2016 Grantmakers in the Arts Conference

Grantmakers in the Arts is pleased to have a fantastic pair of bloggers covering the 2016 Conference in Saint Paul. Ebony McKinney, program officer with the San Francisco Arts Commission, and Lara Davis, Arts Education Manager for the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture will be posting their comments and reactions beginning Sunday, October 16. We hope you enjoy their observations and that you join this conversation.

October 28, 2016 by Lara Davis
It’s been a week since the GIA Conference ended, and I’m already gearing up for arts conference number three of the season. Next week, I’ll be heading to Chicago for the National Guild for Community Arts Education’s Annual Conference. My barometer for what makes a conference good is informed, in part, by the conference; it has a strong focus on power and privilege at the intersection of grantmaking. There are a lot of suits, but the dialog and introspection crack the veneer of professionalism, creating space for real talk, and accountability. “A Confluence of People, Cultures, and Ideas” is apt subtitling for this year’s conference. Read More...
October 24, 2016 by Ebony McKinney
“How do we ensure equity and inclusion are at the core of our curatorial process and financial models?” was the question at the center of Eyenga Bokamba’s quest to remake Intermedia Arts and it became the core question of the conference for me. In my final post, I’ll share a few broad themes that stuck with me. We may not have reached the tipping point toward equity quite yet, but I’m encouraged and grateful to be involved in this work with you. Yes YOU! Read More...
October 19, 2016 by Ebony McKinney
Alexis Frasz, of Helicon Collaborative, began by explaining that the research group which included Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) started with a design challenge: what are the conditions in which artists live and work today and what will it look like for them to live sustainably, create good work and contribute to their communities? Also: Where is our support system now in terms of what we think is ideal? If it’s not there, what would we do to adjust it? Read More...
October 19, 2016 by Lara Davis
The GIA Conference is the best convening you’ve likely never heard of, unless of course, you work in grantmaking – which is a lot of people. I became aware of GIA and the conference when I began working for the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture in 2013. We are an office that in addition to public art programming and arts education, provides public funding for individual artists, community organizations, and cultural institutions. Our cultural partnerships programs – grants and more, have been a catalyst for stewarding racial equity in the office, as both internal practice and community engagement. Read More...
October 18, 2016 by Ebony McKinney
For filmmaker Los Angeles Alex Rivera justice and beauty exist in a dynamic exchange and represent his most fulfilling work. The Sleep Dealer began as a short, is now a feature and is being prepared as a future television series. It frames a time when borders are sealed. The internet transcends. Pure labor crosses the border, while bodies stay out. Read More...
October 17, 2016 by Ebony McKinney
Carlton Turner of Alternate ROOTS, and our host for the day, welcomed us into the space and kept the day moving with the right amount of earnestness and seriousness. He let us know we’d be asked to think in terms of transforming self, institutions and systems and asked “Where are you in the process of developing equity?” Then we were off… Read More...
October 16, 2016 by Lara Davis
This year, I began my GIA Conference as co-facilitator for the “Access to a Lifetime of Arts Education: Every Child, Every Adult” preconference. My pal and co-conspirator in the work of racial justice, consultant and theatre teaching artist Tina LaPadula, joined me to lead a session on Social Justice Essentials for Arts Funders. We kicked off this day of learning and dialogue centered on arts education, data, and creative aging with an engaged crew of thirty plus grantmakers from across the nation, representing family foundations, government, and corporate giving. Read More...
October 3, 2016 by Steve
Ebony McKinney is a program officer with the San Francisco Arts Commission. She previously held positions with The BRITDOC Foundation in London, Intersection for the Arts, and the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater. She has participated in grant review panels for the California College for the Arts Center for Art & Public Life, the National Endowment for the Arts, the San Jose Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Oakland Cultural Affairs Commission. McKinney was a part of the Emerging Leader Council of Americans for the Arts, where she co-chaired the engagement committee and the Emerging Ideas committee. She currently serves on the citizens advisory committee of Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund. McKinney holds an MA in cultural entrepreneurship and an MA in visual anthropology from Goldsmiths, University of London. Read More...
October 3, 2016 by Steve
Lara Davis has been active in youth development and community arts education for more than a decade. She has served as a Seattle arts commissioner and as program director for Arts Corps, a youth arts organization. At the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, Lara manages Creative Advantage, a public/private partnership to ensure equitable access to high quality arts learning for all Seattle students. Lara serves on the National Advisory Committee for the Teaching Artists Guild and facilitates equity and racial justice trainings. As a person of color, Lara understands the value of cross-cultural, multi-sector efforts to dismantle racism and other oppressions, and to promote justice. As an artist and arts administrator, she knows firsthand the power of creativity necessary to build access, foster engagement, transform communities, and inspire systemic change. Read More...
October 2, 2016 by Steve
Grantmakers in the Arts is pleased to have a fantastic pair of bloggers covering the 2016 Conference in Saint Paul. Ebony McKinney, program officer with the San Francisco Arts Commission, and Lara Davis, Arts Education Manager for the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture will be posting their comments and reactions beginning Sunday, October 16. Read More...