Steering Committee Report | Fall and Winter 2011

The GIA Support for Individual Artists Group Steering Committee completed its case statement advocating for support of individual artists, now posted on the GIA website. It forms the cornerstone of an article that will appear in the winter issue of the GIA Reader. The Steering Committee will use various strategies for disseminating this statement and advocating for its message.

The Steering Committee met in September and December. Cynthia Gehrig of the Jerome Foundation, Co-Chair with Michael Royce of the New York Foundation for the Arts, is rotating away from that position and will be replaced by Esther Grimm, 3Arts, Chicago, Illinois. Esther and Michael will chair the Committee in 2012.

The 2011 Grantmakers in the Arts Conference in San Francisco featured a number of sessions providing information and opportunities for networking on the topic of support for individual artists. The Steering Committee’s appreciation goes to all GIA members who attended those sessions.

 The Council on Foundations 2012 conference will be held in Los Angeles, April 29 through May 1. A session titled "Supporting Individuals as Innovators and Change Agents" was proposed by the Steering Committee and will focus on the role of individual artists and individuals from other fields as innovators and change agents. The session will advocate for supporting innovative risk takers as a strategy for moving communities and cultures forward and bringing creative ideas to the forefront. We invite you to attend.

The Committee has been working with GIA staff on a GIA research initiative on support for individual artists. Time has been spent discussing the scope of the study, its focus, specific goals and objectives, and implementation. The study will be a benchmark effort, encompassing:

  1. Grants made directly to individual artists.
  2. Grants made to nonprofit organizations that regrant dollars to individual artists.
  3. Grants made to nonprofit fiscal sponsors to support the work of individual artists.

The research will also capture an overview of other types of support provided to individual artists and include an analysis of funding opportunities and challenges identified by key leaders/managers of individual artists support programs. The study will report on and analyze aggregate data and data within these components. Please expect to hear more about this in 2012.

The Steering Committee, through the leadership of two of its members, discussed the possibility of an informal meeting of artists’ fellowship grantmakers in 2012. More information will be provided later.

We welcome your thoughts, observations, and recommendations. The Steering Committee hopes to be responsive to GIA member interests and looks forward to continuing its work in 2012.

Steering Committee Co-Chairs Cynthia Gehrig and Michael Royce