Note to folks going to the annual Americans for the Arts Convention in Nashville – Ian and Talia will both be present, and presenting: Talia at Making Arts Education More Equitable and Available to Everyone and the Lightning Workshops during the Arts Education Preconference; and Ian at Creating a Culture of Learning at Your Organization and the Expert Roundtables. Come say hi!






  • Is it time for foundations to embrace partisan politics instead of trying to remain above the fray? Writers for the Stanford Social Innovation Review think so. “Partisan conflict is not an external factor that advocates can work around,” they write. “It is the defining axis of American politics today, and funders must be unafraid to reckon with it.”
  • The expansion of the Gates-Buffett Giving Pledge – a promise to give away at least half of one’s fortune – to include billionaires from around the world raises questions about different cultural attitudes toward philanthropy (in China, public or transparent giving is eschewed) and about the relative merits of the Big Philanthropy model vs the more distributed community foundation model of giving.
  • Arts entrepreneurship aficionados, look out: Barry’s Blog has a stellar lineup, uh, lined up for a weeklong blogathon on the topic starting…today!


  • The National Academy of Sciences has hard numbers that show students learn better through hands-on activities than through lectures – at least when it comes to the sciences.
  • Philanthropy Northwest reports on a year-long peer-learning project on diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts involving 10 foundation CEOs in the region.
  • Corporate giving is up again, according to the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy’s annual tally.
  • South Arts has released two research reports on arts education in the South. The first, a survey of nearly a third of all principals in the region, found among other things that Southern students have less access to visual arts and music than other American students but greater access to dance – with significant variation among Southern states. The second, case studies of nine strong arts education programs, found that the successful schools cultivated a shared vision of the arts, incorporated the arts into the core curriculum driven by state and national standards, and exposed students to working artists.
  • Bringing the ability to make snazzy charts and tables to the masses, evaluators Stephanie Evergreen and Ann K. Emery have developed a data visualization checklist for the graphically challenged among us.
  • In case you ever wondered about the correlation between per capita consumption of cheese and the number of people who die by becoming tangled in their bedsheets, Tyler Vigen has you covered.