The next GIA Web Conference, Bringing Artists Together: Support through Convening, will be held on Tuesday, September 27. Recent data collected from fifteen years of Creative Capital awardees found that artists “praised the Artist Retreats as opening up many serendipitous avenues of connections, information flow, and support that had powerful impacts on their career development.” This session explores two examples. Register to attend.
Posted on June 3, 2013 by Steve

Linda Essig reviews Arlene Goldbard's book, The Culture of Possibility for her blog, Creative Infrastructure:

The basic premise of the book is like the 100% full water glass: if we shift our perception, if we shift the background (culture) to the foreground, a world of possibilities will be open to us. She is asking for a complete paradigm shift – a phrase she uses throughout the book – “a radical revision of a model of reality, changing the meaning of all that we see and do.”
Posted on June 3, 2013 by Abigail

In June, the photo banner features groups and projects supported by GIA member Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. CAC was approved by Cuyahoga County voters in 2006, and since 2007, has invested over $95 million in more than two hundred Cuyahoga County arts and cultural organizations. CAC’s vision for its first ten years of public funding is to help build stronger, more resilient arts and culture organizations, create vibrant and energetic neighborhoods infused with culture, and establish Cuyahoga County as a hub of creative activity and a destination for artists.

Posted on June 3, 2013 by Tommer

Never before have there been so many teachers telling so many students how to write. This is very good for the teachers. However meager the money, teaching is a paying gig and a subsidized education. Nothing helps you understand something like being forced to explain it.

Posted on June 3, 2013 by Tommer

A bill in Sacramento that would have decisively erased California’s longstanding dubious distinction as the stingiest state in the nation for arts-grant funding has failed for now. From Mike Boehm at The Los Angeles Times:

The bill would have secured $75 million in guaranteed annual funding for the California Arts Council but was frozen last week without a vote. Now advocates aim to persuade legislators and Gov. Jerry Brown to give the agency at least a modest increase as they determine the state budget for the coming fiscal year.
Posted on May 30, 2013 by Steve

From James Chute at UT San Diego:

Mayor Bob Filner has appointed Denise Montgomery executive director of the city of San Diego’s Commission for Arts and Culture. Montgomery, who held a similar position with the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, starts on June 12. She succeeds Victoria Hamilton, founding director of the 25-year-old commission.

Filner, before introducing Montgomery, outlined his vision for the arts, which he compared t o his vision for binationalism: “We want to infuse it into everything we do.” He said Montgomery was prepared to “ratchet things up,” and he expects her to join in his effort to have the arts and the arts commission assume a broader, more pronounced and important role in the life of the city.

Posted on May 30, 2013 by Steve

The Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago has published the first issue of The Digest, its new online publication for the cultural sector. The Digest identifies important academic research that is often inaccessible — due to paywalls or jargon — and presents it in summary form for a broad audience of scholars, practitioners, and policymakers. It's available online at

Posted on May 28, 2013 by Janet

By Janet Brown from her blog Better Together

“Relevance” and “transparency” are two words I use frequently when talking with staff or board members of grantmaking and nonprofit arts organizations. Both are core values needed to foster arts participation in our communities and prosperity for artists and our organizations. This blog focuses on transparency.

Posted on May 28, 2013 by Steve

From Allison Meier at Hyperallergic:

Despite the regular way it ticks by, time doesn't always seem to move at a logical pace. Days blur gradually from one to the next, yet it can also feel like years have escaped in a sudden flash. This paradox of time is central to Sprat Theatre Company's One Day in the Life of Henri Shnuffle, which is currently transporting audiences to the experience of time for the elderly.
Posted on May 24, 2013 by Steve

From David Itzkoff, writing for The New York Times:

The director of the Detroit Institute of Arts said on Friday that he believed the museum’s collection was “held in the public trust” and could not be sold by the city to help pay down its multibillion-dollar debt, and that he expected the city’s emergency manager and his office to reach the same conclusion.
Posted on May 21, 2013 by Steve

From Philanthropy News Digest:

Although program-related investments are becoming more popular with foundations looking to advance their charitable purposes while generating financial returns, their use remains limited, a new study by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy finds.
Posted on May 18, 2013 by Steve

From Natasha Isajlovic-Terry for the Foundation Center's Transparency Talk blog:

Data is used in many different ways in the social sector. We know that nonprofits collect and analyze their data to measure the effectiveness of their services, and that strategic nonprofits use open data to better position their outreach and services. The same is true for foundations, but these applications are often conducted within the silos of the organizations. Data espouses positive effects when it is shared, or, to put it in more familiar terms, when we are transparent with it.
Posted on May 18, 2013 by Steve

From Elizabeth R. Miller on Knight Blog:

Most of the world sees San José, Calif. as the capital of Silicon Valley, a creative tech hub drawing extraordinary talent to some of the world’s largest media companies like Google, Facebook and more. Yet the country’s 10th largest city faces significant challenges, including gaping economic disparity and a significant digital divide. Richard Florida, a leading intellectual on economic competitiveness, writes that wage inequality in San José, Calif. is the second largest in the country. We recently asked several of the community’s leaders from philanthropy, government and the arts what they see as their city’s greatest assets and biggest challenges.
Posted on May 14, 2013 by Steve

Arts Education Partnership, a national coalition of more than 100 education, arts, business, cultural, government, and philanthropic organizations, has recently released "Preparing Students for the Next America: The Benefits of an Arts Education." This research bulletin offers a snapshot of how the arts support achievement in school, bolster skills demanded of a 21st century workforce, and enrich the lives of young people and communities.

Posted on May 14, 2013 by Steve

From Patricia Cohen at The New York Times:

It is hard to imagine a business more custom-made for money laundering, with million-dollar sales conducted in secrecy and with virtually no oversight. What this means in practical terms is that “you can have a transaction where the seller is listed as ‘private collection’ and the buyer is listed as ‘private collection,’ ” said Sharon Cohen Levin, chief of the asset forfeiture unit of the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan. “In any other business, no one would be able to get away with this.”
Posted on May 14, 2013 by Steve

Brian Wis deep-dives into the practice of music education on the Teaching and Music blog:

It is unusual to be empowered to do great teaching. Good teaching is not only easier, but in many schools it is actually preferred. I think some leaders think great teaching is taking place when all the teachers are doing things in a consistent/compliant manner, and with minimal internal or external (parent) conflict. While that could be a trait of a productive teaching community, it's more often detached conformity. I think many school districts see conformity as the goal instead of empowering great teaching where the uniqueness of each teacher and content area is valued. And when I say "valued" I mean in action, not in words. All leaders will say they value the great teaching, but what we truly value is seen in what we do not what we say.
Posted on May 14, 2013 by Steve

From Dan Green and Mayur Patel, writing for the Impatient Optimist blog to announce the new Media Impact Project that will be established at the Norman Lear Center, part of the USC Annenberg School of Communications:

Both (the) Knight and Gates Foundation share a belief in the power of informed and engaged communities for many reasons – from strengthening democracy and civil society to helping address some of the world’s most challenging social problems. In this context, the possibilities of learning how storytelling connects people and inspires action are more exciting than ever. There is now a wealth of data generated by people’s consumption and production of digital media that can be used to improve how we understand engagement and when that leads to greater awareness, knowledge and even changes in behavior.
Posted on May 14, 2013 by Steve

From the blog Prison Photography:

At Paris Photo: Los Angeles, this week, a collection of California prison polaroids were on display and up for sale. The asking price? $45,000. The price-tag is remarkable, but so too is the collection’s journey from street fair obscurity to the prestigious international art fair. It is a journey that took only two years.
Posted on May 13, 2013 by Steve

From Craig Watson, director of the California Arts Council, writing for Western City:

It’s the question that all local officials ask themselves: How can we attract and retain profitable businesses and talented people? A key component of such efforts — and one that’s often mislabeled an “amenity” — is arts and culture.

Creative businesses play a huge part in the California economy. These businesses comprise the arts, design, digital media and other fields that utilize a creative workforce. More than 134,000 creative businesses employ 500,000 Californians, with another 100,000 freelance or part-time creative workers in the mix. In addition, the Golden State’s 4,553 arts organizations contribute $3.56 billion annually to its economy.

Posted on May 12, 2013 by Steve

From Anne Midgette, writing for The Washington Post:

Carnegie Hall celebrated the American orchestra last week. Except that Spring for Music, the festival that ended Saturday, wasn’t actually a Carnegie Hall festival. It was sponsored by patrons and foundation grants. And given the turmoil across the country as orchestras battle financial duress and strikes and lockouts lead to concert cancellations, some might ask what exactly there is to celebrate.
Posted on May 7, 2013 by Janet

By Janet Brown from her blog Better Together

On May 1st, I attended a daylong gathering in Washington DC entitled Innovative Crossroads: The Intersection of Creativity, Health and Aging. Supported by MetLife Foundation in collaboration with the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA), the day was hosted by Grantmakers in Health (GIH) and included health funders as well as members of Grantmakers in the Arts and Grantmakers in Aging. This is a continuation of GIArts work begun with a Thought Leader Forum on Aging a few years ago and collaborative regional workshops planned in conjunction with GIAging and NCCA.

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