(2-3-10) What's proposed? Cut the Cultural Affairs Department almost in half, laying off 48% of staff. (Of 1,003 planned citywide job cuts, 30 would come from this one tiny agency.) [Correction: The proposal would cut the department's staff of 63 employees by 43%, 16 by layoffs and 11 by early retirement.] The move would do inevitable, serious damage to venues all over the city, such as the Municipal Art Gallery and the Watts Towers Art Center.
(2-2-10) President Obama renewed his proposal to limit the value of charitable deductions for wealthy taxpapers in the fiscal 2011 budget plan he presented today—refashioning it as a way to help provide tax relief to middle-income Americans. The proposal would limit to 28 percent the tax break couples earning $250,000 (or individuals earning $200,000) could get for their itemized deductions, including gifts to charity.
(2-2-10) If Monday's White House budget proposal tells us anything, it's this: These are tough fiscal times for an arts-loving president. Should the Obama administration get its way, funding for the nation's major arts and cultural institutions will stay largely flat, although a few organizations -- including the Smithsonian Institution and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- will see increases over what the president requested last year.
(1-29-10) The National Endowment for the Arts' Office of Research & Analysis has posted their most recent publication, Artist Unemployment Rates for 2008 and 2009, which updates NEA Research Note #97, Artists in a Year of Recession: Impact of Jobs in 2008.
(1-28-10) Sabbaticals for nonprofit leaders can be a relatively inexpensive but highly productive capacity-building tool that yields measurable results. Creative Disruption: Sabbaticals for Capacity Building and Leadership Development in the Nonprofit Sector provides emerging evidence of the benefits to nonprofit organizations, leaders, funders, and the sector.
(1-26-10) This is a personal New Year’s Eve story that has to do with connecting the dots. At a party in Los Angeles, I was introduced to a young couple who are both visual effect artists in the film industry. They were around 30. Both had undergraduate degrees in visual art from the Savannah School of Art and Design.
(1-26-10) Katrina @ 5: Partners in Philanthropy is a special convening of the philanthropic community in New Orleans just a few months before the fifth anniversary of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The recent earthquake in Haiti is a harsh reminder that disaster can strike anytime and anywhere. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck our own Gulf Coast in 2005, devastating countless lives and communities in the region, and leaving an impact on the entire country that is still strongly felt today.
(1-25-10) Expressive Life - A conversation this week on ArtsJournal - Bill Ivey, Adrian Ellis, Alan Brown, Andras Szanto, Andrew Taylor, Bau Graves, Douglas McLennan, Ellen Lovell, William James, James Early, Jim Smith, Lewis Hyde, Marian Godfrey, Martha Bayles, Nihar Patel, Russell Taylor, Sam Jones, and Steven Tepper argue the value of heritage and artistic engagement in a world where how we use culture is rapidly changing.
(1-22-10) The book Outrageous Fortune, the Life and Times of the New American Play has stirred up a lot of attention among playwrights and theater folk. Prolific blogger Isaac Butler of Parabasis organized a chapter by chapter review by a handful of respected theater bloggers (an all boy band, curiously) that has generated some interesting discussion. Here are their takes
(1-22-10) The Association of American Cultures (TAAC) is accepting proposal submissions for its next symposium Open Dialogue XII: Building the 21st Century Agenda for Cultural Democracy, a symposium of local and national leaders discussing policies and programs which individuals, organizations, foundations, and policy makers are encouraged to strategize and organize around in order to further advance cultural democracy and cultural equity platforms AND programs in today’s new era of change.