(6-3-10) In a blog entry for the Los Angeles Times website, Mike Boehm laments the California state Assembly's unanimous approval of a bill that, should it pass the state Senate, will allow high school students to substitute "career technical education" classes for language and arts requirements. The bill's author, Warren Furutani, is expressly interested in improving the state's graduation rate; but, as Boehm notes: "Students applying to the University of California or the Cal State systems are required to have at least a year of high school arts."
(6-2-10) The Foundation Center has released the 2010 edition of its annual Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates, which presents findings based on actual 2008 giving and assets tracked by the Center for the approximately 75,000 U.S. foundations. The survey also includes giving projections for 2009 through 2011.
(6-1-10) In an editorial for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Pablo Eisenberg questions the seriousness and efficacy of the federal government's Social Innovation Fund. Eisenberg writes in response to last week's announcement that 25 foundations will be contributing a total of $50 million to the Fund. After outlining several ways the initiative is failing to meet NGO and community needs, Eisenberg concludes:
(6-1-10) "But that doesn’t change sectoral realities, which reinforce the antidemocratic spirit of these giver-receiver relationships, where potential receivers are expected to expose themselves to unbounded scrutiny and givers are entitled to ask without being required to answer. If truth in giving were mandated for foundation guidelines the way health warnings are required on cigarette packs, many of the more than 1.2 million foundations registered with the IRS as of last year would have to carry this notice..."
(5-26-10) Reinstating NEA grants to individual artists and performers is on Rocco Landesman's to-do list, just not at the top. Writing for The Denver Post, John Wenzel provides a backdrop to Landesman's sentiment by outlining the culture wars and tapping art world and government insiders for insight into how the funding initiative might unfold. About Landesman, Wenzel writes "...he is a veteran of the theater world and understands the value of timing."
Read more here.
(5-26-10) The National Endowment for the Arts has helped organize a summer-long program called Blue Star Museums that will offer free museum admission to active-duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day (May 31) through Labor Day (Sept. 6) "to show their appreciation for those who are serving this nation." The effort has been coordinated with Blue Star Families, a support organization "by military families for military families," and so far 600 U.S. museums of all kinds and in all 50 states have signed on.
(5-26-10) Knight of the Realm and stand-up comic, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning -- creating conditions where kids' natural talents can flourish.
(5-26-10) Like so many of us, I’m concerned about what’s happening in Arizona. I’m concerned for a couple reasons. First, I believe the law they passed is unconstitutional and poor public policy. It is evidence of a state attempting to make national policy. There are already some pretty poor laws on state books as examples of this. State thinks its legal, the fed thinks its not. Makes great business for lawyers on both sides.
(5-24-10) A joint effort of various California arts funders, the Creative Capacity Fund and its Quick Grant Program provides reimbursement funds to arts administrators and individual artists in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Los Angeles to enroll in workshops, attend conferences locally and nationally, and to work with consultants and coaches in order to build administrative capacity, hone their business skills, and strengthen the economic sustainability of an organization or arts practice.
(5-21-10) Robert Booker, executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, responds to requests for his position on recently enacted laws from the state of Arizona: