Webinar Series: Grantmaking Designs for Supporting Individual Artists
During the month of April, GIA will present a series of three webinars examining common myths about, and funder approaches to, some of the philosophical questions and technical issues related to supporting individual artists. Learn more and register online.
Posted on March 3, 2017 by Monica

Kickstarter has released its first annual benefit statement since becoming a public benefit corporation in 2015. One component of the company’s new charter is to “annually donate 5% of its after-tax profit towards arts and music education, and to organizations fighting to end systemic inequality.” An article in Fast Company explains:

The crowdfunding platform joined Patagonia and a few other companies that have accepted a legal obligation to benefit society, rather than just focusing on maximizing shareholder value. Every two years, Kickstarter is required to report on its progress in achieving a long list of objectives laid out in its charter—in other words, it has to prove the benefit that it’s providing the public.
Posted on March 2, 2017 by Monica

In a recent blog post, The Heinz Endowments President Grant Oliphant writes about the power of arts, journalism, and courage in times of political conflict. In the spirit of this idea, the Endowments have increased their arts grantmaking budget:

For our part, the Endowments has decided to increase its normal grantmaking in the arts and creativity by $1.5 million this year, an increase of nearly 17 percent. This additional investment will not go to doing more of what we already do. While still being shaped, we expect it to deepen connections with our sustainability and learning work, broaden our engagement in neighborhoods and schools, and connect us more directly with artists who are using art to promote social justice and social change.
Posted on March 1, 2017 by Monica

Nonprofit regrantor Dance/NYC has announced the inaugural recipients of its "Disability. Dance. Artistry. Fund" with support from the Ford Foundation. The new fund supports integrated dance performances featuring dancers with and without disabilities, aiming to bring attention to the artistic excellence of disabled dancers.

An article in the Nonprofit Quarterly discusses the recent announcement: "Visibility for performers with disabilities is decidedly lacking in the dance world. . . . Dance/NYC is changing this situation, flipping from thinking of disabled dancers as patients to thinking of their disabilities as a fount for creativity."

Posted on March 1, 2017 by Monica

From the Times Free Press:

Beginning July 1, the leading organization for funding Chattanooga arts programming will restructure how the money it raises is disbursed and who can get it in hopes of reaching more arts organizations and more people in the community. . . . For the last 48 years, as few as five and as many as 16 arts organizations in Chattanooga could count on ArtsBuild — originally the Allied Arts Fund and later Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga — to help raise a portion of their annual operating funds. Part of Allied Arts' original mission was to be a single fundraising body for a select few agencies, and ArtsBuild has continued that effort. . . .
Posted on March 1, 2017 by Monica

GIA member and California Humanities CEO Julie Fry recently penned an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle urging the importance of federal arts funding:

The arts and humanities are good for the success of young people and good for the economy, and we all benefit from that. As Johnson said back in 1965, this is about more than just the money: “It is in the neighborhoods of each community that a nation’s art is born. … The arts and the humanities belong to the people, for it is, after all, the people who create them.”

Our country is richer when the federal government supports and values the arts and humanities. This is not a luxury item. This is who we are as a people.

Posted on March 1, 2017 by SuJ'n

For the month of March, GIA’s photo banner features artists and work supported by the Oregon Community Foundation, established in 1973 as a permanent endowment for community improvement efforts throughout the state of Oregon. From founder William Swindells’ initial $63,000 contribution, OCF now has over $1.5 billion under management through 1,900 charitable funds that support the five key areas of arts and culture, health and well-being, livability, economic vitality, and education.

Posted on February 24, 2017 by Monica

At their 2017 SphinxConnect conference, the Sphinx Organization hosted a roundtable discussion entitled “Funding Inclusion,” which brought together leaders in philanthropy who actively support the arts, diversity, and creative expression. Jamie Bennett, executive director of ArtPlace America, hosted the conversation between Susan Feder (The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Kamilah Henderson (Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan), and Margaret Morton (Ford Foundation).

Watch the video

Posted on February 23, 2017 by Monica

Grantmakers in the Arts is proud to release a literature review on the growing field of arts in medicine. The review outlines the various ways in which artists and healthcare institutions work together to support patient and community heath, the infrastructure that exists to support this work, and how funders can support further development of the field. This document was produced as support material for the GIA Funder Forum on Arts in Medicine, held in Orlando, Florida on February 24, 2017 and sponsored by the Barr Foundation.

Read the report.

Posted on February 22, 2017 by Monica

Recent graduates with arts degrees have better career and entrepreneurial training than those who came before them, according to a report released by the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) at the Indiana University School of Education. The research, based on a survey of arts graduates, demonstrates that new approaches to arts education are helping prepare students for careers and give them tools they need to succeed.

Posted on February 21, 2017 by Monica

The Ford Foundation has announced the election of Bryan Stevenson to serve as a member of its board of trustees. A renowned public interest lawyer, Stevenson is founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama.

“Bryan is a courageous, transformational leader and a stalwart advocate for justice who has done an extraordinary amount to challenge the legacy of racial inequality in this country,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.

Posted on February 21, 2017 by Monica

From The New York Times:

The White House budget office has drafted a hit list of programs that President Trump could eliminate to trim domestic spending, including longstanding conservative targets like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, Americorps, and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities. Work on the first Trump administration has been delayed as the budget office awaited Senate confirmation of former Representative Mick Mulvaney, a spending hard-liner, as budget director. Now that he is in place, his office is ready to move ahead with a list of nine programs to eliminate.
Posted on February 15, 2017 by Monica

From The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation:

In a new, first-of-its-kind study of how US foundations access and use knowledge about effective philanthropy, most foundation staff and board members shared that they rely on their peers and colleagues, as opposed to particular organizations or publications, both as their most trusted knowledge sources and as their preferred means to gather knowledge. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation commissioned this research to inform its “Knowledge for Better Philanthropy” grantmaking strategy.
Posted on February 15, 2017 by Monica

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have launched a new partnership called Sound Health, designed to explore the connections between music, health, and wellness. Through this partnership, both institutions will create opportunities to further understand how music affects circuitry in the brain, explore the potential for music as therapy for neurological disorders, identify future research opportunities, and create public awareness about how the brain functions and interacts with music.

Posted on February 13, 2017 by Monica

The early days of the Trump Administration and the 115th Congress have already begun to impact the education policy landscape. Alex Nock of Penn Hill Group has provided a summary update for Grantmakers in the Arts on current events that impact arts education and arts funding on a federal level. These events include the confirmation of a new education secretary, changes to the regulations of the Every Student Succeeds Act, and possible budget changes.

Posted on February 10, 2017 by Monica

Americans for the Arts has released a new guide, Arts Deployed: An Action Guide for Community Arts & Military Programming, for local arts organizations and artists interested in bringing creative arts programming to military and Veteran communities, their caregivers, and families. A collaboration between AFTA’s National Initiative for Arts & Health and the Military (NIAHM) and the Local Arts Advancement (LAA) department, Arts Deployed details the expansive benefits the arts have on the health and well-being of these communities and lays the groundwork for arts organizations and artists to build their own creative arts initiative for their local military and/or Veteran communities.

Posted on February 8, 2017 by Monica

A recent story from Minnesota Public Radio highlights the challenges of funding disparities experienced by ALAANA (African, Latino/a, Asian, Arab, and Native American) arts organizations:

The Twin Cities continues to diversify culturally, and an increasing number of nonprofit organizations are geared to serve its diverse communities. But the vast majority of philanthropic support is still going to major institutions that serve a majority white and upper-class audience. . . . While larger, mainstream organizations receive the bulk of arts funding, [said Arleta Little, arts program officer at The McKnight Foundation], smaller organizations — particularly those working with and led by people of color — are kept in a perpetual survival mode.

Read and listen on Minnesota Public Radio.

Posted on February 7, 2017 by Monica

From the blog of Rebecca Thomas, who delivers GIA’s Conversations on Capitalization and Community workshops, a new post provides an overview of risk capital and how it can be used by arts organizations:

Risk capital is unrestricted, board-designated money that allows organizations to take business risk or pursue artistic opportunities. . . . Capital for risk-taking plays an essential role as part of a comprehensive capitalization plan, which examines all priorities for cash and evaluates their importance in the context of financial, strategic and community imperatives.

Read the full blog post.

Posted on February 7, 2017 by Monica

From The New York Times:

The Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos on Tuesday as education secretary, approving the embattled nominee only with the help of a historic tiebreaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. The 51-to-50 vote elevates Ms. DeVos — a wealthy donor from Michigan who has devoted much of her life to expanding educational choice through charter schools and vouchers, but has limited experience with the public school system — to be steward of the nation’s schools. . . . It was the first time that a vice president has been summoned to the Capitol to break a tie on a cabinet nomination, according to the Senate historian.

Read the full article.

Posted on February 6, 2017 by Monica

The arts-based nonprofit Ka Joog, serving Somali youth in Minnesota, has refused a $500,000 federal grant from the Countering Violent Extremism program of the Department of Homeland Security in response to the Trump administration's recent immigration restrictions. Executive Director Mohamed Farah, who was featured as an IDEA LAB arts leader at the 2016 GIA Conference, stated that the grant was declined on principle and believes that Somali and Muslim communities are being unfairly targeted by government policies.

Posted on February 3, 2017 by Monica

The California Arts Council has announced that Director Craig Watson will step down from his role with the agency effective April 2017. As director of the California Arts Council since August 2011, Watson has been responsible for the leadership and oversight leading to the substantial growth and renewal of California's state arts agency. Under Watson's leadership, the budget of the California Arts Council increased from just $5 million in 2011 to nearly $25 million in 2017.

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