Blogs

Jim McDonald Named GIA Deputy Director, Director of Programs

Grantmakers in the Arts welcomes Jim McDonald as its new deputy director/director of programs. McDonald will work with current GIA deputy director/director of programs, Tommer Peterson, beginning September 29, 2014, and will officially take over the position January 1, 2015. Peterson will retire at the end of 2014 after serving GIA in several capacities over the past fourteen years.

“Jim McDonald’s career represents the diverse nature of GIA’s membership serving arts organizations and individual artists with a proven commitment to our core values,” stated Janet Brown, President & CEO. “Trained as a visual artist, McDonald has worked for arts nonprofits as well as corporate, public, and private funders. As a funder, he developed portfolios intentionally serving small and mid-sized organizations, major institutions, artists, arts groups, and communities of color. We look forward to what he will bring to the GIA team.”

Why the Ice Bucket Challenge Is Not Good for Philanthropy

From Jacqueline Herrera, co-founder, Kitechild:

Like any smart business, we don’t reach out to people for a one-time handout. We like to think that people want to have a lifelong relationship with the causes dear to their heart, and over time be able to see how their support has funded progress and changed others’ lives.

There are two ways in which the Ice Bucket Challenge is a brilliant campaign for ALS:

St. Paul Ballet Growing by Small Leaps

By Maja Beckstrom at twincities.com:

The growth of St. Paul Ballet is a story of small leaps. A little more than a year ago, the company and school faced debt and considered cutting back on performances and even closing its doors. It reorganized as an artist-led organization, with dancers taking on administrative roles. Heading into the 2014-15 season, it looks like the dancers' dedication has paid off.
Sacramento Philharmonic, Opera Cancel Fall Season

By Edward Ortiz, writing for the Sacramento Bee:

For the first time in its 17-year history, the Sacramento Philharmonic will not present any concerts during the fall season, and it remains unclear whether its musicians will return to the stage in the spring of 2015. The Sacramento Opera has also decided not to stage performances in the fall. The decision follows months of financial uncertainty for the Sacramento Region Performing Arts Alliance, the organization formed last year when the philharmonic merged with the Sacramento Opera.
Merging Art and Business in the College Curriculum

John M. Eger, blogging on Huffington Post:

This week San Diego State University is launching a Music Entrepreneurship and Business Degree Program, which, according to the university, “is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.” Developed as a partnership between SDSU’s College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts and the College of Business Administration, the program embeds 15 units of entrepreneurship classes ranging from the Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship to Creativity and Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Finance, in addition to business course electives.
Arts Funding on November Ballot in L.A.

From Mike Boehm at the Los Angeles Times:

Among the decisions voters will face on the Nov. 4 ballot (in L.A. County) is whether to absorb $23 in annual per-parcel property taxes over the next 30 years for improvements to parks and cultural facilities within them as well as recreational facilities, beaches and wildlife areas. If the required two-thirds supermajority says yes, the county would have $53 million each year to spend for all those purposes combined. In L.A. County, most of the key publicly owned or funded arts venues are in county, municipal or state parks, all of which would be eligible for the funding.
What Are Critics For?

From Suzy Evans at Theatre Communications Group:

With the closing of the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program earlier this year, the O’Neill is now one of the only professional-development avenues for working critics. Some entities — like the Goodman Theatre, which has a young critics’ program for girls, and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, whose winners are given spots at the O’Neill — host education-based initiatives for aspiring journalists.
Philanthropy in a Time of Polarization

From Heather Hurlburt, Mark Schmitt, and Steven Teles, writing for Philanthropy News Digest:

Institutional philanthropy, by law and by tradition, has had an indirect and often awkward connection to the policy process. For the most part, foundations don’t lobby directly for legislation, and they are prohibited from engaging in the kind of political activity — such as campaign spending — that gives other players leverage in policy making. Instead, leaders in philanthropy have pursued a vision of social change that rests on a set of long-held assumptions: that strong ideas and persuasive research, coupled with broad public support and validation by elites, will motivate elected officials; that policy proposals designed to reflect the ideological preferences of both major parties, or the poll-tested preferences of centrist voters, can provide a basis for insider bargaining; and that policy entrepreneurs who operate both inside and outside legislative bodies can act as advocates, sources of ideas and information, and mediators.
Two New Resources on Engaging Diverse Arts Participation

Last month, Helicon Collaborative published Making Meaningful Connections: Characteristics of Arts Groups that Engage New and Diverse Participants with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. This research shares the attributes of organizations that successfully invite, reach, and meet the needs of diverse audiences. On its heels, the Regional Arts & Culture Council based in Portland, Oregon recently published An Introduction to Engaging Diverse Audiences. This toolkit presents six building blocks that build and strengthen community relationships and provides an excellent compilation of other previously released resources, including the Helicon report.

Arts + Prison: Transforming Lives Behind Bars through the Arts

From Craig Watson, Director, California Arts Council, blogging for Art Works Blog:

The California Arts Council received quite the Valentine’s Day surprise from one of its fellow state agencies last February. The head of rehabilitation programs for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) called with a proposal: help coordinate an 18-month, $2.5 million Arts-in-Corrections pilot program in California state prisons. CDCR would provide the funding, and the Arts Council would provide the know-how and coordination. Like most Valentine’s Day proposals, CDCR’s was happily accepted.