Forums, Summits, & Workshops

GIA’s summits and workshops are one- or two-day convenings for funders to gather to learn about and discuss issues critical to the field. Forums offer an opportunity for peer learning and open discussion on best practices and future action, while workshops led by experts in the field offer deep-dive training for grantmakers to help improve practices and outcomes.


Racial Equity in Arts Funding

GIA’s Racial Equity in Arts Funding workshops have been designed to help participants recognize that cultural funding is a system that has been historically racialized like so many societal systems and to help guide our approaches to re-designing cultural funding as an anti-racist system.

The GIA Racial Equity in Arts Funding workshop includes information on the history of racialization in the United States, the history of cultural funding, and real-world stories of success and examples of racial equity funding, strategies, and resources you may bring with you back to your organizations.

Conversations on Capitalization and Community

GIA’s Conversations on Capitalization and Community are specialized workshops, held separately for funders and nonprofit grantees, focusing on what each group can do to support the financial health of nonprofit arts and culture organizations. These workshops provide insights into effective dialogue between funders and grantees and facilitate communication and transparency in discussions between local funders about their community's capital drivers, their institutional values and practices, and how each entity fits into the arts funding ecosystem in their community or region.

Forums & Summits

GIA Summits - formerly Thought Leader Forums - are one or two-day convenings centered on a particular topic important to arts grantmaking. Held in varied locations across the country, these forums bring funders together to discuss best practices, present research, and highlight important work taking place in a specific area of the sector. Documentation and results of the gatherings are published on our website and in the GIA Reader.

Upcoming Events

Check back for updates

Past Events

Black Arts Funding Summit - December 13, 2022

"The history of predominantly White-led institutions benefiting from the disenfranchisement of the Black artist and community is well documented. From slavery to Jim Crow, to post Civil Rights era, to today, Black artists have been continuously excluded from the canon, been wrongly categorized, and historically disregarded as obvious by the egregious lack of Black staff, leadership, and representation at cultural institutions across the nation." -North Carolina Black Artists for Liberation

Grantmaking programs like NEA Jazz Masters (1982) and Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh (1990) continue to thrive amidst decades of challenges both inside and outside of their respective foundations, but across most of the philanthropic field, funders and foundations fail to acknowledge and reconcile their long histories of exclusion, disenfranchisement, and disendowing. This Summit asks the question: Beyond the ‘difficult conversations’ and ‘good intentions,’ how can institutional grantmaking dollars be used to actively go about change at every level?

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Activism, Culture, and the Individual Artist – January 29, 2020

From fellowships to housing to unrestricted monies, support for individual artists can take many forms. Support for artists has a long and varied history in the United States. While much has changed, there remains a large space for understanding what it takes to be an artist today and to support an artist today. Recent articles in the New York Times and artnet News further expose the racial and wealth inequalities among artists, citing that those more likely to become artists are white women of a higher socioeconomic status. In this event, panelists revisit the late-20th century, a time when, for many artists, funding was at stake because of their artistic expression. Panelists discuss how those artists and many others catalyzed the beginning of a movement for arts activism that continues today.

Funder Forum on Arts in Medicine – February 23, 2017

In February 2017, Grantmakers in the Arts hosted a special forum exploring powerful work at the intersection of arts and healthcare. The forum assembled arts and culture funders, as well as prominent practitioners and thought leaders, to discuss how funders can support the growing practice of artists working in clinical settings — using the healing power of art to support patient and community well-being. Thought leaders and funders discussed effective ways to invest time, talent, and funding to professionalize the work of artists in healthcare and elevate the role of the arts as a vital service. The forum was developed in association with Dr. Gay Hanna and facilitated by William Cleveland, Director of the Center for the Study of Art & Community. It is presented with support from the Barr Foundation.

Arts and Environmental Sustainability Thought Leader Forum – May 25, 2016
Artists in Community Settings Thought Leader Forum – March 2, 2016
Supporting ALAANA Organizations: Racial Equity Forum – June 2, 2015

Grantmakers in the Arts hosted a national dialogue for arts funders on June 2, 2015 on increasing funding and access to funding for African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab and Native American (ALAANA) organizations. It was held at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. As a continuation of GIA’s work towards racial equity in arts philanthropy, the forum featured keynotes by nationally known Atlanta-based actor, director and producer, Kenny Leon, theatre artist and executive director of Alternate ROOTS, Carlton Turner, and a presentation on structural racism from Lori Villarosa, executive director and founder of the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE).

Every Child, Every School: Arts Education Funders Coalition Forum – May 7, 2015
Thought Leader Forum on Arts and Aging – April 6, 2011