Well, hello! Been a while since the last link round-up, hasn’t it?
- The bad news continues for New York City arts organizations, as they are looking at a double whammy this year: steep cuts proposed in both state and local funding. So far, prognosticators’ assertions that 2010 would be “even worse” are looking prescient, despite recent signs of life in the broader economy.
- No update yet on what’s happening in Rhode Island, but the Providence Journal published an excellent op-ed by Rhode Island Citizens for the Arts’s Lisa Carnevale last weekend.
- This item from Vermont seems to be part of an understandable yet disturbing trend of city and state governments trying to squeeze every penny they can out of nonprofits at times when said nonprofits can least afford it.
- Apparently the IRS is relenting on charities who were due to lose their tax-exempt status if they failed to file required forms by the May 17 deadline. Some obnoxious-sounding lawyer doesn’t like it; though I don’t care for his condescending tone, I must say I basically agree. We certainly should make accommodations for people doing good work who may not be, say, native English speakers or internet-savvy, but at some point a line has to be drawn – and filling out a simple eight-item questionnaire does not seem like too much to ask.
- I didn’t realize that Rocco Landesman was a Colby alum, but Colby did and their alumni magazine caught up with him for an interview. (h/t Rocco’s Colby contemporary, my uncle Paul)
- Some good ideas here from Barry Hessenius. I especially liked the ones that deal with “virtual” places: centralized databases for funding opportunities across the federal government, training/professional development opportunities nationally, funding cuts at all levels, and of arts blogs. (That last one is tough since you could end up going on forever, though.)
- Turns out that two arts people (out of five!) made that Center for Effective Philanthropy report on the nation’s best program officers.
- All of you composers have a week left to take this survey co-sponsored by the American Music Center and the American Composers Forum (I’m not sure, but I think I may have the distinction of being the only person to have ever worked for both). The survey is open to current and former members of either organization. I think it’s very positive to see these two service organizations soliciting honest feedback in a public way from their constituents, so please do reward them with a moment of your time if you fit the target demographic.
- Speaking of honest feedback, here are some candid reflections from the folks behind Stolen Chair Theatre Company on their experiment with radical audience engagement. Turns out too much engagement can be a bad thing?
- An interesting perspective on the economy of free:
Surely it’s the case that never before have so many creators offered so much to so many for $0. A result, in effect, is a gift glut. To the extent that this is framed as a problem, it’s invariably discussed as a challenge for business or for cultural consumers. To me, it seems far more challenging for the gift givers. [….]
We tend to focus on the breakout successes of democratized culture-making. But there is also a great deal of creative expression out there of the type Hyde had in mind that nonetheless qualifies as an unwanted gift: the unlinked-to blog post, the unliked Facebook page, the unfavorited Flickr photo, the unwatched YouTube video, the unretweeted link and all the other expressions that are ignored or overlooked or simply not rewarded with positive feedback.
- Brigid Slipka can be relied upon to ask the hard questions. In this case, it’s should nonprofit staff give to their own organizations?
- Arts advocates’ brains on wishful thinking: there is no Mozart effect after all. (Surprised to learn that Zell Miller of all people was a cheerleader for it, though…)
- Is the urban planner utopian ideal of vibrant, creative, yet economically diverse neighborhoods inherently unsustainable? (via Rushton.)
- The Ford Foundation has announced yet another huge, multi-year commitment: $200 million over the next five years “to help the country’s metropolitan areas take a more coordinated, effective approach to promoting economic opportunity.” Specifically, the foundation will provide incentives for city and regional governments to work together instead of competing with each other. Pretty cool idea. Ford’s President, Luis Ubiñas, mentions arts and culture as one potential element in the mix.
- I don’t pretend to understand all the intricacies of what went down in the financial meltdown, but this post from Alex Tabarrok, referencing a book by the father of a guy I went to high school and college with, sure gets me a lot closer.
- Createquity reader Rahim Kanani has a great wrap-up of efforts to use technology for social change presented at the recent Global Philanthropy Forum in San Francisco.
- Here’s something pretty fascinating: a pay-what-you-want restaurant from which all profits go to charity, in lieu of a company foundation. (On a related note, I’ve found myself wondering recently whether restaurants are headed the way of cultural institutions – i.e., towards nonprofit status. They are notoriously hard to manage profitably and seem strongly analogous to arts organizations in terms of the benefits they provide to communities.)
- Yet more evidence that in Europe they have all the fun.