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 December 8, 2011 by Steve

The online Forum on Equity in Arts Funding has added posts from thought leaders across the community. Today's new entries include:

  • William Cleveland, director, Center for the Study of Art & Community
  • Teresa Eyring, executive director, Theatre Communications Group, Inc.
  • Lynn Stern, program officer for Thriving Cultures, Surdna Foundation
  • Lisa Cremin, director, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
  • Jonathan Herman, executive director, National Guild for Community Arts Education
  • Ken Grossinger, chairman, CrossCurrents Foundation
  • Carol Bebelle, co-founder and executive director, Ashe Cultural Arts Center
  • Barbara Schaffer Bacon, co-director, Animating Democracy, Americans for the Arts

Join the conversation today.

Posted on December 8, 2011 by Steve

ArtsBeat at The New York Times reports:

Adrian Ellis, the executive director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, has told that organization’s board he will step down in early January.

“I’m coming up on five years,” he said in an interview. “I’ve had an absolute blast. Maybe I’m sort of restless.”

Posted on December 7, 2011 by Steve

The blog Cultural Equity Matters is covering the developments in the San Francisco Arts Commission problems surrounding the CEG program, including the announcement of Tom DeCaigny as the new Director of Cultural Affairs. Also see a personal response to the situation from Cora Mirikitani, President and CEO of the Center for Cultural Innovation.

Posted on December 7, 2011 by Tommer

As you may be aware, former GIA president Marian Godfrey recently announced her retirement after 23 years at the Pew Charitable Trusts. As part of her farewell celebration in Philadelphia today, GIA contributed a short video that we thought you might enjoy!

Posted on December 7, 2011 by Steve

On Tuesday, Grantmakers in the Arts launched the online Forum on Equity in Arts Funding. The forum will include posts from a great list of thought leaders and launched with entries from F. Javier Torres of the Boston Foundation, MK Wegman from National Performance Network, Jesse Rosen from the League of American Orchestras, and Aaron Dorfman from National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.

Today, the forum adds six new entries to the forum:

  • Marta Moreno Vega, president and founder, The Carribean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute; adjunct professor, arts and public policy, Tisch School for the Arts, New York University
  • Judi Jennings, executive director, Kentucky Foundation for Women
  • Justin Laing, program officer, Arts & Culture Program, The Heinz Endowments
  • Barbara Schaffer Bacon, co-director, Animating Democracy, Americans for the Arts
  • Maria Rosario Jackson, senior research associate, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center, Urban Institute
  • Holly Sidford, president, Helicon Collaborative

Visit the Forum today and join the discussion

Posted on December 7, 2011 by Steve

From the Nonprofit Finance Fund's Social Currency blog, Rebecca Thomas and Rodney Christopher examine change capital:

Today, with the help of a particular kind of money--Change Capital--Alvin Ailey American Dance Foundation is attracting new revenue by building a technology platform and internal capabilities that maximize opportunities for patron and audience engagement. Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation is raising money upfront to wind down its operations in a graceful way and leave a meaningful legacy.

Posted on December 6, 2011 by Steve

Arlene Goldbard's comprehensive report on the situation facing the San Francisco Arts Commission's Cultural Equity Grants (CEG) program:

The city creates a special initiative to respond to residents’ deep desire for cultural equity, one small step toward equalizing access to resources. It is housed at the Arts Commission, along with many other programs and initiatives. This initiative supports artists and groups—mostly grounded in communities of color or other marginalized categories—who have not been able to obtain meaningful resources from mainstream sources. As the story unfolds, the host organism falls into disarray, rotting from the head. Supposedly objective (i.e., astoundingly under-informed and therefore unprepared) auditors are summoned to diagnose and recommend, but they are given a brief that covers only a few questions. Their recommendations are mostlly administrative and general, but they single out the special initiative for significant cuts.

Posted on December 6, 2011 by Janet

Equity is at the core of this moment in our country's history.  Occupy America continues to remind us of the inequities that have become the reality of the American dream.  Once held in esteem because it was within reach of all Americans, the dream is fading in a country where poverty continues to increase, jobs are at a premium and politicians don’t realize their “team” is not one party but an entire country, and it’s losing.

Posted on December 6, 2011 by Steve

Aaron Dorfman writes for Stanford Social Innovation Review:

Philanthropy frequently justifies its independence by invoking capacities it seldom displays. Philanthropy, we are told, is the vaunted passing gear. “Social action is usually a slow process,” wrote Paul Ylvisaker, who championed the poor through his long career in government, philanthropy and the academy. “Foundations by stepping in can speed up the process, acting as ‘society’s passing gear.’” But where Ylvisaker saw potential for grantmakers to be catalysts and agents for change, we too often today see foundation leaders who prefer to be neutral conveners.

Posted on December 6, 2011 by Steve

Today, Grantmakers in the Arts launches a two-week Online Forum on Equity in Arts Funding. GIA designed the Forum to expand the dialogue around funding equity in the arts and to encourage a response to the systemic issues of equity identified during sessions at the recent GIA national conference and in Fusing Arts, Culture and Social Change, a 2011 report published by the National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy. Bloggers represent an exciting cross section of the country's arts funding, service, and equity thought leaders. Beginning today, new blogs will be posted and announced daily. The Forum is designed to run through December 16 and the discussion is open to all who wish to participate.

Posted on December 6, 2011 by Steve

Kelly Kleiman, principal of NFP Consulting, posts in her blog The Nonprofiteerabout the public benefits of art-making and the framing of an argument for arts subsidies around real-estate values:

The Nonprofiteer had a fascinating conversation with Margy Waller, a special advisor to Cincinnati’s ArtsWave, which leads the nation in evidence-based approaches to advocating for arts funding. Ms. Waller had reached out to correct The Nonprofiteer’s misunderstanding (and therefore misreporting) of ArtsWave’s efforts, noting that the argument is not that the public should fund the arts to promote economic recovery but that it should fund the arts to promote neighborhood vibrancy. This nuance turns out to make all the difference.
Posted on December 6, 2011 by Steve

The National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America Fast-Track (CAFT) program supports projects from primarily small and mid-sized arts organizations that extend the reach of the arts to underserved audiences—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Chairman Landesman announced today that 162 Challenge America grants totaling $1,620,000 will be awarded to organizations in 46 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Posted on December 6, 2011 by Steve

United States Artists has announced its 2010 Fellows. Every year, 50 USA Fellowship grants of $50,000 each are awarded to outstanding performing, visual, media, and literary artists. Nominators submit names of artists they believe show extraordinary talent and commitment to their craft. To be considered for fellowships, artists must be at least 21 years of age and U.S. citizens or legal residents in any U.S. state.

See the 2010 USA Fellowship recipients here.

Posted on November 30, 2011 by Tommer

VP for Research at the Foundation Center, Larry McGill, shares some cogent thinking on the limits of measuring impact.

In an op-ed piece in the Chronicle of Philanthropy earlier this year, William Schambra asserted that "measurement is a futile way to approach grantmaking." He further argued that foundations' track record when it comes to outcome and impact measurement has been unimpressive over the years, and that the costs and burdens such measurement places on both foundations and nonprofit organizations heavily outweigh any benefits gained.
Posted on November 30, 2011 by Steve

From Narric Rome at ARTSblog:

Last month, I wrote a post that described the work of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee on a bill reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, last authorized as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. Since that time, we have gathered new information through further examination of the bill text and through meetings with congressional staff.
Posted on November 29, 2011 by Steve

From Zak Stone at Good Culture:

“Libraries are the one American institution you shouldn’t rip off,” urges a character in Barbara Kingsolver’s novel Animal Dreams. That may be true, but municipalities around the country are taking axes to the budget of their public libraries—along with community arts organizations—to close gaping deficits. Now, a group of future librarians hopes to transform libraries' reputation through a new website celebrating the ways that they nurture arts communities around the country.
Posted on November 28, 2011 by Steve

The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded 57 American Art Renewal Fund (AARF) grants to museums across the country for a total of nearly $5.5 million. The AARF initiative was established in 2010 to strengthen museums’ American art programs in response to the economic downturn that forced widespread layoffs, cancellation of exhibitions, modified capital projects, deferred building maintenance, shortened public hours and increased admission fees. It was completed in November 2011.

Posted on November 28, 2011 by Steve

A set of articles on philanthropy was published in today's Wall Street Journal, including the article “Should Philanthropies Operate Like Businesses?,” which offers a view from each side of the question:

It's your money, and you're willing to give some of it away to a worthy cause. But you want to see results. Measurable progress toward agreed-upon goals. Regular proof that your investment is achieving maximum impact. That's the way businesses operate, and charities should be no different. That's one way to look at it, anyway.

Others argue that things work differently in the world of nonprofits and social change. Tackling some of society's biggest problems is unlikely to produce anything like the steady, chartable path of progress that investors require. And that's simply something donors have to live with if they want to help those most in need.

Posted on November 28, 2011 by Steve

Weekday, a news program from KUOW, the public radio station out of the University of Washington in Seattle, uses an hour today to discuss the issues surrounding Arts Education in the Seattle Public School system. Also discussed is the Wallace Foundation Arts Learning Initiative grant of $1 Million which aims to boost quality learning opportunities for all students, especially those with the least access to the arts.

Joining the program host, Steve Scher, is Carri Campbell, visual and performing arts manager of the Seattle Public Schools, who is responsible for distributing a $1 million grant that the Wallace Foundation gave to Seattle Public Schools for arts education planning; Sandra Jackson–Dumont, adjunct curator at the Seattle Art Museum and the chair of the Arts Education Committee of the Arts Commission; and Elizabeth Whitford, executive director of Arts Corps, a nonprofit arts education organization in the Seattle area. Arts Corps seeks to foster creative habits of mind in young people by bringing teaching artists into Seattle's classrooms.

Posted on November 27, 2011 by Steve

Diane Ragsdale, in her new post for Jumper, asks why data already in front of us fails to affect behavior:

I finally had found some time this week to read Scott Walter’s excellent second post in his trilogy (all three now published, here's the first and the third) looking at the 1% vs 99% issues in the US arts and culture sector. A compelling string of comments follows this post, led by one of my other favorite bloggers, Clayton Lord, who argues two points: (1) Is it effective to turn against the ‘top’ arts organizations at a time when the arts generally are under attack? and (2) We need to collect more data to understand how to improve the system.
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