Monica's Blog

Posted on May 17, 2017 by Monica

From the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF):

WESTAF has expanded its advocacy work on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts. Recently, three contractors were hired to focus exclusively on this project and to work closely with our regional network of advocates. WESTAF has also created an NEA Advocacy enter with the latest updates on the NEA FY18 budget as well as an Advocacy Toolkit that contains step-by-step guides for calling, writing, and meeting with members of Congress. Advocates can also find talking points there to use when engaging with members of Congress or their staff.
Posted on May 9, 2017 by Monica

From The New York Times:

Mayor Bill de Blasio and his lieutenants are deep into a re-examination of New York City’s $178 million arts budget and other cultural resources to try and give a higher profile — and perhaps more taxpayer money — to smaller institutions in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

The proposed new approach, with an emphasis on greater equity, has some major arts organizations fearful they will end up with less of the municipal-funding pie, while more marginalized groups are hopeful about finally receiving more.

Posted on May 5, 2017 by Monica

Congress has passed, and President Trump has signed into law, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, which funds the federal government through the end of the current fiscal year. Included in the spending bill is increased funding for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, an additional $2 million more than the 2016 budget for each agency.

From The Washington Post:

Republicans and Democrats who negotiated the measure Trump signed Friday had successfully defended other accounts Trump had targeted for spending cuts, such as foreign aid, the Environmental Protection Agency, support for the arts and economic development grants, among others.
Posted on May 4, 2017 by Monica

Eloise Damrosch, the executive director of the Regional Arts & Culture Council (Portland, OR), has announced her plans to retire on June 30, 2017. Damrosch has earned a local and national reputation as a respected arts administrator while helping create one of the best-known public art collections in the country.

Posted on May 1, 2017 by Monica

From The Washington Post:

The new federal spending bill would spare — and even slightly increase — funding for three arts-related agencies that President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.

The agreement announced Monday calls for the CPB’s budget to remain the same, at $445 million. Spending for fiscal 2017 would go up for the NEA and NEH, each from $148 million to $150 million.

Posted on May 1, 2017 by Monica

In a letter to friends and colleagues, Executive Director Rose Ann Cleveland of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation announced that she will retire at the end of October. Cleveland also served as chair of the Grantmakers in the Arts board of directors from 2013 through 2014.

"Working at the Foundation has been such an honor and a blessing—I am astonished when I do the math and realize that I will have been here for over twelve years.

It is hard to leave a job that I love and all my colleagues here in the office and in the wider social sector community. Yet, while I still have energy and some wits about me, I hope to be able to spend more time pursuing my own writing and other projects."

Posted on April 27, 2017 by Monica

Grantmakers in the Arts heard from members that they are looking to learn from each other and from GIA about strategies to address the changing political climate and its effects on the arts community. To that end, GIA has created Arts Funders Respond: Engaging the Political Climate, a new website with regular updates on actions and statements funders are making across the country, as well as news updates and resources for advocacy. Learn how arts funders are taking action with program and policy changes. Read statements, op-eds, and blog posts by foundation leaders and others in the field. Get updates on the latest news and articles on issues that impact the arts community. And discover resources to support advocacy efforts for public and private funders.

Posted on April 26, 2017 by Monica

A new survey by Exponent Philanthropy shows the vast majority of its members (82%) expect the institution of philanthropy to play a more important role in society as a result of recent changes in Washington, DC. Issued in late March to Exponent Philanthropy’s members – foundations with few or no staff, philanthropic families, and individual donors – the informal “Pulse Check” survey looked at how changes today in politics may impact philanthropic behavior in the year ahead, both in terms of giving practices and investments.

Posted on April 24, 2017 by Monica

Laura Zucker has announced her plans to leave her position as executive director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission on July 31, 2017. Zucker has been a driving force in the development and support of the arts and culture ecosystem of Los Angeles County over the last 25 years. Under Zucker’s guidance, the County’s organizational grant program grew eight-fold and now funds almost 400 nonprofit arts organizations through a two-year $9 million grant program.

Posted on April 24, 2017 by Monica

A recent article in The Denver Post highlights a new public-private partnership to fund arts programs that also support human services:

The grants are a public-private partnership between the state, through its Colorado Creative Industries division, Denver’s Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and the Hemera Foundation, based in Boulder.

It’s rare for government and nonprofit grant-makers to work together, but even more unusual for them to break out of their regimens. Bonfils-Stantion CEO Gary Steuer said it happened because the foundations saw these cross-over efforts happening organically in the community and wanted to come up with a way to provide support.

More and more, artists and performers were offering programs with a social service component — not just making art for art’s sake, but conducting theater workshops at rec centers and presenting plays to combat teen suicide.