GRANTMAKERS IN THE ARTS SELECTS EDWIN TORRES AS NEW CEO
Edwin Torres, deputy commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, has been selected by the Grantmakers in the Arts board of directors as the organization’s new president & CEO. Torres will become GIA’s third CEO after a national search for a successor to current CEO Janet Brown, who will step down at the end of 2017.

Read the full announcement.

Posted on May 30, 2017 by Monica

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has approved funding for a second cohort of a new program that supports long-time executive directors who are planning a transition. The program, called What’s Next: Leading a Thriving Transition, is administered by Third Sector New England. Leadership transitions — especially those of long-time leaders — can raise specific challenges and opportunities for executives, boards, and the organizations they lead.

Posted on May 24, 2017 by Monica

Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts, has released a new framework for evaluating creative work at the intersection of arts and civic engagement, community development, and justice. Aesthetic Perspectives: Attributes of Excellence in Arts for Change presents eleven artistic attributes that “address the potency of creative expression to embody and motivate change.” The framework aims to elevate aesthetics in civically and socially engaged art, help describe and assess the work, expand criteria for considering aesthetics in the work, address historical domination of Euro-American aesthetic standards, and promote deeper appreciation of the rigor required for effective creative work.

Posted on May 24, 2017 by Monica

After more than a decade as the executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts and a 40-year career in the arts field, Robert C. Booker will retire from his current position on August 7, 2017. He will be succeeded by Jaime Dempsey, who has served as the agency's Deputy Director since 2006. Booker served as chair of the Grantmakers in the Arts board of directors from 2015–2016.

Posted on May 23, 2017 by Monica

President Trump has released the full version of his 2018 budget plan. From artnet News:

Donald Trump’s much-anticipated 2018 budget proposes steep cuts to domestic programs—including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

According to a CNN report, which cites an outline of the budget released last night, the proposal “doubles down on some largely symbolic cuts” first rolled out by the administration earlier this year, including the elimination of the NEA. As usual, however, Congress remains intent on writing its own budget, so Trump’s plan is unlikely to go far on Capitol Hill. Trump’s proposal, CNN notes, is more a statement of policy than a practical budget that is expected to be adopted in full.

Posted on May 23, 2017 by Monica

A policy brief published by The Brookings Institution discusses how states can approach measurement of arts education in implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):

ESSA presents a timely opportunity for states to adopt policies that facilitate accountability and comparability in arts education through measurement. In many cases, the burden on states would be minimal. Making existing data publicly available and incorporating it as a measure of school quality is an easy first step. Adding basic measures to state accountability systems, such as the percentage of students enrolled in the arts, student/arts teacher ratios, and arts course availability, would facilitate an informed appraisal of the state of arts education and incentivize schools to promote arts education.

Read the full brief.

Posted on May 22, 2017 by Monica

William D. Adams, the tenth chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, announced today his resignation from the agency, effective Tuesday, May 23, 2017. In a brief statement to staff, Adams expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve as the chairman of NEH and his admiration for the work of the agency. Deputy Chair Margaret Plympton will serve as acting chair.

Posted on May 19, 2017 by Monica

On June 14, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) will host a webinar highlighting what national grantmakers can learn from ALAANA-led social movements and philanthropic institutions in the South:

[The South has] a vibrant history of successful movements for racial and social justice, yet grassroots Southern leaders are often overlooked by philanthropy and lack funding to pursue their own agendas.

The South is already home to a strong ecosystem of people-of-color (POC)-led philanthropic institutions that can help drive resources for racial and social justice. This webinar will explore the crucial role of POC-led philanthropy in the South, with an emphasis on the powerful potential for significant impact not only in the Southern region, but nationally.

Learn more and register.

Posted on May 18, 2017 by Monica

A recent article in The New York Times discusses the modern-era revival of artist patronage, with individuals giving sustained support that funds an artist’s overall career rather than a specific project. The article discusses the impact of sustained funding as an artist develops, how this current trend differs from Renaissance-era patronage, and how online platforms like Patreon enable artists to garner sustained support from individuals across the world.

Read the article on The New York Times.

Posted on May 18, 2017 by Monica

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has released a working paper detailing progress on a pilot project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts to increase access to arts education in rural Massachusetts. This working paper shares highlights of research conducted as part of the project, including impediments that prevent arts education from being fully utilized in rural areas, and promising practices for increasing access to arts education in rural areas. It also shares insights from a subsequent convening aimed at generating cross-sector collaboration on the subject.

View the report.

Posted on May 18, 2017 by Monica

Steven J. Tepper, dean of the Herberger Institute for Design in the Arts at Arizona State University, recently presented the keynote address at ArtsFund's 29th Annual Celebration of the Arts Luncheon. His speech titled “Creativity, Education, and Work in the 21st Century” makes the case for the vital necessity of creativity in today’s society as we face unprecedented rates of growth and change. Tepper was also a keynote presenter at the 2014 GIA Conference in Houston, Texas.

Posted on May 17, 2017 by Monica

From the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF):

WESTAF has expanded its advocacy work on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts. Recently, three contractors were hired to focus exclusively on this project and to work closely with our regional network of advocates. WESTAF has also created an NEA Advocacy enter with the latest updates on the NEA FY18 budget as well as an Advocacy Toolkit that contains step-by-step guides for calling, writing, and meeting with members of Congress. Advocates can also find talking points there to use when engaging with members of Congress or their staff.
Posted on May 16, 2017 by Monica

Native American artist and poet Joy Harjo has been awarded the 2017 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a $100,000 award from The Poetry Foundation. Harjo was a keynote presenter at the 2014 GIA Conference in Houston, Texas (watch the video). Presented annually to a living US poet whose lifetime accomplishments warrant singular recognition, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize is one of the most prestigious awards given to American poets. It is also one of the nation’s largest literary prizes.

Read the announcement from The Poetry Foundation.

Posted on May 11, 2017 by Steve

From Carolinia A. Miranda, writing for the Los Angeles Times:

After President Trump threatened to eliminate the [National Endowment for the Arts], Congress approved a spending bill that not only funds the NEA for another year, but increased its $148 million annual budget by nearly $2 million. Lost in much of the acrimonious debate over whether the NEA should live or die is the organization’s support for cultural programs that cater to military veterans, active duty service members and their families.
Posted on May 11, 2017 by Steve

Joshua Heim, Arts Program Manager for the city of Bellevue, Washington, posts to AFTA’s Artsblog:

The lack of suburban arts leaders shouldn’t come as a surprise. From 2011-2015, Barry Hessenius published an annual list of the Fifty Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts. Of the 142 individuals included on that list over the years, just three people came from suburbs. If you’re anxious about the steady decline in arts participation and interested in a fully integrated creative situation, then this is a problem. Because over half of Americans live and work in suburbs.
Posted on May 9, 2017 by Monica

From The New York Times:

Mayor Bill de Blasio and his lieutenants are deep into a re-examination of New York City’s $178 million arts budget and other cultural resources to try and give a higher profile — and perhaps more taxpayer money — to smaller institutions in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

The proposed new approach, with an emphasis on greater equity, has some major arts organizations fearful they will end up with less of the municipal-funding pie, while more marginalized groups are hopeful about finally receiving more.

Posted on May 5, 2017 by Monica

Congress has passed, and President Trump has signed into law, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, which funds the federal government through the end of the current fiscal year. Included in the spending bill is increased funding for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, an additional $2 million more than the 2016 budget for each agency.

From The Washington Post:

Republicans and Democrats who negotiated the measure Trump signed Friday had successfully defended other accounts Trump had targeted for spending cuts, such as foreign aid, the Environmental Protection Agency, support for the arts and economic development grants, among others.
Posted on May 4, 2017 by Monica

Eloise Damrosch, the executive director of the Regional Arts & Culture Council (Portland, OR), has announced her plans to retire on June 30, 2017. Damrosch has earned a local and national reputation as a respected arts administrator while helping create one of the best-known public art collections in the country.

Posted on May 3, 2017 by Steve

In an article in the latest issue of the GIA Reader, “How to Invest in the Arts without Buying a Picasso,” Laura Callanan of Upstart Co-Lab writes about the emergence of impact investing and how it can support the creative economy.

Posted on May 1, 2017 by Monica

From The Washington Post:

The new federal spending bill would spare — and even slightly increase — funding for three arts-related agencies that President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.

The agreement announced Monday calls for the CPB’s budget to remain the same, at $445 million. Spending for fiscal 2017 would go up for the NEA and NEH, each from $148 million to $150 million.

Posted on May 1, 2017 by Monica

In a letter to friends and colleagues, Executive Director Rose Ann Cleveland of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation announced that she will retire at the end of October. Cleveland also served as chair of the Grantmakers in the Arts board of directors from 2013 through 2014.

"Working at the Foundation has been such an honor and a blessing—I am astonished when I do the math and realize that I will have been here for over twelve years.

It is hard to leave a job that I love and all my colleagues here in the office and in the wider social sector community. Yet, while I still have energy and some wits about me, I hope to be able to spend more time pursuing my own writing and other projects."

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