ART AND THE GOVERNMENT
- “Kansas arts agencies have been on hold several months, waiting for a clue as to how state dollars allocated by the 2012 Legislature might translate into an economic boon to arts programs.”
- The recent public arts funding update had some grim news from the UK. Here’s one possible reason: an annual study reports that donations to charity fell by a whopping one fifth in 2011-2, though the eye-popping numbers have come in for some scrutiny. Whether true or even just a little bit true, politicians’ assurances that private giving would make up for cuts to Arts Council England and other public bodies have seemingly turned out quite empty indeed.
- Isaac Butler makes some very good points on the copyright implications of the news that Disney is buying Lucasfilm for over $4 billion:
What this means is that Disney is hoarding up the closest thing 20th and 21st century culture has to folk tales and mythology, and locking them up in a safe where we can’t touch it without getting sued. As artists, we should be deeply troubled by this.
- Victoria Hamilton has moved on from her post as founding executive director of the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.
ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS
- Why we need arts policy: multi-millionaire financial mogul, founder of a mysterious firm that makes its money executing high-speed trades to exploit market arbitrage opportunities, has left his day job to focus instead on establishing “free art schools in Anguilla, the Dominican Republic, Pennsylvania, Sri Lanka and Thailand” to teach poor students the craft of photorealistic painting. Said donor thinks this is going to “change the art world” and is developing luxury hotels to put alongside the schools.
IN THE FIELD
- It’s not just nonprofits that have suffered from Hurricane Sandy; Broadway’s losses are estimated at $8.5 million (Book of Mormon still sold out though). Things are rapidly improving in Chelsea, though they are not out of the woods. The Art Dealers Association of America, the New York State Council on the Humanities, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Lambent Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts have all stepped up to help out, and there is a more general New Jersey Recovery Fund as well.
- Cool post from CEOs for Cities listing ten (relatively) simple creative placemaking ideas aimed at enlivening city streets. And Toronto-based Artscape has developed an online toolkit for DIY creative placemaking (h/t Greg Baeker, via Thomas Cott).
- It seems like there’s recently been a spate of articles plumbing the depths of musicians’ finances to a level we rarely see. Franz Nicolay (indie rocker, formerly of the Hold Steady, briefly a coworker of mine) has always been remarkably open about such matters, and a recent blog post of his lays out exactly how much he made (and didn’t) during his years of highest public profile and since.
- I was totally going to write a post-election blog post that was all like, “are arts organizations the Republican Party of the creative economy?” and then Trevor O’Donnell went and did it for me.
- Michael Kaiser has caught a fair amount of flak from arts managers of my generation before, but I suspect they’ll be pleased with this column of his.
- More evidence of Nina Simon’s awesomeness: she’s designing a You Can’t Do That in Museums summer camp (tagline: “You Can. We Will.”) to be held in Santa Cruz next July.
This camp will be a 2.5 day event at which participants work in teams with pre-selected permanent collection objects to create an exhibition full of intriguing, unusual, risky experiences. If you’ve ever wanted to design an object-based exhibit that really pushed the boundaries, this is the event for you. Registration will be $150 and by application only. We will also offer a half-day series of workshops on July 10 for a wider audience for $50. Yes you can sleepover at the museum to heighten the insanity and reduce the cost. No you don’t have to be a museum professional to participate. Yes you can apply now. Please do.
- And here’s Nina’s TEDxSantaCruz talk on opening up museums (with her own as Exhibit A).
CONFERENCES AND TALKS
- Last year, I went to the Independent Sector conference on scholarship from the Ford Foundation and had a great experience learning from my peers across the nonprofit space. I wasn’t able to attend this year, but Nonprofit Law Blog’s Gene Takagi went and brings us this report in two parts.
- National Arts Strategies is posting a bunch of videos in connection with the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders - interviews with the young leaders themselves, as well as more established folk like Diane Ragsdale.
- Is there a link between creativity and mental illness? A new study suggests yes, but this fantastically thorough analysis by Keith Sawyer urges skepticism of the results.
- The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation has released a report recapping a 2011 convening called “Strengthening the Bones.”
- Phil Buchanan speaks the hard truth: “For Markets For Good to result in meaningful change, a big part of the emphasis must be foundations stepping up and supporting the development of good, credible data and robust nonprofit performance management systems.”
- The Foundation Center has re-launched IssueLab, a repository for research of all kinds within the nonprofit sector.
- The first studies funded through the NEA Art Works: Research program are starting to come out. Here’s one about the link between arts participation and civic engagement in the 2002 General Social Survey. As always, correlation does not equal causation.
- Maria Rosario Jackson’s latest (and, presumably, last) publication for Leveraging Investments in Creativity explores artist-driven spaces in marginalized communities.
- Guy Yedwab demonstrates how it’s possible to create useful graphs from Fractured Atlas fiscal sponsorship data. Good call too to create budgets in the same format that you’ll have to report them in (for most people, this is the Cultural Data Project or something like it).