Reminder: the last day to apply for the Createquity Writing Fellowship is today!


  • Congratulations to the South Carolina Arts Commission, whose funding was preserved when elected representatives overrode Governor Nikki Haley’s veto of the commission’s entire budget. An additional veto that would have invalidated a one-time $500,000 increase for the commission was also overturned, so all in all the Arts Commission will see a significant bump in its budget this year. It’s the third time in three years that the Arts Commission has staved off an elimination threat from a South Carolina governor.


  • Hot on the heels of ArtPlace’s similar announcement, the 2012 Our Town grants have been announced. The geographic distribution is striking, and quite literally all over the map. In contrast to last year, there were no grants to New York City, Los Angeles, or any of the nation’s other largest cities with the exception of Dallas, and more than half the grants are going to communities with fewer than 50,000 people. The NEA also held a series of webinars about the awards, which have been archived and are available here.
  • Richard Florida, Darren Walker, Rocco Landesman, and Dennis Scholl participated in a panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival called “Making Cities Sing.” Partial video from the event is here.
  • In the wake of debates about whether Portland, Oregon is truly a creative class success story or not, Barry Johnson offers an interesting perspective on the role of the creative economy in that region.


  • Congratulations to Jacob Harold, program officer for philanthropy for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, who has been appointed the next president of GuideStar (succeeding Bob Ottenhoff). Harold had previously been on GuideStar’s board of directors, as well as a funder.


  • The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, a first-of-its-kind amalgamation of the region’s SOBs (symphony, opera, ballet) into a single organization, is officially live. Good luck to them – it’ll be interesting to see whether the arts scene finds it easier to coexist with one performing arts behemoth instead of three.
  • Congratulations to Americans for the Arts CEO Bob Lynch for being named one of the NonProfit Times’s Power & Influence Top 50 for the first time. Lynch is the only 100% arts person to make the cut, though Lisa Paulsen, president & CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (which supports social and medical causes), as well as the leaders of the arts-supporting foundations American Express, Pew, and Knight, are on there as well.


  •  The Philadelphia-based William Penn Foundation will retain its local focus, despite a recent infusion of money that has made it one of the largest foundations in the country.
  • Barry Hessenius has an interview with the Knight Foundation’s VP of the Arts and man about town, Dennis Scholl.
  • An interview with outgoing Hewlett Foundation Vice President (and #2 under Paul Brest), Susan Bell.



  • Stanford Social Innovation Review has an article about the value of “backbone organizations” in a collective impact context, based on the experience of FSG consultants working with the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. The article is in four parts: IIIIIIIV. It’s not the sexiest topic, but if you believe in the relevance of infrastructure to the arts, as I do, it is worth a read.
  • More on the Collide@CERN project that Shane Crerar wrote about for Createquity earlier this year.