Astute readers will note that this edition is mostly comprised of links from the first half of June; I am a little behind in my curation and hope to catch up over the rest of this month. In the meantime, enjoy!

MUSICAL CHAIRS

  • Congratulations to Arts Marketing blogger Chad Bauman, who returns to Arena Stage as Associate Executive Director only a few months after leaving for a position at the Smithsonian. Chad had previously been Arena’s Director of Communications.
  • …and to San San Wong, who is relocating to Boston to join the Barr Foundation as that institution’s first full-time Senior Program Officer in the Arts, following a turbulent last year as Director of Grants for the San Francisco Arts Commission.
  • Congratulations to Doug Borwick as he transitions out of the presidency of the Association of Arts Administration Educators and  retires from his post at Salem College in order to begin a new life as an entrepreneur and consultant.

ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS

  • Congratulations to ArtPlace’s latest round of grantees, all 47 of them. In its second round, ArtPlace distributed $15.4 million to projects in 22 states. The press release emphasizes some of the more rural and/or unexpected recipients of the grants, and there are certainly some of those. Perhaps the most eye-popping choice is a $250,000 award to a museum in down-on-its-luck Eastport, ME – population 1,331 and a six-and-a-half-hour drive from the nearest city of more than 100,000 people.  Nevertheless, the geographic restrictions of certain foundations participating in the coalition are evident in the list of grants, more than three-fifths of which went to recipients in Alaska, California, Miami, New Orleans, the Detroit metro region, Minnesota, New York City, and Philadelphia.
  • The latest numbers are in from Giving USA, and charitable donations went up 4% in 2011 (slightly under 1% in real dollars), to just shy of $300 billion – still well off the 2007 peak. Arts and culture organizations received $13.12 billion of this amount, or 4% of the total, and the trendlines were consistent with overall giving.
  • We all know about artists using crowdfunding to support their work, but what about fans using it to commission artists? Andy Baio reports from personal experience.
  • The New York Times runs down the various forms of emergency relief available to artists, somehow without once mentioning MusiCARES.

IN THE FIELD

  • The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, despite its innovative audience development efforts, is facing a deficit this year of up to $1 Smillion.
  • Is the “Emerging Leader” moniker a term of empowerment or of exclusion? Barry Hessenius argues for the latter; Stephanie Evans Hanson responds. This is a complicated subject, partly because I suspect that the idea of “emerging leaders” is more helpful to the goals of the movement than is the “emerging leader” designation for individual arts professionals. But more on this later.
  • Etsy is now a certified B corporation.

BIG IDEA CORNER

  • Don’t miss this six-part blog post by Center for Effective Philanthropy President Phil Buchanan giving a full-throated defense of the nonprofit sector against those who idealize “business thinking.” Phil holds a Harvard MBA, so it’s not like he doesn’t know whereof he speaks.
  • The Future of Music Coalition’s Joe Silveri makes the case for a global music registry.
  • Lucy Berhnolz and Patrick Hussey wax eloquent on the massive potential for data to change the way we live and work.

RESEARCH CORNER

  • Americans for the Arts released its long-awaited follow-up to Arts & Economic Prosperity III, and — wait a sec — the economic impact of the arts went down?! From $166.2 billion to $135.2 billion? Supporting 26% fewer jobs? It’s true. While organization expenditures remained more or less constant in 2010 (when the study was conducted) compared to 2005, audience spending dropped like a stone due to the recession’s influence. Unfortunately, the results underscore the downside of relying on this particular argument to advocate for the arts, as the economic impact narrative to date had been all about more, more, more: the arts are a growth industry, so you should support them! Now it’s, the arts are shrinking, so you should….still support them? My previous review of AEP III is here. Meanwhile, Catherine Brandt has an entertaining account of enforcing the embargo on the AEP IV results.
  • In other research from Americans for the Arts, Randy Cohen details a couple of novel ways of understanding the competitive environment for arts organizations in a region through the Local Arts Index: millennial share and the four-firm concentration ratio.
  • Which neighborhoods in the US are gentrifying the fastest? Here is one estimate by the Fordham Institute, which names such surprising cities as Oklahoma City, Chattanooga, and Roanoke VA among the leaders. But Matt Bevilacqua at Next American City takes issue with the methodology of that analysis, which uses an increase in the share of white, non-Hispanics as a proxy for gentrification.  Bevilacqua makes the case that in certain cities such as Washington DC, people of color can be the agents of gentrification as well. While I don’t disagree with Bevilacqua’s point, it underscores the need for a clearer sense of what we actually mean when we invoke the g-word. Because honestly, my sense from hearing lots of people talk about this issue over the past few years is that most have a pretty clear picture–some might say stereotype–in their minds of what gentrification looks like, and to them it looks like  “white people moving in.” Rightly or wrongly, it seems like Fordham’s proxy measure is pretty faithful to this idea.
  • Fascinating: some university researchers are turning to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to find psychology test subjects and survey respondents, in order to avoid the “WIERD” (from Western, Industrialized, Educated, Rich, Democratic societies) bias inherent in using college students for that purpose. There’s even a whole blog about using experimental methods on crowdsourced populations.

ETC.

  • This beautiful Father’s Day tribute from Rocco Landesman brightened my day when I read it, as did the photos of Fred Landesman’s gorgeous paintings. Well worth a read.