JULY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: BARR FOUNDATION
For the months of July and August, GIA’s photo banner features artists and work supported by Barr Foundation. Based in Boston, Barr is among the largest private foundations in New England. The foundation focuses regionally, and in select cases nationally, on partnerships that elevate vibrant, vital, and engaged communities; advance solutions for climate change; and expand educational opportunity.
Posted on February 17, 2016 by Steve

From Tom Mayhall Rastrelli, writing for the Statesman Journal:

Oregonians donated a record $4.56 million to the Oregon Cultural Trust in 2015. This is a 5.4 percent increase from the $4.331 million raised in 2014 and the largest annual increase in giving since the Great Recession. “This is a powerful vote of support for culture,” Brian Rogers, the trust’s executive director, said. “Every donation we receive is an Oregonian saying ‘Culture is important.’” The trust will distribute up to 60 percent of the donations by way of grants to more than 1,400 of Oregon’s cultural nonprofits. The remaining 40 percent will be placed in a fund currently valued at just more than $26 million. Before the passage of Senate Bill 441 in 2015, the trust could only distribute up to 42 percent of the funds raised.
Posted on February 17, 2016 by Steve

From the National Endowment for the Arts:

Today’s creative economy gets a big boost from the arts, according to new data from the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The latest figures cover 1998 to 2013 and they spotlight fast-growing arts industries, export trends, employment figures, consumer data, and more. In 2013, arts and cultural production contributed $704.2 billion to the U.S. economy, a 32.5 percent increase since 1998. Another key finding is that consumer spending on the performing arts grew 10 percent annually over the 15-year period. The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA) is the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector's contributions to the economy.
Posted on February 12, 2016 by Steve

The Aspen Institute Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative (AEFI) has announced the launch of a professional development program, the Seminar on Strategy for New Artist-Endowed Foundation Leaders that responds to the demand for professional development opportunities among new leaders entering this growing field. The 2016 Seminar will take place the week of June 6–10 in New York City.

Posted on February 12, 2016 by Steve

From E. San San Wong, Senior Program Officer at the Barr Foundation:

Three years ago, during the Boston mayoral race, artists, arts organizations, and engaged allies mobilized, lifted their voices, and called for greater support for the creative sector. This set the stage for Mayor Walsh to appoint Boston’s first cabinet-level arts chief in decades and to invite thousands of Bostonians to chart an inspirational course for their city through Boston Creates. Additionally, over these years, through the Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Building Initiative, a cohort of arts and culture organizations have grown stronger and better capitalized to take artistic and organizational risks.
Posted on February 11, 2016 by Steve

Billed as an open conversation as opposed to a presentation of findings or the release of a report (that will be coming in June 2016) CREATIVZ.US asks what artists in the United States need to sustain and strengthen their careers. The project is managed as a partnership by the Center for Cultural Innovation and the National Endowment for the Arts Creativity Connects Initiative, with Helicon Collaborative providing research, and with support from Surdna Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The goal now for CREATIVZ.US is to get broad input from as many artists and artist support providers as is possible. You can see the conversation happening at CREATIVZ.US.

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Steve

Eleanor Savage, of the Jerome Foundation, penned this article in October 2015 for the Arts in a Changing America website:

When Roberta Uno asked me to be part of an ArtChangeUS panel responding to the question of how we shift the paradigm from diversity, inclusion, and representation to equity, desegregation, and transformation, I struggled with how to answer. I am an artist, racial and social justice activist, and I work for Jerome Foundation, an independent foundation that funds the arts. I don’t honestly feel that the arts and culture community as a whole is operating from the standard of diversity or equity. The paradigm I experience daily is still racism, segregation, and exclusion of people of color. As evidence of this, I collected some typical comments that I and other program officers in the funding world hear in response to efforts to address diversity or equity…

Read the full article.

Posted on February 10, 2016 by Steve

In an article from the latest issue of GIA Reader, Eric Booth, winner of the 2015 Americans for the Arts Education Leadership Award, makes the case for funders to support the work of the teaching artist in The Time Has Come for a National Field of Teaching Artistry.

Posted on February 9, 2016 by Steve

From Eileen Cunniffe and Julie Hawkins, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

There is ample evidence to demonstrate that nonprofit arts and culture organizations in the United States are rebounding from the Great Recession — albeit more slowly than other parts of the nonprofit sector. The 2014 National Arts Index compiled by Americans for the Arts notes that while the overall economic recovery began in 2009, it did not positively affect the arts until 2012. A report from the Urban Institute in 2014 showed that more arts, culture, and humanities nonprofits took the largest hit — proportionately — on revenue during the recession, and also had the largest decrease in total numbers of organizations of any of the subsectors studied.
Posted on February 9, 2016 by SuJ'n

On February 3, 2016, NEA staff and invited speakers introduced the white paper from the Summit on Creativity and Aging in America, which was hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Center for Creative Aging in May 2015. The summit brought together more than 70 experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the fields of healthy aging, lifelong learning in the arts, and design for aging communities. Speakers included NEA Accessibility Director Beth Bienvenu, NCCA Executive Director Gay Hanna, and 2015 White House Conference on Aging Director Nora Super.

Posted on February 9, 2016 by Steve

From Laura Zabel, writing for Stanford Social Innovation Review:

Springboard for the Arts, the nonprofit where I work, just gave away its oldest program and most reliable earned income stream. We took the curriculum from our artist-entrepreneur training course, packaged it into a free toolkit, and we’re giving it to anyone who wants to start and customize their own program. We did it to increase our impact. A community and economic development organization run by and for artists, our mission is to help artists make a living and a life, and to help communities connect to the creative power of artists.
Posted on February 5, 2016 by Steve

From Brandon Baker, writing for Philly Voice:

With a new mayoral administration comes a new Chief Cultural Officer in the form of Kelly Lee, a 49-year-old Germantown native who previously served as CEO of now-defunct Innovation Philadelphia, communications director for the Pennsylvania Convention Center and director of economic development for PECO. Lee succeeds Helen Haynes in the position and joins an office that is essentially still in its infancy, re-established by Mayor Michael Nutter in 2008. Its official role is to promote the city’s cultural scene to the world, develop it as an economic engine, provide resources to artists and provide access to the greatest number of Philadelphians possible — though, its actual function is still in flux.
Posted on February 4, 2016 by Steve

In an article from the latest issue of GIA Reader, Rebecca Thomas — a long-time partner with GIA’s Capitalization Initiative — lays out some key lessons in change capital for grantmakers in Investing in Change: Ten Lessons for Cultural Grantmakers.

Posted on February 4, 2016 by Steve

From Claire Knowlton at Nonprofit Quarterly:

Big strides have been made recently in the acknowledgment that overhead ratios are poor indicators of an organization’s impact or financial efficiency. Although the movement toward outcomes-based measurement offers a promising alternative to understanding impact, very little has been done to truly shift the sector’s understanding of what it takes — or even means — for nonprofits to be financially efficient and adaptable. The myths and misinterpretations of the true full costs of delivering vital programs have contributed to a chronically fragile social infrastructure for our communities.
Posted on February 3, 2016 by Steve

The Summit on Creativity and Aging is a report on the May 2015 convening of more than 70 experts co-presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) that preceded the White House Conference on Aging, that was held July 2015. The report investigates three topics relevant to healthy aging: health and wellness and the arts, lifelong learning in the arts, and age-friendly community design.

Posted on February 3, 2016 by Steve

From John Hopewell, writing for Variety:

The Ford Foundation’s and Cannes Film Market’s networking mini-mart Doc Corner announced Tuesday a two year-partnership to raise global awareness on social justice, working against inequality. Driving to hike the profile, market networking and distribution of social justice docu features at Cannes, the initiative was first mooted months before Hollywood began worrying about an All White Oscars. That debate, however, will only serve to focus more attention on the groundbreaking Ford Foundation-Cannes new push. Partnership establishes a large presence at Cannes for the Ford Foundation’s five-year-old JustFilms, a film financing, social awareness and education program that has backed visual story tellers, new media projects and organizations that work to this end.
Posted on February 1, 2016 by Steve

Patti Hartigan of Boston magazine has a profile of the Barr Foundation:

Although the Barr Foundation has given out more than $710 million since 1999, chances are you’ve never heard of it. Until around 2010, donations were largely made on the condition of anonymity. Now that grants are given openly, Barr’s influence is finally visible. Established 29 years ago by Amos and Barbara Hostetter, who founded Continental Cablevision, it started as a kitchen-table family operation: Amos handled the investments, and Barbara managed the programs. In 2016, the foundation has assets totaling $1.6 billion and a mandate to focus its philanthropic endeavors on Boston and the region. Now, suddenly, you can’t turn around without coming across an organization or project bearing the Barr Foundation’s stamp of approval.
Posted on February 1, 2016 by Steve

From Andy Horowitz at The Atlantic:

The current state of the arts in this country is a microcosm of the state of the nation. Large, mainstream arts institutions, founded to serve the public good and assigned non-profit status to do so, have come to resemble exclusive country clubs. Meanwhile, outside their walls, a dynamic new generation of artists, and the diverse communities where they live and work, are being systematically denied access to resources and cultural legitimation.
Posted on February 1, 2016 by SuJ'n

For the month of February 2016, GIA’s photo banner features art and projects supported by the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation in Denver, Colorado. In 2012, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation began the process of shifting support from a broad array of arts, human service, and science/medicine organizations to focusing all of their philanthropic funding to arts and cultural organizations. This grantmaking shift was completed in 2015 and that is when they became a more active member of GIA. In addition to arts funding, the Foundation also supports nonprofit leadership through its Livingston Fellowship Program.

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Steve

James Canales, President of the Barr Foundation, posts about the foundation's next chapter:

One year ago, we introduced Barr’s new mission statement: To invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Together, with the core values and approach to philanthropy articulated by our trustees, these principles provided the basis for planning across Barr’s core programs of Arts & Culture, Climate, and Education. I am excited to share the results of that planning.
Posted on January 27, 2016 by Steve

John Killacky interviews Janis Ian for vtdigger.org:

In 1969, Alma Routsong, under the pen name Isabel Miller, self-published a historical romance novel based on a true story of two lesbians in early 19th century New England. A folk painter and a young woman from a poor farming family fall unabashedly in love and forge a life together in Patience and Sarah. The book was awarded the first American Library Association’s Stonewall Award in 1971.

Read the full interview.

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