Monica's Blog

Posted on September 27, 2017 by Monica

A study commissioned by ArtPlace America and conducted by Transportation for America explores seven of the most pressing challenges facing the transportation sector today and identifies how arts and culture contribute to solutions. The document is one of several field scans commissioned by ArtPlace to explore how arts and culture can partner with other sectors in community planning and development.

Posted on September 26, 2017 by Monica

The William Penn Foundation announced today the appointment of Judilee Reed as the organization’s new program director of Creative Communities. Reed will oversee a $30 million annual grant portfolio, which includes investments in core support for arts and culture organizations, arts education, and expanding access to high quality public spaces and arts and cultural opportunities in neighborhoods throughout the city. Reed brings national expertise to Philadelphia, having spent the last six years as director of the Surdna Foundation’s Thriving Cultures program in New York City.

Posted on September 26, 2017 by Monica

In a letter from its board chair, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) announced that Executive Director Philip Horn will retire from his position effective January 2018:

Philip came from California to become Executive Director in 1993. Under his leadership the PCA has gained a reputation as a national leader among state arts agencies through a range of achievements and innovations, including:

Developing the PCA’s Regional Partnerships and Initiatives to form a robust statewide arts infrastructure through the decentralization of PCA grants, teaching artist residencies, and services through an engaged network of partner organizations.

Posted on September 22, 2017 by Monica

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) and The California Endowment (TCE) have released the first report in a series exploring the connections between traditional arts and cultural practices and community well-being. The report is a case study examining Engaging Cultural Assets Pilot Project in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, work funded by TCE and conducted by ACTA.

Posted on September 21, 2017 by Monica

In February 2017, the Greater Washington Community Foundation (Washington, DC) in partnership with the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, established the Resilience Fund to respond to the critical needs of nonprofits working to support our region’s vulnerable communities as a result of changes in federal policy. To date, we have surpassed our $500,000 fundraising … Continue reading The Resilience Fund

Posted on September 21, 2017 by Monica

From the Houston Chronicle:

The Houston Arts Alliance has hired a nationally-known figure with a strong background in arts education as its next CEO.

Board chair Philamena Baird announced that John Abodeely, former acting executive director for the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, will become the alliance's new leader on Nov. 6. His "experience, skill and high energy" are just what the city and the alliance need, she said.

During his four years with the President's Committee, Abodeely oversaw strategy and operations for four pillar programs, managed a $4 million fundraising program, and directed the first bilateral government delegation to Cuba. He also co-designed an innovative program that integrated arts to boost academic achievement and increase student engagement.

Posted on September 21, 2017 by Monica

The Washington Post has published an interactive and multimedia article that explores what happens in the human brain when watching a ballet performance:

Scientists studying various aspects of the arts believe certain components especially excite the brain. Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran proposes several universal laws of art, or common patterns found in works of art across time and cultures. These principles powerfully activate our visual centers. In theory, they tap into evolved survival responses.
Posted on September 20, 2017 by Monica

Flynn Center for the Performing Arts announced that its executive director, John Killacky, will step down from his role in June 2018. Killacky previously served on the board of Grantmakers in the Arts and as program officer for arts and culture at The San Francisco Foundation. As reported by Seven Days:

During his tenure [at the Flynn Center], the organization flourished, "growing to a $7.7 million operating budget while maintaining the organization's commitment to presenting exceptional artistic, educational and community engagement programs."
Posted on September 14, 2017 by Monica

Arts patron and philanthropist Alice Walton announced the formation of Art Bridges, a 501(c)(3) foundation focused on sharing outstanding works of American art. Collaborating with museums and institutions of all sizes and in all regions of the country, Art Bridges will help create and fund exhibitions, bringing together art from museums, private collections, foundations, and a collection established as a part of Art Bridges.

“Our country’s significant works of art should be available for all to see and enjoy,” said Walton. “Outstanding artworks are in museum vaults and private collections; let’s make that art available to everyone, and provide a way to experience these cultural treasures.”

Posted on September 14, 2017 by Monica

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation President Earl Lewis will step down in March 2018 after five productive years at the helm. At the completion of his five-year term, Lewis will return to the academy, and launch a new initiative, The Center for Social Solutions, to focus efforts on three core areas of concern — race and diversity; water; and the future of work. He expects to announce more details in the new year.