New Foundation Leaders and the Arts

What Changes May Lie Ahead?

Tuesday, October 14, 8:00 am – 9:30 am
Dogwood A, M1/Street Level

Organized by Janet Sarbaugh, senior program director, arts & culture program, the Heinz Endowments, and Holly Sidford, president, Helicon Collaborative. Presented by Holly Sidford; Philip Henderson, president, Surdna Foundation; Peter Hutchinson, president, the Bush Foundation; and Robert Vagt, president, the Heinz Endowments.

A number of prominent foundations at the national, regional and local level have appointed new presidents in the past 12 to 24 months. Such leadership transitions are likely to increase in the years ahead, in keeping with the larger generational shift in the nonprofit sector. Very few of the new foundation leaders are likely to come from the arts sector, and many will have had little direct experience with our field.

What inspires these new leaders about their foundations' arts grantmaking? What information will they need to understand our sector, and to sustain or increase their foundations' commitment to arts and culture? How do these new presidents view the arts alongside other foundation priorities? What do they see as the most compelling case for arts funding and what are their ideas about the connections between the arts and their foundations' larger missions? How can we best manage this important field-wide transition to the benefit of artists, arts organizations, and the creative sector as a whole?

This session will feature a facilitated conversation with three new foundation presidents and their program officers, exploring issues relevant to the full range of arts foundations.