive. The article pointed out the many challenges that this executive faced over the past decade. It made me realize how difficult the 21st century has been for all of us who work in the arts.
Bloomberg Philanthropies To Invest $30 Million in Arts and Cultural Organizations

Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced the nationwide expansion of the Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program, formerly known as the Arts Advancement Initiative. The invitation-only program seeks to strengthen nearly 300 small- and mid-sized organizations within six cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Through the two-year initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies will offer $30 million of unrestricted general operating support. It will also include arts management training in fundraising, audience development and board member engagement.