GIA Blog

Posted on November 17, 2020 by Tram Nguyen

“Always tell the story of indigenous justice in racial justice, and land is always connected to that.”

This, from Gaby Strong, is what I’m taking to heart from spending time with the artists/strategists/organizers of NDN Collective. I’m so grateful to GIA and to indigenous leaders themselves for centering this struggle, which is so vibrant, urgent and crucial to the grand reckoning of white supremacy that 2020 has turned out to be.

Posted on November 16, 2020 by Tram Nguyen

Where has Maysoon Zayid been all my life? Once she started talking, I never wanted her to stop, and judging from the lit-up zoom chat, everyone at today’s keynote felt the same. The Palestinian American comedian, actor, and disability justice activist had us all “laugh-crying and crying-crying,” in the words of one attendee, all while dropping brilliant insights without missing a beat and wearing a fabulous feathery black jacket. In the words of another chat post: “Best. Keynote. Ever. Brilliant, stylish, and joyful.”

Posted on November 14, 2020 by Tram Nguyen

Friday’s workshop, Creative Practice as Civic Practice: Supporting artist power in community-led transformation, reminded me of what a longtime friend and mentor of mine likes to say: “Community organizing is both an art and a science.”

Posted on November 12, 2020 by Tram Nguyen

Are podcasts a democratizing medium? The question at the core of this session is one that resonates with my old journalist’s heart (though it’s been many years, once a journalist, always a journalist). This session shared the story of the Barr Foundation’s pilot investment in PRX media and a podcast training initiative that helped launch podcasts such as Out of the Blocks, Afroqueer, and Bottom of the Map.

As an inveterate, old-school print reader, I was late to the podcast party. It was eye-opening to learn from Kerri Hoffman of PRX that podcasts have really only become a normalized form of media within the last five years. With the advent of technology improvements for ease of access and the maturation of more and more excellent content, podcasts are reaching a new peak of high adoption rates. As the industry grows and gains traction, another question emerges of whether community voices will be elbowed out by big media entities and market forces.

Posted on November 11, 2020 by Tram Nguyen

I was grateful to learn another side of the Building Healthy Communities story from this session. The footprint of BHC, the California Endowment’s 10-year, 14-site initiative that sought to blend place-based organizing and statewide policy and systems change, is impossible to miss in the public health and community organizing sectors. As someone working in the orbit of TCE and BHC for years, I’d heard much about the initiative’s state and local policy campaigns and its narrative change work to “create an inclusive democracy and close health equity gaps.” But less well-known is this story of arts and culture as a radical community practice that was incubated in the Boyle Heights BHC.

Posted on November 10, 2020 by Tram Nguyen

This session shared findings from a partnership between GIA and the Cultural Strategies Council and the National Accelerator for Cultural Innovation to explore how non-arts funders can transform their practice to advance racial justice via cultural expression and the arts.

As another systems practitioner aspiring to transformational systems change (from the public health sector and local government), I greatly appreciated and enjoyed the breadth and sharpness of this panel’s expertise and analysis. First was the reminder by Kiley Arroyo of the Cultural Strategies Council that transformational change involves engaging multiple levers at once—at the foundational level, that of “deep culture” or paradigm change. What happens when we start by decentering the Western, settler colonial, extractive worldview? What happens when we start with a different story?

Posted on November 10, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

Forecast Public Art recently released ArtPlace: 10 Years, a publication that tells the story and the work of ArtPlace America.

Posted on November 9, 2020 by Tram Nguyen

The 2020 GIA Virtual Convening kicked off today, the first day after a historic week that we are all still taking in and absorbing into our minds, hearts, and bodies. Fittingly, the convening’s keynote began with a performance by viBe Theater Experience, grounding us in the expression through words, music, and movement of Black girls, young women, and gender expansive youth. The keynote panel then moved into a conversation among Sage Crump, Ruha Benjamin and Salome Asega. I don’t need to point out how absolutely right, apropos, and profound it felt to hear Black women’s leadership, wisdom, and creativity at the forefront in this moment!

Posted on November 5, 2020 by Eddie

In a recent series of blog posts entitled The Future We Want, I laid out findings from a number of recent studies of how the grantmaking community has responded to the events of 2020, including the pandemic and the movement for Black lives. Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) has conducted a survey of recent and upcoming changes in arts grantmaking practices, receiving 142 responses, a response rate of over 50% of our members.

Posted on November 3, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

A new digital publication from Public Art Forecast, FORWARD, recently released its first issue, How Artists Help Drive Better Public Health Outcomes, focused on public health and artists.