Celebrating Awesome, $1,000 at a time

Today the Awesome Foundation announced that they have passed the $1,000,000 mark in guerrilla philanthropy. One thousand grants of $1,000 each.

NEA Chair Nominee Approved by Senate Committee

From Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies:

This morning, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee met to consider the nomination of Dr. Jane Chu to lead the National Endowment for the Arts. We are pleased to report that Dr. Chu’s nomination was approved by voice vote. The senior Republican on the committee, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), spoke very favorably of her nomination in advance of the vote. The HELP Committee will now forward Dr. Chu’s name for consideration by the full Senate.
Arts under siege, starved of funding

From Charles Segars, CEO for Ovation, writing for Capitol Weekly:

Since 2003, California’s Governors and the Legislature have allocated $1.1 million annually to the Arts Council, the bare minimum to qualify for more than $5 million in annual federal grants. This lack of foresight has put California dead last among all 50 states in per capital funding for its arts agency.
Recycling Great Ideas from the Past

Maryo Gard Ewell and the Robert E. Gard Wisconsin Idea Foundation recently shared with Art of the Rural this never-before digitally published manuscript from Robert Gard’s 1982 keynote address at the National Association of Local Arts Agencies Conference (now Americans for the Arts) in Philadelphia. The talk is entitled "The Arts in Smaller Communities (And their Encouragement)."

Florida Legislature Approves a Whopping 384% Increase in Arts Funding

With a massive boost in state funding for arts and cultural programs, Florida would likely jump to near the top of all states in per-capita spending. The Florida Legislature approved $43.3 million for the 2014-15 budget for all arts and culture, a 384 percent increase from current levels.

Document, Protest, Memorial: AIDS in the Art World

From Barbara Pollack at ARTnews:

It’s been three decades since AIDS first made an impact on the New York art world, annihilating a community and activating one of the most highly effective artist-driven political movements of the 20th century. At that time, for every Keith Haring, David Wojnarowicz, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres lost to the disease, there were scores of lesser-known artists, such as Ray Navarro, Hugh Steers, and Robert Blanchon, who also left their mark with art that documented, protested, memorialized, and reinterpreted the devastation of the era.
My Next Board Meeting

Jesse Rosen, President & CEO of the League of American Orchestras writes on Huffington Post:

The distinction between board and management is not about who knows more about running the business. Governing and managing are two different functions. But they necessarily intersect and appropriately blur boundaries when it comes to strategic and generative work. And this is where a good board adds value beyond its fiduciary role.
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Theaster Gates Gets $3.5M Grant to Push Arts as a Tool for Revitalization

From Sam Cholke at DNAinfo Chicago:

Artist Theaster Gates was awarded $3.5 million from the Knight Foundation Thursday morning to support his work using the arts to revitalize communities. “From my artistic practice, I learned early on that art has the capacity to change people's perceptions — not only about a concept or an idea, but also about a place,” Gates said in a statement released by the university Thursday morning.
Foundation Review Issue on Racial Equity

The current issue of Foundation Review from the Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University has a focus on racial equity for foundations. A subscription is needed to see the full contents online, but executive summaries are available to all.