The next GIA Web Conference, Arts, Environment, and Place, will be held on Tuesday, December 6. How can funders think about strategies to support creative place-based work that addresses environmental sustainability? We will hear from Alexis Frasz about Helicon Collaborative’s research on how culture is supporting environmental efforts in communities across the country and from F. Javier Torres on how ArtPlace America is connecting art with environment in its creative placemaking work. Register to attend.
Posted on July 24, 2013 by Tommer

Here's a concise description of how the budget process plays out by Andrew Finch, director of policy for the Association of Art Museum Directors, posted on CultureGrrl.

Posted on July 23, 2013 by Tommer
The bill includes $75 million for each for the NEA and NEH, which is a reduction of $71 million (49%) per endowment compared to the fiscal year 2013 enacted level.

Posted on July 22, 2013 by Steve

From Caleb Winebrenner, writing for Howl Round:

Augusto Boal says in The Rainbow of Desire that theater is an inherently human vocation. It’s something we all are, but something “some of us also do.” What I find so compelling about this distinction is Boal’s emphasis on what theater can make possible for an individual person. Theater is like a mirror, it’s dichotomizing. We can act as ourself, and we can see ourselves acting. We can have past, present, and even future versions of ourselves on stage—and reflect on what this means. As someone who also does theater, this also means that I’m not just focused on what theater can be for me—asserting my own individual rights, exercising my freedoms of speech and assembly—but what it can be for other people.
Posted on July 22, 2013 by Steve

From Alexis Clements, at Hyperallergic:

Art and labor is a big topic today, at least among artists. Specifically, it has become ever more obvious that virtually none of the money that flows into major arts institutions, companies that distribute creative content, and art markets actually reaches the artists who generate the work. And people are getting vocal about it.
Posted on July 21, 2013 by Steve

We posted two months ago about the director of the Detroit Institute of the Arts’ response to the city's emergency manager showing interest in selling parts of the Institute’s Art collection to help get Detroit out of debt. Last week Detroit filed for bankruptcy, and the city’s art collection is squarely in the sights of creditors.

Unlike most art museums around the country, which are owned by nonprofit corporations that hold a collection in trust for citizens, the institute is owned by Detroit, as is much of its collection — which is not particularly deep but includes gems by artists like Bruegel, Caravaggio, Rembrandt and van Gogh. It is considered among the top 10 encyclopedic museums in the country.
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 15, 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.

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