NOVEMBER/DECEMBER SPOTLIGHT: RASMUSON FOUNDATION

For the months of November & December, GIA’s photo banner features a selection of artists and projects funded by Rasmuson Foundation. The foundation was founded in 1955 with a mission to promote a better life for Alaskans. In 2014, it awarded more than $14 million in grants to programs and organizations that serve Alaskans, including those that promote and preserve Alaska's rich arts and cultural offerings. Learn more about the foundation here.

Posted on March 16, 2012 by Steve

The Friday installment of the weeklong Clout: A Blogfest on Art and Political Power is penned by Dudley Cocke, artistic director of Roadside Theater and a former GIA Board member:

...So the question is: What would it take for a theater like Roadside to have real political clout? Part of the answer: For low income, working class, and middle class audience members like ours to have real political clout.

This raises the question of how, in our democracy, the majority of us have become subjugated to a wealthy minority of us. When we talk about the arts gaining political power, I think this is the bigger problem we need to address, and I’m worried that we’ve lost the democratic infrastructure to pursue a solution.

Posted on March 15, 2012 by Steve

Ariel Schwartz for Co.Exist:

Stick a bunch of artists, web designers, developers, and hackers in a room, and what do you get? A visual and acoustic representation of Bay Area earthquake data, a sound collage of randomly dialed phone numbers, and on-the-fly digital art created from MP3 files.
Posted on March 15, 2012 by Steve

The latest installment of the online discussion Clout: A Blogfest on Art and Political Power is Ra Joy, executive director of Arts Alliance Illinois:

The best way to move the needle on arts policy issues (whether it’s Barry’s NEA budget or Arlene’s WPA 2.0 idea) is to create strong grassroots and grasstops networks that transcend age, race, ethnicity, geography, and other factors.
Posted on March 15, 2012 by Steve

Theatre Bay Area has published Counting New Beans: Intrinsic Impact and the Value of Art, a book that builds from “Measuring the Intrinsic Impact of Live Theatre,” the final report of a two-year national research study, prepared by research firm WolfBrown. Interviews with 20 prominent artistic directors, as well as essays by Diane Ragsdale, Arlene Goldbard, Rebecca Novick and others, are all available in the book.

Posted on March 14, 2012 by Steve

From Marjorie Pritchard at Boston.com:

At a time of great stress on Boston’s school budget, private philanthropists and charitable foundations launched an initiative to raise $10 million to increase access, equity and quality of arts learning for all students. The city and its schools stepped up with increased public funding for arts teachers... This year, 14,000 more Boston students are experiencing the arts in schools than three years ago. Nine of 10 students in the elementary and middle grades now receive weekly, year-long arts instruction in school, up from two-thirds in 2009. In the same period, twice as many high school students are accessing arts learning during the school day.
Posted on March 13, 2012 by Steve

The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (ACAC) announced that Lisa Cremin is the recipient of the third annual Nexus Award. Cremin is the founding director of the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund at The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. She will receive the Nexus Award at a celebration at ACAC on Thursday, May 24, 2012.

Read the full announcement.

Posted on March 13, 2012 by Steve

First up to respond to the discussion points brought forth yesterday by Barry Hessenius and Arlene Goldbard is Roberto Bedoya, executive director of the Tucson Pima Arts Council:

So advocacy for me is not about arts advocacy, it advocating for and defending the very meaning of public—of the public good embedded in civil society. I believe strongly that my charge is to build and defend civil society through the tools at my disposal—the creative community that the arts council serves and our collective passionate belief in democracy. It also has to deal with how complicity is constructed through laws and policy that says you belong, you don’t belong. How the cultural sector plays into the politics of belong/dis-belonging is a charged topic that we must engage in with more rigor and vigor, if we want our advocacy efforts to have weight and soul.
Posted on March 12, 2012 by Steve

Barry Hessenius and Arlene Goldbard have launched a week-long “blogfest” around the theme of art and political power. From Arlene Goldbard:

The series begins with a dialogue between Barry and myself. Subsequent entries will be authored by Roberto Bedoya, executive director of the Tucson Pima Arts Council; Dudley Cocke, director of Roadside Theater; Ra Joy, executive director of Arts Alliance Illinois, and Diane Ragsdale, creator of the Jumper blog.
Posted on March 12, 2012 by Steve

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations has published a field-wide survey of 755 staffed grantmaking foundations in the U.S., conducted by TCC Group. In light of the global economic downturn, Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter? builds on a similar study conducted in 2008 to highlight some of the shifts in grantmaking and what they mean for supporting resilience in the nonprofit sector.

Posted on March 12, 2012 by Steve

The guidelines for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Artist Residency Program are now available online. The program is designed to support artists and organizations with annual income of at least $300,000 to work together to increase demand for jazz, theatre and/or contemporary dance. These residencies are not designed to support creative time or the creation of new work as the primary residency goal.

Posted on March 12, 2012 by Steve

AFTA’s Animating Democracy program has a new website. You can check it out at animatingdemocracy.org.

Posted on March 9, 2012 by Steve

Scott Walters, director of the Center for Rural Arts Development and Leadership Education, writes for Huffington Post:

Often hanging on financially by their fingernails, arts leaders have been taught to play a particular game that exists only within a specific artistic ecosystem, and no matter how unjust that system might be, they often become extremely defensive if that game is questioned. And yet, more and more artists and arts bloggers are doing just that—asking uncomfortable questions about economic equity, diversity, and fairness within the world of nonprofit arts institutions.
Posted on March 8, 2012 by Steve

To commemorate its 40th anniversary, Funders for LGBTQ Issues has produced a historical overview of the history of LGBTQ philanthropy. The document is rich with data, including annual reports of US-based foundation funding, along with narrative passages describing highlights in the movement of LGBTQ philanthropy.

Posted on March 8, 2012 by Steve

Arts organizations are looking for ways to develop their audiences. What works? What doesn’t? And how can successes be sustained? Building Arts Organizations that Build Audiences is a new report documenting a June 2011 Wallace conference of foundation-supported arts groups, marketing mavens, researchers and others, provides some potential answers, including encouraging organization-wide learning.

From the report:

Posted on March 7, 2012 by Janet

Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA), a national association of private, public and nonprofit arts funders, has for some years had a goal of advocacy and policy development.  This week, GIA launches the Arts Education Funders Coalition to specifically identify and advocate for arts in federal education policies.  GIA has contracted with the Penn Hill Group, an experienced education policy firm in Washington DC to guide us in this work.

The questions might be “why are grantmakers doing this?” and “why federal education policy?”  

Posted on March 7, 2012 by Steve

Register for NCRP’s next “Pulse” webinar, Leveraging Limited Dollars: How Grantmakers and Nonprofits Can Make the Case for Funding Policy Advocacy and Civic Engagement on Monday, March 26, at 2:00pm EST, to discuss the newest findings from NCRP on the impacts of foundation-funded policy and civic engagement and share innovative ways that grantmakers and nonprofits are using this information to increase resources for advocacy and community-based problem solving.

Posted on March 5, 2012 by Steve

Executive Director Claire Peeps announced today that the Durfee Foundation has launched a new website. Check it out at www.durfee.org.

Posted on March 4, 2012 by Steve

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

It is rare that a pundit (and ardent reformer) lays out clearly and crisply the core assumption driving the past thirty years of school reform. It is not only rare but startling when that insider then questions the assumption, suggesting that it is a hunch, not a fact. That is what Mike Petrilli does in his recent posting, “The Test Score Hypothesis.”
Posted on March 4, 2012 by Steve

Maria Popova at Brain Pickings:

In his fantastic recent talk from TEDxVancouver, my friend Jer Thorp — data artist in residence at The New York Times and Brain Pickings regular — takes us on a sweeping tour of his work and ethos, living at the intersection of science, art, and design... Underpinning Jer’s examples is a powerful common thread of humanizing data and making it a living piece of our personal histories and cultural poetics.
Posted on March 4, 2012 by Steve

From Keith Bellows at National Geographic:

Zita Cobb is building a future that respects the past. Her Shorefast Foundation, founded in 2006 on Newfoundland’s rugged Fogo Island, aims to parlay 400 years of local culture, centered historically on fishing, into a thriving economy bolstered by the arts and tourism. To that end, the foundation is funding the construction of art studios—complete with a residency program for guest artists—and a 29-room inn, set to open this year, where visitors and locals will mingle in common areas. The foundation will also grant micro-loans to help locals start their own businesses on the 92-square-mile island. Cobb, who made her fortune in the high-tech industry, is at the vanguard of a culturally responsible form of entrepreneurship.
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