I will be attending and blogging the NEA’s “Creative Placemaking” panel discussion this Tuesday from 3-4:15pm Eastern time. The panel features Richard Florida, Tim Jones, Rick Lowe, and Ann Markusen, and will be moderated by CEOs for Cities’s Carol Coletta. There will also be a webcast. I’m looking forward to finally meeting Florida and Coletta in person, as I’ve been a fan of their blogs for quite some time.

  • The third annual Barry’s Blog listing of the top 25 most influential arts leaders came out recently, and this time to my surprise I’m actually on it. I’m tied for #21 along with two other “emerging leaders” who I respect very much (Marc Vogl and Edward Clapp), kind of in the peanut gallery towards the back where Barry starts grouping people according to his whim. Barry allowed each of the 60 nominators, of which I was one, to put their own hat in the ring if they wished, but since I didn’t, that means at least one other person out there must have thought of me. It’s strange to be mentioned in the same breath with those names, but I was gratified that to see that two “emerged” leaders who are nevertheless in their early 30s, my boss (Adam Huttler) and Future of Music Coalition’s Jean Cook, both made the list at #8 and #11 respectively. Fun fact: when I was getting ready to leave New York three-plus years ago to go to business school, I reached out to the two smartest people I knew in the arts to get their take on what I should look out for as I began my education. Their names? Adam Huttler and Jean Cook. Must have been doing something right back then.
  • Barry is also putting together a campaign to have the gubernatorial candidates in California answer questions about their support for the arts. Some very smart people are working on this, and you can read more here.
  • Another arts advocacy campaign to watch: 1% for Culture in New York City. (Yes, that’s 1% of the entire city budget for arts & culture. The current figure is less than a quarter of that.) Here’s Grantmakers in the Arts’s Janet Brown, who knows as much about arts advocacy as just about anyone, with her thoughts on the subject. And look out, world: Robert Lynch has a blog.
  • Uh oh: in Britain, two-thirds of the public agrees that cutting public arts funding by 25-30% in that country would be a good idea. In case you haven’t been following this story, the Conservative government led by David Cameron is proposing moving to an American-style system of private support for the arts instead of the current hybrid approach used in the UK. It’s worth noting that even an arts system that relies on public funding still costs a pittance. We’ll have more on this story here soon.
  • Research compilations galore! First up, here’s a summary of current research data from the theater world, courtesy of Tom Loughlin. Next we have Brigid with a round-up of recent psychology and neurobiology experiments involving philanthropy (along with her caveat about them). With the blog’s new page menu structure under development, I’m thinking about putting something similar together one of these days. Special mention in the research compilation category goes to this excellent-looking article from Theatre Bay Area’s Clay Lord on (lack of) diversity in audiences for the stage, into which I am looking forward to digging further. It’s already begun provoking discussion around the office.
  • Mapping madness! My colleague and friend Ron Ragin at the Hewlett Foundation, himself an emerging leader to watch, guest blogs at the Center for Effective Philanthropy Blog and name-drops the Bay Area Cultural Asset Map along with several other data-driven Hewlett initiatives. Arena Stage gives a preview of the user functions of the New Play Map, currently under development. The University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute (aka Richard Florida’s shop) comes out with a map of the “creative class” in Canada’s largest city. Judith H. Dobrzynski reports on the Foundation Center’s new interactive map of arts grantmakers by state. And check out this boffo analysis of the top 10 ZIP Codes by startup venture capital per resident (via ReadWriteWeb).
  • Data delight! Today’s selection of studies, charts and graphs includes an explanation of why misunderstanding statistical variance might have cost the Gates Foundation a whole lot of money; a rundown of how musician salaries at top orchestras have fared during the recession; an examination of how personality type affects taste preferences in entertainment; an evidence-based look at what dance moves most impress the ladies (hint: engage the head, neck, and torso, not just your arms and legs); and what a dating website tells us about stuff white (and black, and Asian, etc.) people like. Here are the top arts- and entertainment-related results for each race/ethnicity & gender: white men, Tom Clancy; white women, Nicholas Sparks (unless you count “mascara”); black men, Menace II Society; black women, The Color Purple; Latino men, merengue; Latino women, also merengue (both the top results overall); (East) Asian men, The Rock; (East) Asian women, “love story”; Indian men, Shantaram; Indian women, Bhangra; Middle Eastern men, The Sopranos; Middle Eastern women, The Kite Runner (unless you count “scarves”); Pacific Islander men, The Rock; Pacific Islander women, Alicia Keys. Love the OKCupid blog!
  • Crowdsourcing continues to enter mainstream thought, to the point where one begins to wonder when we’re all supposed to have time to do our “real” jobs. The Brooklyn Museum is hosting the first-ever visitor-curated Target First Saturday on October 2; website visitors are both nominating and voting for their top choices. Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is commissioning composers and programming concerts based in part on Yelp-style reviews and comments. You know this shit has hit the big time when even humanities scholars are trying it out for their precious peer-reviewed journals! Standing firmly behind the expert-curated model, meanwhile, is Apple, which has published guidelines for its iPhone App Store that sternly warn against the online marketplace becoming “amateur hour.”
  • One positive trend I’ve been seeing recently is a greater willingness among grantmakers to share their thinking and, increasingly, their actual source materials, with the world. Witness, for example, the publication of the McKnight Foundation’s Grantee Perception Report, conducted by the aforementioned Center for Effective Philanthropy. (The results were remarkably similar to the Hewlett Foundation’s, as disclosed by Ron Ragin in another guest post.) Meanwhile, over in the public sector, there was a minor kerfuffle regarding the new federal Social Innovation Fund’s transparency practices that resulted in the SIF releasing the entire set of scores and comments from the application review process. I’ve never seen that level of disclosure from a private funder not named GiveWell.
  • Speaking of GiveWell, the founders are temporarily working out of Mumbai, India, and Holden Karnofsky is wondering if he wouldn’t be practicing better philanthropy just by walking into poor neighborhoods and randomly giving out cash.
  • And Ken Berger of Charity Navigator, GiveWell’s longtime nemesis, has co-authored an article exploring what philanthropy can learn from baseball’s statistical revolution.
  • RIP Community Arts Network. The website will be archived by the Open Folklore Project at Indiana University. Back when the recession first hit, many people predicted we’d see a ton of closures of nonprofits and, more interestingly, mergers. I think it’s fair to say at this point that those predictions have not come true, but two organizations that have merged are the Cape Cod Conservatory of Music and Arts and the Cape Cod Symphony.
  • The Nathan Cummings Foundation has hired Maurine Knighton as the new Program Director for Arts & Culture.
  • Social media is the new NYC. That is, if it doesn’t become totally lame first. Or are those mutually exclusive?
  • Attention USA: we’re going to need to raise taxes. Get used to it.
  • Oh. My. God. Vice Magazine is doing classical music reviews. “Like if one day you visited Vivaldi’s apartment and discovered some bassoon-shaped nipple hasps or jelly dongs, would you honestly be that surprised?” Indeed. (h/t Life’s a Pitch)
  • Ian,

    It’s not a mosque and it’s not at ground zero. When you call it the ground zero mosque, you are unwittingly furthering the cause of the extreme eliminationist right.

  • Ha. that might be the best edit ever.

    yours
    isaac