For the month of October, GIA’s photo banner features artists and work supported by Target. Target’s support of the arts and culture dates back to 1946 when the company first began giving 5 percent of its profit to local communities. Today, this giving equals more than $4 million each week. Target is a Leadership Sponsor of the 2016 GIA Conference taking place this month in Saint Paul, neighbor to Target’s headquarters in Minneapolis. Read more here.
Posted on February 1, 2016 by Steve

Patti Hartigan of Boston magazine has a profile of the Barr Foundation:

Although the Barr Foundation has given out more than $710 million since 1999, chances are you’ve never heard of it. Until around 2010, donations were largely made on the condition of anonymity. Now that grants are given openly, Barr’s influence is finally visible. Established 29 years ago by Amos and Barbara Hostetter, who founded Continental Cablevision, it started as a kitchen-table family operation: Amos handled the investments, and Barbara managed the programs. In 2016, the foundation has assets totaling $1.6 billion and a mandate to focus its philanthropic endeavors on Boston and the region. Now, suddenly, you can’t turn around without coming across an organization or project bearing the Barr Foundation’s stamp of approval.
Posted on February 1, 2016 by Steve

From Andy Horowitz at The Atlantic:

The current state of the arts in this country is a microcosm of the state of the nation. Large, mainstream arts institutions, founded to serve the public good and assigned non-profit status to do so, have come to resemble exclusive country clubs. Meanwhile, outside their walls, a dynamic new generation of artists, and the diverse communities where they live and work, are being systematically denied access to resources and cultural legitimation.
Posted on February 1, 2016 by SuJ'n

For the month of February 2016, GIA’s photo banner features art and projects supported by the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation in Denver, Colorado. In 2012, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation began the process of shifting support from a broad array of arts, human service, and science/medicine organizations to focusing all of their philanthropic funding to arts and cultural organizations. This grantmaking shift was completed in 2015 and that is when they became a more active member of GIA. In addition to arts funding, the Foundation also supports nonprofit leadership through its Livingston Fellowship Program.

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Steve

James Canales, President of the Barr Foundation, posts about the foundation's next chapter:

One year ago, we introduced Barr’s new mission statement: To invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Together, with the core values and approach to philanthropy articulated by our trustees, these principles provided the basis for planning across Barr’s core programs of Arts & Culture, Climate, and Education. I am excited to share the results of that planning.
Posted on January 27, 2016 by Steve

John Killacky interviews Janis Ian for

In 1969, Alma Routsong, under the pen name Isabel Miller, self-published a historical romance novel based on a true story of two lesbians in early 19th century New England. A folk painter and a young woman from a poor farming family fall unabashedly in love and forge a life together in Patience and Sarah. The book was awarded the first American Library Association’s Stonewall Award in 1971.

Read the full interview.

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Steve

In Democratizing Education: Democratizing Leadership?, an article from the latest issue of GIA Reader, Dallas Shelby and Gail Crider, from National Arts Strategies, look at the massive open online courses (MOOCs) and their effect on the development of leadership in the arts and culture sector.

Posted on January 26, 2016 by Steve

From Sam Neace, writing for the Hazard-Herald:

Late last week rumors of Gov. Bevin cutting funding for the Kentucky Arts Council began circulating through social media. The Lexington Herald-Leader and the Courier Journal gave weight to this topic by publishing reports about the rumors over the weekend. Neither newspaper denied the possibility that the rumors could be true. Although it is still unknown at the time this article is being published whether or not Gov. Bevin does indeed plan to cut the KAC, several groups in the Mountain Region are worried about the effects such an action could have on arts related projects in their communities.
Posted on January 25, 2016 by Steve

The National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) at Southern Methodist University has released a white paper titled “Does ‘Strong and Effective’ Look Different for Culturally Specific Organizations?” that examines the distinguishing characteristics of arts organizations that primarily serve Asian-American, African-American, and Hispanic/Latino communities. The study is intended to provide insights, based on measurable data, about the operating contexts and unique challenges that these organizations face.

Learn more about this white paper.

Posted on January 22, 2016 by Steve

The Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) have named MK Wegmann with the Fan Taylor Distinguished Service Award for exemplary service to the field of professional presenting. The award was presented on January 18 at the APAP|NYC Conference. Wegmann is President & CEO of National Performance Network, a position she has held for 15 years, but announced last fall that she will retire in the summer of 2016.

Posted on January 22, 2016 by Steve

With Boston’s Mayor having just announced new funding for the city’s arts community, a new report — commissioned by The Boston Foundation and prepared by the consulting and research firm TDC — examines the current state of Boston’s arts community in places it in the context of 10 other cities. “How Boston and Other American Cities Support and Sustain the Arts” finds that Boston had a very broad and deep arts community for a region of its size.

Posted on January 21, 2016 by Steve

From Malcom Gay at The Boston Globe:

Taking action to increase arts funding in the city of Boston, Mayor Martin J. Walsh is unveiling three arts-related programs with a combined budget of $1 million. As outlined in Tuesday night’s State of the City address at Symphony Hall, the programs will provide direct grants to individual artists, expand the city’s fledgling artist-in-residence program, and establish an artist resource desk at City Hall, which officials said would act as a central information hub for artists working in the city.
Posted on January 21, 2016 by Steve

In December 2015, the website Cuban Art News interviewed Ben Rodríguez-Cubeñas — co-founder and board chair of the Cuban Artists Fund, as well as director of the Culpeper Arts and Culture program at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund — about Cuban art and culture, US philanthropy in Cuba, and how Cuba-facing organizations are evolving in response to the changing sociopolitical landscape.

I’ve now taken [to Havana] two groups of foundations that are interested in Cuba. Some people are just visiting because they’re curious and want to see what’s going on without really having the intention of doing anything. We’re trying to do better screening, because everyone’s time is very valuable. And I think Cubans who are dealing with all this onslaught of people are also looking at how to decipher what’s real and what’s not.
Posted on January 19, 2016 by Steve

In Introducing Community Innovation Labs, an article from the latest issue of GIA Reader, Richard Evans and Karina Mangu-Ward from EmcArts describe a new approach to harvesting the power of the arts to unlock complex problems at the community level.

Posted on January 15, 2016 by Steve

Ingenuity, a hub of arts information, advocacy, strategy, and partnerships based in Chicago, has released its annual progress report examining arts education in Chicago Public Schools in the 2014-15 school year. Among numerous positive developments, the report reflects an increase in the number of certified arts instructors, and 30,000 elementary school students with greater access to arts staffing and instruction than the year before. Data was reported through multiple sources, including individual schools and hundreds of community arts partners, all of which feed Ingenuity's artlook Map – a public website focused on the dynamic landscape of arts education in Chicago.

Read the full report.

Posted on January 15, 2016 by Steve

By Megan O’Neil, writing for The Chronicle of Philanthropy:

Grant makers and nonprofits have a new resource to help boost their effectiveness when communities face major disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. The Washington-based Center for Disaster Philanthropy, in conjunction with the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, released on Thursday the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook, a resource of best practices and approaches for charities faced with responding to catastrophes. It includes information on community planning, rebuilding, legal services, housing, aiding vulnerable populations, and coordinating across local, state, and federal agencies.
Posted on January 14, 2016 by Steve

The Arts Education Funders Coalition (AEFC), supported by Grantmakers in the Arts, worked over the past 3 years to ensure that arts education was preserved and enhanced within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESEA is the federal law that provides over $20 billion in funding to states, school districts, and schools to improve academic achievement and improve teacher and principal training and quality. This undertaking by the AEFC paid off when Congress recently passed, and the President signed into law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorizes ESEA, replacing No Child Left Behind.

Read the full post.

Posted on January 14, 2016 by Steve

Partners for Sacred Places, a national nonprofit organization founded in 1989, has released Creating Spaces: Performing Artists in Sacred Spaces, a report of findings from the Three-City Arts Study that facilitates long-term, mutually beneficial space-sharing relationships between arts organizations — with inadequate or no home space — and houses of worship with space to share. The findings from each of the three cities (Austin, Baltimore, and Detroit) establish a significant amount of available space, the desire of sacred spaces to serve as a broader community asset, and their minimal concerns about artistic content and control. The findings of this study demonstrate a range of issues, challenges, and opportunities facing performing artists and clearly establish that these artists:

  • overwhelmingly see a need for more performance, rehearsal, and administrative spaces;
  • see a home space as critical to artistic development and community engagement; and
  • feel that a historic sacred space could enhance the experience of their work.
Posted on January 14, 2016 by Steve

In a new "DataBrief" from Indiana University's Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), career outcomes for first-generation artists are examined to find out if they have success finding employment that is in line with their counterparts and if that employment is arts-related. This is a follow-up to SNAAP's previous examination of the challenges arts alumni face depending on whether their parents or close family members have already navigated a career in the arts.

Explore the data.

Posted on January 13, 2016 by Janet

By Janet Brown, President & CEO, Grantmakers in the Arts and Angelique Power, Program Director, Culture, The Joyce Foundation, and GIA Board Member

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. Our use of the term racial equity is deliberate and reflects a new shift from using language about “diversity” and “inclusion.”

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?
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