During the month of April, our photo banner features grantees of the Sustainable Arts Foundation, a San Francisco-based organization that just completed the second year of its pilot residency grant program. Read about the Foundation’s work in support of artists who are maintaining their creative endeavors while also raising children here.

Posted on February 28, 2014 by Tommer

Evidence-based philanthropy. To some, that phrase offers the promise of long-overdue rigor. If the first principle of philanthropy and social impact is to do good, then evidence-based philanthropy ensures that we honor its corollary: Do no harm.

To others, that phrase represents all that is going wrong with philanthropy and social innovation—the rise of the ivory-tower theorists and technocrats whose logic models and fixation with metrics blind them to real-world knowledge and common sense.

Posted on February 27, 2014 by Tommer

Robert Booker, executive director, Arizona Commission on the Arts connects the dots for nonprofit arts board members: "Often, when I meet with the Board of Directors of an Arizona arts organization or institution, I am asked to provide more money to the organization.

Posted on February 26, 2014 by Supporting Today's Artists

Since 1998, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation has supported contemporary art exhibitions through its biennial Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. This opportunity provides funding for thematic exhibitions that are fresh and experimental in nature, and for which other funding is not yet forthcoming. The award provides assistance at the beginning stage of the exhibition’s development and offers the curator the support needed to realize the concept.

Posted on February 26, 2014 by Tommer

A new study by Music Machine aggregated data  on streaming music from Spotify users and broke down musical preferences by state and region. Previous research has analyzed the same data by gender and age.

Posted on February 25, 2014 by Steve

From Mark W. Anderson, reporting for NBC Chicago:

A new survey of 170 Chicago public elementary schools by Raise Your Hand Illinois found that 65 percent do not offer the expected minimum of two hours of arts education per week, as stated by both Mayor Emanuel and CPS officials.

The web-based survey of 444 respondents, conducted in January and February, includes information from parents and teachers representing nearly one-third of CPS schools. The survey found:

  • 14 percent have no arts instruction
  • 51 percent have less than two hours of arts instruction per week
  • 26 percent have two hours of art instruction
  • 9 percent have more than two hours of arts instruction
  • 31 percent saw a decline in arts instruction this year

The findings are in marked contrast to the promises and proposals the mayor and CPS officials have touted in recent years.

As part of its arts education plan, for example, the “Arts Abstract 2012-2015” states the first goal of its the CPS District Arts Policy is to "make arts a core subject by dedicating 120 minutes of arts instruction per week for elementary schools.” The plan goes on to set “minimum staffing requirements in the arts at once certified full-time employee per school, or an improved ratio such as one teacher for every 350 students.”

Read the full report.

Posted on February 21, 2014 by Steve

The 15th Annual WESTAF Cultural Policy Symposium, co-hosted by the California Arts Council and Frank Gehry Partners, will be available online via a live stream. Creativity and Innovation in Public Education: Areas of Need, Mechanisms for Change will take place on March 4, beginning at 8:45am PST, when arts and policy experts will gather at architect Frank Gehry’s studio in Santa Monica, California for a thought provoking symposium addressing critical issues facing the arts and education. A series of six sessions will follow throughout the day.

Posted on February 21, 2014 by Steve

Arlene Goldbard reports from the Staging Sustainability 2014 conference, recently held in Toronto:

In her concluding keynote for Staging Sustainability 2014, Adrienne Goehler exhorted conference attendees to support a “basic income grant” as a universal right. She put it succinctly: the current system forces overproduction in all realms, even art. The current system of grants for artists, inadequate in so many other ways, operates almost exclusively on a project basis, forcing artists who seek support to think in terms of novelty and output rather than allowing adequate time for work to evolve and emerge organically.
Posted on February 21, 2014 by Steve

From Jon Wojciechowski, writing for HowlRound:

My marketing director, Alicia Grasso, and I conceived a photographic tableau to illustrate the often hidden costs of producing professional theater. We pulled key figures from our annual budget—expenses we wanted to illustrate—and chose key members of our staff and Resident Intern Company to participate. Cape May Stage was producing Freud’s Last Session at the time, so we opted to stage the photograph on that show’s set. We even seated Dr. Freud himself (Equity actor Joel Rooks) front and center.
Posted on February 19, 2014 by Tommer

Professor Ann Collins Johns at the University of Texas at Austin was just as peeved as many people were about President Barack Obama’s knock on art history majors. So she did what any self-assured art historian would do and wrote a letter to Obama on January 31, shortly after the President’s remarks, and sent it using the White House website. Then came the surprising part: Obama responded with a handwritten note on February 12.

Posted on February 19, 2014 by Steve

GIA President & CEO Janet Brown, writing for ARTSblog:

I’ve been a community arts developer for over 26 years. Most of that time was spent working in rural communities in South Dakota and the Great Plains. Moving back to South Dakota after a stint in New York City and San Francisco, I became increasingly aware of how people passionate about the arts impact rural and small communities making certain that art is a part of the lives of their children and their neighbors. Community arts councils, community theatres, visual art galleries, community choruses and bands...all defined the word “community” for me.
Posted on February 19, 2014 by Tommer

The Ford Foundation announced today the election of Lourdes Lopez to serve as a member of its Board of Trustees. Lopez, who will be the first artist to join the foundation’s board, is the artistic director of Miami City Ballet, chairwoman of Miami City Ballet School, and a strong proponent of arts education and the transformational power of arts and culture to improve lives.

Posted on February 14, 2014 by Steve

The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History will host its 2014 Museum Camp with the theme of social impact assessment, Wednesday July 30 – Saturday August 2, 2014. The goal of the event is to develop creative ways to evaluate the work we are all doing to build and transform our communities by bringing together teams of diverse people from across many disciplines in shared learning and doing around research and social impact. The museum has partnered with Fractured Atlas to produce the camp.

Posted on February 12, 2014 by Steve

Today, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Dr. Jane Chu as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. President Obama said, “Jane’s lifelong passion for the arts and her background in philanthropy have made her a powerful advocate for artists and arts education in Kansas City.

Posted on February 12, 2014 by Steve

From Judy Woodruff at PBS Newshour:

North Carolina mandates that all elementary school students have equal access to art instruction, but enforcement of the law appears inconsistent across the state. Special correspondent for education John Merrow reports on two elementary schools' different approaches to arts education and the effects on student performance.
Posted on February 12, 2014 by Tommer

Phillip Kennicott raises some questions about public subsidies and privilege in The Washington Post.

Posted on February 7, 2014 by Steve

In February and March 2014, the Joyce Foundation’s Angelique Power will travel for multi-day trips to four cities in the Great Lakes region where the Joyce Foundation funds the Joyce Awards. She will also host an online eCity Salon to answer questions about the Joyce Award application process. The Joyce Awards give artists of color and nonprofit organizations catalyzing funds to commission new work and engage the community in its development.

Posted on February 6, 2014 by Steve

The Board of Directors of the William Penn Foundation announced on Thursday that Peter J. Degnan, Vice Dean of Finance and Administration at the Wharton School will be the Foundation’s new Managing Director as of March 3, 2014.

Posted on February 6, 2014 by Abigail

The California Arts Council, headquartered in Sacramento, will be hiring two arts grant administrators. Qualified applicants are invited to participate in step one of a four-step hiring process. More information here.

Posted on February 6, 2014 by Steve

The latest post from Angie Kim, on her blog Private Foundations Plus:

For those foundation leaders who want their decision making to be insulated from public scrutiny, this is a moment of growing anxiety. There are signs that foundations will need to do more to demonstrate their public good value. For foundations in California, this anxiety reached an apotheosis in 2008 when legislation was introduced—California AB 624—that would have made it easier to find out how much or how little foundations were supporting the interests of the underserved.
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