For the month of May, GIA’s photo banner features artists and projects supported by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF). Launched in 2009, NACF is a unique, national organization dedicated to strengthening Native arts, perpetuating culture resilience, and bringing together diverse communities to drive social impact. Its main areas of focus include individual artist fellowships and community inspiration projects.
Posted on June 2, 2015 by Steve

By Mark MacNamara, at San Francisco Classical Voice:

In the nick of time for many arts organizations, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has announced a “Shared Prosperity for the Arts Package.” Over the next two years, the city will contribute $7 million to programs supporting the arts. The windfall, the product of a glowing hot local economy, includes a $2 million enhancement to the Cultural Equity Endowment Fund and $1 million to Grants for the Arts, which supports small and mid-sized arts nonprofits, individual artists, and historically underserved communities. The package also includes a $3.8 million capital investment in the city’s Civic Art Collection and Cultural Centers, and additional funding for arts education.
Posted on June 1, 2015 by Steve

Jerome Foundation and Camargo Foundation have announced that Ben Cameron has been appointed president of both foundations, and will be working primarily in the US offices in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He will take these positions on January 4, 2016. “Ever since my years in the Twin Cities in the 1990s, I have admired the extraordinary leadership of the Jerome Foundation, long one of the most important arts foundations in Minnesota and New York, and its incredible President, Cynthia Gehrig,” Cameron said.

Posted on May 31, 2015 by SuJ'n

For the month of June, GIA's photo banner features work and projects sponsored by Creative Work Fund. With assistance from other generous funders, the Walter & Elise Haas Fund has managed the Creative Work Fund (CWF) for 21 years.

The CWF supports artists making new work through collaboration with nonprofit organizations of any kind, and demands payment of those artists. Over time, the ways artists and nonprofits organize themselves and make work has evolved, but they still find collaboration to be powerful and continue responding to the CWF with inspiring ideas. Since its inception, the CWF has awarded $10.1 million in grants.

Posted on May 29, 2015 by Steve

Record rainfalls, flooding and tornadoes continue to plague the country’s mid-section. And your GIA peers who are involved in the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response are offering expertise and assistance to artists and cultural organizations affected by the extreme weather.

Theresa Scanlan of American for the Arts has been in touch many of the local arts agencies in Texas and Oklahoma to assess how and where aid is needed.

CERF+ is reaching out to artists in the craft disciplines. You can find out more at

The Actors Fund has offered emergency financial assistance to performing artists and entertainment professionals in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Details are available at

If GIA members have additional information to share about their relief and/or recovery efforts in the storm areas, please let the National Coalition know and they’ll use their networks to get the word out. You can send information to NCAPER Consultant/Coordinator Nancy Fushan (

Posted on May 28, 2015 by Janet

By Janet Brown from her blog Better Together

Grantmakers in the Arts released its Statement of Purpose for Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy in March 2015. It did not spring from thin air. Members concerned with social justice have been active within GIA for nearly a decade. Over the past six years, members have shown an overwhelming interest in equity issues facing their communities. Racial equity was deliberately selected four years ago for a thought leader forum in order to go deeper into one area of social justice. Two years later after several convenings of the social justice forum group, the GIA board of directors adopted racial equity in arts philanthropy as “core field work” and began its own training and preparation for a public statement and actionable steps.

Posted on May 27, 2015 by Steve

The Institute of International Education has announced the launch of a program to save the lives and work of artists who face persecution in their home countries. The new Artist Protection Fund (APF), a three-year pilot program supported by a $2.79 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will make life-saving fellowship grants to threatened artists from any field of artistic endeavor, and place them at host universities and arts centers in countries where they can safely continue their work and plan for their future.

Posted on May 27, 2015 by Steve

From Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council:

Every Drop Counts
While the actions of adults on water conservation will determine our fate, making kids aware of water and the drought is important too. At the California Arts Council, we noticed that California’s 4th and 5th grade students must meet science, history, and social science standards that require water education. Fourth grade students trace the evolution of California’s water system into a network of dams, aqueducts, and reservoirs, while 5th graders are taught the human impact on earth systems such as water. And we know from research and experience that integrating arts into subjects like science and math can engage students and increase achievement. So why not combine art and science studies in a fun and creative project?
Posted on May 27, 2015 by Steve

From Elizabeth Kramer at The Courier-Journal:

Just seven years ago, the Jefferson County Board of Education voted to create new magnet programs at more than 20 elementary schools. For Lincoln Elementary, the plan was to become Kentucky’s only public elementary arts magnet. That move set Lincoln on a path that is now a far cry from when it was under threat of closure in 2003.
Posted on May 27, 2015 by Steve

From Francine Toder, Ph.D., writing for Huffington Post:

I was fortunate to attend a convening of philanthropic, art, and community leaders at “Artful Aging: The Transformative Power of Creativity,” co-sponsored by Aroha Philanthropies and the Hewlett Foundation. The goal of the one-day event was to highlight the benefits of creative aging programs that “inspire and enable older adults to learn, make and share the arts in ways that are novel, complex and socially engaging.”
Posted on May 21, 2015 by Steve

Featured in the current Reader is Capitalization and Risk, an article from San San Wong, Laura Sherman, Susan Nelson, and Ashley Berendt that looks at how capitalization supports grantees’ ability to both take and manage risk.

Posted on May 21, 2015 by Steve

The AEFC Forum, Every Child, Every School was held in Minneapolis in early May. Attendees were treated to great presentations and reports, including the release of Foundation Funding for Arts Education: An Update on Foundation Trends, a new report from GIA and Foundation Center that looks at data from 1999-2012. Links to the reports, as well as materials from the presentations, are available on the forum page.

Posted on May 21, 2015 by Steve

From Sara Guaglione at iSchoolGuide:

A new NAMM Foundation study reveals a majority of teachers and parents believes music and arts education is important for children, and most even believe that music education should be required in middle school. A nationwide study, titled "Striking a Chord: The Public's Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States 2015," surveying 1,000 teachers and 800 parents found strong support for music education at all grade levels.
Posted on May 18, 2015 by Steve

Grantmakers in the Arts and Foundation Center are pleased to announce the release of a new report that provides an update to the state of arts education funding by private foundations. Foundation Funding for Arts Education: An Update on Foundation Trends puts together data from 1999 to 2012. The report was authored by Steven Lawrence and Reina Mukai of Foundation Center.

Download the full report.

Posted on May 18, 2015 by Steve

From Mike Boehm, reporting for the Los Angeles Times:

California has long ranked at or near the bottom nationally in per capita taxpayer funding of its state arts agency. The $5-million increase from the $1.1 million in Brown’s initial arts budget would push the state’s arts spending to about 24 cents for each state resident. The national per capita average is $1.09, according to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. To reach it California would have to increase the arts council budget to $42.3 million.
Posted on May 15, 2015 by Steve

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has announced that Jessica Mele will join the Foundation as a program officer for Performing Arts. Mele will begin work at the Foundation in early August were she will work to provide philanthropic support to arts organizations throughout the greater Bay Area. As a program officer, she will manage approximately 80 grants, including many focused on arts education delivery, advocacy, and policy.

Posted on May 15, 2015 by Steve

The Spring 2015 edition of Responsive Philanthropy is just out from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), and it delivers a great set of article covering Racial Equity issues and bias in philanthropy and grantmaking. From Aaron Dorfman’s introduction:

Like most white people in the United States, I grew up completely oblivious to the many privileges I enjoy because of the color of my skin. It wasn’t until I took courses in college like “Race, Power and Inequality in America” from Paul Wellstone or “Race, Reform and Rebellion” from Manning Marable that I began to develop an understanding of how our nation, its institutions and the experiences of its people are overwhelmingly shaped by race and racism. Serving as a community organizer for 15 years, primarily working with communities of color, deepened that understanding.
Posted on May 15, 2015 by Steve

Featured in the current Reader, Lynne Connor, Ph.D., from the Department of Theater and Dance at Colby College, explores the recent evolution, and possible future, of audience engagement in her essay, Replacing Arts Appreciation with Arts Talk.

Posted on May 11, 2015 by Steve

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance has just released an in-depth study of patron loyalty in the arts. The new report, 2014 Patron Loyalty Study: Loyalty By the Numbers examined the financial transactions (including ticket sales, memberships and donations) of almost a million Greater Philadelphia households, using seven years of data from 17 major cultural attractions in the region. One of the key findings of the report is that, despite the sector’s focus on developing new audiences, the erosion of current audience loyalty represents one of the most significant financial risks for cultural groups.

Posted on May 11, 2015 by Steve

From Peter Dobrin at The Inquirer:

When it comes to insuring a healthy future for arts and culture in Philadelphia, does it really matter who becomes the next mayor? The answer is important because, like a prospector who discovers a gold mine then watches others pull riches from it, the Philadelphia arts and culture community has been looking around and wondering when its turn will come.
Posted on May 9, 2015 by Steve

From Colleen Dilen at her blog Know Your Own Bone:

Group tours are a fun way to visit a ...
Personalization has been an increasing and unrelenting theme in much of the data collected regarding visitor-serving organizations—and it is begging for more attention in the world of cultural centers. Typically, conversations about personalization within these institutions are interpreted as a need for crowd-sourced exhibits/programs or more creative, online initiatives. And those can be excellent ways to actively incorporate personalization into an engagement strategy! What’s decidedly NOT excellent is assuming that personalization doesn’t affect nearly everything in regard to operations and engagement these days.
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