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 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.

Posted on March 11, 2015 by Steve

Julia M. Stasch, who has served as interim president for the past eight months, has been chosen as the next President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Before becoming interim president, she had served as Vice President for MacArthur’s U.S. Programs for 13 years and led work in juvenile justice, affordable rental housing, community development finance, and policy research, as well as community and economic development in Chicago.

Posted on March 10, 2015 by Steve

Corporate Social Responsibility & the Arts, a new report from AFTA’s Animating Democracy program, explores the current landscape of corporate support for arts and culture — one in which more corporations are focusing strategically on issues that align with their business interests and have a positive social impact on their employees, their consumers, and/or the communities in which they do business.

Posted on March 10, 2015 by Steve

From Rebecca Thomas, writing for Associated Grant Makers:

Given the power that grantmakers have to influence nonprofit missions and finances, it’s crucial to “get capital right.” In this two-part series for AGM’s InPhilanthropy, I highlight six false ideas about money that I often hear and offer some suggestions for how grantmakers can improve how they communicate with and support the sector. While strengthening the sector’s financial health will certainly require some heavy lifting by nonprofits themselves, funders are in the driver’s seat, so change starts with you.

Read the full post.

Posted on March 9, 2015 by Steve

From Ruth McCambridge, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

The Council on Foundations just released its latest salary survey, so we thought we would share some of its most pertinent findings as they relate to diversity and leadership data from other surveys. Some of it conforms to what we see happening in the rest of the sector — older, relatively white CEO leadership with relatively long tenures.
  • Relatively long CEO tenures: More than 40 percent of grantmaker CEOs have been CEO for ten or more years. This is almost exactly the same percentage as was found in the recent survey of nonprofits performed by BoardSource, where it was reported that 41 percent of the CEOs who responded had been in their positions for 10 years or longer.
Posted on March 9, 2015 by Steve

Vickie Benson, arts program director for The McKnight Foundation (and former GIA Chair), talks to Barry Hessenius:

Foundations are in business to be in support of their missions. McKnight’s arts program follows a legacy set early on by the McKnight Foundation Board of Directors—the arts program supports working artists. We rely on arts organizations to provide the support structures that working artists need to be successful — institutions of all types, sizes, and ages that support working artists.
Posted on March 6, 2015 by Steve

Doug Israel, Director of Research and Policy for The Center for Arts Education, posts to Huffington Post Education:

After years of budget cuts, and a narrowing of curriculum at public schools across the country, urban school districts, such as New York and Chicago, are taking bold steps to expand the school day curriculum and once again invest in arts education.

Owing largely to mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, school districts of all sizes spent years focusing educational goals very narrowly on improving test scores in just two subject areas — English Language Arts and Math. This came at the expense of the arts, music, and other subject areas that were not being tested.

Read the full post.

Posted on March 5, 2015 by Steve

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced on March 5 the 12 finalist cities in the running to receive up to $1 million each as part of the Public Art Challenge, a new program aimed at supporting temporary public art projects that engage communities, enhance creativity, and enrich the vibrancy of cities. Bloomberg Philanthropies invited mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for innovative temporary public art projects that address a civic issue, and demonstrate close collaboration between artists or arts organizations and city government. More than 230 cities submitted proposals for consideration in the Public Art Challenge, representing 68 million residents across the United States.

Posted on March 5, 2015 by Steve

From Robin Pogrebin at The New York Times:

The city’s initiative comes as the lack of racial diversity in culture has been widely noted, including Neil Patrick Harris’s recent reference to the whiteness of the Oscars. In addition, the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, just released its second “Hollywood Diversity Report,” which found racial and gender imbalances in film and television.

The Department of Cultural Affairs announced its planned survey at a meeting in January at the Ford Foundation that was attended by about 230 representatives of arts groups. An additional 200 attended a second meeting last month at BRIC, a nonprofit arts and media organization in Brooklyn. Arts executives who went to the meetings said they welcomed the city’s effort and did not view it with alarm.

Read the full article.

Posted on March 4, 2015 by Steve

From Jenna Shapiro at The Stanford Daily:

“Getting Played,” Stanford’s “first annual symposium on equity in the entertainment industry and awards” took place on Feb. 21 in Annenberg Auditorium. Leaders in the industry discussed issues of diversity and equality as part of the event, which also honored individuals who have advanced equity in entertainment. The symposium’s organizer and moderator, Kathleen Tarr, is a lecturer in Stanford’s Program in Writing and Rhetoric. She created the symposium to open up discussion about how the entertainment industry treats and represents people of color.
Posted on March 4, 2015 by Steve

Ron Chew, a leader in the community-based model of museum exhibit development, delivered a keynote address to the Conference for Community Arts Education in November 2014 called The Five Essentials: Arts and the movement for social justice. The text of the keynote is published at Northwest Asian Weekly:

Posted on March 3, 2015 by SuJ'n

During the month of March, GIA's photo banner features artists and projects sponsored by the Kentucky Foundation for Women (KFW). Founded as a private foundation in 1985 by writer Sallie Bingham, her founding gift of $10 million is one of the single largest endowments to any women's fund in the United States. KFW is celebrating thirty years of promoting positive social change by supporting varied feminist expression in the arts.

Posted on March 3, 2015 by SuJ'n

In a speech delivered at a symposium held by UK-based Circus Futures, Owen Calvert-Lyons, artistic director of The Point, Eastleigh, and The Berry Theatre, implores the arts eco-system to make emotional in additional to financial investments in its artists. He asks:

Artists are constantly being asked to be financially resilient. But what about emotional resilience? When artists face rejection from a funder or a programmer, who is there to provide that sense of community and solidarity and empathy? So often the work that artists subsidise with time, money, love and belief is treated as a commodity, or just a product by venues. In an era in which our sector is constantly being asked to commercialise, this will only increase.

Read more of his edited speech here.

Posted on February 26, 2015 by SuJ'n

This morning, GrantCraft released Supporting Grantee Capacity: Strengthening Effectiveness Together. This guide looks at how funders approach capacity-building with grantees. It uses examples from foundations from a range of sizes, fields, and geographic regions. The guide covers various topic areas including broadening the grantee capacity-building conversation, applying lenses to focus and inform grantmaking, knowing your own capacity, acknowledging power dynamics, and assessing impact.

Read more about the guide here.

Posted on February 26, 2015 by Steve

From Mary Plummer at KPCC, 89.3FM:

Los Angeles Unified School District officials have cleared the way for principals to tap into a major source of funding for arts programs targeting low-income students starting fall 2015. Although state and federal officials previously said national Title I dollars, allocated to help disadvantaged students improve in academics, could be used for the arts instruction, some district officials had been reluctant to move ahead. The latest decision reverses the district's long-standing practice and opens the door for Title I-funded arts instruction that helps students improve their academic performance.

Read the full article.

Posted on February 24, 2015 by Steve

From Peter Dobrin, writing for the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Is the act of funding great art its own reward? Or does the funder have the right — or even the responsibility — to make sure that what gets produced accomplishes a set of objectives for both the giver and the recipient? It is a given now that in order to get a foundation grant, it’s often not enough to simply apply for funding of what you do day in and day out. What do funders want? Innovation! New ways of “engaging” younger audiences! High-impact special projects that others will want to emulate!
Posted on February 23, 2015 by Janet

By Janet Brown from her blog Better Together

From large major institutions to small nonprofits, one of the critical responsibilities of volunteer board members and funders is to assure best practices in fiduciary and organizational management. When a management issue arises that threatens the stability of a nonprofit arts organization, “where was the oversight?” is often the question on everyone’s lips. There are some common misperceptions and unfortunate “group think” that prevent or discourage adequate oversight by board members. Here are a few:

Posted on February 22, 2015 by Steve

From Naseem Miller, writing for the Orlando Sentinel:

The Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of Arts and Wellness, unveiled on Thursday morning, aims to integrate various forms of art into wellness, whether it’s in the community or in health-care settings to help families, caregivers and people with conditions such as autism, dementia, trauma or anxiety… The center’s effort is part of a national movement — from the military’s National Intrepid Center of Excellence that integrates arts into care of returning soldiers to the Arts & Medicine Institute in Cleveland Clinic — but data and standards are still emerging.
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