WEB CONFERENCE: The Every Student Succeeds Act
Alex Nock

On Tuesday, February 23, 2:00 pm EST/11:00 PST, GIA continues its 2016 Web Conference series with The Every Student Succeeds Act: What It Means for Arts Education in Your State and Local Community. This Web Conference will provide an overview of the authorities of the new legislation, how the US Department of Education will begin to implement them, and how state and local arts organizations can maximize the impact of the new provisions. Register to attend!

Posted on February 19, 2015 by Steve

From Theresa Agovino, writing for Crain's New York:

In contrast to the troubles at bigger institutions, many small opera companies are flourishing, and their numbers are expanding. Some 33 such companies exist in New York City today, more than double the number a decade ago, according to Opera America, a membership organization that promotes the art form. They are surviving and thriving because their budgets and number of staged productions are only a fraction of that of the big boys, and they specialize in niches. LoftOpera presents scaled-down versions of classic operas staged in nontraditional settings, such as former factories. Gotham Chamber Opera sets itself apart by featuring seldom-performed compositions created for smaller venues.
Posted on February 19, 2015 by Steve

Kristen Madsen, a current member of the Grantmakers in the Arts Board of Directors, and Senior Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Foundation, has been appointed the new Director of Arts at the Sonoma County Economic Development Board. She will be responsible for the Creative Sonoma program, which was adopted by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in June 2014 and seeks to boost the nonprofit arts community and the creative for-profit arts sector. The Arts Action Plan, which established the Creative Sonoma program, explains the development path for cultural and economic development, including funding and structural plans. Kristen will join the Sonoma County Economic Development Board initially on a part-time basis March 16, 2015 and will assume full-time employment starting April 1, 2015.

Posted on February 19, 2015 by Steve

Nonprofit Finance Fund has posted an interview with Ben Cameron, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. It is the second in their interview series with foundation leaders about the intersection of philanthropy and financial strategy:

Posted on February 19, 2015 by Steve

By Susan Raab, for Nonprofit Quarterly:

Art may not be the first therapeutic tool that comes to mind when treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but it has proven to be effective and is being used in a number of places to help returning soldiers. In El Paso, a new collaborative project called the Soldier Art Workshop Program will be launched by the El Paso Art Association in March. The volunteer effort brings local artists together with area soldiers and their families and is designed to teach art to the soldiers as they “make the transition to normal military and family life after deployment.” Twelve workshops will be held at the El Paso Museum of Art and the Fort Bliss Family Center over the course of a year. They will focus on visual arts, including oil and watercolor painting, mixed-media encaustics, and digital photography.
Posted on February 17, 2015 by Steve

From Jessica Garz, writing for The Architects Newspaper:

The recent closure of Architecture for Humanity, the San Francisco–based nonprofit known for its post-disaster rebuilding projects, had a distinctly funereal feeling. Founded by Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr in 1999, Architecture for Humanity was guided by the tagline “Addressing global humanitarian challenges with architectural solutions.” In addition to managing the design and construction of specific projects in the U.S. and abroad, the organization was known for its international network of local, volunteer-run chapters and its high profile publications including the book Design Like You Give a Damn and associated museum exhibitions.
Posted on February 17, 2015 by Steve

A post to Medium from Dustin Timbrook, Media Director for Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment:

Can you imagine a world in which most jobs are obsolete? If not, you are most likely in for a rude awakening in the coming decades of radical shifts in employment. This is particularly true for new parents propelling the next generation of workers into an adulthood that many economists and futurists predict to be the first ever “post-work” society.

Though the idea of a jobless world may seem radical, the prediction is based on the natural trajectory of ‘creative destruction’ — that classic economic principle by which established industries are decimated when made irrelevant by new technologies.

Posted on February 16, 2015 by Steve

From Joe Palca at National Public Radio:

A decade ago, physicist Robert Davies wasn’t all that interested in Earth’s climate. His field was quantum optics. But while he was working at the University of Oxford in England, he became intrigued by what was going on at Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute, just down the road from his lab. Davies started going to seminars at the Institute, and was taken aback, he says, by “the broad gap between what science understands about climate change, and what the public understands.”
Posted on February 12, 2015 by Steve

Lessons Learned about Change Capital in the Arts, a report from Nonprofit Finance Fund that was released at the end of 2014, provides a four-year evaluation of Leading for the Future: Innovative Support for Artistic Excellence, an experimental $15 million initiative funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The analysis in the report, authored by Alan Brown and Arthur Nicht, reflects critically on what was learned from the initiative for the benefit of funders, individual philanthropists and others with an interest in the theory and practice of capitalization as applied to nonprofit arts organizations.

Posted on February 12, 2015 by Steve

From Eileen Cunniffe, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

On Sunday, the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a headline describing the state of the arts sector in the Philadelphia region: “Abundant culture, dearth of funding.” On Monday morning, leaders from the arts community and its funders gathered to hear key findings from the report that prompted the headline, an in-depth study of the region’s cultural sector by Boston-based consulting and research firm TDC.
Posted on February 12, 2015 by Steve

From Alexis Stephens at Nextcity:

When the root causes of gentrification are being discussed, artists and arts groups often get caught in the cross fire. But while the arrival of sculptors, mixed-media painters and the like may foreshadow rising rents, there are many artists who struggle to afford city life. Across the country this week, several cities took steps to ease that struggle. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio used his State of the City address on Tuesday to highlight his plan to create 1,500 new units of affordable housing for artists by 2024.
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.

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