MAY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: WHITAKER FOUNDATION
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 December 17, 2014 by Steve

Measuring Cultural Engagement: A Quest for New Terms, Tools, and Techniques is a new report from the National Endowment for the Arts that summarizes a convening held at the Gallup Headquarters in Washington, DC, in June of 2014. The NEA and the Cultural Value Project (CVP) of the United Kingdom’s Arts & Humanities Research Council convened leading researchers, practitioners, and policymakers from a handful of countries to challenge assumptions about how and why public involvement in arts and culture is measured and to identify research needs and opportunities to promote more meaningful measurement.

Posted on December 17, 2014 by SuJ'n

From LA Weekly:

Two days ago, Stacey Allan, a Wikipedia expert from Cal Arts, and Denise McIver, the California African-American Museum librarian, held an "edit-a-thon" to add black visual and performing artists to Wikipedia. When the day ended, arts experts and everyday citizens had added 15 noteworthy African Americans—who until then had been non-existent on the globally influential encyclopedia.

Read more here.

Posted on December 17, 2014 by Steve

Kathleen Masterson and Suzanne Leigh look at Art for Recovery, a pioneering program at the University of California San Francisco:

It’s hard to empirically measure that impact because so many of art’s benefits are indirect, said Theresa Allison, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the UCSF Division of Geriatrics who has a background in musical anthropology. But, she said, therapies that benefit a patient’s emotional wellbeing can have real impact on overall health. “We are finally at a tipping point, where the health sciences recognize the impact of loneliness and depression on health care outcomes, and we recognize the positive impact of visual and performing arts on symptoms management,” Allison said.
Posted on December 11, 2014 by Steve

Since 2012, Sharnita Johnson has managed a $25 million grantmaking portfolio in education, health and family economic security at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Prior to that, she was a senior program officer at the Skillman Foundation, where she developed strategic partnerships and oversaw neighborhood development, arts and culture, and youth development grantmaking. In her role at Dodge, Johnson will direct the Foundation’s Arts grants, which foster a diverse and vibrant arts ecosystem, create broad-based public support of the arts, and support communities engaged in creative placemaking in New Jersey.

Posted on December 10, 2014 by Steve

On December 10, the Asian American Arts Alliance was speaking out on the steps of New York City Hall on the critical need for public funding of small, community-based arts and cultural organizations that work on the front lines, serving the needs of a diverse and complex city. “We’re lucky to be standing here with you, but we really represent the untold thousands of artists from under-represented communities who are producing some of the most innovative and exciting art out there,” said Executive Director Andrea Louie at a press conference announcing the new $1.5 million Cultural Immigrant Initiative. Cultural organizations across the five boroughs will receive discretionary grants to provide access and arts programming to immigrant communities.

Read the full announcement.

Posted on December 10, 2014 by Steve

Barry Hessenius posted to Barry’s Blog:

The James Irvine Foundation released a report last week entitled Why "Where"? Because "Who", authored by Brent Reidy of AEA Consulting, addressing the issue of alternate venues for the presentation of art, examining "why place has become an important variable for arts practitioners to consider as they chart a course for the future." This is an outstanding contribution; well researched, well written. The tendency for most of us is to read the Executive Summary of these kinds of reports and often skip the rest. That would be a mistake with this offering; there is a lot of meat here.
Posted on December 8, 2014 by Steve

From Richard Florida at Citylab:

A recent study published in the journal Urban Studies takes a close look at the connection between the arts and city building. The study, by Carl Grodach of the Queensland University of Technology, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett of the University of Southern California, and Nicole Foster and James Murdoch III of the University Texas at Arlington examines the economic and demographic factors most closely associated with arts clusters and the kinds of metros where arts hubs are found. The researchers scrutinize the concentration of arts clusters (using the standard location quotient measure) across all 366 U.S. metros areas and nearly 14,000 ZIP codes, which account for nearly 90 percent of all arts employment.
Posted on December 4, 2014 by SuJ'n

The James Irvine Foundation shares its research findings about arts groups that are expanding their settings and venues to engage new and diverse audiences.

Josephine Ramirez of the Foundation writes:

This release is part of an Arts Engagement Focus series intended to uncover valuable, practical information that can help arts organizations better address key questions: Who participates in arts? How can we engage new participants? Where can arts participation take place? Together, these studies provide a timely and substantive view of arts engagement across the sector — they can inspire ideas and fuel discussion in arts organizations of all sizes, ages and types.

Posted on December 4, 2014 by SuJ'n

Earlier this year, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation conducted an assessment of its approach to support regranting intermediaries. It sought to forecast the funding environment for current intermediaries in its Performing Arts Program, better understand who benefits from the foundation's current intermediary funding strategy - and who doesn't, and develop recommendations on how to better serve the Bay Area performing arts ecosystem in accordance with its strategic framework. The foundation makes assessment available to the larger arts and culture field as a way to share "lessons learned."

Posted on December 3, 2014 by SuJ'n

From the News page at New England Foundation for the Arts:

Lawrence J. Simpson, board chair of the New England Foundation for the Arts, announced that Cathy Edwards will join the organization as executive director, beginning late January, 2015. Ms. Edwards comes to NEFA from the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, CT, where she has served as director of programming since 2006. She has also served as the artistic director of the Time-Based Art Festival at PICA in Portland, OR. Previously, she was artistic director of Dance Theater Workshop in New York City, and co-director of Movement Research in New York City.

Posted on December 3, 2014 by SuJ'n

The Alliance of Artists Communities announces applications are open for its 2015 Creative Access residency awards. This program, supported by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, provides visual artists and writers living with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) month-long, funded studio residencies. Caitlin Strokosch, Executive Director of the Alliance of Artists Communities, shares:

'Creative Access' reflects our ongoing commitment to develop greater resources for underserved artists of all kinds and model best-practices for the entire residency field. We are thrilled to launch this new program with our residency partners, and so grateful to the Neilsen Foundation for its leadership and support.

The application deadline is: January 15, 2015.

Read more about the application announcement here.

Posted on December 2, 2014 by SuJ'n

The Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock on Long Island awards approximately $12 million annually to nearly 200 organizations nationwide. After working with a consultant to overhaul the financial component of its application process, the program eliminated requests for budgets last year. The Foundation Review published the case study titled, "In Other Words, the Budgets Are Fake: Why One Funder Eliminated Grantee Budgets to Improve Financial Due Diligence." Through this report, the Veatch Program proposes one model for reducing administrative burden on applicants while simultaneously getting a clearer picture of an applicants' financial well-being and capacity to fulfill project goals.

Posted on December 2, 2014 by SuJ'n

Funders can do more than just support artists with discrete project needs; they can help artists survive unexpected challenges.

From Mike Scutari, Inside Philanthropy:

Who's there for musicians when times get tough? The answer is the MusiCares Foundation. Established in 1989 by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, its primary purpose is to focus the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues which directly impact the health and welfare of the music community.

Posted on December 2, 2014 by Steve

From Eileen Cunniffe, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

After many months of rancor, which NPQ has followed with attention to the governance, management, and community relations implications of a messy nonprofit meltdown, the dust appears to be settling around the reconfigured Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) North Miami and the newly established Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Miami. The public mud-slinging began last spring, but trouble had been simmering for some time between the City of North Miami — which owns the building MOCA North Miami has long occupied — and the trustees of the institution, who wanted to expand the facility or move its collection to another location.

Posted on December 2, 2014 by SuJ'n

From the News page at National Endowment for the Arts:

From partnerships to develop a districtwide arts education plan in North Carolina to poetry from a combat engineer to a folk arts festival in rural Wyoming, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) continues to support the arts and creativity to improve lives and communities in the United States. In its first fiscal year 2015 announcement, the NEA will award $29.1 million in 1,116 grants in three categories: Art Works, Challenge America, and NEA Literature Fellowships in Creative Writing.

Posted on December 2, 2014 by SuJ'n

Andrea Shea from Boston's The ARTery reports:

At the same time that school music programs across the country are being downsized due to budget cuts, there’s one intensive music-education program that’s growing. And now Massachusetts has become the first state in the country to set aside funding for the Venezuelan-born effort known as El Sistema.

Read the full article here.

Posted on November 30, 2014 by SuJ'n

Artistic responses to the Ferguson no-indictment decision add to a long history of the arts being used to spotlight and counter injustice. Kim Diggs writes for North Texas' Star Local Media:

Because the arts have historically been instrumental in pushing agendas for social change, could the same tactics work to affect judicial change?

On Nov. 26, a day after the verdict to not indict Wilson was announced, Buffalo Black, a Dallas-based independent hip-hop artist tweeted a song he'd uploaded to Sound Cloud back in September called “Blood Lines.” The track was described as a tribute to Brown... Many of the lyrics in the song were written as if he was, at that moment, the voice of the African-American community, speaking out of frustration from witnessing and experiencing similar situations.

Read the full article here.

Posted on November 25, 2014 by Steve

From Kerry Lengel, writing for the Arizona Republic:

San Antonio Artpace executive director Amada Cruz was named Monday to guide the Phoenix Art Museum, a $9 million-a-year non-profit, which brings 200,000 visitors a year to Phoenix. Cruz, 53, who was born in Havana, has extensive experience in both the arts and non-profit worlds and starts work February 1. First on her to-do list, Cruz said, is a "crash course" on Phoenix's culture and history.
Posted on November 25, 2014 by SuJ'n

A study released by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter?, showed that grantmakers are making shifts on how they support their grantees. Among these shifts is the increasing support for general operating, multiyear, and capacity-building purposes. A median 25% of grant dollars now go to general operating support - up from 20% in 2008 and 2011.

Posted on November 20, 2014 by Steve

From the editorial page of The Boston Globe:

Despite the boilerplate campaign rhetoric of “I support the arts!,” when hard times hit, and austerity is called for, arts are the first thing to go. Nowhere is that more evident than in the budget for the Massachusetts Cultural Council — the state agency charged with supporting artists and arts organizations — where the funding dropped by more than half, from $27 million in 1988 to $12 million in 2014. Recently, the dial has begun to move in the other direction. The Legislature opposed further cuts to the council’s budget in 2014 by actually giving it a slight increase. And Governor Deval Patrick tripled the Cultural Facilities Fund — which supports the maintenance and repair of arts venues — from $5 million to $15 million. Meanwhile, it would be nice to get the council’s budget up to at least what it was 10 years ago.
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