JANUARY SPOTLIGHT: THE MCKNIGHT FOUNDATION

For the month of January, GIA's photo banner features work and projects supported by The McKnight Foundation. McKnight, a Minnesota-based family foundation, seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. In 2013, the Foundation gave approximately $86 million in grants, focusing its assistance primarily in the state of Minnesota. Learn more about the foundation here.

Posted on April 15, 2012 by Steve

Recognizing the transparency is a core value in the digital age, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced today it will require journalism and media grantees to disclose the identities and amounts contributed by major donors.

Posted on April 15, 2012 by Steve

Todd London assays the Mike Daisey issue at HowlRound:

That’s the patho-tragedy of Daisey. He couldn’t get out of his own way. He couldn’t walk away from himself the way those marketing and artistic director types eventually walked away from him. He knew hard news was the way to go, but he couldn’t turn off that playwright voice, saying, “Dramatize more, Mike! Make it more personal-like!” He was, in the end, Mike Daisey, subjective man. Subjective Daisey made the best theater of the year—even if it was on the radio—the theater of his own unraveling. Could his play of (sort of) facts have been as heart-stopping as it was to hear him lying and covering and hemming and hawing and justifying and falsely testifying (pause) (silence) (way more silence) (Beckett half-smiles approvingly; Pinter smirks)?
Posted on April 12, 2012 by Steve

From David Beem at Huffington Post:

Sometimes politics between management and players derail contract negotiations, as they have recently in Louisville. In comes the musicians' union, the AFM. And, against the backdrop of our national debate on unions, many in the community will naturally assume the musicians are gaming their employers. Discussion of how the arts requires “your help” will fall on deaf ears as much of the public shrugs their shoulders and puzzles over why they're asked to “give handouts.” They'll clear their throats and delicately suggest to the lot of lazy beggars that they should “get a real job.”
Posted on April 12, 2012 by Steve

From Simone Joyaux at Nonprofit Quarterly:

Let me tell you a secret: I don’t care if the donor gives a gift to my organization or to another organization. It’s all philanthropy. And philanthropy is about the donor. Philanthropy is bigger than any single organization. I believe “a rising tide raises all boats.” I believe that relationships are an end in and of themselves, not merely a strategy to secure gifts of time, advice and money. So here’s a wild suggestion. How about this threefold role for a fundraiser
Posted on April 12, 2012 by Steve

From Zoe Larkins at The Art Newspaper:

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s major cultural institutions, including the National Gallery and the National Museum, which are both in the capital Sarajevo, are in danger of closing indefinitely due to a lack of funding and government support. Staff, many of whom have been not been paid for months, have responded by organising events and exhibitions to bring attention to the crisis. The situation stems from the country’s dysfunctional administrative system and the lack of a national cultural ministry.
Posted on April 12, 2012 by Steve

From Noelle Barton at The Chronicle of Philanthropy:

Nearly one in five nonprofits publish private Social Security numbers on public tax documents, potentially exposing their supporters and employees to identity theft and other privacy breaches, an examination of federal tax forms has found.
Posted on April 12, 2012 by Steve

From Andre Bouchard at Technology in the Arts:

New information out from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicate that Americans are spending more for both technology and entertainment (a catagory that includes cultural expenditures). How can cultural organizations capitalize on this? What does this mean? Articles in both The Atlantic and NPR’s Planet Money look at these trends from a more general standpoint but don’t drill down on the idea for the arts.
Posted on April 12, 2012 by Steve

In 2011, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded more than $13 million in funding through its arts education program. Beginning on July 2, that significant level of support will be guided by Ayanna Hudson, the agency's new director of arts education. Hudson joins the NEA from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission where she led the commission's lauded Arts for All regional collaborative designed to return arts to the core curriculum.

Posted on April 10, 2012 by Steve

A remarkable video was posted to YouTube last week that demonstrates the power of art. Enjoy!

Posted on April 10, 2012 by Steve

Richard Dare, CEO and Managing Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, writes at Huffington Post:

On my first day in the nonprofit world, I was introduced as “the new suit.” Short shrift indeed for the years I'd spent undergoing rigorous formal musical training. My decades of hard-won success in the for-profit sector, it seemed, had marked me with a sort taint in certain corners of the art world — had made me seem somehow less artistically chaste than I had been considered in my younger days. After all, I must have sold out by choosing to create companies rather than compositions over the intervening span of years. And now here I was suggesting we, as artists, ought to figure out a better way to pay for what we do.
Posted on April 5, 2012 by Steve

From Ashley Niedringhaus at REDBOOK:

When Suzanne Nichols, a mom and drama teacher in Los Angeles, found out that her district was planning to lay off art teachers and kill programs, she stepped up to save them. "It was so unfair to the children," says Suzanne. "When music, drama, and visual arts are a part of the curriculum, children perform better in reading and math, too. My daughter is very artistic, and it broke my heart to think she wouldn't have the chance to develop her talents." So Suzanne launched Save the Arts to inform parents about the staff cuts
Posted on April 5, 2012 by Steve

NCRP's Yna C. Moore looks for the hard answers:

Award-winning broadcast journalist Charlie Rose is a tough interviewer. And because philanthropy can benefit from some tough love, Nonprofit Nate's 29 Questions for Better Philanthropic Conversations made me wonder: If Charlie Rose were to interview an executive from a major U.S. foundation, what are the kinds of questions would he ask? In channeling Mr. Rose, here are ten questions that a number of my colleagues and I came up with.
Posted on April 3, 2012 by Steve

Writer Eboni Senai Hawkins posts on ARTSblog about the current work of Marc Bamuthi Smith and Theaster Gates:

I am stunned at the synergy in practices between Bamuthi (artist/educator and director of performing arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts) and Theaster (artist/urban planner and director of arts and public life at the University of Chicago). For both Bamuthi and Theaster, the “relationship economy” is intrinsic to their work. As I become immersed in Emerging Leaders Network – Chicago (ELN) and the city as a whole, I’ve observed three areas highlighted by rbGb, activated in ELN and others, and rich with opportunities for greater impact in the arts.
Posted on April 3, 2012 by Steve

A ten-year study of arts education in public schools was released on April 2 from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 1999-2000 and 2009-10 presents selected findings from a congressionally mandated study with data collected through seven Fast Response Survey System surveys during the 2009-10 school year. Comparisons with data from the 1999–2000 FRSS arts education study are included where applicable. Here are some responses to the study from the Arts Ed community

Posted on April 3, 2012 by Steve

The report Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 1999-2000 and 2009-10 was released Monday, April 2 from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The report presents selected findings from a congressionally mandated study on arts education in public K–12 schools. The data were collected through seven Fast Response Survey System surveys during the 2009-10 school year. This report provides national data about arts education for public elementary and secondary schools, elementary classroom teachers, and elementary and secondary music and visual arts specialists. Comparisons with data from the 1999–2000 FRSS arts education study are included where applicable.

See complete details about the report here.

Posted on April 3, 2012 by Janet

There comes a point when our professional lives are informed not just by statistics, consultants or wise mentors but also by plain common sense based on personal knowledge and experience. The survey released April 2 by the Department of Education has my common sense antenna about ready to explode. Just one example: 94% of all American elementary schools offer music programs. Really? What does that mean?

Posted on April 3, 2012 by Steve

The National Endowment for the Arts announces a new literature review, Audience Impact Study Literature Review. This literature review is one of the NEA's latest efforts to conduct and commission research that examines evidence of the value and impactof the arts in other domains of American life, such as education, health and well-being, community livability, and economic prosperity.

Posted on April 2, 2012 by Steve

From Alice Korngold at Fast Company:

The Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) 2012 State of the Sector Survey fourth annual survey of nonprofits nationwide was released on Monday, showing responses from 4,607 nonprofits. Nonprofits have been reporting a steady rise in demand for services over the course of the survey’s four years, with 85% reporting an increase in 2011, compared to 67% of nonprofits in 2009. Financially, however, the picture continues to decline. Only 43% of nonprofits have more than three months of cash reserves, and only 56% broke even at year end.
Posted on April 2, 2012 by Steve

From the Culture Monster blog at the Los Aneles Times:

Google Art Project, which launched last year with virtual tours and digitized artworks from 17 museums, has added 134 new museums to its site, including four from California.

Initially, no museums from the state were included in the project; now the Getty Museum, the L.A. County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the De Young Museum in San Francisco are participating.

Posted on April 2, 2012 by Steve

Barry Hessenius has advice for using Kickstarter:

Kickstarter is enormously appealing if you want to raise money for a single project and do it relatively quickly. Yet, just having a good idea and / or a worthy cause isn't necessarily enough to succeed. Like any appeal for funding, you can increase your odds of success by listening to the sound advice of those who have successfully used the platform.

Read the full post.

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