MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: MISSISSIPPI ARTS COMMISSION

For the months of November and December, GIA’s photo banner features work and artists supported by Mississippi Arts Commission. Established in 1968, and funded annually by the Mississippi Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, and private funds, MAC provides grants, technical assistance, consultation, and networking to artists, arts organizations, and institutions providing arts education throughout the state.

Posted on August 18, 2016 by Monica

Aroha Philanthropies has announced the first cohort of its Seeding Artful Aging initiative. Fifteen organizations were chosen to partner with Aroha Philanthropies in a seminal initiative designed to support the development and expansion of successful Artful Aging programs. Grants awarded range from $17,000 to $50,000 for projects to run between January 1, 2017 and November 30, 2017.

Posted on August 17, 2016 by Steve

In an article in the latest issue of the Reader, A More Equitable World Because of Theatre, Teresa Eyring of Theatre Communications Group details the organization’s efforts to develop its equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiative – from board-level conversations and learning to program implementation.

Posted on August 16, 2016 by Monica

The New York Community Trust has released a report on the work of its collaborative funding projects, highlighting initiatives to fund arts programs, support public schools, develop affordable housing, and others. Over nearly 40 years, The Trust has partnered with over 140 funders, distributing $119 million across 20 collaborative funds. The report discusses outcomes and lessons learned from these projects.

Posted on August 15, 2016 by Monica

Kindle Project, an experimental philanthropy lab, has announced a new grantmaking program called Boomerang which aims to give artist grantees the ability to help shape the distribution of philanthropic dollars. The recipients of the organization’s upcoming Makers Muse Artist Awards will each be offered a Flow Fund to recommend be reallocated to an organization or project of the artists’ choosing. The project aims to embolden artists and discover new unusual projects, creators, and ideas by placing decision-making power in the hands of grantees.

Posted on August 11, 2016 by Monica

The National Endowment for the Arts’ digital story series United States of Arts has been nominated for a 2016 Primetime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series category. A key feature of United States of Arts is the collection of more than 60 three-minute episodes highlighting the stories of arts and culture; one from every U.S. state, territory, and region, reflecting a diverse array of cultures, people, places, and ideas.

Posted on August 11, 2016 by Steve

In the latest issue of the GIA Reader, Alison B. Hirsch writes on The Collective Creativity of Anna and Lawrence Halprin. The article explores the couple’s innovative artistic experiments that combined Anna’s dance choreography with Lawrence’s background in landscape architecture.

Posted on August 10, 2016 by Monica

A new grant program of Theatre Communications Group assembles teams of three or more nonprofit organizations to design and implement audience engagement and community development strategies. Funded by the Doris Duke Chariatable Foundation, the inaugural Audience (R)Evolution Cohort Grants have been awarded to 9 projects representing 32 partnering organizations for a total of over $1.18 million. TCG will also provide additional general operating support equivalent to 30 percent of each award.

Posted on August 10, 2016 by Janet

By Janet Brown, from her blog Better Together

In 1980, when I was living in New York City, I had a conversation with a man who at one time was general manager of Lincoln Center. We debated, rather heatedly, his premise that the National Endowment for the Arts should give money only to states that produce “good” art — in other words, New York. (He wasn’t sure other states should get any funding at all.) He believed the federal government should give funds to South Dakota, my home state, for what it does well — grow corn and beef. He believed the government should fund only what someone would decide was “good” art, and obviously, no “good” art came out of South Dakota. I was offended by that, and I can pinpoint that day as the beginning of my somewhat outspoken beliefs that all art has an element of excellence as long as it is authentic to a people and place. I delight in the fact that there are no rules of geography and environment in art making.

Posted on August 9, 2016 by Monica

The Joyce Foundation has announced that Tracie D. Hall, currently deputy commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, has been appointed director of the foundation’s culture program. She will join Joyce in mid-November after readying Chicago’s Public Art Plan and Year of Public Art initiative for launch late this year and in early 2017.

Posted on August 8, 2016 by Monica

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) announced that executive director Alan W. Cooper will retire effective May 2017. As executive director of the foundation since 1994, Cooper has been responsible for all aspects of leadership and oversight leading to substantial growth in programs and services that have had extensive impact for both audiences and artists in the mid-Atlantic region and beyond.

Posted on August 3, 2016 by Steve

In the latest issue of the GIA Reader, Maryo Gard Ewell — daughter of Robert Gard, a pioneer in rural arts development — describes how her father developed his influential work and publication, The Arts in the Small Community: A National Plan.

Posted on August 1, 2016 by Steve

From Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive.com:

Facing a midnight deadline, House and Senate lawmakers restored funding to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, reversing Gov. Charlie Baker’s state budget veto. The fiscal year 2017 budget lawmakers sent to the governor’s desk in July included $14 million for arts, humanities and sciences programs through the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. But Baker vetoed $7.7 million, bringing the total figure down to $6.5 million, a 55 percent cut the agency called “devastating.”
Posted on July 31, 2016 by Steve

A bevy of philanthropic leaders from over 30 organizations signed a letter, published in the New York Times and The Washington Post on Sunday, about the hope for dignity, equity and justice for all people. The ad launched the #ReasonsForHope campaign on social media.

Today, our nation needs more bridges of dialogue and fewer barriers of division. America’s foundations are proud to help courageous leaders build these bridges, neighbor to neighbor, community by community. Though we find ourselves at the crossroads of crisis, we are also in a moment of opportunity. In spite of anguish and uncertainty, ideas, inspiration and action abound. As presidents of America’s philanthropic foundations, the remarkable organizations we support give us all countless reasons for hope.

View the letter.

Posted on July 29, 2016 by Monica

The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis/Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute and the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture will host a national convening of artists, activists, policy-makers, and community organizers on November 17–19 in St. Louis, Missouri. The CULTURE/SHIFT 2016 convening aims to generate and amplify creative strategies for social change.

Posted on July 28, 2016 by Monica

From National Endowment for the Arts:

It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing of former NEA Chairman Frank Hodsoll. As the NEA’s fourth chairman, Hodsoll served from 1981 to 1989 under President Ronald Reagan.

During Hodsoll’s tenure, the NEA launched important new initiatives such as the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships (known then as the American Jazz Master Fellowship), an annual honorific recognizing distinguished jazz artists, and the National Medal of Arts, a White House initiative, managed by the NEA, that each year recognizes a group of the nation’s great artists. Hodsoll’s chairmanship also featured a focus on building infrastructures and support networks for the arts, cultivating new audiences, and fostering sustainability among arts organizations.

Posted on July 28, 2016 by Monica

In the latest issue of the GIA Reader, Jen Gilligan Cole writes on “Expanding Cultural Family: Funders, Tools, and the Journey toward Equity.” The article discusses how the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission evaluated and adapted its grantmaking programs with a racial equity lens.

Posted on July 26, 2016 by Monica

A recent article in The Washington Post highlights Canada’s shifting approach to arts funding and how it compares to common approaches in the United States and other Western countries:

As much of the Western world flirts with retrenchment into a nativist crouch, Canada is doubling down on what [Melanie Joly, minister for Canadian Heritage,] describes as the basic “social contract,” which has always included the arts as a fundamental part of the national budget. But she and [Simon Brault, the head of the Canada Council for the Arts,] also stress the need to reform the existing system of cultural funding.
Posted on July 25, 2016 by Monica

New research by Americans for the Arts provides an in-depth look at public perceptions and attitudes about the arts in the United States. An Americans for the Arts and Ipsos Public Affairs survey of more than 3,000 American adults over the age of 18 provides current insight on topics including support for arts education and government arts funding, personal engagement in the arts, the personal benefits and well-being that come from engaging in the arts, and whether those benefits extend more broadly to the community.

Posted on July 25, 2016 by Monica

With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Quentin Hancock Fund and the Wallace A. Gerbode Foundation, California Lawyers for the Arts has released a study exploring the feasibility of establishing a national network to support the work of arts in corrections. The report includes the findings of a stakeholder survey that included arts practitioners, formerly incarcerated participants, funders, and others. The results revealed agreement on the values and functions of a national network, potential challenges, potential models to consider, and recommendations for future development.

Posted on July 20, 2016 by Monica

Artist Trust has announced the first iteration of its Racial Equity plan, introduced in a press release as "the next step in showing dedication to equity in the arts." The intention of the plan is to address and change historical and ongoing disparities in access to institutional funding, recognition, business practices, and job opportunities. It highlights shifting paradigms in Artist Trust programs, operations, and communications, both showcasing work that is in progress, revealing future plans, and celebrating past successes.

Read the plan.

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