Grantmakers in the Arts invites interested and qualified consulting firms or individuals through an RFP process to submit a proposal to conduct an organization-wide audit of GIA’s internal documents and policies and external communication as they pertain to the organization’s goals of racial equity in arts philanthropy. Deadline for proposals is October 26, 2015.
Posted on April 22, 2015 by Steve

The Cultural Data Project has released a new report, Bridging the Capacity Gap: Cultural Practitioners’ Perspectives on Data, which shares findings from five town hall meetings conducted as part of its ongoing conversation with cultural practitioners about how data can be used to improve the health and effectiveness of the arts and cultural sector.

Posted on April 22, 2015 by Steve

The Nonprofit Tech for Good website has gathered up some research on Generation X:

There is a lot of discussion in the nonprofit sector about Millennials (a.k.a. Gen Y) and Baby Boomers and a growing interest in Gen Z a.k.a. #Philanthrokids, but almost no analysis of Generation X (aged 35-50 years). As the first generation to donate online and the generation that pioneered web design, email, blogging, and online advocacy, ignoring Gen X is a big mistake. As Gen X rebounds from the Great Recession, Gen Xers are entering their peak giving years and nonprofit fundraisers would be wise to pay more attention to how they give and why.
Posted on April 20, 2015 by Steve

From the closing plenary of the Skoll World Forum, Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, spoke about The Art of Change, a new initiative that will examine the roles art and culture play in illuminating and addressing urgent issues of equity, opportunity, and justice:

This is a problem not limited to art and artists. It reveals and reinforces a societal illness — a perversion and distortion. With increasing regularity, we prioritize short-term gain over long-term good. This kind of short-termism has infected so many dimensions of our lives. Education. Health care. Development. Business. Government. It has disrupted the way our society makes decisions.
Posted on April 16, 2015 by Steve

Featured in the current Reader, an article by Jennifer C. Lena and Erin F. Johnston examines cultural engagement with global Muslim communities.

Posted on April 15, 2015 by Steve

Twenty-six performing arts institutions from across the U.S. have been selected to take part in The Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for Sustainability effort — a new, six-year, $52-million initiative aimed at developing practical insights into how arts organizations can successfully expand their audiences, the foundation has announced.

Posted on April 14, 2015 by Steve

Cathy Hunt, writing for The Australian Financial Review:

All those in the cultural economy experience some form of financial exclusion. As an artist, you are likely to have been supported by family or friends throughout your career and, if fortunate, to have had one small grant at some point. You’re luckier still if you’ve got through an interview at your local bank, let alone secured a loan appropriate and affordable to your circumstances. If you operate as a non-profit entity, because that is appropriate to your purpose, you will probably be unable to access a loan from a bank, let alone service one, given your limited assets and the short-term nature of any government grants you may have.

Read the full article.

Posted on April 14, 2015 by Steve

In January, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) released the results of an independent study that shows substantial gains in student achievement at schools participating in its Turnaround Arts initiative. The eight schools in the pilot phase of the initiative—showing increases in reading and math scores, as well as an increase in attendance and a decrease in suspensions—demonstrate that the program’s use of the arts is having a measurable impact on low-performing schools by increasing student engagement and narrowing the achievement gap.

Get the full report.

Posted on April 14, 2015 by Steve

From Seth Lepore, posting to HowlRound:

In order to be a successful (a word that I grapple with constantly) performing artist, you need to understand business fundamentals, and disseminating this information is crucial. How do you run a crowdfunding campaign that doesn’t make your friends block you on Facebook? How do you identify and brand (ugh… brand) your work? How do you really figure out who your audience is? How do you have a good working relationship with the press? Knowing these key aspects gives artists a leg up, not to mention more validity and credibility in a world that still views artists as quaint and a little off.
Posted on April 10, 2015 by Steve

Featured in the current Reader, an article by Terence E. McDonnell and Steven J. Tepper examines the use of metaphor to defend cultural organizations under the threat of closing.

Posted on April 9, 2015 by Steve

From Malcolm Gay at The Boston Globe:

Making good on his campaign promise that the arts will play an integral role in Boston’s future, Walsh is set to announce Thursday the details of his long-anticipated cultural planning initiative, an 18-month survey that will send teams of volunteers deep into the city’s neighborhoods, interviewing thousands of individuals and groups to try to quantify and define what Bostonians want when it comes to the city’s cultural life. The sprawling conversation, known officially as “Boston Creates,” will stretch from Brighton to South Boston, Charlestown to Hyde Park, resulting in a plan that outlines Boston’s cultural priorities and identifies ways the government can enhance the city’s creative life, setting an agenda for the next decade and beyond.
Posted on April 7, 2015 by Steve

The Ford Foundation has announced a new effort centered on the roles art and culture play in illuminating and addressing urgent issues of equity, opportunity, and justice in the U.S. and around the globe. The yearlong exploration, The Art of Change, which builds on the foundation’s decades-long interest in advancing freedom of expression, reaffirms the central importance of creativity and cultural expression to healthy societies at a time when they are increasingly under threat.

Posted on April 7, 2015 by Steve

From Peter Dreier, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

One hundred years ago, progressive thinkers and activists who called for women’s suffrage, an end to lynching, the right of workers to form unions, health and safety standards for workplaces, the eight-hour workday, a federal minimum wage, a progressive income tax, old-age insurance, and government-subsidized healthcare were considered impractical idealists, utopian dreamers, or dangerous socialists. Fifty years ago, those who called for women’s equality, laws protecting the environment, civil rights for gays and lesbians, and greater numbers of black and Hispanic/Latino elected officials were also considered clueless or hopelessly radical. Now we take all these ideas for granted. The radical ideas of one generation have become the common sense of the next.
Posted on April 6, 2015 by Steve

Michael Kaiser, from Huffington Post:

I recently read an article about the imminent retirement of a local government arts council executive. The article pointed out the many challenges that this executive faced over the past decade. It made me realize how difficult the 21st century has been for all of us who work in the arts.
Posted on April 2, 2015 by Steve

Melissa M. Menzer from the NEA Office of Research & Analysis posts to Art Works Blog:

As a research psychologist trained in studying childhood development, I often pose two questions in my role at the National Endowment for the Arts. One, what is the quality of the evidence suggesting that artistic and creative activities affect child outcomes, and two, what can researchers, educators, practitioners, and policy-makers do to implement successful arts-based programs that provide opportunities for children to flourish and to thrive? As part of this quest, I went to Philadelphia last month to participate in the biennial research conference for the Society for Research in Child Development.

Read the full post.

Posted on April 2, 2015 by Steve

Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced the nationwide expansion of the Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program, formerly known as the Arts Advancement Initiative. The invitation-only program seeks to strengthen nearly 300 small- and mid-sized organizations within six cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Through the two-year initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies will offer $30 million of unrestricted general operating support. It will also include arts management training in fundraising, audience development and board member engagement.

Posted on April 2, 2015 by Steve

Accelerate Culture, an initiative launched last year by Arts Alliance Illinois, interviews the two candidates for Mayor on their arts policy leanings:

The 2015 Chicago mayoral runoff election is Tuesday, April 7. While the debates might be over, there’s no debating that the next mayor will shape the future of arts policy in Chicago. We asked Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” Garcia to respond to ten questions on a range of issues including their views on the role of culture and the arts in our neighborhoods, schools, economic development, tourism, civic life, and beyond.
Posted on April 2, 2015 by Steve

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) today announced the 2015 class of Doris Duke Artists. Twenty performing artists will each receive $275,000 in flexible, multi-year funding as an investment in and celebration of their ongoing contributions to the fields of contemporary dance, theatre and jazz. With this year’s class, the foundation will have awarded $22 million among 80 Doris Duke Artists since the awards program’s inception.

Read the full announcement.

Posted on April 1, 2015 by Steve

From Lee Chilcote, writing for Freshwater Cleveland:

The effort to strengthen Cleveland’s arts organizations and cultivate new audiences began in the 1990s. The Cleveland Foundation published an influential study that underscored the fragility of the city’s arts scene, and that helped set the stage. Two of the weaknesses that were identified were lack of professional development for arts managers and lack of public funding for the arts. In the late 1990s, the Cleveland Foundation and George Gund Foundation commissioned a strategic plan called the Northeast Ohio Arts and Culture Plan. An arts research, public policy and capacity building group called the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture was established to help carry it out.
Posted on March 31, 2015 by SuJ'n

During the month of April, GIA's photo banner features artists and projects sponsored by the Arizona Commission on the Arts. The Commission is in its 50th year of supporting a statewide arts network that delivers grants and support to cultivate sustainable arts communities and promote statewide public access to arts and cultural activities in Arizona.

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