For the month of October, GIA’s photo banner features work from arts organizations supported by The Kresge Foundation. Established by Sebastian Kresge in 1924, the $3.5 billion foundation works nationally to “establish opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit.” The Kresge Foundation is the proud Anchor Sponsor for the 2017 GIA Conference happening this month in Detroit.
Posted on March 16, 2017 by Monica

Jane Chu, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, has released a statement following today’s release of the president’s budget plan:

Today we learned that the president’s FY 2018 budget blueprint proposes the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. We are disappointed because we see our funding actively making a difference with individuals of all ages in thousands of communities, large, small, urban and rural, and in every congressional district in the nation. . . .
Posted on March 16, 2017 by Monica

President Trump released his first federal budget plan today, as reported by The New York Times:

President Trump, in his first federal budget plan, proposed eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. President Trump also proposed scrapping the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. . . . It was the first time a president has called for ending the endowments. . . .

Nothing will change for the endowments or other agencies immediately. Congress writes the federal budget, not the president, and White House budget plans are largely political documents that telegraph a president’s priorities.

Yet never before have Republicans, who have proposed eliminating the endowments in the past, been so well-positioned to close the agencies, given their control of both houses of Congress and the White House, and now the president’s fiscal plan. . . .

Arts groups have already begun a furious lobbying campaign to press Republicans in Congress to save the endowments. The House will draft a budget in the coming months, and arts groups have already been focusing its lobbying efforts there.

Posted on March 15, 2017 by Monica

An op-ed piece written by dance educator Amy M. Wilkinson and published in The Hill argues the importance of the arts as part of a well-rounded education. As states develop their plans as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), advocates argue that the arts must be included in those plans. The article highlights the state of Illinois, which today will vote on an ESSA plan which does not include arts programming as an indicator of school quality. Wilkinson presents evidence of the many benefits of arts education and urges states to “help its children by elevating arts programming within our schools.”

Read the article on The Hill.

Posted on March 15, 2017 by Monica

The president of The F.B. Heron Foundation, Clara Miller, recently published an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review about how Heron achieved its goal of investing 100 percent of its endowment toward fulfilling its mission, as well as seven lessons the foundation learned along the way:

We always knew that “getting to 100 percent,” while important, would be like reaching a false summit. The challenges remain, and they loom large. . . . That’s why, going forward, we will work to optimize our portfolio for mission and finance together. But beyond that, we will strive to capture and share what we’ve learned, and improve our approach to investing so that we can contribute to improving practices in the broader market.

In that spirit, we would like to share some lessons we learned on the path to our “100 percent” goal, as well as our thoughts on the significance of those lessons and our own plans for the future.

Posted on March 15, 2017 by Monica

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) announced that Theresa Colvin will be its next executive director. Colvin will succeed Alan W. Cooper who is retiring after 23 years as the Foundation’s director. Colvin will begin her tenure on May 1, 2017. She comes to MAAF from the Maryland State Arts Council where she has been the executive director for the past 16 years.

Posted on March 9, 2017 by Monica

A recording of GIA's recent webinar on federal arts education policy is now available online. The webinar includes the most up-to-date developments with the Every Student Succeeds Act, arts education policy, and the new administration, as well as tips on how funders and organizations working at the local level can advocate for arts education.

View the webinar.

Note: Some web browsers may require you to download the Adobe Connect Add-in to view this recording.

Posted on March 9, 2017 by Monica

The Aspen Institute has released an online interactive version of its Aspen Institute Guide for Creating Trusted Learning Environments, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation:

Learning is no longer tethered nor confined within just the walls of a classroom. Instead, learning is active, engaged and personalized. But, how can one protect today's connected learner while empowering them to explore, express & pursue their interests? What does it mean to create a trusted learning environment?

The online guide gives context to the new learner-centered environment, offers best practices for creating trusted learning environments, and most importantly creates activity guides to serve as a framework for dialogue and action among a learning community’s many constituents.

View the guide at The Aspen Institute.

Posted on March 8, 2017 by Monica

The MIT Media Lab has opened nominations for the Disobedience Award, a one-time award of $250,000 for “a person or group engaged in what we believe is extraordinary disobedience for the benefit of society”:

We’d like to call out action that seeks to change society in positive ways and is consistent with a set of key principles. These principles include non-violence, creativity, courage, and taking responsibility for one’s actions. We’re seeking both expected and unexpected nominees. This could include–but isn’t limited to–those engaged in scientific research, civil rights, freedom of speech, human rights, and the freedom to innovate.
Posted on March 7, 2017 by Monica

A recent blog post written by Executive Vice President Mariët Westermann of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation voices support for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. She discusses the billions of dollars in grants made possible by collaboration between private funders (including Mellon) and the Endowments and argues that many arts initiatives and programs across the country would not be possible without this collaboration. She writes:

Posted on March 7, 2017 by Monica

Creative Minnesota and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts have released their latest statewide study on the arts and culture sector. As the most comprehensive report ever done of the state’s creative sector Creative Minnesota fills in the gaps of available information about Minnesota’s cultural field and seeks to improve understanding of its importance to quality of life and the economy.

Posted on March 3, 2017 by Monica

Kickstarter has released its first annual benefit statement since becoming a public benefit corporation in 2015. One component of the company’s new charter is to “annually donate 5% of its after-tax profit towards arts and music education, and to organizations fighting to end systemic inequality.” An article in Fast Company explains:

The crowdfunding platform joined Patagonia and a few other companies that have accepted a legal obligation to benefit society, rather than just focusing on maximizing shareholder value. Every two years, Kickstarter is required to report on its progress in achieving a long list of objectives laid out in its charter—in other words, it has to prove the benefit that it’s providing the public.
Posted on March 2, 2017 by Monica

In a recent blog post, The Heinz Endowments President Grant Oliphant writes about the power of arts, journalism, and courage in times of political conflict. In the spirit of this idea, the Endowments have increased their arts grantmaking budget:

For our part, the Endowments has decided to increase its normal grantmaking in the arts and creativity by $1.5 million this year, an increase of nearly 17 percent. This additional investment will not go to doing more of what we already do. While still being shaped, we expect it to deepen connections with our sustainability and learning work, broaden our engagement in neighborhoods and schools, and connect us more directly with artists who are using art to promote social justice and social change.
Posted on March 1, 2017 by Monica

Nonprofit regrantor Dance/NYC has announced the inaugural recipients of its "Disability. Dance. Artistry. Fund" with support from the Ford Foundation. The new fund supports integrated dance performances featuring dancers with and without disabilities, aiming to bring attention to the artistic excellence of disabled dancers.

An article in the Nonprofit Quarterly discusses the recent announcement: "Visibility for performers with disabilities is decidedly lacking in the dance world. . . . Dance/NYC is changing this situation, flipping from thinking of disabled dancers as patients to thinking of their disabilities as a fount for creativity."

Posted on March 1, 2017 by Monica

From the Times Free Press:

Beginning July 1, the leading organization for funding Chattanooga arts programming will restructure how the money it raises is disbursed and who can get it in hopes of reaching more arts organizations and more people in the community. . . . For the last 48 years, as few as five and as many as 16 arts organizations in Chattanooga could count on ArtsBuild — originally the Allied Arts Fund and later Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga — to help raise a portion of their annual operating funds. Part of Allied Arts' original mission was to be a single fundraising body for a select few agencies, and ArtsBuild has continued that effort. . . .
Posted on March 1, 2017 by Monica

GIA member and California Humanities CEO Julie Fry recently penned an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle urging the importance of federal arts funding:

The arts and humanities are good for the success of young people and good for the economy, and we all benefit from that. As Johnson said back in 1965, this is about more than just the money: “It is in the neighborhoods of each community that a nation’s art is born. … The arts and the humanities belong to the people, for it is, after all, the people who create them.”

Our country is richer when the federal government supports and values the arts and humanities. This is not a luxury item. This is who we are as a people.

Posted on March 1, 2017 by SuJ'n

For the month of March, GIA’s photo banner features artists and work supported by the Oregon Community Foundation, established in 1973 as a permanent endowment for community improvement efforts throughout the state of Oregon. From founder William Swindells’ initial $63,000 contribution, OCF now has over $1.5 billion under management through 1,900 charitable funds that support the five key areas of arts and culture, health and well-being, livability, economic vitality, and education.

Posted on February 24, 2017 by Monica

At their 2017 SphinxConnect conference, the Sphinx Organization hosted a roundtable discussion entitled “Funding Inclusion,” which brought together leaders in philanthropy who actively support the arts, diversity, and creative expression. Jamie Bennett, executive director of ArtPlace America, hosted the conversation between Susan Feder (The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Kamilah Henderson (Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan), and Margaret Morton (Ford Foundation).

Watch the video

Posted on February 23, 2017 by Monica

Grantmakers in the Arts is proud to release a literature review on the growing field of arts in medicine. The review outlines the various ways in which artists and healthcare institutions work together to support patient and community heath, the infrastructure that exists to support this work, and how funders can support further development of the field. This document was produced as support material for the GIA Funder Forum on Arts in Medicine, held in Orlando, Florida on February 24, 2017 and sponsored by the Barr Foundation.

Read the report.

Posted on February 22, 2017 by Monica

Recent graduates with arts degrees have better career and entrepreneurial training than those who came before them, according to a report released by the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) at the Indiana University School of Education. The research, based on a survey of arts graduates, demonstrates that new approaches to arts education are helping prepare students for careers and give them tools they need to succeed.

Posted on February 21, 2017 by Monica

The Ford Foundation has announced the election of Bryan Stevenson to serve as a member of its board of trustees. A renowned public interest lawyer, Stevenson is founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama.

“Bryan is a courageous, transformational leader and a stalwart advocate for justice who has done an extraordinary amount to challenge the legacy of racial inequality in this country,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.

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