WEBINAR: Briefing on the President's 2018 Proposed Federal Budget
Alex Nock

The proposed federal budget for 2018 defunds the NEA, the NEH, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Significant cuts are also being proposed to education and other important programs. GIA’s federal policy consultants, Penn Hill Group, will provide a briefing on these matters and take your questions during a webinar on June 7. Please join us for this special briefing. Register to attend this webinar.

Posted on August 10, 2016 by Monica

A new grant program of Theatre Communications Group assembles teams of three or more nonprofit organizations to design and implement audience engagement and community development strategies. Funded by the Doris Duke Chariatable Foundation, the inaugural Audience (R)Evolution Cohort Grants have been awarded to 9 projects representing 32 partnering organizations for a total of over $1.18 million. TCG will also provide additional general operating support equivalent to 30 percent of each award.

Posted on August 10, 2016 by Janet

By Janet Brown, from her blog Better Together

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. He believed the government should fund only what someone would decide was “good” art, and obviously, no “good” art came out of South Dakota. I was offended by that, and I can pinpoint that day as the beginning of my somewhat outspoken beliefs that all art has an element of excellence as long as it is authentic to a people and place. I delight in the fact that there are no rules of geography and environment in art making.

Posted on August 9, 2016 by Monica

The Joyce Foundation has announced that Tracie D. Hall, currently deputy commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, has been appointed director of the foundation’s culture program. She will join Joyce in mid-November after readying Chicago’s Public Art Plan and Year of Public Art initiative for launch late this year and in early 2017.

Posted on August 8, 2016 by Monica

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) announced that executive director Alan W. Cooper will retire effective May 2017. As executive director of the foundation since 1994, Cooper has been responsible for all aspects of leadership and oversight leading to substantial growth in programs and services that have had extensive impact for both audiences and artists in the mid-Atlantic region and beyond.

Posted on August 3, 2016 by Steve

In the latest issue of the GIA Reader, Maryo Gard Ewell — daughter of Robert Gard, a pioneer in rural arts development — describes how her father developed his influential work and publication, The Arts in the Small Community: A National Plan.

Posted on August 1, 2016 by Steve

From Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive.com:

Facing a midnight deadline, House and Senate lawmakers restored funding to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, reversing Gov. Charlie Baker’s state budget veto. The fiscal year 2017 budget lawmakers sent to the governor’s desk in July included $14 million for arts, humanities and sciences programs through the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. But Baker vetoed $7.7 million, bringing the total figure down to $6.5 million, a 55 percent cut the agency called “devastating.”
Posted on July 31, 2016 by Steve

A bevy of philanthropic leaders from over 30 organizations signed a letter, published in the New York Times and The Washington Post on Sunday, about the hope for dignity, equity and justice for all people. The ad launched the #ReasonsForHope campaign on social media.

Today, our nation needs more bridges of dialogue and fewer barriers of division. America’s foundations are proud to help courageous leaders build these bridges, neighbor to neighbor, community by community. Though we find ourselves at the crossroads of crisis, we are also in a moment of opportunity. In spite of anguish and uncertainty, ideas, inspiration and action abound. As presidents of America’s philanthropic foundations, the remarkable organizations we support give us all countless reasons for hope.

View the letter.

Posted on July 29, 2016 by Monica

The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis/Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute and the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture will host a national convening of artists, activists, policy-makers, and community organizers on November 17–19 in St. Louis, Missouri. The CULTURE/SHIFT 2016 convening aims to generate and amplify creative strategies for social change.

Posted on July 28, 2016 by Monica

From National Endowment for the Arts:

It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing of former NEA Chairman Frank Hodsoll. As the NEA’s fourth chairman, Hodsoll served from 1981 to 1989 under President Ronald Reagan.

During Hodsoll’s tenure, the NEA launched important new initiatives such as the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships (known then as the American Jazz Master Fellowship), an annual honorific recognizing distinguished jazz artists, and the National Medal of Arts, a White House initiative, managed by the NEA, that each year recognizes a group of the nation’s great artists. Hodsoll’s chairmanship also featured a focus on building infrastructures and support networks for the arts, cultivating new audiences, and fostering sustainability among arts organizations.

Posted on July 28, 2016 by Monica

In the latest issue of the GIA Reader, Jen Gilligan Cole writes on “Expanding Cultural Family: Funders, Tools, and the Journey toward Equity.” The article discusses how the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission evaluated and adapted its grantmaking programs with a racial equity lens.

Posted on July 26, 2016 by Monica

A recent article in The Washington Post highlights Canada’s shifting approach to arts funding and how it compares to common approaches in the United States and other Western countries:

As much of the Western world flirts with retrenchment into a nativist crouch, Canada is doubling down on what [Melanie Joly, minister for Canadian Heritage,] describes as the basic “social contract,” which has always included the arts as a fundamental part of the national budget. But she and [Simon Brault, the head of the Canada Council for the Arts,] also stress the need to reform the existing system of cultural funding.
Posted on July 25, 2016 by Monica

New research by Americans for the Arts provides an in-depth look at public perceptions and attitudes about the arts in the United States. An Americans for the Arts and Ipsos Public Affairs survey of more than 3,000 American adults over the age of 18 provides current insight on topics including support for arts education and government arts funding, personal engagement in the arts, the personal benefits and well-being that come from engaging in the arts, and whether those benefits extend more broadly to the community.

Posted on July 25, 2016 by Monica

With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Quentin Hancock Fund and the Wallace A. Gerbode Foundation, California Lawyers for the Arts has released a study exploring the feasibility of establishing a national network to support the work of arts in corrections. The report includes the findings of a stakeholder survey that included arts practitioners, formerly incarcerated participants, funders, and others. The results revealed agreement on the values and functions of a national network, potential challenges, potential models to consider, and recommendations for future development.

Posted on July 20, 2016 by Monica

Artist Trust has announced the first iteration of its Racial Equity plan, introduced in a press release as "the next step in showing dedication to equity in the arts." The intention of the plan is to address and change historical and ongoing disparities in access to institutional funding, recognition, business practices, and job opportunities. It highlights shifting paradigms in Artist Trust programs, operations, and communications, both showcasing work that is in progress, revealing future plans, and celebrating past successes.

Read the plan.

Posted on July 20, 2016 by Steve

In an article in the latest issue of the GIA Reader, “Remembering Claudine”, Maurine Knighton of Doris Duke Charitable Foundation shares memories of Claudine Brown, a beloved leader in the arts and culture field who passed away earlier this year.

Posted on July 19, 2016 by Monica

In a recent blog post for Next Avenue, Heidi Raschke describes the growing movement for creative aging:

In the 1960s, boomers changed the world by transforming youth culture. Now they’re set to do it again by transforming the culture of aging. Philanthropists, scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs who are 50+ are redefining what it means to grow old in America, and many of them see the arts as a powerful tool to accomplish that goal.
Posted on July 19, 2016 by Monica

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies has announced the release of the State Arts Agency Fiscal Year 2017 Legislative Appropriations Preview report. This document summarizes how state arts agencies fared during this year's budget deliberations and includes information on the appropriations each state arts agency expects to receive for FY2017.

Posted on July 14, 2016 by Monica

Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ) has published a study with the Regional Plan Association (RPA), Leveraging the Power of Cultural Investments: A Report on Cultural Capacity Building. The study evaluates the impact of UMEZ’s cultural investment strategy by providing an in-depth analysis of 32 non-profit grantees over a 13-year period. The report reveals substantial gains for the organizations profiled, as well as their continuing challenges; it illustrates the concurrent growth of Upper Manhattan’s cultural and economic landscape; and it compares Upper Manhattan’s collective cultural assets to similar clusters in New York City’s other boroughs.

Read the report.

Posted on July 13, 2016 by Monica

Alternate ROOTS, First Peoples Fund, National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), and PA'I Foundation have collaborated to create the Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI), a new year-long personal and leadership development program for artists, culture bearers, and other arts professionals. The four partner organizations have created ILI out of a shared commitment to pursue cultural equity and to support artists, culture bearers, and other arts professionals as change-makers in their communities.

Read the full announcement.

Posted on July 12, 2016 by Monica

In a recent blog post, Arleta Little, program officer for the arts at The McKnight Foundation, discusses racial disparities in arts philanthropy and how McKnight and other organizations are working to address it:

Given historic inequities and shifting demographics, increasing arts funding alone does not address the structural issues affecting how these funds are distributed. We must change the minds (leadership and decision making) and the mechanisms (the institutional policies and practices) that prevent more equitable distributions of resources. This is racial equity work.
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