WEB CONFERENCE: Advocacy and Lobbying: How Foundations Can Change Public Policy

GIA finishes its 2015 Web Conference series with Advocacy and Lobbying: How Foundations Can Change Public Policy on Tuesday, December 8, 2:00 pm EST/11:00 PST. Private foundations have long been active in changing public policy to champion their missions and support the greater good. The return on investment in policy work can be huge and long-lasting. Join GIA's own President & CEO Janet Brown who will present this important session on the importance of policy development and the difference between advocacy and direct lobbying.

Learn more and register here.

Posted on February 9, 2015 by Steve

From Peter Dobrin, writing for The Inquirer:

A new William Penn Foundation-commissioned study paints a portrait of the Philadelphia arts scene as rife with both promise and peril. The report, which examines more than 160 groups, says some are coming up with innovative ways to adjust to changing demographics and ticket-buying patterns, but it also finds that 70 percent are in poor financial health, undercapitalized, and unable to withstand financial stress or to fund new ideas. And while there is a promising new generation of philanthropists in the area, they have not been persuaded by arts groups to loosen their purse strings.
Posted on February 5, 2015 by Steve

Capitalization, Scale, and Investment: Does Growth Equal Gain? is a report from TDC, with support from the William Penn Foundation, that was presented at the GIA 2014 Conference by Susan Nelson, a primary author. The first part of the report analyzes date from the Cultural Data Project to take the temperature of the Philadelphia arts ecosystem in order to see how organizations fared over the five year period of 2007 to 2011. The second section of the report explores how to navigate the question of growth for an individual organization. To invest in growth that will contribute to sustainability, TDC contends that organizations and their supporters need to challenge their core assumptions and be relentlessly honest about their goals, what kind of investment it will take to actually achieve those goals, and whether the goals are achievable.

Posted on February 5, 2015 by Steve

By Paul Shoemaker, writing for Stanford Social Innovation Review:

The Empire State Building is one of the seven modern wonders of the world. Yet when it was built, the most revolutionary aspect wasn’t its architecture or the height. The less-acclaimed, quantum leap was in the construction practices that the contractor, Starrett Brothers and Eken, used. Never before had a building been constructed in that way or as quickly. In philanthropy today, we are doing some good “architectural” work in emergent philanthropy, networks, and collective impact, to name a few.
Posted on February 3, 2015 by SuJ'n

Southern Methodist University's National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) recently released its first annual Arts Vibrancy Index. This index ranked hundreds of communities, large and small, across the US on measures of arts vibrancy as defined by supply, demand, and government support for arts and culture on a per capita basis. Along with the report, NCAR released a web-based interactive heat map that show the relative strength of each community determined by scores for arts dollars, arts providers, government support, socio-economic factors, and other characteristics.

Read NCAR's release on the report here.

Posted on February 2, 2015 by Steve

From Phil Chan, writing for Huffington Post:

Where do we start to implement solutions? Are there no black dancers on stage because there are no young black dancers in the audience, or are there no young black dancers in the audience because there are no black dancers on stage? Our efforts must focus on addressing both the economic obstacles and the lack of diverse representation; diversity arts initiatives and performing arts organizations must continue to address both in tandem in order for change to take place, with the realization that it will take several generations of active engagement with the issue for more progress to be seen.

Read the full post.

Posted on January 29, 2015 by Steve

From Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation:

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to share wonderful news regarding our extraordinary colleague Roberta Uno. In a continuation of the issues that she has worked on during her time at the Ford Foundation, Roberta will become the Director of Arts in a Changing America, a new national project engaging changing demographics through the lens of aesthetics, arts practice, cultural equity, and social justice which will be based at the California Institute of the Arts.

Posted on January 29, 2015 by Steve

From Elaine Weiss, from Moyers & Company:

Last week, President Obama took the stage before a joint session of Congress to assure us that, after years of struggle, the state of our union is solid, and we are still the greatest country on earth. But a growing number of signs — including some to which the president alluded — suggest otherwise. The most recent, and among the most disturbing, is a bulletin from the Southern Education Foundation. The report finds that, for the first time in at least half a century — since Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty — more than half of all US public school students live in low-income households.

Read the full article.

Posted on January 28, 2015 by SuJ'n

In an article entited "The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur", published in the current issue of The Atlantic, William Deresiewicz argues that the traditional notion of the professional artist as solitary genius is hopelessly outdated. He writes:

So out of date, in fact, that the model that replaced it is itself already out of date. A new paradigm is emerging, and has been since about the turn of the millennium, one that’s in the process of reshaping what artists are: how they work, train, trade, collaborate, think of themselves and are thought of—even what art is—just as the solitary-genius model did two centuries ago. The new paradigm may finally destroy the very notion of “art” as such—that sacred spiritual substance—which the older one created.

Deresiewicz goes on to comment on what the death of the artist and the rise of the creative entrepreneur means for our field. Along with the rise of the creative entrepreneur comes heightened emphases on networking, multiplicity, commodification, democratization of taste, and selling experiences.

Read the full Atlantic article here.

Posted on January 27, 2015 by Steve

By Kinsee Morlan at San Diego City Beat:

There’s a shortage of arts-and-culture funding in San Diego. That’s why there’s been shock and concern in the arts community after the recent announcement that Felicia Shaw, longtime director of arts and the creative economy at The San Diego Foundation, had left her position. The foundation is the biggest and most influential grant-making community foundation in the area, and critics say that Shaw’s departure signals the organization’s waning support for the arts.
Posted on January 27, 2015 by Steve

On January 29 you are invited to join representatives from a state arts agency, a foundation and an artist service organization for the first web seminar in 2015 from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Individual Artist Support: Trends in Funding and Services. Learn about current trends, challenges and strategies from three experts in the field:

  • Rose Parisi, Director of Programs, Illinois Arts Council Agency
  • Judilee Reed, Program Director, Thriving Cultures, Surdna Foundation
  • Laura Zabel, Executive Director, Springboard for the Arts

The session takes place on Thursday, January 29, 3:00pm EST / 12:00pm PST. Register online. Contact Eric Giles if you need assistance.

Posted on January 26, 2015 by Steve

From Diep Tran, writing for American Theatre:

Sometimes all you need is a push. At least that’s the thinking behind the 51% Preparedness Plan that was released last week. East West Players artistic director Tim Dang wrote the plan, which calls on Southern California theatres to diversify their staff and programming.

“We’re in Southern California, we prepare for earthquakes. Are we preparing for the demographic shift that is going to happen in 2042?” posits Dang. “We should prepare now, for theatre.”

But why 2042? That’s the date, in projections by the Census Bureau, that the minority population in the United States will reach 54 percent, outnumbering non-Hispanic whites. So what does that mean for theatre?

Read the full article.

Posted on January 26, 2015 by Steve

From Francis Hilario at The Philadelphia Business Journal:

Opera Philadelphia is in the midst of rehearsing for the East Coast premiere of “Oscar,” a new American opera based on Oscar Wilde that’s set to debut in February. But the company is also in the midst of a changing business model. The upcoming “Oscar” is the first of two productions co-commissioned by Sante Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia as part of the latter’s American Repertoire Program. The program has the lofty goal of producing one new American opera for the next 10 seasons. The second commission, an opera based on Charles Frazier’s “Cold Mountain,” will premiere next year. Along with providing audiences with fresh material, the opera’s new American program has also allowed it to go from being a local company to one that’s global.
Posted on January 26, 2015 by Steve

From Eileen Cunniffe, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

This weekend, the San Diego Opera will open its 50th anniversary season — a season that came perilously close to being cancelled when the company’s board voted last March to cease operations at the end of the 2014 season. Nearly ten months after the company and its board began a highly public meltdown, followed by a hard-won battle to re-engage the community and restructure the organization, San Diego Opera was featured at the 11th annual Nonprofit Governance Symposium at the University of San Diego on January 10. In a panel discussion titled “Saving the Opera: Lessons Learned from a Board Perspective,” current board president Carol Lazier, board members Linda Spuck and Joe Watkins, and new CEO Keith Fisher shared insights from the wild roller coaster ride they’ve experienced since last spring.
Posted on January 21, 2015 by SuJ'n

Last week the US Department of Housing and Urban Development PD&R Edge magazine published “Catalizing Culture and Community through CDFIs.” In this article, Judilee Reed, director of The Surdna Foundation's Thriving Cultures Program, discusses the importance of community development finance institutions in the creative placemaking movement.

Reed writes:

The cross-sector nature of this work suggests the existing infrastructure in the community development field, like community development finance institutions (CDFIs), could play an important role in helping artists, arts and culture organizations, and non-arts organizations build their capacity to sustain creative production long after dedicated funding for specific projects has passed. For many CDFIs, the role they play in providing both financing and technical assistance to support neighborhood-based projects and the growth of small business in low income communities implies they may also have the potential to pivot their services to engage artists and projects that support the development of arts and culture.

Posted on January 16, 2015 by Steve

From Tim Delaney at The Chronicle of Philanthropy:

Rather than focusing on what Congress will (or won’t) do in the new year, foundations and other nonprofits would do well to take a close look at a little-noticed overhaul of federal grant-making rules — in the works for three years and that took effect the day after Christmas — that could provide meaningful traction for ending the so-called nonprofit starvation cycle.
Posted on January 16, 2015 by SuJ'n

Released in the fall and in collaboration with D5 Coalition, OMG Center for Collaborative Learning (newly renamed Equal Measure) released Foundations Facilitate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Partnering with Community and Nonprofits. This report outlines eight specific practices that foundations can do to facilitate diversity, equity, and inclusion with non-profit grantees and their communities. While this report is not targeted to the arts and cultural sector, the framework and findings can be used to strengthen any sector's works towards racial equity and inclusion. Download the full report here.

Posted on January 15, 2015 by SuJ'n

The Community Development Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco recently published the Community Development Investment Review on Creative Placemaking. This anthology of articles and ArtPlace America profiles shares research and best practices in providing capital to low- and moderate-income communities through creative placemaking approaches.

Posted on January 15, 2015 by SuJ'n

In a study commissioned by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Arizona State University's Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship inventories business training programs and opportunities for artists outside of academic settings. How It's Being Done: Arts Business Training Across the U.S. looks at where arts business training programs exist by region, what kinds of organizations provide training, training modalities, topics, and costs among other distinctions.

If you are an organization that offers business-related training to artists and not included in the web-related research, please contact Tremaine Fellow Mollie Flanagan.

Download the full report here.

Posted on January 14, 2015 by SuJ'n

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) releases three reports using data from 2012 to show the life of the arts and cultural sector from three perspectives. The first report, When Going Gets Tough: Barriers and Motivations Affecting Arts Attendance, uses data collected from a NEA-sponsored topical module in the General Social Survey to learn more about why people attend different types of arts events. The second report, A Decade of Arts Engagement: Findings from the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, 2002-2012, investigates arts participation rates from 2012 and compares them with findings from previous surveys using 2002 and 2008 data. The third report in this series, The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA), analyzes the arts and cultural sector's contributions to the US gross domestic product (GDP), finding they exceed previous estimates of its impact on employment and the national economy.

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.

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