Grantmakers in the Arts invites interested and qualified consulting firms or individuals through an RFP process to submit a proposal to conduct an organization-wide audit of GIA’s internal documents and policies and external communication as they pertain to the organization’s goals of racial equity in arts philanthropy. Deadline for proposals is October 26, 2015.
Posted on January 14, 2015 by Steve

Nonprofit Finance Fund has just announced the State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey for 2015 is now open. NFF conducts the annual nationwide survey to examine challenges and trends in the nonprofit sector, and it has become an important source of information for arts and culture organizations. Last year, more than 900 arts and culture organizations responded to the survey, contributing a wealth of information to the field. With your help, we can do even better in 2015! GIA presented a Web Conference to examine last years survey findings. You can watch that Web Conference session online.

Posted on January 10, 2015 by Steve

The Joan Mitchell Foundation has announced the appointment of Christa Blatchford as their Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2015. Blatchford returns to the Foundation after serving as its Deputy Director. As CEO, she will oversee the programming, administration and operations of the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s two New York City locations, the home office and the newly opened Education & Research Center, as well as the Joan Mitchell Center, an artist residency center in New Orleans, LA. Prior to serving as the Foundation’s Deputy Director, Christa was the artist support director for the Foundation, overseeing such national programs as Creating a Living Legacy (CALL).

Posted on January 7, 2015 by Steve

John McGuirk, program director at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, has announced that Julie Fry will step down from her position of program officer on January 23. She will join Cal Humanities, the statewide humanities council, as President and CEO in early February. Hewlett has begun the search for a new program officer and the job description is available on the Foundation’s website.

Posted on January 7, 2015 by SuJ'n

Creative Capital announced today its 2015 awardees in the categories of Moving Image and Visual Arts. The list of its innovative and genre-stretching awardees includes 50 artists from all stages of their careers, 46 projects, 13 states plus Puerto Rico and Canada. The total investment in these artists and projects nears $4.4 million.

Ruby Lerner, Founding President & Exeuctive Director, says:

We believe it is so critical to sustain a commitment to invention and experimentation, to provocation and beauty. This class of Creative Capital awardees does it all; these artists are engaged with the world, and the immediacy of their projects is breathtaking.

Read the full announcement, including the list of awardees here.


Posted on January 6, 2015 by Steve

Barry's Blog sits down with Danielle Brazell, general manager for the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles:

Danielle was Arts for LA’s (the Los Angeles regional arts advocacy arm) first executive director, joining the organization in 2006 as it transitioned from an ad hoc committee of regional arts leaders to a formalized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Over the last eight years, she has steadily built Arts for LA’s capacity from an informal network of arts leaders to a respected coalition of advocates working in partnership with elected officials throughout Los Angeles County. Today, Arts for LA’s network includes over 160 member organizations and over 40,000 people...
Posted on January 6, 2015 by SuJ'n

From Jennifer Smith of The Wall Street Journal:

A mecca for the arts, New York City has also become one of the most multicultural cities in the country, with no single dominant racial or ethnic group and residents who speak more than 200 languages, according to the Department of City Planning. Whether its cultural institutions reflect those demographics is another issue.

To find out, the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs is embarking on its first effort to measure diversity at the city’s many museums and performing arts groups. The aim is to help cultural organizations connect with New York’s increasingly polyglot population.

“For the long-term vitality and relevancy of cultural institutions, it makes sense to have the staffs reflect that,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl.

Read the full article here.

Posted on January 5, 2015 by Steve

A report from the Philadelphia-based Wyncote Foundation, Like, Link, Share: How cultural institutions are embracing digital technology, highlights examples and lessons learned from legacy cultural institutions that are successfully embracing digital media in their work. The report and its accompanying website describe the leadership and organizational capacities required for pioneering such work. It presents 40 organizations’ work including art museums, symphony orchestras, theaters, dance companies, historical societies, libraries, and science centers in the U.S. and abroad. Based on site visits, interviews, and other research the report offers insights about how digital media work is getting done and what results and benefits have accrued.

Posted on January 2, 2015 by SuJ'n

During the month of January, GIA's photo banner features work and projects sponsored by The McKnight Foundation. For more than 60 years, McKnight has been seeking to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. Its grantmaking is primarily focused in the state of Minnesota where the foundation is established.

McKnight’s arts program is founded on the belief that Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive. It supports working artists to create and contribute to vibrant communities. In 2013, about 11% of McKnight’s total grantmaking payout — more than $9.5 million — went to organizations working to advance this goal.

Posted on January 2, 2015 by Steve

Duncan M. Webb, president of Webb Management Services, posts to The Clyde Fitch Report:

Here in New York City, the Department of Cultural Affairs has a wonderful program to help groups acquire, build and/or renovate spaces. As you might expect, when the funding source is attached to federal HUD grants, the process to qualify for this support and to work through the actual process of buying/building/fixing is lengthy as well as cumbersome. Groups are briefed and trained to go through the process with lots of warnings about how long it might take and how much effort will be required.

A few years ago, my firm surveyed 10 organizations that went through DCA’s capital funding process to receive City support toward developing a new or improved facility. Here’s what we found out:

  • Even though the groups factored some delay into the project timeline, it almost always took significantly longer to complete than anticipated.
  • Most groups underestimated the time required to develop new sources of earned and contributed income, and found that private funding did not increase to support the more expansive operation.
  • Groups did not anticipate staffing changes as a result of new facilities; and in some cases were unable to afford new staff, leading to significant burnout among existing staff even before new facilities were open.
  • Frustrated boards did not appreciate how long it would take to stabilize operations in new facilities, and did not foresee how few financing options exist to help cultural groups successfully transition into new facilities.
Posted on December 19, 2014 by Steve

From Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation:

Nearly a half century ago, during the final days of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, he penned what he called a “testament of hope,” an epistle he could not have known would be among his last. “Whenever I am asked my opinion of the current state of the civil rights movement,” Dr. King began, “I am forced to pause; it is not easy to describe a crisis so profound that it has caused the most powerful nation in the world to stagger in confusion and bewilderment.”

During these past few weeks, as each of us has attempted to make sense of Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s senseless killings, “confusion and bewilderment” abound. In private moments and public demonstrations, we have been overwhelmed with emotion. We have grappled with disbelief, frustration, shame, and anger. Yet, confronted anew with a crisis as old as the country, it’s my conviction that we must give our own testament of hope.

Read the full post.

Posted on December 19, 2014 by Steve

The National Endowment for the Arts has published guidelines and application materials for two funding categories. The 2015 Art Works and Challenge America programs support projects anticipated to take place beginning in 2016. Any nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, unit of state or local government, or federally recognized tribal community with at least a three year programming history is eligible to apply for project-based support through these two programs. Webinars are scheduled for January 21 and March 11, 2015 to provide technical assistance in the application process.

Posted on December 17, 2014 by SuJ'n

From the news page of Arts Council England, post dated December 8, 2014:

A ‘fundamental shift’ in the Arts Council’s approach to diversity was announced today by Chair Sir Peter Bazalgette, in a momentous speech that placed responsibility on every funded organisation to make their programme of work more reflective of the communities they serve.

Read more about this announcement here.

Posted on December 17, 2014 by Steve

Measuring Cultural Engagement: A Quest for New Terms, Tools, and Techniques is a new report from the National Endowment for the Arts that summarizes a convening held at the Gallup Headquarters in Washington, DC, in June of 2014. The NEA and the Cultural Value Project (CVP) of the United Kingdom’s Arts & Humanities Research Council convened leading researchers, practitioners, and policymakers from a handful of countries to challenge assumptions about how and why public involvement in arts and culture is measured and to identify research needs and opportunities to promote more meaningful measurement.

Posted on December 17, 2014 by SuJ'n

From LA Weekly:

Two days ago, Stacey Allan, a Wikipedia expert from Cal Arts, and Denise McIver, the California African-American Museum librarian, held an "edit-a-thon" to add black visual and performing artists to Wikipedia. When the day ended, arts experts and everyday citizens had added 15 noteworthy African Americans—who until then had been non-existent on the globally influential encyclopedia.

Read more here.

Posted on December 17, 2014 by Steve

Kathleen Masterson and Suzanne Leigh look at Art for Recovery, a pioneering program at the University of California San Francisco:

It’s hard to empirically measure that impact because so many of art’s benefits are indirect, said Theresa Allison, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the UCSF Division of Geriatrics who has a background in musical anthropology. But, she said, therapies that benefit a patient’s emotional wellbeing can have real impact on overall health. “We are finally at a tipping point, where the health sciences recognize the impact of loneliness and depression on health care outcomes, and we recognize the positive impact of visual and performing arts on symptoms management,” Allison said.
Posted on December 11, 2014 by Steve

Since 2012, Sharnita Johnson has managed a $25 million grantmaking portfolio in education, health and family economic security at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Prior to that, she was a senior program officer at the Skillman Foundation, where she developed strategic partnerships and oversaw neighborhood development, arts and culture, and youth development grantmaking. In her role at Dodge, Johnson will direct the Foundation’s Arts grants, which foster a diverse and vibrant arts ecosystem, create broad-based public support of the arts, and support communities engaged in creative placemaking in New Jersey.

Posted on December 10, 2014 by Steve

On December 10, the Asian American Arts Alliance was speaking out on the steps of New York City Hall on the critical need for public funding of small, community-based arts and cultural organizations that work on the front lines, serving the needs of a diverse and complex city. “We’re lucky to be standing here with you, but we really represent the untold thousands of artists from under-represented communities who are producing some of the most innovative and exciting art out there,” said Executive Director Andrea Louie at a press conference announcing the new $1.5 million Cultural Immigrant Initiative. Cultural organizations across the five boroughs will receive discretionary grants to provide access and arts programming to immigrant communities.

Read the full announcement.

Posted on December 10, 2014 by Steve

Barry Hessenius posted to Barry’s Blog:

The James Irvine Foundation released a report last week entitled Why "Where"? Because "Who", authored by Brent Reidy of AEA Consulting, addressing the issue of alternate venues for the presentation of art, examining "why place has become an important variable for arts practitioners to consider as they chart a course for the future." This is an outstanding contribution; well researched, well written. The tendency for most of us is to read the Executive Summary of these kinds of reports and often skip the rest. That would be a mistake with this offering; there is a lot of meat here.
Posted on December 8, 2014 by Steve

From Richard Florida at Citylab:

A recent study published in the journal Urban Studies takes a close look at the connection between the arts and city building. The study, by Carl Grodach of the Queensland University of Technology, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett of the University of Southern California, and Nicole Foster and James Murdoch III of the University Texas at Arlington examines the economic and demographic factors most closely associated with arts clusters and the kinds of metros where arts hubs are found. The researchers scrutinize the concentration of arts clusters (using the standard location quotient measure) across all 366 U.S. metros areas and nearly 14,000 ZIP codes, which account for nearly 90 percent of all arts employment.
Posted on December 4, 2014 by SuJ'n

The James Irvine Foundation shares its research findings about arts groups that are expanding their settings and venues to engage new and diverse audiences.

Josephine Ramirez of the Foundation writes:

This release is part of an Arts Engagement Focus series intended to uncover valuable, practical information that can help arts organizations better address key questions: Who participates in arts? How can we engage new participants? Where can arts participation take place? Together, these studies provide a timely and substantive view of arts engagement across the sector — they can inspire ideas and fuel discussion in arts organizations of all sizes, ages and types.

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