"Recovering from the worst days of the pandemic has been daunting for America's 1,800 regional theaters. But some, thanks to philanthropic help, are using this moment as an opportunity for reinvention," said Neda Ulaby for NPR. "Take, for example, Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, Minn., which is grounded in a historically African-American neighborhood with aesthetic roots in the Black Arts Movement. Since Penumbra started staging plays in the early 1970s, it's developed a national reputation for growing Black talent that's changed theater worldwide."
Grantmakers in the Arts
From Common Field: "As a national network, Common Field served as a catalyst for work happening on the ground by increasing access and sharing of resources across regions. As we come to the end of our time as an organization, we are reflecting not only on the life of Common Field, but also on the future that lies ahead for our work and communities. When Common Field decided to close, we wanted to commit to a process that would leave the field with tools to shape the possibilities ahead. And with that in mind, we are so pleased to share our final two sunset initiatives with you!"
From Common Field: "The Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA) and Common Field are glad to invite you to join us on the arrival of the Common Field archival collection at LACA. Common Field has worked to support a nation-wide network of independent artists and arts organizations. Following an organizational audit and an internal financial survey process in 2021, Common Field announced its decision to intentionally sunset, or close, as an organization in 2022."
"Common Field believes that their struggles are not novel ones and have generously agreed to share their vulnerabilities and learning with us through their archival collection. The evening's aim is to engage the collection with questions so that we may all better know ourselves."
From CNN: "In the United States, we are now treated to regular announcements about benevolent billionaires pledging to share their wealth. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, for instance, recently told CNN that he would be giving away the majority of his $124 billion fortune in his lifetime. Further back in 2015, Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced he would give away what he makes from 99% of his Facebook shares."
From Upstart Co-Lab: "Impact investors have been missing the 5% of the U.S. economy comprised of creative industries including film & TV, video games and fashion. Museums and cultural institutions are lagging foundations and universities in aligning their endowments with values and mission. This session will highlight strategies to invest in the creative economy that drive financial inclusion and quality jobs, and demonstrate how cultural institutions can align their endowments with their role as community anchor institutions."
"Who will tell the stories that shape our future? These days, in the United States, this is a matter of fierce disagreement. On one side, a multiracial majority of people believe the US is destined to become a flourishing democracy. On the other, a white nationalist movement steadily advances its vision for a white Christian ethno-state," said Bridgit Antoinette Evans and Tracy Van Slyke for Nonprofit Quarterly. "To say that the project of US democracy is at risk is far from hyperbole. White nationalists have amassed a political and narrative infrastructure that churns out a toxic pool of ideas and stories, spreading disinformation ever more widely."
"A lucky group of artists in New York will get guaranteed income as part of an ambitious pilot program," said Jo Lawson-Tancred for artnet news. "The Creatives Rebuild New York (CRNY) initiative has announced that it is spending $43.2 million to distribute monthly payments of $1,000 to 2,400 to artists and other creatives living across the state. Lasting for 18 months, these cash payments come with no strings attached."
From Mellon Foundation: "Master carvers are working with the Sealaska Heritage Institute to create the Totem Pole Trail—ten sculptures celebrating Indigenous tribes who had been historically excluded from Juneau's monuments. In a sense, it was a controversial statue of William Seward that kickstarted Kootéeya Deiyí, the Totem Pole Trail in Juneau, Alaska."
"Seward was the United States Secretary of State who brokered the purchase of the Alaska territory in 1867, nearly a century before it became a state. His bronze likeness in the capital city gave Rosita Worl, a member of the Tlingit tribe, a big idea."