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This paper, based on research conducted during August and September of 2020, shares findings from a second phase of research investigating the elements of successful strategies employed by high-performing arts organizations. Phase I, conducted in early 2020, examined the strategies employed by 10 visual and performing arts organizations that financially outperformed others and 10 that once performed poorly but engineered a turnaround. It also explored the conditions in which these strategies appeared to succeed.Phase II explores whether findings similar to those of Phase I would emerge with high-performing organizations in the performing and community-based arts sectors that primarily serve communities of color,1 with lower average budget size than those in the initial cohort, and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the pandemic and key differences in organizational characteristics, many of the elements described by leaders of these organizations of color were identical to those that emerged in Phase I while others were depicted quite differently, and several new elements and connections emerged.
American Alliance of Museums;
This landmark report commissioned by the American Alliance of Museums and written by Marjorie Schwarzer is a call to action for museums to change the narrative about what it means to grow old in America. Opening with an overview of aging and ageism in our country, the report documents actions being taken to foster positive aging, profiles the work of museums providing creative aging programming, and shares lessons learned from the Seeding Vitality Arts in Museums initiative of Aroha Philanthropies.
The Andew W. Mellon Foundation;
We will not forget the year 2020 and the mark that it made upon our lives. It was a year that began with a frightening and often mismanaged global pandemic that killed millions, was further shaped by a painful national confrontation on racial violence and injustice, and culminated in an insurrection by white supremacists, with the encouragement of an American president, at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Twenty-twenty challenged our Mellon Foundation community, and held us to account through hundreds of days spent in physical isolation from one another, weeks spent grieving over who and what had been lost, and months spent determined to be as helpful as we could, however we could. We were challenged to be even more precise and even more persistent in our work, addressing our responsibility as the nation's largest funder of arts, culture, and the humanities. That Mellon moved surely and deftly through these challenges was due not to serendipity, but to the institutional analysis in which we already had been engaged, examining and reframing our mission and values within a new strategic direction and rigorously clarifying which problems we were trying to solve with our grantmaking. Due to that dedicated process, 2020 was the year when we at Mellon made the shift to assessing all of our work in the arts and humanities through the lens of social justice. Because our new strategic direction debuted as the interconnected trauma and turbulence of COVID-19 and racial injustice unfolded, this shift proved to be especially potent. The speed with which our new focus allowed us to address the urgent needs of our grantees meant that, in less than twelve months, the Mellon Foundation made nearly $200 million in emergency grantmaking—in addition to our regular $300 million grant budget—to significantly support a vast range of organizations across the country.
Center for Community Progress;
For several years, the Center for Community Progress (Community Progress) and Metris Arts Consulting have explored how arts and culture organizations are revitalizing communities that have been hit hard with vacancy and abandonment. In mid-2020, as we began to understand the pandemic's devastating health, economic, and social impacts on communities and the policy demands surrounding the calls for racial justice, we also began hearing how community-based organizations using arts and culture had shifted their work to provide critical community support. This resource highlights the efforts of creative leaders during the pandemic and also seeks to inspire others trying to address acute needs.
The arts education special collection was available as a searchable online collection at https://artsed.issuelab.org from 2008 until 2021. A bibliography detailing the contents of the collection is available to download. Titles continue to be accessible via www.issuelab.org.Collection title: Arts Education Special CollectionCollection URL: https://artsed.issuelab.orgAvailability: 2008-2021Title count: 164 titlesCreator: IssueLab, a service of Foundation CenterPhoto credit: "Arles in Black 2013" (https://bit.ly/2Vi5HQn) by x1klima (https://www.flickr.com/photos/x1klima) licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.Description: In recent years many school districts have had to restructure their arts curriculums to meet the growing emphasis on standards that is central to most school reform. This unique collection is meant to assist educators, policymakers, grantmakers and other stakeholders by focusing on the potential benefits of arts education for students and communities alike, and providing examples of creative ways school districts are handling their constraints.Themes: Classroom Examples; Community Outcomes; Funding Trends; Program Models; Student Outcomes
National Endowment for the Arts;
This report, Tech as Art: Supporting Artists Who Use Technology as a Creative Medium, presents findings from a field scan commissioned in 2019 by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Ford Foundation and the Knight Foundation. The purpose of the scan was to more fully understand how artists are incorporating digital technologies in their creative work and to learn more about the current and prospective sources of support for these artistic practices. Funders reading the report then can make smarter decisions on how to enhance support for this field. The research is grounded in literature reviews, interviews, and group discussions with artists and practitioners across the United States.The report shares detailed findings; identifies challenges; and ends with recommendations for different stakeholder groups, including funders, arts practitioners, policymakers, and educators.
Chamber Music America;
Chamber Music America (CMA), a national service organization that represents nearly 4,000 musicians, ensembles, presenting organizations, businesses and affiliates, conducted a series of Wallace-supported surveys to better understand the difficulties the field has faced and the ways in which they have worked to overcome them. The first survey, launched in April 2020, came as organizations were shutting down in response to Covid-19. Subsequent surveys in June 2020 and June 2021 show how small ensembles have adapted as the pandemic drags on.
Creating Cultures and Practices for Racial Equity contains a variety of tools that emerged from Race Forward's Racial Equity in the Arts Innovation Lab to help artists, arts advocates, culture bearers, and cultural workers to imagine, plan, and implement racial equity strategies in arts organizations. Whether an arts or cultural practitioner already working with a racial equity team and plan or just beginning the journey towards organizational transformation, these tools can help guide, focus, and reinvigorate efforts. Using a racial equity tool helps give deliberate attention to racial and social justice. These tools can be used to make strategic and equitable decisions in assessing existing or proposed policies, practices, plans, programs, grantmaking, contracting, budgets, etc.
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation;
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (FCG) engaged Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) to develop a method to assess and report contributions toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for each of FCG's operational and grantmaking programs and areas of intervention. This document focuses on the output that resulted of the "Provided reporting framework to units" phase of the project.
University of Texas at Austin;
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many nonprofit arts organizations were facing challenges, including declining or stagnant audiences across multiple art forms, causing many to question the very value of their existence. This was certainly true for the 25 organizations in Wallace's Building Audiences for Sustainability (BAS) initiative, which ran from 2016 through 2019.This brief from arts researcher Francie Ostrower and her team at the University of Texas in Austin, who studied the BAS initiative, captures thoughts from leaders of the 25 organizations on sustainability and how they might fit into a changing arts landscape. Not surprisingly, all of the organizations felt it was important that their organizations continue. Interestingly, however, even before the pandemic and movement for a deeper reckoning with racial justice struck across the country, leaders from a majority of the organizations expressed how essential it was for them to develop and/or maintain strong bonds with their community. Since then, the need for such change has only increased.
American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
This report examines the role artists and other creative workers play in contributing to modern society and it highlights the lack of policy measures supporting them, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has impacted jobs and sales related to the arts. To support creative workers, the report outlines four key principles: (1) Include artists in federal policy-making decisions; (2) Recognize how creative work happens, through the investment of time and labor; (3) make equity a central feature of grant-making and other forms of support; and (4) Think Locally and share nationally, so that creative endeavors, which are by nature local, do not become siloed.
National Assembly of State Arts Agencies;
This report describes how state arts agencies in four states—California, Maryland, Massachusetts and South Carolina—have integrated equity principles across multiple aspects of their work. This volume includes information on equity-centered planning, partnerships, grant making and programming, communications tactics, and managing change. Based on in-depth interviews, this research report is the first in a three-part series of publications produced in collaboration with the Washington State Arts Commission which also includes the reports Deepening Relationships with Diverse Communities: State Arts Agency Strategies and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in State Arts Agency Public Art Programs: A Roundtable Report.