Grantmakers in the Arts is now accepting session proposals for the GIA 2015 Conference in Los Angeles, October 18-21. If you are a member, you can outline your idea(s) and submit them via an online form. Deadline for submissions is Friday, April 3. Details on how to submit proposals is here.

Posted on March 8, 2012 by Steve

To commemorate its 40th anniversary, Funders for LGBTQ Issues has produced a historical overview of the history of LGBTQ philanthropy. The document is rich with data, including annual reports of US-based foundation funding, along with narrative passages describing highlights in the movement of LGBTQ philanthropy.

Posted on March 8, 2012 by Steve

Arts organizations are looking for ways to develop their audiences. What works? What doesn’t? And how can successes be sustained? Building Arts Organizations that Build Audiences is a new report documenting a June 2011 Wallace conference of foundation-supported arts groups, marketing mavens, researchers and others, provides some potential answers, including encouraging organization-wide learning.

From the report:

Posted on March 7, 2012 by Janet

Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA), a national association of private, public and nonprofit arts funders, has for some years had a goal of advocacy and policy development.  This week, GIA launches the Arts Education Funders Coalition to specifically identify and advocate for arts in federal education policies.  GIA has contracted with the Penn Hill Group, an experienced education policy firm in Washington DC to guide us in this work.

The questions might be “why are grantmakers doing this?” and “why federal education policy?”  

Posted on March 7, 2012 by Steve

Register for NCRP’s next “Pulse” webinar, Leveraging Limited Dollars: How Grantmakers and Nonprofits Can Make the Case for Funding Policy Advocacy and Civic Engagement on Monday, March 26, at 2:00pm EST, to discuss the newest findings from NCRP on the impacts of foundation-funded policy and civic engagement and share innovative ways that grantmakers and nonprofits are using this information to increase resources for advocacy and community-based problem solving.

Posted on March 5, 2012 by Steve

Executive Director Claire Peeps announced today that the Durfee Foundation has launched a new website. Check it out at

Posted on March 4, 2012 by Steve

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

It is rare that a pundit (and ardent reformer) lays out clearly and crisply the core assumption driving the past thirty years of school reform. It is not only rare but startling when that insider then questions the assumption, suggesting that it is a hunch, not a fact. That is what Mike Petrilli does in his recent posting, “The Test Score Hypothesis.”
Posted on March 4, 2012 by Steve

Maria Popova at Brain Pickings:

In his fantastic recent talk from TEDxVancouver, my friend Jer Thorp — data artist in residence at The New York Times and Brain Pickings regular — takes us on a sweeping tour of his work and ethos, living at the intersection of science, art, and design... Underpinning Jer’s examples is a powerful common thread of humanizing data and making it a living piece of our personal histories and cultural poetics.
Posted on March 4, 2012 by Steve

From Keith Bellows at National Geographic:

Zita Cobb is building a future that respects the past. Her Shorefast Foundation, founded in 2006 on Newfoundland’s rugged Fogo Island, aims to parlay 400 years of local culture, centered historically on fishing, into a thriving economy bolstered by the arts and tourism. To that end, the foundation is funding the construction of art studios—complete with a residency program for guest artists—and a 29-room inn, set to open this year, where visitors and locals will mingle in common areas. The foundation will also grant micro-loans to help locals start their own businesses on the 92-square-mile island. Cobb, who made her fortune in the high-tech industry, is at the vanguard of a culturally responsible form of entrepreneurship.
Posted on March 2, 2012 by Steve

John Killacky for ARTSblog:

Recently I served as a panelist for the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Forty-nine applicants wanted to be embedded in scientific research teams. They sought to explore the ethos, mythologies, and realities of this extraordinary continent.

Composers wanted to listen to the wind, water, animals, and shifting ice. Visuals artists hoped to delve into infinite striations of whiteness: the effects of transparency on ice, the glitter of ice crystals, and light and shadow patterns on the surface and internal features of the frozen landscape.

Posted on March 2, 2012 by Steve

The Bush Foundation Board of Directors have announced the appointment of Robert H. Bruininks, Ph.D., to act as the Foundation’s interim president, effective March 1, 2012. Former president Peter C. Hutchinson stepped down in January.

Posted on March 1, 2012 by Abigail

In March, the GIA website slide show of member-supported projects is provided by our colleagues at the Manitoba Arts Council in Winnipeg. Established in 1965 “to promote the study, enjoyment, production and performance of works in the arts” throughout the Province of Manitoba, the Council uses a peer assessment process to make awards to professional arts organizations and individuals in areas including arts education, literary arts, performing arts, and visual arts.

Posted on February 29, 2012 by Steve

From Huffington Post:

We can guess what our brains go through while we're dancing; we experience euphoria, elation, happiness, and probably nervousness for those with two left feet. While we're just conjecturing, scientists at Bangor University are discovering precisely what goes through the brain while we're shaking our groove thing. Dr. Emily Cross enlisted the help of contemporary dancer Riley Watts to examine how the brain responds to movement, both choreographed and improvised.
Posted on February 28, 2012 by Steve

From Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah at the Chicago Tribune:

Arts programming was a factor leading to improved standardized test scores at three schools in Chicago over three years, according to a report released today by the educational arts non-profit Changing Worlds and Loyola University.

The study is just the latest calling for more arts education in Chicago Public Schools. With the district moving to a longer school day next year, the Chicago Teachers Union and parent groups like Raise Your Hand have called for more time devoted to enrichment classes like music and art and less time devoted to test preparation.

Posted on February 28, 2012 by Steve

A new report from The Paul G. Allen Foundation examines cultural organizations in the Pacific Northwest that have succeeded in the face of economic turmoil and change. Bright Spots Leadership in the Pacific Northwest is the product of a six-month exploration by Helicon Collaborative and builds on Dynamic Adaptability, a series of conversations among arts leaders held in Seattle over the last two years.

Posted on February 28, 2012 by Tommer

Arts programming was a factor leading to improved standardized test scores at three schools in Chicago over three years, according to a report released today by the educational arts non-profit Changing Worlds and Loyola University.

Posted on February 28, 2012 by Steve

LA County Arts Commission's Arts for All program as received support from The Boeing Company, W.M. Keck Foundation and The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation in the amount of $674,200 to provide professional development training designed specifically to the needs of teachers in eleven school districts in the LA metro area.

Posted on February 27, 2012 by Steve

From Kristie Pearce at The Windsor Star:

What do most people think of when they discuss great civilizations?

Quebec MP and heritage critic Tyrone Benskin says art. "When we look back at history and look at all the great civilizations—the Egyptians, the Byzantines, the Phoenicians—we don't sit there and talk about their economic plan," he said at an information session Saturday at the Artspeak Gallery on Wyandotte Street East.

Posted on February 27, 2012 by Steve

From Carl Franzen at Talking Points Memo:

Kickstarter is having an amazing year, even by the standards of other white hot Web startup companies, and more is yet to come. One of the company’s three co-founders, Yancey Strickler, said that Kickstarter is on track to distribue over $150 million dollars to its users’ projects in 2012, or more than entire fiscal year 2012 budget for the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), which was $146 million.
Posted on February 24, 2012 by Steve

From Mark Swed at the Los Angeles Times:

Along with baseball and beauty pageants, classical music is one of the country's greatest passions. In the capital, Caracas, superstar Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel is mobbed wherever he goes. Classical music teeny-boppers run up to him for autographs when he walks off the podium at concerts. The state-run music education program, which is known as El Sistema and from which Dudamel emerged, is the most extensive, admired and increasingly imitated in the world.
Posted on February 23, 2012 by Steve

From The California Arts Council newsroom:

Craig Watson, the newly-hired Director of the California Arts Council, and Bob Booker, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, encountered each other at a conference in San Francisco. These two friendly rivals made an almost-ridiculous bet: they challenged each other to a race. A 10K race, no less. Each man vowed that his arts agency would be the first to reach ten thousand “likes” on Facebook—although both were starting at around the 4,500 mark.
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