MAY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: WHITAKER FOUNDATION
For the month of May, GIA’s photo banner features work and projects sponsored by the Whitaker Foundation, a St. Louis, Missouri based foundation established in 1975 by Mrs. Mae Whitaker. The foundation makes grants in support of projects in the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area that enrich lives through the arts and that encourages the preservation and use of parks. Learn more here.
Posted on April 6, 2015 by Steve

Michael Kaiser, from Huffington Post:

I recently read an article about the imminent retirement of a local government arts council executive. The article pointed out the many challenges that this executive faced over the past decade. It made me realize how difficult the 21st century has been for all of us who work in the arts.
Posted on April 2, 2015 by Steve

Melissa M. Menzer from the NEA Office of Research & Analysis posts to Art Works Blog:

As a research psychologist trained in studying childhood development, I often pose two questions in my role at the National Endowment for the Arts. One, what is the quality of the evidence suggesting that artistic and creative activities affect child outcomes, and two, what can researchers, educators, practitioners, and policy-makers do to implement successful arts-based programs that provide opportunities for children to flourish and to thrive? As part of this quest, I went to Philadelphia last month to participate in the biennial research conference for the Society for Research in Child Development.

Read the full post.

Posted on April 2, 2015 by Steve

Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced the nationwide expansion of the Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program, formerly known as the Arts Advancement Initiative. The invitation-only program seeks to strengthen nearly 300 small- and mid-sized organizations within six cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Through the two-year initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies will offer $30 million of unrestricted general operating support. It will also include arts management training in fundraising, audience development and board member engagement.

Posted on April 2, 2015 by Steve

Accelerate Culture, an initiative launched last year by Arts Alliance Illinois, interviews the two candidates for Mayor on their arts policy leanings:

The 2015 Chicago mayoral runoff election is Tuesday, April 7. While the debates might be over, there’s no debating that the next mayor will shape the future of arts policy in Chicago. We asked Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” Garcia to respond to ten questions on a range of issues including their views on the role of culture and the arts in our neighborhoods, schools, economic development, tourism, civic life, and beyond.
Posted on April 2, 2015 by Steve

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) today announced the 2015 class of Doris Duke Artists. Twenty performing artists will each receive $275,000 in flexible, multi-year funding as an investment in and celebration of their ongoing contributions to the fields of contemporary dance, theatre and jazz. With this year’s class, the foundation will have awarded $22 million among 80 Doris Duke Artists since the awards program’s inception.

Read the full announcement.

Posted on April 1, 2015 by Steve

From Lee Chilcote, writing for Freshwater Cleveland:

The effort to strengthen Cleveland’s arts organizations and cultivate new audiences began in the 1990s. The Cleveland Foundation published an influential study that underscored the fragility of the city’s arts scene, and that helped set the stage. Two of the weaknesses that were identified were lack of professional development for arts managers and lack of public funding for the arts. In the late 1990s, the Cleveland Foundation and George Gund Foundation commissioned a strategic plan called the Northeast Ohio Arts and Culture Plan. An arts research, public policy and capacity building group called the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture was established to help carry it out.
Posted on March 31, 2015 by SuJ'n

During the month of April, GIA's photo banner features artists and projects sponsored by the Arizona Commission on the Arts. The Commission is in its 50th year of supporting a statewide arts network that delivers grants and support to cultivate sustainable arts communities and promote statewide public access to arts and cultural activities in Arizona.

Posted on March 30, 2015 by Steve

From Abby Ellin at The New York Times:

Conventional wisdom holds that if you do not write your “Farewell to Arms,” paint your “Starry Night,” start the next Twitter or climb Mount Everest by young adulthood, or at least middle age, then chances are you will never do it. But that idea is becoming increasingly outdated as people are not only having successes later in life, but blooming in areas they never expected. Maybe they are not making millions, or wielding a brush like Rembrandt. Still, many people are discovering that the latter part of their lives can be just as (or even more) rewarding creatively, emotionally and spiritually.
Posted on March 28, 2015 by Steve


From PBS Newshour:

As part of a growing national movement to revitalize the symphony experience for patrons, the San Francisco Symphony recently launched SoundBox, a show series meant to create new musical experiences and entice new audiences.
Posted on March 26, 2015 by Steve

The Regional Arts Commission (RAC), the largest annual funder of the arts in the St. Louis region, has announced the appointment of Felicia Shaw to the position of executive director. Shaw succeeds Jill McGuire, who served for 30 years as RAC’s founding executive director. A native St. Louisan, Shaw will assume the position of executive director effective May 11, 2015. A nationwide search had been conducted by Arts Consulting Group. Shaw, a current member of the GIA Board of Directors, was previously the director of arts and creative economy at The San Diego Foundation.

Posted on March 26, 2015 by Steve

Diane Ragsdale posts to Jumper:

This is the sixth post in a series of posts focused on the course on beauty that I am coordinating/teaching for business students at UW-Madison. In the fourth week of the Beauty Class I wanted to explore the notion, articulated by Jeanette Winterson, that “art can waken us to truths about ourselves and the world.”
Posted on March 26, 2015 by Steve

From Kaitlyn Buss, The Detroit News:

Over a cup of coffee downtown, it was quickly obvious Tod Machover’s passion for “Symphony in D,” the first sonic portrait of Detroit, is largely due to the material at his disposal: The city’s rich, yet often overlooked, relationship with music and a community eager to continue it. “In many ways, I think Detroit’s the place I always wanted to do this project,” he says. His research into Detroit’s neighborhoods and people, along with sounds submitted by Detroiters over the coming months, will be the basis for the symphony, set to debut in November.
Posted on March 24, 2015 by Steve

Grantmakers in the Arts releases a statement of purpose for racial equity in arts philanthropy, which will direct the work of the organization moving forward.

Posted on March 19, 2015 by Steve

From Michael Hodges, fine arts writer for The Detroit News:

Aaron P. Dworkin, founder and president of Detroit’s nationally recognized Sphinx Organization, will be the new dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance. University regents voted to confirm the appointment Thursday afternoon. Dworkin, 44, takes over in July. His wife, Afa Sadykhly Dworkin, Sphinx’s executive and artistic director, will become president.
Posted on March 19, 2015 by Steve

Rebecca Thomas finishes her six myths piece for Associated Grant Makers:

In my last piece for In Philanthrophy, I offered three recommendations for how grantmakers can overcome commonly held misconceptions about the role of money in strengthening nonprofit effectiveness. I encouraged funders to: support comprehensive capitalization planning, reward financial management practices that promote surpluses and savings, and consider seeding cash reserves as a source of funds for handling and taking risk. Here, I share three additional myths that get in the way of healthy nonprofit finances and suggest funder practices that, in my experience, create an environment more supportive of organizational success.

Read the full post.

Posted on March 19, 2015 by Steve

Vickie Benson, posting to The McKnight Foundation blog:

Simply stated, creative placemaking builds strong, cross-sector partnerships grounded in arts and culture, by people and for people, to celebrate the lifeblood of a place. And while the cross-sector aspect is undeniably important, a crucial factor for success, in my opinion, is that arts organizations and artists are treated as leading or equal partners in the broad mix. It was important for the arts field to have researchers as experienced, thoughtful, and knowledgeable as Markusen and Gadwa — each with their own long histories working with artists — to tackle the phenomena of creative placemaking.
Posted on March 17, 2015 by Steve

Insights and Lessons: Community Arts and College Arts is a new report commissioned by The Kresge Foundation at the completion of a pair of multiyear initiatives that were intended as a way to challenge communities to use art and culture as a tool to address broader community issues in underinvested urban neighborhoods.

The foundation saw the two pilots — Community Arts and College Arts — as learning initiatives that would enable staff to experiment with a different kind of grantmaking. They would also test the assumption that the arts can address society’s pressing issues, transform communities and lift spirits during an economic downturn. While many local funders have deep experience in community arts, it was new territory for Kresge’s Arts and Culture Program.

Posted on March 16, 2015 by Steve

On April 28th and 29th, Aroha Philanthropies will convene an intimate gathering of philanthropists, grantmakers and thought leaders to explore the emerging field of artful aging — and the transformative potential that learning, making and sharing art can have for people 55 and over. The convening will be held at the offices of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, California.

Learn more and request an invitation to attend.

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