2009 RECESSION Conference:
Navigating the Art of Change

Sunday, October 18 – Wednesday, October 21
New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
333 Adams Street
Brooklyn, New York

Janet Rodriguez

Dear Members,

Welcome to Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA), 2009 Recession Conference, Navigating the Art of Change in Brooklyn, October 18-21. This is the first year that GIA is holding its conference in Brooklyn.

Two years ago, the Board of GIA decided it was time to convene in New York. It was chosen because New York City is the capital of culture with a growing arts base, with more than 3,000 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and more than 150,000 individual artists. This backdrop provides a range of opportunities for our membership to explore and we are confident that with the help of our host committees you will make many discoveries in our diverse City.

In order to create a conference that is relevant during a recession, the conference planning committee decided to focus on the ways in which our community of grantmakers prepares for the future. As a community of arts grantmakers that has come of age, we need to ensure that our constituents can meet the challenges of our changing society. We will focus on dealing with issues of access, not just to the arts, but how our artists and arts organizations access audiences who have found new and competing outlets to engage in the arts to aligning grantmaking practices with relevant business models.

This year’s conference will take full advantage of the resources available in and throughout the five boroughs in a focused manner in order to avoid, to quote Betsy Richardson, a “frenetic conference.” This year GIA joins the many organizations which have had a leadership transition. We will hear from GIA’s new leadership about our new administration in Washington and how best to address the role for funders in advocating for the arts though public private partnerships. Leadership transition is yet another challenge our industry is facing and we even designed “dine around” with cultural leaders from this region to share their insights with our members.

Lastly, GIA’s membership interest groups continue to explore and define how to ensure that all school children have arts as part of their school day, how our changing demographics heighten the importance of arts and social justice, and what type of structures do we need to embrace and create to ensure that individual artists remain central to our work.

Our hopes are that we come together as a community of grantmakers and listen to each other, agree to disagree and leave the conference better prepared to navigate our constantly changing environment.

On a lighter note, the Conference Hotel is around the corner from the historic Junior’s Fabulous Cheesecake and is open until 2am on weekends.

We look forward to seeing and hearing you.


Janet D. Rodriguez,
Conference Chair
JP Morgan Chase Global Philanthropy Group

2009 Conference Committee
Claudine Brown, Nathan Cummings Foundation
Janet Brown, Grantmakers in the Arts
Ben Cameron, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
Tommer Peterson, Grantmakers in the Arts
Stuart Post, Independence Community Foundation
Elizabeth Theobald Richards, Ford Foundation
Janet D. Rodriguez, JP Morgan Chase Global Philanthropy Group

Conference Hotel

Online registration at the Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge is now available. The conference rate is $252. Click here to book your room now.