From the President & CEO

October 9, 2017 by admin
The city of Detroit holds a special place in my heart. I began my job as president and CEO of GIA the same year that my son began the master’s degree program at the Hilberry Theatre at Wayne State in Detroit. He was there for three years, and now I have been at GIA for nine. But for those first three years, every time I flew east, I would route myself through Detroit. As I was redefining my life, Detroit became a metaphor for me — a city with a long and proud past, a strong cultural identity, and complicated challenges that it was facing head-on. Read More...
June 9, 2017 by admin
There are many arguments for continued federal funding to the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities (NEA and NEH), the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) — all agencies that would be eliminated by President Trump’s 2018 budget. Read More...
March 7, 2017 by admin
The United States of America has been in transition its entire life. There have been moments when transition was rebellious and violent, and there have been moments when change was covert and nearly unconscious. And there have been times when we felt the American dream was possible for everyone, and times when we have felt it was possible for no one. Read More...
October 3, 2016 by admin
I am inspired by the article in this 2016 fall issue of the Reader by Minnesota arts funders who for several years have been on a quest to further racial equity in arts philanthropy in their communities. Grantmakers in the Arts began our work in racial equity in 2012, and like this group, we slowly built our vocabulary, our understanding, and our vision for action. Minnesotans are doing the same. Read More...
July 1, 2016 by admin
In 1980, when I was living in New York City, I had a conversation with a man who at one time was general manager of Lincoln Center. We debated, rather heatedly, his premise that the National Endowment for the Arts should give money only to states that produce “good” art — in other words, New York. (He wasn’t sure other states should get any funding at all.) He believed the federal government should give funds to South Dakota, my home state, for what it does well — grow corn and beef. Read More...
March 3, 2016 by admin
Grantmakers in the Arts is committed to promoting racial equity in arts philanthropy and increasing support for Asian, Latino/a, African, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) artists, arts organizations, and communities. Our statement of purpose for this work, published in March 2015, comes after five years of internal discussions, workshops, articles, and forums led by a small learning group consisting of social justice funders and those concerned with social justice. Read More...
October 14, 2015 by admin
Earlier in my career, I was privileged to work across sectors with passionate and gifted artists. In most instances, the connection with the non-arts organization (hospital, correction facility) was made by my organization. But the creation of the service to be delivered was designed and always implemented by these amazing artists. You might define them as “teaching artists,” as Eric Booth does in his article in this 2015 fall issue of the Reader. Read More...
July 10, 2015 by admin
The winter and spring of 2015 have brought an awareness that there are movements building across the country, supported and, often, created by arts funders. Three of these coalescing movements are addressed in this issue: building organizations for arts education advocacy and action; lifelong learning and the use of the arts in wellness and health; and the growing consciousness that meaningful racial equity work is needed to counteract decades of institutional and structural racism in America. Read More...
April 23, 2015 by admin
It is extremely fitting that we dedicate this issue of the Reader, which celebrates twenty-five years of publication in 2014, to Tommer Peterson, Reader coeditor and deputy director and director of programs for GIA. He will be retiring at the end of 2014 after fourteen years at GIA. His talents as an editor, program developer, graphic designer, visual artist, playwright, diplomat, people wrangler, conference coordinator, deadline policeman, and humorist have helped GIA become a well-respected association serving the entire arts philanthropic community. Read More...
April 23, 2015 by admin
Grantmakers in the Arts embarks on an ambitious agenda in 2015. The board of directors has designated four primary areas of interest for us: arts education, financial health for the nonprofit arts sector, racial equity in arts philanthropy, and support for individual artists. You will see these themes appear in the Reader, in our web conferences, in sessions at our conference, on our news feed on the website, and at special national convenings. Read More...