For the month of October, GIA’s photo banner features artists and work supported by Target. Target’s support of the arts and culture dates back to 1946 when the company first began giving 5 percent of its profit to local communities. Today, this giving equals more than $4 million each week. Target is a Leadership Sponsor of the 2016 GIA Conference taking place this month in Saint Paul, neighbor to Target’s headquarters in Minneapolis. Read more here.
Posted on July 19, 2013 by Steve

Last month, the Henry Luce Foundation, in conjunction with its 75th anniversary initiative, awarded the American Folk Art Museum $1.6 million in funding for a national traveling exhibition of masterworks from the Museum’s collection. The exhibition, Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum, features more than 100 works of art that celebrate the singular power of folk art and art by the self-taught. The exhibition will showcase the Museum’s collection – examining “selftaught” as an enduring American art form with changing implications over three centuries.

Posted on July 18, 2013 by Steve

From now through August 31, 2013, Future of Music Coalition, Fractured Atlas and the Artists’ Health Insurance Resource Center are joining forces with artist service organizations across the country to take the pulse of the artist community regarding access to health insurance via an online survey.

Posted on July 18, 2013 by Steve

Americans for the Arts and the National Lieutenant Governors Association presented Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon with the Public Leadership in the Arts Award for State Arts Leadership, which honors a public official who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts at the state level.

Posted on July 16, 2013 by Steve

Former GIA Board member Angie Kim posts to her new blog, Private Foundations Plus:

There seems to be two kinds of treatment of people who express any kind of criticism of private foundations. One kind of reaction is to accept their criticism and laud the person for being an important voice in the field. These folks are perceived as being an intellectual scholar or enlightened leader: They are warmly invited to circulate among foundation board trustees and to speak at foundation-only conferences. Joel Fleishman (2009) falls into this camp as do many foundation CEOs and presidents who express self-critical opinions, such as “we need to do more” and “this is not our money.” When I consider why these folks are so well received within the private foundation community, it’s because they are moderate in their ideas of what foundations should be doing.
Posted on July 16, 2013 by Steve

Rick Noguchi offers an explainer on the process that The James Irvine Foundation follows in grant selection for one arts program:

One of the common criticisms that foundations hear from grantseekers is that we aren’t always clear about how we make decisions about grants. It can be frustrating for a grant-seeking organization to try to understand why they did not receive a grant, while similar organizations did. Foundation funding can be a critical source of income, particularly in the arts, so it’s understandable that arts nonprofits want better insight into our decision-making processes. With that in mind, I would like to share some thoughts about grant decisions we made for one of our funds in the Arts Program here at Irvine, the Exploring Engagement Fund for Large Organizations (EEFLO).
Posted on July 15, 2013 by Steve

Scott E. Walters writes for the Daily Yonder:

Like clear-cutting a forest or blasting the top off of a mountain in order to send wood and coal to urban dwellers, the American arts system extracts artistic resources in the form of talented young people and tells them that the only place they can make a living in the arts is New York City. Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is a major lie. Let me use a statistic from my area of expertise, the theater, to make my point.
Posted on July 15, 2013 by Steve

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has a nice infograph to show how large companies gave in 2012, including their cash gifts, noncash giving, ways they encourage employee giving, and the causes they support. Follow links to a full report and updated information as well as a set of case studies on corporate giving.

Check out the interactive graph here.

Posted on July 15, 2013 by Steve

From Mike Boehm, for the Los Angeles Times:

California’s arts grant-making agency announced Monday that it will get $3 million this year from state coffers instead of the $1 million called for in the budget legislators passed in June, thanks to Assembly Speaker John Perez, who’s providing the extra money from discretionary funds under his control.
Posted on July 12, 2013 by Steve

From Graydon Royce, writing for the Star Tribune:

The Minnesota Orchestra’s management and musicians — now in the 11th month of a bitter labor lockout — are quietly talking again behind the scenes. Multiple sources close to the dispute say representatives of the two sides met with an independent mediator this week to see whether ground rules can be set for formal bargaining.
Posted on July 12, 2013 by Steve

From Mostafa Heddaya at Hyperallergic:

The crisis of print media has been a long time coming, though it feels like it is now, finally, coming home to roost with the seismic umooring of some of America’s most iconic print journalism brands. And the proverbial tallest blade in those once-august pages is, of course, cultural coverage, the type of writing that simply cannot be converted into easy pageviews or, on its own, sell subscriptions to news-focused dailies. Many embattled publications are killing Books and Arts sections, firing critics, and in general demonstrating little regard for the significant role such reportage has held in the history of broadsheets.
Posted on July 9, 2013 by Janet

By Janet Brown from her blog Better Together

I toured Europe for a year in the 80s as general manager of an American musical. It was a crazy tour with a less than experienced producer. I actually encouraged him several times to shut down the tour because we had gaps between bookings and were continually getting advances from future dates to pay current salaries. But, he was the boss and the tour continued. Along the way, I ended up using my own salary (and the production stage manager’s) to keep the company afloat. I left the tour with the producer owing me several thousand dollars. Does this sound like a financially healthy business to you? It wasn’t.

Posted on July 8, 2013 by Steve

On Wednesday, July 10, 2013, President Barack Obama will present the National Medal of Arts in conjunction with the National Humanities Medals. The medals will be presented by the President during an East Room ceremony at the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama will also be in attendance. The National Medal of Arts is a White House initiative managed by the National Endowment for the Arts. Each year, the NEA organizes and oversees the National Medal of Arts nomination process and notifies the artists of their selection to receive a medal, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.

This event will also be live streamed at and an archive of the video will be available after the event on the White House YouTube page.

Posted on July 5, 2013 by Steve

From NPR's Morning Edition comes this story about retirement institutions designed around arts:

Some famous writers, painters and musicians have done some of their best work in their later years — impressionist Claude Monet, for one. But at the North Hollywood Senior Arts Colony, older people are proving that you don't have to be famous — or even a professional artist — to live a creatively fulfilling life in old age.
Posted on July 3, 2013 by Steve

From Robin Pogrebin, writing for The New York Times:

With less than six months remaining in Mr. Bloomberg’s tenure, a cloud of unease has descended over arts executives, fund-raisers and artists. Over the last 12 years, they have grown accustomed to a City Hall that was receptive to their needs, as well as to a billionaire mayor who could privately bolster their budgets.

Now these organizations are facing two unknowns: Will a new mayor continue to support them? And, just as important, will Citizen Bloomberg?

Posted on July 3, 2013 by Tommer

On the heels of the Giving USA finding that arts and culture was America’s fastest-growing philanthropic cause in 2012, Americans for the Arts (AFTA) has reported an uptick in business support for the sector. The latest edition of Giving USAcites an estimated 7.8 percent increase in arts and culture funding to $14.44 billion in 2012, compared with 2011.

Posted on July 2, 2013 by Steve

Calgary Arts Development, in partnership with the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, is working to assess the impact of a generational flood on the arts sector. Their website, has lots of good information on their activities in the aftermath of last month's disaster.

Calgarians have witnessed a tremendous outpouring of offers to assist in recovery efforts. As The City’s arts development authority, Calgary Arts Development is assuming the role of an “arts responder hub,” playing three key roles:
Posted on July 2, 2013 by Steve

Diane Ravitch posts to her blog:

Arne Duncan has been vigorously defending the Common Core standards and vigorously insisting that they were created by the governors and the states. Of course, he must do this because it is illegal for the U.S. Department of Education to interfere in curriculum and instruction in the nation’s schools.

But his version of how the Common Core came to be adopted by nearly every state since 2009 is not accurate. It would be interesting to ask the nation’s governors what they know about the Common Core and even more interesting to ask them to take one of the two federally-funded tests of the Common Core. If that seems a stretch, how about having the nation’s chief state school officers–who are cheerleading for the Common Core–take the test?

Posted on July 2, 2013 by Steve

From Paul Sullivan, writing for The New York Times:

“We feel that people do start with this heartfelt desire to do good and they have all the good intentions in the world,” said Debra Treyz, global head of the philanthropy center at J. P. Morgan Private Bank. “But giving dollars does not always translate into results.”

She said she coached clients to focus on something they care about — that’s the heart part — and then gain expertise in the field to be able to make more intelligent decisions. “There are often ramp-up periods,” she said. “There’s a little bit of trial and error around that. We need to acknowledge what we need to do better, learn from mistakes and move on.”

Posted on July 1, 2013 by Abigail

During the months of July and August, the photo banner features grantees of GIA member the Colburn Foundation. Based in Los Angeles, the Foundation was established in 1999 by Richard D. Colburn. Below, in their own words, Colburn Foundation staff discuss their strategy of providing general operating support, as well as non-grant support through Foundation-organized grantee convenings.

Posted on June 27, 2013 by Steve

Robert Searle and Karim Al-Khafaji for The Chronicle of Philanthropy:

Philanthropy’s role in fighting climate change has focused mostly on supporting projects to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases on global warming. But Hurricane Sandy’s unwelcome arrival last fall underscored the need to put front and center efforts to help people and communities adapt to the weather changes that are already putting lives and businesses in jeopardy.
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