(3-16-10) "Classical music, in general, suffers from a certain ossification. Opera, in particular, has an exalted sense of its own importance: an idea that nearly every work is a masterpiece deserving of our full attention....Gergiev turns opera back into a workmanlike part of daily life. I think that if asked, he’d give lip service to the idea of greatness, but his actions seem to signal that music is a daily need, and that making music and having it around and getting it out to people is more important than making it perfectly."
(3-15-10) The Ford Foundation today announced Darren Walker as its next vice president for Education, Creativity and Free Expression, one of Ford's three major program areas. He will succeed Alison R. Bernstein, who is retiring from the position this spring after 14 years of outstanding leadership. As vice president of one of Ford's three divisions, Mr. Walker will guide more than $150 million in annual grant making and serve as an officer of the board of trustees. Mr. Walker will assume his new position late this spring following a transition period with Ms.
(3-15-10) Legislative appropriations to state arts agencies decreased by 10.0% in fiscal year 2010, according to the Legislative Appropriations Annual Survey published by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA).
(3-14-10) Haitian American poet Jean-Dany Joachim uses poetry to describe a visit to his home country of Haiti after the quake, which looked, as he put it, like a country "with its guts open."
(3-11-10) This afternoon, Rebecca Thomas, director of National Customized Services at the Nonprofit Finance Fund, presented a webinar hosted on GIA's website, as a follow up to the February Dynamic Adaptability session with Clara Miller. Holly Sidford, president of Helicon Collaborative introduced the presentation. This was an opportunity for participants, as well as representatives of nonprofits who did not attend the earlier session, to follow up with questions and comments.
(3-11-10) GIA member, Ben Cameron, program director at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, recently spoke at TEDx in Calgary. (TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.)
(3-10-10) And probably not your grandparents' either. Shelly Banjo introduces the next generation of grantmakers on the Wall Street Journal's finance blog.
(3-9-10) "As Hillary Rodham Clinton was leaving the White House, she asked Laura Bush first lady to first lady to continue one program if nothing else the historic preservation program Save America's Treasures...Now, the grant program Clinton created that helped restore the original star-spangled banner, Rosa Parks' bus, President Lincoln's summer cottage in Washington and hundreds of sites across the country is on the current administration's chopping block.
(3-9-10) I recently visited GIA board member Robert Booker, Executive Director at the Arizona Commission on the Arts. They lost 34% of their funding from 2009 into 2010 and are looking at more cuts as their state legislature seeks to reduce budget deficits in 2011. I also had a conversation with Phillip Horn at the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. They are in the same situation and were nearly zeroed out last year.