2019 GIA Conference
Cultural Intersections
Denver, CO  |  October 13–16

Partnering with Community Foundations to Strengthen Local Arts Philanthropy

Monday, October 14, 10:00am – 11:30am

Tower D

Organized and moderated by San San Wong, program director, Arts & Creativity, Barr Foundation.

Presented by Katie Allan Zobel, president & CEO, Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts; John Vasconcellos, president, Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts; and Nicole McGovern, principal evaluator, Zeta Metis Advising.

Arts and creativity inspire, challenge, and bring us together. Yet, depending on geography, art form, or networks, access to funding is uneven. Community foundations have the power to change this. They can connect donors and policy makers with artists and arts organizations whose work enlivens our communities. Few community foundations have staff and discretionary funding dedicated to the arts. Until recently, only one of the 20 community foundations in Massachusetts did (The Boston Foundation), but all communities can benefit from more focused, strategic, sustainable arts philanthropy. In 2017, the Barr Foundation partnered with five Massachusetts community foundations to launch the Creative Commonwealth Initiative. Barr’s investment of discretionary dollars is enabling these partners to act more strategically by building new capacity and initiatives that are catalyzing new leadership, energy, and resources in their communities. Presenters will discuss their efforts to shift donors from check writing to strategic philanthropy, elevate the arts as a programmatic focus, more effectively engage their diverse communities, expand and change their approaches to grantmaking, and assume a more ambitious role as civic leaders.