BRINGING ARTISTS TOGETHER: SUPPORT THROUGH CONVENING
The next GIA Web Conference, Bringing Artists Together: Support through Convening, will be held on Tuesday, September 27. Recent data collected from fifteen years of Creative Capital awardees found that artists “praised the Artist Retreats as opening up many serendipitous avenues of connections, information flow, and support that had powerful impacts on their career development.” This session explores two examples. Register to attend.
Posted on January 13, 2016 by Steve

Ted Russell, Senior Program Officer at The James Irvine Foundation, has announced the release of a new report, Investing in Cultural Participation and Financial Sustainability, that evaluates the work from the Arts Regional Initiative:

In our recent posts, the Irvine Arts team has been exploring the ways nonprofits can expand arts engagement — to create meaningful experiences that bring forward the full public benefit of arts, and to also increase organizational sustainability for the future. One area that we have been particularly interested in has been finding ways to increase cultural participation and improve financial stability among arts organizations serving areas outside of major California arts centers. In 2009 we launched the second phase of the Arts Regional Initiative, a five-year partnership with 36 arts organizations in Southern California, the Central Valley, and the Central Coast. During that time, we provided $13.4 million in grants and technical assistance to support these goals. What did we learn from this work?
Posted on January 8, 2016 by Steve

Ben Cameron has just taken the position of president of the Jerome and Camargo Foundations, succeeding Cindy Gehrig, who held that position for 38 years. He begins his tenure with this open letter:

As we all know, much has changed in the arts and the United States arts landscape since these Foundations were created. Just as I have encouraged every arts organization to understand the value it brings to its community in the present day—regardless of whatever value it may have offered in the past—we at the Jerome Foundation are entering a period of self-scrutiny. We will be working in 2016 to understand, not only the value our programs have had and are having, but also the current and future needs of artists and arts organizations in Minnesota and New York City. In 2017, we will both be affirming our commitment to those past programs and priorities that will continue to be critical to future artistic vibrancy and health, while making final investments in those that we no longer intend to support. We will also be introducing new grants programs and business practices later that year, with the goal of establishing a clear and full profile by the end of 2018.
Posted on January 7, 2016 by Steve

As part of the NEA’s 50th anniversary, the agency is launching Creativity Connects, a leadership initiative intended to show how the arts contribute to the nation’s creative ecosystem while investigating the ways in which the support systems for the artists are changing and exploring how the arts can connect with other sectors that want and utilize creativity. The initiative has three components:

  • an infrastructure report that will provide an overview of the types of artistic practices and how they’re expanding, and the key resources that artists need in order to produce their best work.
  • an interactive graphic that shows the elements of the arts-based creative ecosystem in the United States
  • a pilot grant opportunity to support partnerships between arts organizations and organizations from non-arts sectors

Learn more about Creativity Connects.

Posted on January 7, 2016 by Steve

Diane Rodriguez, associate artistic director at the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, California was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate to be a member of the National Council on the Arts, the advisory body of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Posted on January 1, 2016 by SuJ'n

For the month of January, GIA's photo banner features art and projects supported by the Idaho Commission on the Arts. The Commission was established in 1966 to "stimulate and encourage throughout the state the study and presentation of the arts, and public interest and participation therein… and to encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression essential to the well-being of the arts." It provides services and direct grants to organizations, arts educators, and individual artists across the state, including those practicing folk and traditional arts. 2016 marks the start of the Commission's 50th anniversary.

Posted on December 17, 2015 by SuJ'n

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) this week released "The Arts in Early Childhood: Social and Emotional Benefits of Arts Participation: A Literature Review and Gap-Analysis (2000-2015)." The report synthesizes findings from research published in psychology and education research journals spanning the past fifteen years.

On February 2, Grantmakers in the Arts will present a web conference covering themes and highlights from the report, and specific research findings on the impacts of arts enrichment in early childhood, particularly in economically disadvantaged families and communities. The session will feature Sunil Iyengar, Director, NEA Office of Research & Analysis; and Eleanor D. Brown, PhD, Professor of Psychology, West Chester University.

Read the full NEA press release.

Learn more about the GIA web conference scheduled for Tuesday, February 2, 2016.

Posted on December 16, 2015 by Steve

Ford Foundation President Darren Walker posts to Equals Change Blog:

In October, I outlined the foundation’s strategy for renewal, FordForward, and how it will affect our programs, our culture, and our assets. Today, I’d like to offer more specifics about the last of these three categories—our assets—and how we plan to deploy them to advance Ford’s mission. In my last message, I reported that our board has agreed to revisit our endowment policy. As stewards of a charitable trust, we believe it is our responsibility to undertake an investment strategy that considers the social impact of our endowment. Our board will be exploring avenues to do exactly this, and I’ll have more to report in the coming months.
Posted on December 16, 2015 by Steve

From Kathleen Allen at the Arizona Daily Star:

Roberto Bedoya, who oversaw the Tucson Pima Arts Council during a decade of severe funding cuts and economic turbulence, has resigned from the agency. Bedoya was executive director until August, when he was named TPAC’s director of civic engagement and Debi Chess Mabie was appointed chief executive officer, a new position.

Read the full article.

Posted on December 15, 2015 by Steve

From Lynn Mullin, posting to the HowlRound blog:

I’m sure I preach to the HowlRound choir when I say that ours is an art centered on connectivity, collaboration, and empowerment. Together, through theatre, we can rewrite the story of aging. It’s all about enabling older adults to remind their communities that with age comes strength, beauty, and power. By engaging older adults in theatre — as actors/singers/dancers, directors, playwrights, storytellers, students, teachers, audiences — we can change the conversation from, “How are we going to deal with the elderly?” to, “I never imagined they could do that!” to, “What do you want to do next?”
Posted on December 14, 2015 by Steve

From Jennifer Smith, writing for The Wall Street Journal:

An effort to measure whether New York City’s cultural organizations reflect the famously diverse metropolis they serve has focused fresh attention on a concern that has bedeviled some in the arts world for years. National surveys indicate that employees at U.S. museums, for example, are predominantly white, even as the broader population becomes more racially and ethnically diverse. In New York City, non-Hispanic whites account for about one-third of the total population, according to the U.S. Census.

Read the full article.

Posted on December 14, 2015 by Steve

Four collaborations between artists of color and cultural organizations in Chicago, Detroit and the Twin Cities have each won $50,000 from the Joyce Foundation’s annual Joyce Awards competition for 2016. The Joyce Awards is the only program supporting artists of color in major Great Lakes cities. The Chicago-based foundation has awarded $2.6 million to commission 50 new works since the annual program started in 2003. A distinctive feature of the Joyce Awards is that in addition to being new, winners’ work must include the process of engaging community members to inform and shape their art.

Posted on December 10, 2015 by Steve

In an article from the latest issue of GIA Reader, Martha Sloca Richards, executive director of the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, and William Vesneski of Luma Consulting, present key findings from an assessment of the foundation’s Large Arts Organization Initiative.

Posted on December 10, 2015 by Steve

From Alyson Klein, writing for Education Week:

For the past quarter century, federal education policy has been moving in one direction: toward standards-based education redesign, a greater reliance on standardized tests, and bigger role for Washington when it comes to holding schools accountable for student results. President Barack Obama reversed course with the stroke of a pen Thursday, putting states and districts back at the wheel when it comes to teacher evaluation, standards, school turnarounds, and accountability, through a new iteration of the five-decade old Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Read the full article.

Posted on December 9, 2015 by Steve

By Alyson Klein at Education Week:

Hear that collective whoop from the Capitol? That's the sound of education advocates and lawmakers cheering at the finish line as the first rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in more than a dozen years sails through Congress and on to the White House. The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved the rewrite of the withering No Child Left Behind Act—the current version of the ESEA—by a huge bipartisan margin, 85 to 12, mirroring the vote of 359 to 64 in the U.S. House of Representatives just days earlier. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill Thursday. But even as educators and policymakers toast the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the next set of battles—over how the measure will be regulated in Washington and implemented in states—may just be getting started.

Read the full article.

Posted on December 9, 2015 by Steve

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has appointed Dana Gioia, who served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2009, as California Poet Laureate. From the California Arts Council:

The role of the California Poet Laureate is to spread the art of poetry and creative expression from classrooms to boardrooms across the state, to inspire an emerging generation of literary artists and enthusiasts, and to educate all Californians about the many poets and authors who have influenced our great state through creative literary expression… Over the course of a two-year term, the California Poet Laureate provides public readings and engagement in urban and rural locations across the state, educates civic and state leaders about the value of poetry and creative expression, and undertakes a significant cultural project.
Posted on December 3, 2015 by Steve

In an article from the latest issue of GIA Reader, Alexis Frasz of Helicon Collaborative provides a summarization of a series of interviews with arts funders in Funding at the Intersection of Art and Environment: A Field Scan.

Posted on December 3, 2015 by Janet

The US House of Representatives passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act conference report last night, December 2, 2015, by a strong vote – 359 to 64. The Senate is expected to take the bill up next week.

This bill is a big win for arts education. Specifically, this bill would:

  • Define the arts as a “well-rounded” education activity/subject.
  • Explicitly allow Title I funding to be used for the arts and other well-rounded activities and subjects.
  • Explicitly allow professional development funding under Title II of ESEA to be used to benefit arts teachers.
  • Explicitly allow after school funding through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program to specifically be used for the arts.
  • Ensure that the arts are an allowable use of funds under the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment State and local school district grant program.

A successful amendment to the conference report by Rep. Bonamici (D-OR) also allows states to integrate other subject areas, including the arts, into STEM programs.

These additions make it more explicit that the $17 billion in Federal ESEA funding can be used to support the arts and provide arts education. While we will follow up in the comings days and weeks about what this means for grantees, other nonprofits, and schools systems, this creates a significant opportunity to expand access and success with the arts through Federal education funding. Thank you for all your support in this work.

Posted on December 1, 2015 by Steve

From the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures:

If we consider the most recurring misconceptions about these two very different terms -diversity and inclusion-, they have to do with either making them interchangeable –so that they both end up meaning the same thing- or with suggesting that if we’ve got one, then we’ve automatically got the other. Either way, the point is that a lack of clarity on what these two concepts are about is a great way of not realizing them. And so we must ask: is diversity the same thing as inclusion? If we manage to create an environment of inclusion, does that mean we have diversity? Is it true that we can have diversity without any inclusion? And finally, perhaps the most powerful question, why does it matter that we achieve either of these equitable goals?

The strange part is that, under most conditions, it doesn’t matter. In fact, diversity and inclusion –or D&I- only matter within a framework of democracy, within a shared political context through which we’re all recognized as equals: democracy being itself that framework which, in the end, presents us with equality. There have been, of course, all too many other socio-politico models in our recent past that also tried to arrive at democracy -a goal that we ourselves are still distant from- by managing or curtailing the obverse dynamics of a capitalist economy, an economic model whose smooth functioning naturally undermines equality. So then, perhaps, the core of our predicament lies in how to move past what's generally referred to as the crisis or failure of modern representation, which is where we believe D&I can serve as a model for transcending said crisis/failure. In short, we at NALAC believe diversity and inclusion to be a model for equity.

Read the full post.

Posted on November 30, 2015 by Steve

From Cy Musiker, reporting fro KQED:

It may not seem that way if you’re an artist struggling to pay the rent, but San Francisco is one of the world’s leaders in supporting the arts. Last weekend the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Cultural Affairs Director, Tom DeCaigny, joined delegates from 31 cities around the globe for the World Cities Culture Forum in London to discuss how civic leaders can keep economic growth from coming at the expense of a city’s cultural soul.
Posted on November 30, 2015 by Steve

From Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance:

Cultural groups continue to recover from the Great Recession, with revenue increasing 7% and attendance up 3% from 2009 to 2012. This is despite significant drops in most sources of contributed support, according to 2015 Portfolio: Culture Across Communities, a new eleven-city report on the cultural sector released today by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.
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