The Unique Practice of Arts Grantmaking
Sunday, October 12
Holocaust Museum Houston
This preconference is designed for trustees, foundation executives, and program staff, and will provide a fresh look at the unique aspects of arts grantmaking. Experienced funders from a range of funding organizations have developed a curriculum that reflects proven effective practices and is informed by current trends and technological advances.
Participants will be polled in advance for questions or topics that are on their minds, which will be addressed by presenters during the luncheon session.
In addition, participants can download a bibliography featuring articles that expand upon the session presentations and cover additional grantmaking topics not included in the preconference day.
This preconference is generously supported by the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.
Breakfast at Hotel ZaZa
8:45 amDepart hotel for Holocaust Museum
9:00 amWelcome remarks
9:15 amSession I: Turning Vision into Reality
Presented by Regina Smith, senior program officer, arts and culture, The Kresge Foundation; and Vickie Benson, arts program director, The McKnight Foundation.
How do you get from the mission statement to a fully realized funding program that reflects that mission and serves the funder’s intentions? What are the steps (and possible missteps) in the journey from mission→program planning→program development→outreach→selection processes→grant awards→evaluation?
11:00 amSession II: Supporting Artists and Arts Organizations: What Do Funders Need to Know to Encourage Financial Health and Sustainability?
Presented by Cynthia Gehrig, president, Jerome Foundation and Janet Brown, president and CEO, Grantmakers in the Arts.
Providing support for individual artists and arts organizations requires different strategies, processes, and information. Individual artists have different needs at varying points in their careers, and both monetary and non-monetary support needs to be in matched not only with an artist’s career stage, but their discipline as well. Support to individuals also needs to meet certain regulatory requirements.
Funders need to understand principles for financial health of arts nonprofits, of all sizes, as well as the unique marketplace in which the nonprofit resides. How do funders work with organizations to determine their financial needs and analyze their business models? How has the philanthropic culture and perceptions of nonprofits damaged the ability of arts organizations to get ahead financially? This session will discuss how funders can change that culture and turn around the undercapitalized nature of the nonprofit arts sector.
Responses to selected participant questions by panelists.
1:30 pmSession III: Looking Deeply at the Community You Serve
Presented by Maurine Knighton, senior vice-president, grantmaking, Nathan Cummings Foundation; and Justin Laing, senior program officer, The Heinz Endowments.
How can the goal of creating an equitable funding practice be realized in the specifics of program planning and implementation? What are effective strategies to gain an understanding of the needs and opportunities of specific communities? What ways can a funder provide resources in response? How can authentic community voices inform and further program development?
3:15 pmSession IV: Is All This Really Working?
Presented by Edwin Torres, deputy commissioner of cultural affairs, City of New York; and Pam Korza, co-director, Animating Democracy, Americans for the Arts.
What is the range of ways that the effectiveness of a funding program or initiative can be measured? How can evaluation become part of the toolbox available to grantees to further their work? What are the best practices that have helped arts funders working in different fields?
Return to Hotel