WEB CONFERENCE: Advocacy and Lobbying: How Foundations Can Change Public Policy

GIA finishes its 2015 Web Conference series with Advocacy and Lobbying: How Foundations Can Change Public Policy on Tuesday, December 8, 2:00 pm EST/11:00 PST. Private foundations have long been active in changing public policy to champion their missions and support the greater good. The return on investment in policy work can be huge and long-lasting. Join GIA's own President & CEO Janet Brown who will present this important session on the importance of policy development and the difference between advocacy and direct lobbying.

Learn more and register here.

Posted on September 28, 2015 by Steve

Recognizing 24 exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for significant contributions in the future, the MacArthur Foundation has named the 2015 MacArthur Fellows. Each will receive an unrestricted stipend of $625,000, allowing recipients maximum freedom to follow their own creative visions.

Posted on September 28, 2015 by Steve

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and WESTAF are sponsoring a preliminary study on communications within the nonprofit arts field, and we invite you to participate in a simple online survey.

This study seeks information about:

  • How we communicate internally within our organizations
  • How we communicate externally within the sector
  • How we manage the growth in all communications
  • What the impact is on our organizations of that growth in communications

This survey is completely anonymous and should take 15-20 minutes to complete. The survey will close on Friday, October 16th, 2015. All responses must be submitted by 6pm EST/3pm PST.

Take the survey here.

Posted on September 28, 2015 by Janet

By Janet Brown from her blog Better Together

Earlier in my career, I was privileged to work across sectors with passionate and gifted artists. In most instances, the connection with the non-arts organization (hospital, correction facility) was made by my organization. But the creation of the service to be delivered was designed and always implemented by these amazing artists.

Posted on September 25, 2015 by Steve

Sharon Alpert will become the Nathan Cummings Foundation’s fourth president and first female leader, according to Adam Cummings, the foundation’s board chair. Ms. Alpert comes to the 25-year-old multi-generational family foundation from the Surdna Foundation, where, over 11 years, she rose from associate program officer to program director to her current position as the vice president of programs and strategic initiatives. She will assume her role as president and CEO of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and ex-officio member of the board of trustees, in November 2015.

Posted on September 24, 2015 by Steve

School principals are “invaluable multipliers of teaching and learning in the nation’s schools,” according to “Developing Excellent School Principals to Advance Teaching and Learning: Considerations for State Policy,” a new report commissioned by The Wallace Foundation and written by Paul Manna, a political scientist at the College of William & Mary, as well as an expert on state education policy. Several state and local arts advocacy organizations have created programs to educate principals on the benefits of arts programming and to develop cohorts of principals that will inspire others. This report gives an overview of the value of working with principals and how policies might be considered to help them promote better learning in all areas including the arts.

Read the full report.

Posted on September 23, 2015 by Steve

From Olivia Clement, writing for Playbill:

The services of Career Transition For Dancers will be integrated into the ongoing programs of The Actors Fund, it was announced September 21. The two non-profit human service organizations will unite in their sharing of providing programs and services to dancers and the dance community; the merger is expected to be fully integrated by the end of the year. “Career Transitions For Dancers has helped thousands of dancers over the past thirty years in taking their first steps in discovering rewarding second careers,” said CTFD chairman Emerita and former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Cynthia Gregory in a press statement.
Posted on September 22, 2015 by Steve

Grantmakers in the Arts invites interested and qualified consulting firms or individuals through an RFP process to submit a proposal to conduct an organization-wide audit of GIA’s internal documents and policies and external communication as they pertain to the organization’s goals of racial equity in arts philanthropy.

Deadline for proposals is October 26, 2015.

Posted on September 18, 2015 by Steve

Wildfires have devastated various parts of California in recent days, and artists and arts communities are among those affected. The California Arts Council has assembled some information that may be useful to those impacted, as well as others who would like to help and need guidance as to how. Many useful resources are also available in the Emergency Readiness, Response, and Recovery group on the GIA website.

Posted on September 17, 2015 by Steve

The Kresge Foundation Board of Trustees approved an ambitious plan to invest $350 million by 2020 through the foundation’s Social Investment Practice, making clear that using a variety of investment tools is central to bringing enhanced opportunities to low-income people in America’s cities. The $350 million represents approximately 10 percent of the foundation’s corpus as of 2015. As the foundation expands its use of these types of investments, it will continue to align them with its six program areas — Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Health, Human Services and Community Development in Detroit — and make nearly $140 million in grants each year.

Posted on September 17, 2015 by Steve

From Jordan Levin at the Miami Herald:

As Miami’s arts season gears up with an overflowing slate of museum exhibits, ballet premieres, and more culture than any individual could ever absorb, it’s easy to take the city’s vibrant artistic life for granted. But only one generation ago, Miami was widely derided as a cultural wasteland. The dynamic creative scene that has become such an integral part of Miami’s character was created in an extraordinary — and extraordinarily unlikely — burst of cultural energy in the 1980s.
Posted on September 15, 2015 by Steve

From Phil Buchanan, writing for The Center for Effective Philanthropy:

CEP’s data and analysis confirm that foundations just can’t do certain things well without staff. This isn’t just a theory, and the story about Wilburforce Foundation I told in my last post isn’t some fluke. Analysis of CEP’s grantee survey demonstrates the link between foundation staffing and certain aspects of performance, as experienced by grantees.
Posted on September 14, 2015 by Steve

From Carol Motsinger at the Cincinnati Enquirer:

ArtsWave isn’t just an ATM for Cincinnati’s cultural institutions and efforts. Yes, the nonprofit supports over 100 local organizations with the nation’s oldest and largest community campaign for the arts: In 2015, some 42,000 donors raised $12.25 million. But, says president and CEO Alecia Kintner, the financial support is just the beginning. The new 10-year-plan for the almost 90-year-old organization is designed to ensure that this investment yields massive community-wide impact.
Posted on September 10, 2015 by Steve

Julia del Palacio and Alyssa Alpine, both from the City University of New York (CUNY), look at the ways the CUNY Dance Initiative works to enhance the cultural fabric of the college system (as well as the city) in the Reader article, The CUNY Dance Initiative: Building Bridges through Vacant Spaces.

Posted on September 10, 2015 by Steve

From Eileen Cunniffe, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

Earlier this week, NPQ reported on a novel approach to civic engagement in Minneapolis: artist residencies in city planning departments, aimed at sparking fresh ideas for solving urban issues. Today, we note that the North Star State is also an innovator when it comes to integrating the arts into its rural communities. As reporter Kristin Tillotson says, “Across Minnesota, small towns and farms are busy putting the culture in agriculture.”
Posted on September 10, 2015 by Steve
National Arts in Education Week Logo

Americans for the Arts will be focusing on issues of Arts Education on September 13-19. National Arts in Education week is a national celebration recognizing the arts importance to a well-rounded education. Designated by Congress in 2010, through House Resolution 275, the celebration is designated to bring attention of this cause to elected officials and educational decision makers across the country and to support equitable access to the arts for all students. National Arts in Education Week takes place annually during the week beginning with the second Sunday of September.

Posted on September 10, 2015 by Steve

Gary P. Steuer, President and CEO of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation (and a current member of the GIA Board of Directors) continues the discussion on effective altruism that is being held on the opinion pages of The Washington Post:

The effective altruists’ completely dispassionate assessment of “value” — lives saved per dollar — does not allow for a holistic approach to what makes a healthy society. If everybody gave as they did, we might well end up solving Third World crises at the expense of deepening crises right here at home. Rampant poverty and public health challenges in the United States would ultimately damage our local and national economies, diminishing our long-term capacity to help abroad. In addition, many of the things that are important to our souls — beauty, hope, joy, tolerance, inspiration — are fostered through the arts. They may be very hard to sufficiently measure in a world of purely data-driven philanthropy. This does not mean they are not important.
Posted on September 10, 2015 by Steve

From William Schambra, in The Washington Post:

Effective altruists seem to believe that the sole purpose of charity is to eliminate human suffering, as efficiently as is possible. But in fact, charity is far more than that: it is the heart and soul of human community, the way that people gather and minister to the emotional, spiritual, and material needs of their neighbors. By ignoring this role, the effective altruist movement threatens the very foundation of compassionate generosity.
Posted on September 4, 2015 by Steve

Enriching the Arts through International Cultural Exchange is an article written by Guiomar Ochoa and Michael Orlove from the National Endowment for the Arts, who look at the work being done through the NEA’s International Activities office.

Posted on September 4, 2015 by Steve

By Ray Mark Rinaldi, writing for The Denver Post:

Front Range arts groups have begun squaring off heatedly over how to divide the millions of dollars in tax subsidies that come their way each year, especially as estimates show the pot could grow to $87 million annually. No one in the cultural community wanted to see a noisy fight erupt over the money. The theaters and history museums, dance companies, classical quartets and galleries all feared an ugly battle would leave a bad taste in the mouths of voters who they are counting on to reauthorize their funding for a third, 10-year period in 2016.
Posted on September 3, 2015 by Steve

President Barack Obama will present the 2014 National Medals of Arts in conjunction with the National Humanities Medals on Thursday, September 10, 2015, at 3pm EDT/noon PDT in an East Room ceremony at the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama will attend. The event will be live streamed at WH.gov/Live. Among those listed is the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, who is honored “for supporting creative expression across the country. With generosity and a bold commitment to artistic risk, this foundation has helped artists, musicians, dancers, and actors share their talents, enriching the cultural life of our Nation.”

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