Late last week, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback line item vetoed appropriations for the Kansas Arts Commission in the 2012 state budget. KAC staff has already been given pink slips. Unless the Legislature over-rides this veto, which is not likely based on what I’ve read, Kansas will be the first state to eliminate its state arts agency since the inception of these offices in every state in the late 60’s.
From Standford Social Innovation Review:
Most successful foundations and nonprofits understand the importance of advocacy. Over the last decade, foundations have put more resources into advocating for the policies they believe in, with some notable successes. Yet grantmakers have often hesitated to plunge in. Sometimes they worry about appearing too political or partisan. But more often they hesitate because effective advocacy is difficult, and evaluating whether various approaches are working is even harder...
From the Topeka Capital-Journal:
The action by Brownback ran counter to votes by the House and Senate to retain state support of KAC and to preserve the organizational structure of a 45-year-old agency sending arts grants to every corner of the state.
After Grand Rapids, Michigan found itself listed in January by the news website Mainstreet.org as one of America's top ten “Dying Cities,” (a piece that was picked up and re-printed by Newsweek magazine), the community turned out on Sunday to create a nine-minute, continuous-take LipSync video to the Don McLean classic “American Pie.” It's an impressive, and creative, show of community spirit that reportedly includes almost 5000 citizens of Grand Rapids, all of whom were behind the project enough to show up for the second scheduled shoot (the first was a rain-out) and then find their positions to do five takes of the epic song.
Diane Ragsdale's May 20 Private Sector post begins, "People have been talking about the blurring line between the commercial and nonprofit arts sectors (and related mission/market tradeoffs) for decades...." and finishes here. Spend some time with the comments for more perspectives on this blurring.
Aaron Koblin began his March 2011 TED Talk by stating: "So I think data can actually make us more human." And then he presented several technology-based, crowd-sourced projects that perfectly prove his point.
Watch him here. He is contagiously interested (and interesting) and has a knack for letting things be the right amount of funny for the right amount of time.
From Richard Kessler at Dewey21C:
The simple fact is that funding for arts education advocacy has been fractional. The state alliances have historically been funded on a marginal basis and local advocacy has for the most part been nascent. Underdeveloped advocacy efforts and little funding to support anything better. That's arts education in 2011.
NASAA's update on the situation in State governments, including updates from Connecticut, Kansas, Nevada, and New Hampshire where the New Hampshire Senate Finance Committee voted to retain the Department of Cultural Resources, rejecting the House language that dissolved the department and the Arts Division.
This resource is available in .pdf form at www.nasaa-arts.org/Research/Funding/State-Budget-Center/FY12R&EProposals.pdf.
CSArt, a new program of the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, is based on the CSA-inspired (Community Supported Agriculture) model of community-based artist support pioneered by Springboard for the Arts. Cambridge Center is the latest organization to embrace Springboard's open-source-so-go-ahead-and-reproduce-me model, which mimics financial investment in a community farm (with returns in the form of periodically delivered boxes of locally grown, organic produce or, in this case, locally produced art).