For the month of May, GIA’s photo banner features work and projects sponsored by the Whitaker Foundation, a St. Louis, Missouri based foundation established in 1975 by Mrs. Mae Whitaker. The foundation makes grants in support of projects in the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area that enrich lives through the arts and that encourages the preservation and use of parks. Learn more here.
Posted on May 1, 2012 by Steve

Mark Stern writes for ARTSblog as part of its May blog salon focusing on Social Impact of the Arts:

Susan Seifert and I began the Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP) in 1994 in response to the attention that economic impact studies were gaining at the time. We felt—in addition to their methodological flaws—that these studies captured only a fraction of the importance that the arts held for society.
Posted on April 30, 2012 by Steve

From Jon Pounds at ARTSblog:

Public art is more than a beautifying (or inspiring) public amenity—it is social catalyst and civic infrastructure. Picasso’s untitled sculpture was dedicated in Chicago’s Civic Center in August 1967 the same month that the first community mural, The Wall of Respect was painted by the artists of Organization of Black American Culture just a few miles away. Each were astonishing moments in the history of public art. But can we say that the Picasso has ever brought more than a handful of people in to town just to look at it for 90 minutes—or that the loss of The Wall of Respect in 1970 ended its ability to inform and inspire?
Posted on April 29, 2012 by Steve

Theatre Communications Group has joined with the University of Minnesota Libraries Performing Arts Archives and the American Theatre Archive Project to examine how theaters think about their cultural legacy and what they do about their archives. An online survey is now open to gather data on the subject:

We want to know how your theater companies are (or aren’t) documenting your productions for future use. We hope to hear from as many people as possible who are working in theaters. If you know of other theater companies who could contribute to this discussion, please share the survey link with their directors. We are particularly interested in hearing from theaters of color, whose history has been most at risk of disappearing without a full or reliable story, but we are interested in hearing from everyone.
Posted on April 29, 2012 by Steve

In 2010, Knight Foundation funded two social impact games as pilot projects in two cities – Macon Money, in Macon Ga., and Battlestorm, in Biloxi, Miss. Unlike past foundation support for digital games, these took place in real-time with real people in the real world and they supported ongoing efforts to tackle local issues. There is already an existing body of research about how digital games have the potential to improve learning and influence behavior. But less attention has been paid to the effects of real-world games – i.e., games that are played out in the physical world. Knight wanted to explore which aspects of real-world games were most effective in addressing community issues.

Posted on April 26, 2012 by Abigail

New this week to the TED website, a brief talk by social science researcher Michael Norton on the benefits of spending pro-socially, which is spending on others and spending to benefit a group. A little insight into why we love working in this field.

Posted on April 26, 2012 by Steve

From Jonathan Zwickel at City Arts:

Americans have rarely come close to agreement about the role of art in society, let alone how to fund it. But a growing consensus in the media and the general public contends that crowd funding is a democratizing force, a peer-to-peer system of market-driven benevolence far more fair and efficient than the traditional, top-down model of government and foundation support.

For better or worse, the rise of networked culture over the past decade has changed the way artists approach their art. Crowd funding further clouds the issue. More than pure creative talent, marketing and promotion skills are part of a successful crowd funding campaign: Those who can sell their work before it’s even made are the ones that receive the most funding.

Posted on April 26, 2012 by Steve

From Laura Pellegrinelli at NPR:

Most people who haven't been living under a rock are aware of the newspaper industry's precipitous decline. And even the least media savvy surface dwellers could guess that this sorry state of affairs has disproportionately impacted arts journalism. In comparison with the one in four newsroom jobs that have been lost in the last decade, approximately half of all arts writing staff positions and beats have disappeared, according to estimates by Arts Journal editor Douglas McLennan.
Posted on April 26, 2012 by Steve

From Elenor Whitney at ArtsFwd:

Gender inequality is not ignored in the arts world, but the underlying causes behind it, and the effect that has on the structure of arts organizations, is not deeply discussed. I would like the field to directly address these questions: why are so many directors men when a majority of women work in the arts in entry and middle management-level positions and have strong professional experience and education? And how does this impact arts organizations’ capacity for innovation and dynamic change?
Posted on April 25, 2012 by Steve

From Elizabeth Jensen at The New York Times:

The National Endowment for the Arts made sweeping cuts in its support of established PBS shows on Wednesday, and for the first time awarded significant grants to an array of gaming, mobile and Web-based projects. Among the PBS programs receiving significantly less financing under the 2012 Arts in Media grants were “Live From Lincoln Center,” which was awarded $100,000 last year and nothing this year.
Posted on April 25, 2012 by Steve

From Michael Cieply at The New York Times:

(Lee) Storey went to court after the Internal Revenue Service tried to disallow her deduction of expenses incurred while making and marketing the film “Smile ‘Til It Hurts: The Up With People Story.”

The movie played the festival circuit after it was finished in 2008, but has yet to become a money maker. So the tax collectors contended that Ms. Storey, who is a practicing lawyer when she is not making documentary films, was engaged in a hobby, not a business, because she enjoyed filmmaking, and wasn’t turning a profit, despite some considerable efforts to do so.

Posted on April 25, 2012 by Steve

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced today that the NEA plans to award 928 grants totaling $77.17 million to not-for-profit organizations nationwide. These grants support exemplary projects in arts education, dance, design, folk and traditional arts, literature, local arts agencies, media arts, museums, music, opera, presenting, theater, musical theater, and visual arts, and provide support to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations.

Posted on April 25, 2012 by Steve

From Kathleen Sharpe, president of the Canadian Conference of the Arts:

After months of silence, we finally know where we stand: the federal government has confirmed officially it will put an end to 46 years of funding to the Canadian Conference of the Arts by March 31, 2013. The good news is: we can count on some transition funding. We trust that Minister Moore’s decision to grant final funding to the CCA is an acknowledgment of the pertinence of our business plan and of our serious intent to transform the organisation.
Posted on April 23, 2012 by Steve

Today, Janet Brown, the executive director of Grantmakers in the Arts made the following statement regarding the announcement on school turnaround and arts education by the President's Commission on the Arts and Humanities. The Arts Education Funders Coalition, a project of Grantmakers in the Arts, is seeking to expand the role of arts education in federal education policy.

Posted on April 23, 2012 by Steve
Presidentially-appointed artists Chuck Close, Yo-Yo Ma, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kerry Washington, Forest Whitaker, Damian Woetzel and Alfre Woodard to work with schools in eight states as part of the program

See also, GIA Executive Director Janet Brown's response to this announcement.

Today the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities announced the launch of a new arts education initiative to help turn around low-performing schools, developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Domestic Policy Council. The Turnaround Arts initiative is a new public-private partnership designed to narrow the achievement gap and increase student engagement through the arts. Working in some of the nation’s lowest-performing elementary and middle schools, this program will test the hypothesis that high-quality and integrated arts education boosts academic achievement, motivates student learning and improves school culture in the context of overall school reform, announced the committee’s co-chairs, George Stevens Jr. and Margo Lion.

Turnaround Arts will work in eight “turnaround schools” across the country—public schools in the lowest-achieving five percent of their state that are receiving School Improvement Grants through the U.S. Department of Education. Over the course of two years, Turnaround Arts will bring intensive arts education resources and expertise into these schools and support the school leadership in using the arts as a pillar of their reform strategy. An external evaluation of the program will measure the impact and effectiveness of this approach.

“Arts and music education are absolutely critical to providing all students with a world-class, well-rounded education, and nowhere are they more essential than in the low-performing schools participating...

Posted on April 19, 2012 by Steve

Three new models designed to strengthen local arts coverage will soon launch with funding through the Knight/NEA Community Arts Journalism Challenge, which sought innovative ideas for informing and engaging people in the arts. The challenge winners were announced today at a virtual press conference. They will each receive up to $80,000 to launch their ideas.

Posted on April 19, 2012 by Steve

Today, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced the first class of recipients in the Duke Performing Artists Initiative. The initiative was announced last fall when the foundation allocated $50 million additional dollars to performing arts funding. From Ben Cameron, director of the Arts Program at Duke:

The Doris Duke Artist Awards recognize artists who have produced a significant body of work within the past decade—work that has already been supported and recognized by national citations, awards, prizes and/or grants, including at least one grant supported entirely or in part by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Posted on April 19, 2012 by Steve

From Alex Aldrich, executive director for the Vermont Arts Council:

A recent post by Brooklyn Philharmonic CEO Richard Dare set the nonprofit arts world all abuzz. It gave a lot of statistics about the number of orchestras that are failing and the general fragility of the non-profit art sector—in short, the kind of alarm-ringing I, for one, have heard since the early 1970s when I began my career in the arts.
Posted on April 18, 2012 by Steve

From Bob Booker, executive director of the Arizona Arts Commission:

On Tuesday, April 17, 2012, Governor Jan Brewer signed HB2265 into law, reauthorizing the Arizona Commission on the Arts for 10 years.

HB2265’s success is attributable to a monumental statewide effort: a yearlong collaboration between artists, arts educators, administrators, board members, advocates and bipartisan elected officials.

Posted on April 17, 2012 by Steve

Here is some freshly posted video of the early part of Alec Baldwin’s presentation of the 2012 Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts & Public Policy given on April 16 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC:

Posted on April 17, 2012 by Janet

I once said to a gubernatorial candidate, “I want you to take the arts out of the box you’ve put them in and think about it differently.” The state senator who had set up the meeting looked at me like I was crazy. I knew I was in risky territory. This was an elected official who wasn’t an “arts” guy. You wouldn’t find him at the symphony, opera, museum or theatre, at least not willingly. I knew I had to approach asking for his support in a different way.

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