When a place attracts artists and craftspeople, when a community thrives because of its arts, one must pay attention. In Berea, called the state-designated “Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky,” this has happened in part because of intentional public funding.
Surdna Foundation announced the hiring of F. Javier Torres as program director of the Thriving Cultures program, where he will lead a $9 million grantmaking portfolio, sharpen existing strategies, develop initiatives, and deepen institutional knowledge to ensure maximum impact of the foundation’s dollars.
At a time where there is a critical need for unity and the energy of collaboration, affinity groups and funders from across the US will convene on February 12th and 13th for the 2018 Affinity Equity Summit and Solidarity, Defense and Action Funder Briefing, at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland, California.
"The ultimate goal of the briefing will be to come together and shape strategies that defend and move forward efforts to protect people, place and planet," mentions the agenda.
Larry Kramer, president of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, penned a letter in which he reflects on philanthropy after, what he calls, “a year as tumultuous and unsettling as 2017.” Kramer points out the spirit of a funder’s work, the responsibility to steward tactfully a foundation’s resources, and the adaptations and responses required to navigate changes in the political landscape in the US and abroad.
The Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) announced its State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey, a comprehensive survey of US nonprofits' programmatic, management, and financial health.
The survey’s findings are cited by nonprofit leaders and boards, funders, advocates, government officials, media outlets, researchers, and policy advisors, among others, "and raises a powerful, collective voice to tell the country about our sector’s health and our ability to help the communities we all serve," says NFF.
Janet Brown, recently retired president & CEO of Grantmakers in the Arts, discusses her work leading GIA for nearly a decade and the need for more racial equity in arts philanthropy in an interview with Barry Hessenius, author of the nonprofit arts Barry’s Blog.
“Our racial equity work is an on-going educational initiative. The systemic issues of inequities in arts funding will not be changed in a few years, just like racism won’t be solved in American society in the near future. But there is hope because the dialogue is different. GIA has taken a large step in using direct language and serving as a role model for our members regarding the systemic practices facing arts funding,” says Brown, reflecting on how GIA has made racial equity a core principle.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced Ella Baff will step down in March from her position as Senior Program Officer for Arts and Cultural Heritage to focus on new opportunities involving innovative arts and culture programs.
Baff joined the Mellon Foundation in 2015 to lead the newly formed Arts and Cultural Heritage program, which grants approximately $65 million annually to arts and cultural organizations in the US and abroad.
The Kresge Foundation has announced the appointment of Tatiana Hernandez as senior program officer with the foundation’s Arts and Culture Program. Hernandez joins a Kresge team dedicated to helping community organizations bring creative placemaking into underserved low-income neighborhoods in cities across the US.
Hernandez also serves on the board of Grantmakers in the Arts, among other boards.
New Mexico has adopted the National Core Arts Standards which will ensure that public school students in grades K-12 have an opportunity to study at least one of five disciplines: dance, music, theater, visual arts, and media.
The change will also let educators teaching other subjects to weave those art elements into core classes, including math, reading, and social studies, announced Christopher Ruszkowski, New Mexico Public Education Secretary-designate.
Facebook’s most recent algorithm change has sparked a conversation about its implications for publishers like nonprofit organizations. In a post published on January 11, the company said its News Feed will prioritize posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation, and “show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.”