SEPTEMBER SPOTLIGHT ON ANONYMOUS WAS A WOMAN

For the month of September, GIA’s photo banner features a selection of projects funded by Anonymous Was A Woman (AWAW), a program of FJC—A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds and administered by Philanthropy Advisors, LLC. In its 20th year, AWAW provides awards to women artists over 40. Learn more about AWAW here.

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.
Posted on November 22, 2011 by Steve

The Board of Directors of Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media announced today the appointment of Vincent Stehle as executive director. Mr. Stehle has served on the GFEM Board of Directors since 2008.

Posted on November 22, 2011 by Steve

Artist Trust Executive Director Fidelma McGinn announced today her resignation to assume the position of Vice President of Philanthropic Services at The Seattle Foundation. She will remain at Artist Trust through mid-January 2012 to support its search for a new executive director. Under McGinn’s leadership, Artist Trust deepened its relationships with arts supporters and engaged new funders. She maintained a balanced annual budget of more than $1 million over six successive years, leaving the organization in a strong financial position despite industry-wide effects of the recession.

Posted on November 22, 2011 by Steve

The National Endowment for the Arts will present the first-ever federal Interagency Research Task Force on the Arts and Human Development at a free webinar on Wednesday, November 30, 2011, 10:00am EST / 7:00am PST.

Earlier this year, NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman and Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius convened a day-long research summit to explore the role of the arts and human development across the life span. A white paper published from that convening pointed to many studies that have found links between the arts and positive cognitive, behavioral, and social outcomes.

Posted on November 20, 2011 by Steve

Arts Journal blogger Doug Borwick, President of the Board of the Association of Arts Administration Educators, looks at the issues addressed in the play “A Night at the Opera” that was performed at the GIA 2011 conference in San Francisco, as part of the session “Too Progressive, Too Elite: Public Value and the Paradox of the Arts.” Watch the video of the performance below, if you haven't already seen it.

Based on interviews with arts funders, artists, arts managers, and (a few) politicians, A Night at the Opera addresses two basic questions. Are the arts elitist? and Are the arts leftist propaganda? (Well “leftist propaganda” is not the word they used. They said “progressive” to be less confrontational, I’m sure.)
Posted on November 19, 2011 by Steve

David Dombrosky has assembled, via Storify, the best of the NAMP Conference: "Thoughts, content, zingers, multimedia, and more from the 2011 National Arts Marketing Project Conference in Louisville, Kentucky."

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