GIA PODCAST: Philanthropy Northwest’s Momentum Fellowship
Audrey Haberman and Sindhu Knotz

New on the GIA Podcast, we speak with Audrey Haberman and Sindhu Knotz from Philanthropy Northwest about their Momentum Fellowship, a regional program designed to prepare professionals from underrepresented communities for careers in the philanthropic sector. The GIA Podcast is a new and ongoing program featuring brief interviews with leaders in the field of arts philanthropy.

Posted on May 8, 2015 by Steve

The New England Foundation for the Arts has received a grant of $1,700,000 from the Barr Foundation to launch Creative City, a three-year pilot that will make grants to Boston artists to create works that integrate public participation. Creative City will provide new resources to artists to bring their creative voices to Boston neighborhoods, and to further enliven the places where they live, work, and play with culture and creativity.

Posted on May 7, 2015 by Steve

Featured in the current Reader, Gwendolyn Zepeda’s Poem for the Grantmakers, written for and read at the 2014 GIA Conference in Houston.

Posted on May 7, 2015 by Steve
Percentage of U.S. adults who attended a performing arts event, by art form and family income level, 2012

A new report from Createquity takes a deep look at the data on Arts Participation, and also trends in television usage, across segments of the US population at different income and education levels. “Why Don't They Come?” does in fact conclude that television is taking an increasingly dominant role in shaping our cultural lives, especially with the low-income and low-education population.

There is a rich irony lurking just beneath the surface here: television, a largely for-profit commercial industry, routinely does a much better job engaging the most economically vulnerable members of our population than our supposedly charitable nonprofit arts institutions that receive tens of billions of dollars annually in government-sanctioned subsidy.
Posted on May 6, 2015 by Steve

From the development of a state-wide arts education plan in Alabama to a glassblowing program for wounded soldiers in Tacoma, Washington, funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) gives people across America the opportunity to experience creativity and participate in the arts. In the second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2015, the NEA will make 1,023 awards totaling $74,326,900 to nonprofit arts organizations in all 50 states plus five U.S. jurisdictions. Funding in this round is awarded through the NEA’s Art Works and State and Regional Partnerships grant categories.

Posted on May 4, 2015 by Steve

From Robin Pogrebin at The New York Times:

New York City is looking to join Chicago, Houston, Denver and other major cities by passing legislation to create its first comprehensive cultural plan. The legislation, which the City Council passed by a vote of 49 to 0 on Tuesday, requires the city to analyze its current cultural priorities, assess how service to different neighborhoods can be improved, study the condition of arts organizations and artists, and plan how the city can remain artist-friendly in a time of high rents and other economic pressures.
Posted on May 2, 2015 by SuJ'n

During the month of May, GIA’s photo banner features work and projects sponsored by the Whitaker Foundation. The St. Louis, Missouri based foundation began in 1975 upon the death of Mrs. Mae Whitaker. The Foundation is independent with governance provided by a self-perpetuating board. Grants are made to enhance lives through the arts and to preserve and encourage use of urban parks.

Posted on May 1, 2015 by Steve

From Andrew Theen at The Oregonian:

Portland’s arts tax is proving more expensive for city officials to administer partly because of the cost of tracking down scofflaws. In 2014, city finance officials mailed 170,000 collection letters to residents who hadn't paid the voter-approved Arts Education and Access Fund. The city spent $775,000 last year to administer the program. Thomas Lannom, Revenue Bureau Director, said the city spent $85,000 on postage and printing and $50,000 on temporary staffers, plus the remaining budget to run the arts tax program each year.
Posted on April 30, 2015 by Steve

Featured in the current Reader, Anne Focke documents two important meetings in the 1980s that brought hundreds of people together to discuss Creative Support for Creative Artists.

Posted on April 30, 2015 by Steve

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies board of directors has announced the appointment of Pam Breaux as NASAA’s chief executive officer, effective July 6, 2015. The national search effort was conducted with the assistance of Arts Consulting Group. A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Breaux has held leadership positions at the local, state and national levels. She currently is completing her appointment as assistant secretary of the Office of Cultural Development at the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism (CRT). She is a former secretary of CRT and was executive director of the Louisiana Division of the Arts. During her time at CRT, Breaux led the state’s cultural economy policy efforts, developed the annual World Cultural Economic Forum program and spearheaded the state's attainment of UNESCO recognition of Poverty Point as a World Heritage site.

Posted on April 28, 2015 by Steve

The Art X Culture X Social Justice Network is based on the power of art and culture to advance social justice by inspiring collective action across identities, issues, sectors, geographies, and power imbalances. It works to bring together artists, activists, cultural bearers, and philanthropists. Check out their new web presence at

Posted on April 27, 2015 by Steve

Nonprofit Finance Fund has done its annual analysis of data from the State of the Sector Survey. Of the 5,451 nonprofits that took the survey in 2015, more than 900 identified as arts and culture organizations. These groups represented a wide range of artistic disciplines, with top responses among Museums (15%) and Theatres (13%). An in-depth Special Supplement on the Arts & Culture Sector is also available.

Posted on April 27, 2015 by Steve

From Eileen Cunniffe, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

“If you actually engage a place in an unlikely manner, you probably won’t forget it. It becomes yours.” So says Catherine Gudis, a professor of public history at the University of California, Riverside, and one of the founders of Play the LA River, described as a “game of urban exploration and imagination.” The game consists of a 51-card deck developed by members of Project 51, a collective of “LA River–loving artists, designers, planners, writers and educators,” that invites Angelenos to explore — and reclaim — a river that for decades was “a polluted, concrete-encased ditch,” as reported in Next City.
Posted on April 27, 2015 by Steve

An extraordinary new report Building Community Through Innovation in the Arts, written by Brett Sokol and creative directed by Gavin Strumpman, has come from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation:

[U]sing initiatives like the Knight Arts Challenge to identify and empower new groups of entrepreneurially spirited artists and creative leaders has been key to transforming communities through the arts. True, some of those fresh faces will hardly fit the mold of traditional nonprofit administrators. This is exactly the point, given that much of the traditional arts establishment remains in crisis with its audience share waning.
Posted on April 23, 2015 by Steve

After several attempts over the past few years, Congress is making progress in updating the No Child Left Behind Act, also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The Arts Education Funders Coalition has been advancing its systemic policy agenda for ESEA as part of the Senate and House process to move ESEA legislation. Just this past week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (Senate HELP) Committee approved their version of an ESEA rewrite on a unanimous 22 to 0 vote. The AEFC arts education agenda was well represented as part of this legislation.

Aspects related to our agenda that were included in the bill are:

  • The bill maintains a definition of core academic subjects that includes the arts. While not leveraged effectively in current law, “core academic subjects” appear in several key locations in the bill (see below).
  • The bill makes clear that Title I funds can be used for arts education. Specifically, Title I says that funds can be used for “programs, activities and courses in the core academic subjects”. As mentioned above, the term “core academic subjects” includes the arts.
  • The definition of core academic subjects appears in several other programs, thereby allowing these programs to have an arts education focus. For example, there is a new literacy program that allows for the integration of core academic subjects into literacy programing and as an approach in the definition of extended learning time for schools looking to extend the schools day.
  • The bill authorizes the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program which includes the ability to provide children in afterschool and expanded learning time programs with programs and activities in the arts.
  • The bill includes a new Safe and Healthy Students initiative that allows for grants to school districts to be used for well-rounded educational experience for students which may include the use...
Posted on April 23, 2015 by Steve

In February, Carlton Turner, executive director of Alternate ROOTS, addressed the National Theater Project on the subject of racial equity in the arts:

This is not an issue that can be fixed with a grant program or a new funding initiative. It cannot be solved with a few discipline-specific conversations on diversity. It can only be solved when a critical mass of our sector feels that this issue is important enough to shift our missions.
Posted on April 23, 2015 by Steve

From Alex Daniels, writing for The Chronicle of Philanthropy:

Two-thirds of nonprofits don’t get guidance from grant makers about how to use data to measure their performance, even though most foundation support comes with a demand that grantees evaluate their work, according to a report released Monday. Almost all of the 138 nonprofits surveyed by the Center for Effective Philanthropy collected information to gauge their performance. But 64 percent of the organizations said they did not receive any support from foundations on how to marshal the data they amass.
Posted on April 23, 2015 by Steve

Featured in the current Reader, excerpts from a presentation on activating public space that Roberta Uno delivered at the Creative Time Summit.

Posted on April 22, 2015 by Steve

The Cultural Data Project has released a new report, Bridging the Capacity Gap: Cultural Practitioners’ Perspectives on Data, which shares findings from five town hall meetings conducted as part of its ongoing conversation with cultural practitioners about how data can be used to improve the health and effectiveness of the arts and cultural sector.

Posted on April 22, 2015 by Steve

The Nonprofit Tech for Good website has gathered up some research on Generation X:

There is a lot of discussion in the nonprofit sector about Millennials (a.k.a. Gen Y) and Baby Boomers and a growing interest in Gen Z a.k.a. #Philanthrokids, but almost no analysis of Generation X (aged 35-50 years). As the first generation to donate online and the generation that pioneered web design, email, blogging, and online advocacy, ignoring Gen X is a big mistake. As Gen X rebounds from the Great Recession, Gen Xers are entering their peak giving years and nonprofit fundraisers would be wise to pay more attention to how they give and why.
Posted on April 20, 2015 by Steve

From the closing plenary of the Skoll World Forum, Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, spoke about The Art of Change, a new initiative that will examine the roles art and culture play in illuminating and addressing urgent issues of equity, opportunity, and justice:

This is a problem not limited to art and artists. It reveals and reinforces a societal illness — a perversion and distortion. With increasing regularity, we prioritize short-term gain over long-term good. This kind of short-termism has infected so many dimensions of our lives. Education. Health care. Development. Business. Government. It has disrupted the way our society makes decisions.
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