WEBINAR: Implementing ESSA in Your State and Local Community
Alex Nock

With the new Administration in office, there are many new questions about the future of public education in the US and how the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), including provisions integrating the arts, will unfold. On Tuesday, February 28, Alex Nock from Penn Hill Group will discuss the most up-to-date developments with ESSA implementation and arts education policy and how organizations can advocate at the local level. Register to attend this webinar.

Posted on November 4, 2016 by Monica

The 2016 annual report from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) reveals the results of a survey in 2015 of arts alumni of 53 higher education institutions across the US and into Canada. “SNAAP survey questions address (a) the extent to which alumni feel connected to their educational institution; (b) the resources current artists lack; and (c) which alumni work across multiple art forms/disciplines.”

Read the report.

Posted on November 3, 2016 by Monica

A recent article on Createquity reviews literature on the benefits of the arts for older adults:

There is substantial causal evidence that participatory arts activities help to maintain the health and quality of life of older adults. These benefits … include improvements in cognitive and tactile abilities, subjective wellbeing, and dementia risk reduction (although the effects on managing dementia are less clear).
Posted on November 3, 2016 by SuJ'n

For the months of November and December, GIA's photo banner features Common Field, a project supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts ("Warhol Foundation"). The Warhol Foundation was established in 1987 out of a provision in artist Andy Warhol's will that the majority of his estate be used to create a foundation dedicated to the advancement of the visual arts.

Posted on November 2, 2016 by Steve

In an article in the latest issue of the GIA Reader entitled “What Will the Future Look Like?: Generational Change in the Arts Sector,” Emiko Ono of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation discusses generational differences in the arts and culture workforce, from cultural values to working styles, and their implications on the future of arts leadership.

Posted on November 2, 2016 by Monica

The California Arts Council released the findings of an extensive evaluation of the state agency's support of nonprofit media organizations in California, specifically as it relates to arts and culture coverage and related projects. The report, Nonprofit Media Coverage of the Arts in California: Challenges and Opportunities, is the first of its kind – assessing the status of California nonprofit media organizations' engagement with arts and culture, and the funding of such activities.

Posted on November 1, 2016 by Monica

Americans for the Arts, as part of its National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military, has published a national directory of arts-related programs, services, and resources for military service members, veterans, and their families. The directory includes state-by-state listings and continues to be updated as more resources are added.

Posted on October 30, 2016 by Steve

Blogger Lara Davis posts her final thoughts on the 2016 GIA Conference:

My barometer for what makes a conference good is informed, in part, by GIAcon. The conference has a strong focus on power and privilege at the intersection of grantmaking. There are a lot of suits, but the dialog and introspection crack the veneer of professionalism, creating space for real talk, and accountability. “A Confluence of People, Cultures, and Ideas” is apt subtitling for this year’s GIAcon.

Read the full post.

Posted on October 26, 2016 by Steve

An article in the latest issue of the GIA Reader, “Advancing Racial Equity: Racial Equity Funders Collaborative in Minnesota”, discusses the formation and work of the Racial Equity Funders Collaborative, a group of Minnesota funders working to advance racial equity in arts philanthropy.

Posted on October 26, 2016 by Monica

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) announced their expansion of the partnership into Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. The expanded Creative Forces program places creative arts therapies at the core of patient-centered care at ten additional clinical sites, and increases access to therapeutic arts activities in local communities for military members, veterans, and their families. The program is also investing in research on the impacts and benefits of these innovative treatment methods.

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Steve

2016 GIA Conference blogger Ebony McKinney wraps up her postings with final observations:

I can’t let go of the idea of space. It’s lingered with me since artist Barak adé Soleil brought it up at the Building Equity in Support for Individual Artists preconference. His unique perspective, that of a black, queer, cis gendered, disabled choreographer, underscored the layers of Tetris-like maneuvering he undergoes whenever attempting to cross a busy street, or other more philosophically constrained space. “What is the real way of grounding ourselves and opening the space?” he asked while advocating for both an awareness of physical space/hospitality and a “deepening complexity of identity.”

How can I become more aware of physical or language barriers to information or resources? What categories or characterizations limit expressiveness? How can I welcome work that links justice and beauty or tradition and innovation? In what ways, small and large, can I create inclusive platforms, move out of the way and support artists who then thrive?

Read the full post.

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Monica

From The Huffington Post:

As post-recession, rural America continues to struggle, some rural leaders, using private and public funding, are experimenting with the arts as a tool to fuel economic and community development like they did for White Sulfur Springs.

The National Endowment for the Arts is helping by giving $125,000 in seed money to fund a “Next Generation” initiative to help build arts hubs in rural America. The idea is to connect artists, arts groups, civic leaders and philanthropists and encourage them to create sustainable cultural scenes in rural communities to help spur economic development and entice new, young residents.

Posted on October 19, 2016 by Steve

GIA conference blogger Ebony McKinney summarizes the session Artists and the New Economy, held on Tuesday, October 18:

Alexis Frasz, of Helicon Collaborative, began by explaining that the research group which included Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) started with a design challenge:
What are the conditions in which artists live and work today and what will it look like for them to live sustainably, create good work and contribute to their communities? Also: Where is our support system now in terms of what we think is ideal? If its not there, what would we do to adjust it?

This field-wide temperature check and list of implications resulted in Creativity Connects: Trends and Conditions Affecting US Artists, released in September 2016, with support from Surdna Foundation and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. This report is somewhat of a refresh of Investing in Creativity, a 2006 paper from the Urban Institute authored by Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson. One of the major innovations of Jackson’s analysis was a framework that contained six structures that artists need to do their work. Validation, Demands and Markets, Material Supports, Training, Communities and Networks, and Information remain a focal point today.

Read the full post.

Posted on October 19, 2016 by Steve

Lara Davis reports on her Monday session at the 2016 GIA Conference:

Today, I had the opportunity to attend a session highlighting the work of cultural partnership in Montgomery, Alabama entitled, “Creative Placemaking in the Racialized South.” Reading the session description, I was drawn in by two things: one, the focus on Black community; two, the description of geography within the context of race. I wanted to get a sense for what the emphasis on social identity and place is yielding in a region that is as Black as it is White. (I am Black, and live in Seattle where the population of Black people is 8%.)

Read the full post.

Posted on October 19, 2016 by Steve

Ebony McKinney reports from Saint Paul on Monday sessions at the 2016 GIA Conference:

Creativity Connections, a report recently released by Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) and National Endowent for the Arts (NEA) summarize current trends that play a role in artists ability to have healthy creative practices and features systems that support or fall short in supporting artist endeavours. Among those fundings, (Judilee) Reed brought focus to:
  • Artists moving from conventional discipline based systems of creation and presenting such as gallery presentations and dance performances to hybrid contexts that utilize their training in new ways and to reflect larger community concerns like social justice, urban planning, public architecture, health and human services
  • Further suggestions that economic conditions for artists imitate challenges in other segments of the work force really related to the gig economy. For example, high cost of housing, insufficient protections and limited access to capital to push forward enterprises

While I think everyone in the room understands that contributed income is important, other types of financial support have to be considered and included. In this scenario the resources, beyond the $2B described above, could potentially be expanded to include other resource systems. This could have transformational and lasting effects for arts and culture and for the last few years, Surdna, Kresge and others have been looking to alternative finance – “financial channels and instruments that lie outside of traditional finance systems such as commercial lending or banks” according to Reed.

Read the full post.

Posted on October 17, 2016 by Steve

Ebony McKinney posts from the 2016 GIA Conference:

It was a wonderful dense day, and I along with several participants lamented how little time was left for reflection. Ideas about cultivating new modes of adaptive leadership, surfacing covert and overt inequities in organizations, making difficult left turns, creating space for artists with disabilities and networks, finance tools and leadership pathways to support creative lives swirled. Much to consider, much to do, but really at the end of the day I’m left with a feeling of steely optimism, intention and the mural/poem on the back wall of Intermedia Arts.

Read the full post.

Posted on October 17, 2016 by Steve

Lara Davis posts from the 2016 GIA Conference in Saint Paul, Minnesota:

This year, I began my GIA Conference as co-facilitator for the “Access to a Lifetime of Arts Education: Every Child, Every Adult” preconference. My pal and coconspirator in the work of racial justice, consultant and theatre teaching artist Tina LaPadula, joined me to lead a session on Social Justice Essentials for Arts Funders. We kicked off this day of learning and dialogue centered on arts education, data, and creative aging with an engaged crew of thirty plus grantmakers from across the nation, representing family foundations, government, and corporate giving.

Read the full post.

Posted on October 12, 2016 by Monica

The 2016 GIA Conference is taking place Sunday, October 16 to Wednesday, October 19. The GIA Conference provides the only opportunity for arts grantmakers from across the country to come together to share knowledge and ideas, develop collective strategies, and learn about the latest initiatives in arts grantmaking. GIA will post live updates throughout the conference on its Twitter and Facebook pages.

Posted on October 12, 2016 by Monica

As part of a lecture series at Rothko Chapel, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker recently spoke with Sarah Lewis, author and Harvard professor, about the intersection of the arts and human rights. Audio and video recordings of the talk are available online.

Posted on October 12, 2016 by Monica

Lisa Cremin, a director with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and former GIA board member, has been recognized with a 2016 Governor’s Award for the Arts & Humanities. Cremin began working with the Community Foundation in 1993 and under her guidance its arts fund has grown to its current size of $9.2 million and in its lifetime has given away more than $12 million. She has been a dedicated advocate and evangelist for small to mid-sized arts organizations — groups producing powerful work — that provide access to the arts to underserved communities.

Posted on October 11, 2016 by Monica

From The Advocate:

The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge is offering Creative Relief grants to professional artists and nonprofit arts and culture organizations that were adversely affected by the flood.

Individuals and organizations with a history of arts programming whose sites, materials, equipment or collections were damaged in the recent flooding may apply.

Read the full article.

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