Friday, November 5
Support for Individual Artist Committee Happy Hour
Hosts: Sherylynn Sealy, Program Manager, GIA; Ce Scott-Fitts (Co-chair), Artists Services Program Director, South Carolina Arts Commission; Celeste Smith (Co-chair), Senior Program Officer for Arts and Culture, The Pittsburgh Foundation
The Support for Individual Artist Committee invites you to attend the individual artist happy hour! Bring your favorite cocktail or mocktail, and join us for great conversation, games, and thought partnership around the needs of individual artists!
WOCA Happy Hour
Hosts: Kaisha S. Johnson, Co-Founder and Founding Director of Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA); Nadia Elokdah, Vice President & Director of Programs, GIA
In the spirit of uplifting a sense of belonging and community, this hour is specifically dedicated to the voices and visions of women of color.* This is an effort to help build and elevate community among a constituency that has been historically underrepresented and undervalued in the philanthropic sector. As an informal gathering, participants will have an opportunity to imbibe their favorite drink (BYOB!), meet new colleagues and old friends, amplify each other’s work, and unpack what it means to have power and agency in the grantmaking field. In celebrating our community, we celebrate ourselves. Hosted and facilitated by Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA).
*WOCA uses the term "women" to encompass all those that self-identify as women including cisgender and transgender femmes. Our intention is to uplift and address the very specific ways in which this particular group of people are impacted by multiple forms of oppression including sexism and racism. WOCA uses the term "women of color" as an organizing tool, acknowledging the expression is a political designation, not a biological one, and borne out of a solidarity movement originating from the labor of Black women.
Happy Hour with GIA’s Board of Directors
Your hosts will be Eddie Torres, President & CEO, GIA; Sylvia Jung, Senior Development Manager, GIA; Ted Russell, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Chair, GIA board of directors; Tariana Navas-Nieves, Denver Arts & Venues, Vice-Chair, GIA board of directors; Eleanor Savage, Jerome Foundation, Secretary, GIA board of directors; Ken May, Central Carolina Community Foundation, Treasurer, GIA board of directors; Sharnita C. Johnson, Chair-Elect, GIA board of directors; Michelle Coffey, Lambent Foundation, At-Large Executive Committee Member, GIA board of directors; Randy Engstrom, At-Large Executive Committee Member, GIA board of directors
Hang out with Grantmakers in the Arts’ board of directors to hear about their vision for the organization and for the arts and culture field. Come with your questions, and come prepared to share your own observations and vision.
Monday, November 8
Arts Education Policy 101: Grantmakers edition
Presenters: Mary Dell’Erba, senior project manager, Arts Education Partnership; Jamie Kasper, director, Arts Education Partnership
What is the role of policy in grantmaking, and what is the role of grantmakers in the policymaking process? Join the Arts Education Partnership in an interactive workshop designed to introduce and compare 15+ policy opportunities for arts education, break down common misconceptions about education policy, and connect the work of grantmakers to state and federal policymaking. In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to test your knowledge of state policy and learn why and how interpretation and implementation can differ across districts and states. Attendees will have the opportunity to identify the key actors and authorities on arts education policy in your community and create opportunities for strategic engagement.
Equitable Economic Recovery through the Arts
Presenters: Ryan Stubbs, senior director of research, NASAA; Pam Breaux, president & CEO, NASAA; Isabel Rosa Irizarry, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña; Freddy Velez Garcia, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña
New research, commissioned by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, has shown the arts and cultural sector can improve the health of the broader economy and provide a more rapid path to post-recessionary economic recovery. This empirical research looks at state-level data across the United State and lends additional credence to the stories of resiliency and recovery through the arts. Stories of resiliency and recovery through the arts occur in a variety of places, but there are especially strong examples of this resiliency in communities of color such as recovery and relief efforts in Puerto Rico. This session will explore the implications of the national research and the specific stories of arts-based economic recovery in Puerto Rico to consider lessons for global pandemic recovery. The session will discuss the underlying issues that make communities more vulnerable to economic crises along with the cultural cohesion through the arts that make recovery possible.
Reckoning with Uncomfortable Truths and Rebuilding with Purpose: Minefields and Progress on the Road to Cultural Equity
Presenters: Jen Benoit-Bryan, vice president & co-director of research, Slover Linett Audience Research; Zenetta Drew, executive director, Dallas Black Dance Theatre; Jessica Gaynelle Moss, founding director, The Roll Up CLT; Krista Terrell, president, Arts & Science Council Charlotte; Rebecca Thomas, principal, Rebecca Thomas & Associates; Zannie Voss, director, SMU DataArts
What does it mean to center cultural equity? Nationwide calls for accountability in philanthropy and arts organizations escalated in summer 2020 and the path towards centering cultural equity since has been paved with steps and missteps. Re-emerging from the pandemic in an environment filled with uncertainty, arts leaders face decisions about how to reopen and whom to gather. Many will need to align their strategies for purposeful rebuilding of their business and program models with demands for racial equity and justice. And, as Arts & Sciences Council Charlotte learned with its Cultural Equity Report, grantmakers can also face backlash in their journey towards equity.
Join us in conversation to hear from those leading and heeding the call for institutional accountability, transparency and uncomfortable truth-telling in the pursuit of racial equity in community arts. Together we will: 1) bring together insights that illuminate inequities and offer consideration of implications for funding priorities; 2) highlight successful strategies employed by BIPOC organizations building resilience and sustainability; 3) explore the role of race and ethnicity in cultural engagement; and 4) offer strategies for becoming effective partners in fostering community resilience.
Foundations and Social Bonds: Innovation in Funding an Equitable Recovery
Presenters: Anna Raginskaya, financial advisor, Blue Rider Group at Morgan Stanley; Zach Solomon, executive director, Public Finance Group at Morgan Stanley; Debra Schwartz, managing director, Impact Investments, MacArthur Foundation
In the summer of 2020, several foundations including Ford, Doris Duke, Mellon and the MacArthur Foundation turned to a non-traditional source of funding, the public bond market, to ask investors to finance grantmaking to non-profits. By issuing “social bonds,” these foundations collectively tapped into an additional $1.7 billion of capital to support and stabilize organizations in the arts and social justice. In turn, investors in the bonds, which included individuals and foundations, received an attractive, highly-rated investment with positive social, as well as financial return: helping fuel a more just and inclusive recovery. Foundations issuing debt at scale for nonprofit grant-making is a new approach: one that allowed foundations to boost their giving at a time when many non-profits faced reductions in funding. This session will unpack the innovative mechanism by which these funders created this financial capacity and discuss the role that the financial sector can play, in partnership with philanthropy, to scale solutions to address systemic challenges. We will learn more about how these foundations deployed the capital they raised through grants and discuss the latest trends in impact investing: a way for foundations to more deeply engage with their mission in their endowments.
Guaranteed Income Initiatives in San Francisco, St. Paul, and New York State
Presenters: Emil Kang, AndrTheater, Opera and Filmw W. Mellon Foundation; Sarah Calderon, Creatives Rebuild New York; Deborah Cullinan, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; Soley Esteves, assistant director, Programs & Operations, Creatives Rebuild New York; Laura Zabel, Springboard for the Arts
Building a sustainable economic floor for artists in our communities has become a key response to the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. We know that artists have the skills to help us build social cohesion, support our socio-emotional needs, rethink our public areas, and that artists, designers, and culture bearers will provide the problem-solving skills we need to create a more just and equitable recovery. Guaranteed income is one innovative way to address the economic insecurity of the creative sector. Three organizations -Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Springboard for the Arts, and Creatives Rebuild New York- have each launched guaranteed income programs in the past year. While each initiative is structured differently, they all draw on a variety of partnerships with government, philanthropy, and non-profit organizations. This panel will discuss the importance of these programs for individual artists and the greater economy, program implementation, outcomes, and shared learning.
Harnessing Arts Funding for Civic Power
Presenters: Miriam Fogelson, Acting Director of Harness; Pacita Rudder, Senior Programs Manager of Harness; Charlotte Castillo, Managing Director of Poderistas; Yosimar Reyes, Artist; Erika Wood, Program Officer, Civic Engagement and Government, at the Ford Foundation
Led by Harness, an arts-based social change organization, this interactive panel will explore ways to leverage mass media/pop culture creatives and creativity (TV, film) to advance social justice. Harness will share case studies from its various approaches to utilizing Hollywood storytelling, engagement with celebrity influencers, pop culture interventions and cultural organizing to advance movements for civic participation and racial and gender justice. The panel will highlight Harness’s 2020 #BeCounted census campaign where they increased the participation of hard-to-count communities in Puerto Rico and throughout the U.S. In the final months of the census, the participation rate in Puerto Rico was disproportionately low. Harness led a targeted media and influencer campaign to increase turnout. It partnered with Rita Moreno and the Hispanic Federation to create Spanish PSAs that were distributed via social media and Telemundo, one of the larger Spanish-language television networks on the island. Founded by America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama, and Ryan Piers Williams in 2016, Harness has become a trusted leader in organizing high-impact entertainment industry leader.
Building Power for a Just Transition: The Art of Environmental Justice in Puerto Rico
Presenters: Jorge Diaz, co-director, AgitArte, PR; Xiomara Caro-Díaz, Executive director, María Fund, San Juan, PR; Arturo Massol-Deya, Executive director, Casa Pueblo, Adjuntas, PR; Vanessa Monique Smith, director of programs, Hester Street, New York, NY; Robert Smith III, program officer, Thriving Cultures, Surdna Foundation, New York, NY
Working across sectors, with intersectionality in mind, is essential to achieving any racial justice goal, especially a “just transition” for communities across the United States. According to the Climate Justice Alliance, "Just Transition is... a set of principles, processes, and practices that build economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy." The Surdna Foundation partners with Hester Street and the María Fund in Puerto Rico to support artists and cultural leaders who are prototyping new systems to advance environmental justice throughout the island. Join us for a dynamic conversation with frontline leaders that will share two case studies that illuminate the role of art and culture in the struggle for environmental justice.
Reimagining Equitable Grant Programs Through a Participatory Process
Presenters: Todd Trebour, Organizations program director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts; Mollie Flanagan, Individual Artist program director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts; MJ Robinson, freelance artist, educator, and community activist, member of individual artist grants working group; Silvermoon LaRose, associate director, Tomaquag Museum, and member of arts access grant working group and individual artist grants working group; Taylor Jackson, executive director, Providence CityArts for Youth, and member of general operating support and arts access grants working groups
Effective and equitable participatory grantmaking requires centering community voice in grant program design, including explorations of intent, application and reporting processes, and funding decisions. This interactive workshop will dive into RISCAs recent and current grant program overhauls in which three different working groups comprised of 10-35 artists, culture bearers, and arts administrators from around Rhode Island worked collaboratively with RISCA program directors in the design and restructuring of RISCAs grant programs. Powered directly by constituent voice and with a focus on racial equity, grant programs that have been restructured or completely overhauled include general operating support for organizations; project grants for organizations; and all individual artist grantmaking. This session will examine the processes we used, why we did it this way, and what we learned. Included in the session will be a group exploration of how to center the voice of those you engage (or hope to engage) with your grant programs in changes you make to grantmaking processes, ensuring your programs are relevant, responsive, and more just.
Tuesday, November 9
Latinx Artist Fellowship Initiative
Presenters: Casandra Hernández Faham, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Elia Alba, 2021 Latinx Artist Fellow; Marcela Guerrero, Assistant Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art; Miguel Luciano, 2021 Latinx Artist Fellow; Adriana Zavala, Director, US Latinx Art Forum
While Latinxs comprise 20% of the US population, their cultural contributions to the history of American art and culture remain under-recognized. To challenge this, the Ford Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in partnership with the US Latinx Art Forum (USLAF), launched the Latinx Artist Fellowship in July 2021. The fellowship is the first of its kind: a $50,000 unrestricted award to some of the most compelling Latinx visual artists working in the United States today. It provides financial support and recognition while amplifying a public conversation about the rightful place of Latinx art within American art. 2021 Latinx Artist Fellows Elia Alba and Miguel Luciano will join a conversation with Marcela Guerrero, Assistant Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Adriana Zavala, Director of USLAF, to discuss the possibilities presented by the fellowship and how the artists’ work is contributing to contemporary American and Puerto Rican diasporic culture as well as more expansive notions of Latinidad.
Change from the Inside Out: Coaching as a Tool for Advancing Racial Equity
Presenters: SueEllen Kroll, program officer, Arts & Creativity, Barr Foundation; Deryn Dudley, Ph.D., director, Learning, Evaluation, Engagement; Sunny Widmann, director, NAS
This session highlights the power of coaching in advancing racial equity within the sector. NAS and Barr Foundation have partnered to add coaching as a tool of support and transformation for mid-level leaders within arts organizations across Massachusetts. The initiative was created after noting that even with significant training, mid-level leaders found themselves in difficult spaces managing change when their organizations begin racial equity efforts. Questions that surfaced included: How can mid-level leaders identify what is within their power to change when they don’t hold the top position? How can they develop their own management skills to lead with equity at the center? In this session, we will share data about the changes that occurred at as a result of coaching. We will highlight the uniqueness of coaching as a leadership development tool that honors the innate wisdom of each person, rather than providing prescriptive solutions. This is an interruption of the traditional capacity building model which inevitably perpetuates the status quo by passing down formulas and “best practices” from the past rather than supporting the emergence of new practices and the resurrection of practices long stifled by the dominant culture.
Regenerating Puerto Rico’s Arts and Culture Ecosystem: Model Artist/Museum Partnerships
Presenters: Marianne Ramirez Aponte, Executive director of the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (MAC); Humberto Figueroa, an artist, independent curator, and former museum director; and Antonio Gonzalez Walker, an interdisciplinary multimedia artist and cultural producer active in organizing projects focused on community-building and ecological awareness; Jaime Suarez, CERF+ board member, ceramist/installation artist/architect
The synergistic relationship that exists between many museums and artists in Puerto Rico has been especially powerful in the aftermath of recent disasters on the Island. This session will examine the nature of those relationships – how they work, why they work – and reflect on the importance of these connections for survival and transformation of the creative sector in the wake of historic hurricanes, earthquakes, and global pandemics. The session will highlight successful collaborations in San Juan and in various provincial towns, including the restoration of artists’ studios, commissions for community-based projects, expansion/retrofitting of individual and collective workspace, and grant writing clinics.
Towards a New Vision of Service Organizations: Rethinking and decolonizing approaches to serving the arts & cultural education sector
Presenters: Jeff M. Poulin, Managing director, Creative Generation; Michelle Ramos, Executive director, Alternate ROOTS; Ashraf Hasham, Youth Arts Manager, City of Seattle's Office of Arts & Culture; Karla Estela Rivera, Executive director, Free Street Theatre; Quanice Floyd, Executive director, Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance; Founder, Arts Administrators of Color
The arts and cultural education sector has faced significant shifts resulting from the upheaval of 2020: digital learning, supporting the wellbeing of teaching artists, and most importantly, the impact of the racial reckoning occurring in the US and around the globe. New research depicts a field-based desire for new models of leadership in service to the sector: power-sharing, service vs. authority, and community-based and youth-led decision-making. In this session, participants will grapple with the impacts of this research to address the question: How can decision-makers, particularly in the funding community, support arts and cultural “service organizations" as they respond to the changing landscape of programs serving communities?
Reclaiming the Border Narrative
Presenters: Lane Harwell, program officer, Creativity and Free Expression, The Ford Foundation; Guerline Jozef, activist, servant, mother, sister, niece, and wife; Josue Ramirez, cultural worker and community advocate in the Rio Grande Valley; Linda Caballero Sotelo, executive director & chief curator, New Americans Museum & Immigrant Learning Center; Maribel Alvarez, anthropologist, folklorist, writer, and curator
Dominant narratives across U.S. administrations have vilified communities on the U.S.-Mexico border and stoked fear of immigrants, fueling xenophobic policies including family separation and a multi-billion dollar border wall. These narratives have markedly sidelined and flattened the voices, cultures, and contributions of those most impacted–indigenous communities, immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers living and working in border states, as well as migrants from Central and South America and elsewhere who make their way to the border–and caused these communities harm. This session brings together immigrant rights advocates and artists who are a part of Reclaiming the Border Narrative initiative, a new three-year initiative seeded by Ford Foundation to resource authentic storytelling by affected communities on the cultures and socio-political dynamics that comprise the region. The session will interrogate opportunities for cross-thematic funding to penetrate and reshape national attention on migration and the border. How can funders working across geographies and issues resource immigrant rights advocates and organizations to strengthen their narrative infrastructure, deploy creative strategies, and achieve impact? How can funders support border artists, filmmakers, writers, and journalists to organize and preserve stories reflecting the dignity and truth of border communities, on their terms and in their voices?
Rooted, Reflective & Responsive: Los Angeles Arts Recovery Fund
Presenters: Sarah Lyding, The Music Man Foundation, moderator; Jarrett Barrios, California Community Foundation; Katherine Bonalos, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation; Anne Helmreich, Getty Foundation; Kibra Yohannes, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
In 2020-21, the largest pooled fund for arts and culture organizations in Los Angeles was created. The LA Arts Recovery Fund, a $39.6 fund designed to provide flexible, multi-year operating support and technical assistance for small and medium-sized arts organizations affected by COVID-19. Inspired by other pooled responses like the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund and seeded by the J. Paul Getty Trusts initial commitment of $10M, more than twenty local and national funders – including private foundations, government agencies, and individual philanthropists – came together to design a thoughtful, responsive grant opportunity to support the county’s vital and valued arts organizations. The Fund includes a challenge grant from the Ford Foundation America’s Cultural Treasures regional initiative. The Building Back Together session will focus on principles which have guided the Fund’s work, with an emphasis on how funders have worked in collaboration with one another and with arts community leaders during these unprecedented times. The session will examine the many facets of the Fund’s commitment to organizations representing diverse communities that have been historically underfunded, and will explore the role of public-private partnership among local arts agencies and foundations.
Strengthening the Arts Through the Power of Las Colaboraciones
Presenters: Vanessa Gonzalez, Senior Managing Director, Programs, Flamboyan Foundation; Juan Gudiño Cabrera, Senior Director, Flamboyan Arts Fund, Flamboyan Foundation; Javier Hernández Founder, Inversión Cultural and Associate Professor, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón
At the heart of Puerto Rican culture is a vibrant expression of humanity through the arts. Whether through theater, dance, music, literature or the visual arts, Puerto Ricans have always relied on the arts to tell our story and our daily lives. As Puerto Rico has faced multiple crises in the last few years, the arts have been more important than ever, from providing relief to communities facing natural disasters to providing a critical activist voice during times of political turmoil. By collaborating across donors and with artists, philanthropy can provide essential resources to artists while centering local needs and context. In this session, three donors will have a conversation about recent collaborations in Puerto Rico and lessons learned, including: starting with listening and learning directly from artists and arts organizations collaborating through authentic local partnerships; designing programs starting with the needs of the local context; Puerto Rico-specific considerations for diversity, equity and inclusion; collaborations to highlight through the discussion; COVID-19 emergency relief; shared services for arts organizations; and Arts, Innovation and Management (AIM) Puerto Rico.
Shaping Change: Artist-led Visions of Equity
Presenters: Michele Kumi Baer, founding partner of Cultural New Deal; Yanira Castro, representing Creating New Futures; Walken Schweigert, representing Radical EQ.; Eleanor Savage, Jerome Foundation; Sharon DeMark, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
Throughout history, whenever the world shifts in unchartered and treacherous ways, artists have been at the forefront, leading the way toward understanding and transformation. This is true now, as artists act as first responders during this unprecedented disruption. Artist-led initiatives are happening locally, regionally, across artistic disciplines, and in larger systems-approaches. While all different in scope, these collective initiatives are addressing, head-on, the practices, policies, and systems that disadvantage BIPOC, LBGTQ, rural artists, and artists with disabilities and the organizations they lead. What can philanthropy learn from these new collaborations? How do funders connect in authentic ways that help move toward greater equity? How are artists challenging philanthropy’s role in this work? In this session, we will hear from the disruptors, changemakers, iconoclasts, and visionaries whose work is shifting power and influence to communities that have been and continue to be underserved.
MN Artist Coalition’s Radical Equity in Philanthropy brings together artists and funders in dialogue and strategy building. Creating New Futures is framing principles and guidelines for the dance/performance field to address longstanding inequities. And the Cultural New Deal, a collaborative of organizations dedicated to arts equity, calls out specific changes that need to be addressed including how investments are made in the arts.
Shifting Toward Healing Cultures in Our Funding Institutions
Presenters: Meena Malik, senior program manager, Theater, New England Foundation for the Arts; Tiffany (Ti) Wilhelm, program officer, Opportunity Fund
There is a growing awareness among us that culture (our deep, unconscious rules, and norms), particularly white supremacy culture, is pervasive in our organizations and holds systems of oppression and inequitable funding in place. In this interactive session, participants and facilitators will share possibilities about how we can shift our funding entities toward cultures of care, healing, emotional awareness, emergence, rest, humane notions of productivity, power with rather than power over, and more. This will be a highly interactive session. We encourage participants to bring a journal or another method to do some self-reflection.
Indigenous Artists Radically Imagine a New Future
Presenters: Janet Maylen, NDN Foundation; Cara Romero, photographer; Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, filmmaker; Marianne Nicholson, community organizer/carver
Reflecting upon the evolving nature of Indigenous arts, Chehalis artist Hazel Pete once remarked that “Native people have always used what was available, and today we have the world.” Contemporary Indigenous artists use all the tools at their disposal to radically imagine a world where life is sustainable for all people and the planet. The 2021 cohort of NDN Collective’s Radical Imagination artists will share their work and engage the audience in seeing the world from uniquely Indigenous perspectives. Native photographers reverse the power dynamic by taking the cameras into their own hands to share unfiltered views into our lifeways, to reveal heritage and identity in a way that is inherently connected to the land. Podcasters describe how to rebuild community in places where villages have had to be relocated due to rising sea levels. Filmmakers translate oral histories and ancient teachings that offer sustainable approaches to living in a world continually threatened by exploitation and extraction. In these pandemic times, where the racial and social inequities and brutalities have been laid bare, a radical imagination is needed to not only envision a new future, but to build it.
Beyond the Land Acknowledgement
Presenters: Tina Kuckkahn (Ojibwe), Director, Grantmaking, NDN Collective; Gaby Strong (Dakota), Managing Director, NDN Collective; Quita Sullivan (Montaukett/Shinnecock), Program Director, Theater, New England Foundation for the Arts
At a time when many grantmakers are seeking to increase funding and other resources for BIPOC-led organizations, it is important to recognize the unique political status and histories of Indigenous peoples.
You are invited to participate in a roundtable conversation with GIA board members Gaby Strong (Dakota), Quita Sullivan (Montaukett/Shinnecock) and Tina Kuckkahn (Ojibwe) to examine the questions: What does meaningful support of Indigenous peoples and communities look like? How is it different, and why? We welcome all to discuss the issues and share wise practices.
Artist Talk: Arts & Heritage in Puerto Rico
Panelists: Jorge González, Awilda Sterling, and Ernesto Pujol
Join artists Jorge González, Awilda Sterling, and Ernesto Pujol in a talk about arts and heritage in Puerto Rico and the connections to their practices, their identities, and a fuller plurality of Puerto Rican cultural heritage. In conversation, the artists will share how they center cultural margins through public portraits of peoples and places under threat, interweaving gesture and performance with ‘fine art’ creation, and calling on Borikua material culture to bridge Indigenous and modern ways of living and making.
Wednesday, November 10
How Funders May Help Arts Orgs Move Towards Racial Equity
Presenters: Ashraf Hasham, Youth Arts manager, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Arts Education Councilmember; Quanice Floyd, executive director, Arts in Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS); Arts Administrators of Color Network; Arts Education Councilmember; Jenna Gabriel, Independent Education consultant, Ph.D. student and instructor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Arts Education Councilmember; Tamaira “Miss Tee” Sandifer, founder/CEO, Studio T Urban Dance Academy / Studio T Arts and Entertainment, Board Member, Californians for the Arts, Arts Education Councilmember
For the past 4 decades, arts education institutions and service organizations have struggled to create spaces that have been inclusive to members of their own communities. From multiculturalism to diversity equity, inclusion to cultural equity and now racial equity, the arts has long professed itself to be “progressive” while there are perceived instances of harm that are continuous throughout the sector. Communities of color have been fighting to not only have a seat at the table but to make sure the field becomes a safe space for generations to come. Funders play a pivotal role in this work and can help hold institutions accountable. In the wake of COVID and a renunciation of institutional racism, how may we fill the national void of national arts service organizations that can advocate for the field, in earnest? This session will be an in-depth discussion facilitated by arts education leaders from around the country to truly acknowledge and honor what arts education institutions can do beyond a racial equity statement. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about the 5As framework of operationalizing racial equity in their own institutions and how to really walk the walk and talk the talk.
From Emergency Response to Reimagining
Presenters: Emily Waters, Mellon Foundation; Alice Sheppard, dancer and choreographer; Emily Johnson, artist
“We are not building an institution. We are building an intervention.”
This panel conversation builds upon the Mellon Foundation’s support for COVID-19 safe “bubble residency” grants at the height of the pandemic. These grants provided funds for dance artists to design residency experiences custom suited to their artistic goals, values, and organizational structures. The artist-led design and funding structure (direct to artists as opposed to institutions) marked a shift from past practices and demonstrated a model for how we might restructure future grantmaking practices to advance artistic agency. The residencies led to enduring conversations with artists, exploring what success looks like when 501(c)(3) business practices are not prerequisites and artists reimagine, interrupt, or disregard this model. These discussions asked us to consider new ideas, practices, business structures, and interventions in a field ripe for reinvention.
This session will:
- Center artist voices in a conversation about how philanthropy can bolster artistic agency and vision
- Discuss how funders might foster collaborative conversations about creative design, effective practices, and long-term goals
Data Collection: Lessons Learned in the COVID Era
Presenters: Dr. Zannie Voss, director, SMU DataArts; Randy Cohen, vice president of Research, Americans for the Arts; Alan Brown, principal, WolfBrown; Jen Benoit-Bryan, vice president and co-director, Slover Linett
With all the data collection that’s been done to measure the impact of COVID on arts and culture, we take this opportunity to review and reflect on what went well and what didn’t. This session, initiated by Kristin Sakoda and Bronwyn Mauldin of LA County Department of Arts and Culture, will unite panelists from WolfBrown, Slover Linett Audience Research, Americans for the Arts, and SMU DataArts, each of whom have led prominent research projects in the arts during this critical time. They will share a conversation about what each of them measured, why, and how. The goal is an honest exploration of what worked, what didn’t, and what they learned about collecting, analyzing, and reporting out pandemic-area data on the field of arts and culture. We will probe questions such as: If they had it to do over again, what would they do differently? What was learned about cultural and racial equity along the way, in data collection practices, methods used, outcomes of interest, and findings? What role should funders and local arts agencies play in supporting high quality data collection, avoiding unnecessary duplication of efforts, and putting research findings to work?
Using Arts and Culture as a Frame to Approach Social Issues
Presenters: Anita Contini, Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts program lead; Stephanie Dockery, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Arts Team
Commemorating the centennial of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street Massacre, the City of Tulsa and the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission partnered with artist Rick Lowe to launch the Greenwood Art Project. Through deep engagement with the Greenwood community and 32 local artists, this public art project is exploring the hidden history of the massacre and investing in an economically disenfranchised neighborhood. Presented as a biennial May 26 – October 25, 2021, these art installations are bringing residents together to reckon with the past and provide an equitable future. Anita Contini, Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Program Lead, and Stephanie Dockery, Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, will discuss how this community centered art and Greenwood residents in the centennial commemoration.
Ambitious Dreaming: What Folk & Traditional Arts are Doing and Can Do for the Field
Presenters: Amy Kitchener, executive director, Alliance for California Traditional Arts; Lori Pourier (Oglala Lakota), president, First People's Fund; Kumu Hula Vicky Holt Takamine, executive director, P'AI Foundation; Dr. Maribel Alvarez, dean of Community Engagement, University of Arizona and Southwest Folklife Alliance
A synergy of research is occurring with the support of several national funders to explore the complex systems of cultural communities and the ways in which traditional arts practices propel taproot care and repair in communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic, climate change, health disparities and other factors. Understanding how culture bearers who are connected to ancestral spirit, practices, and land provide a connective tissue to bind people together in the face of structural racism, acculturation and other disparities is a pathway to supporting a more equitable and just world. What can funders learn from the folk and traditional arts to identify strategies that strengthen group identities, belongingness, power and pluralism? How can we strengthen support for diverse aesthetic systems through values-based traditional cultural practices and recognize networks both formal and informal that are critical to thriving?
Four thought leaders share their ambitious dreams, perspectives, and preliminary research funded by the NEA, Doris Duke Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in separate but relational initiatives which center culture-bearers, tradition-based practices, ancestral knowledge, and ethnographic action research to consider how this sector can be supported and lifted up for the caretakers and innovative changemakers that they represent.
Grantmakers as Bridgebuilders: Bringing Intermediary Funders from the Margins to the Center
Presenters: Amber Hamilton, CEO, Memphis Music Initiative; Rychetta Watkins, director, Grantmaking and Capacity Building, Memphis Music Initiative; Janine Christiano, Strategic Funding and Initiatives manager, Nashville Office of Arts and Culture; Carlton Turner, Alternate ROOTS and Mississippi Center for Cultural Production
By definition, intermediary funders occupy a liminal space – granting funds while also exposed to the challenges of the nonprofit environment due to the need to fundraise and/or run direct programming. While this duality is often seen as challenging, this in-between position can, as Cherrie Moraga might put it, offer the benefit of a perspective from the margins. Intermediary funders can center community needs, rather than a board of directors or trustees. As a result, intermediary funders are often better able to implement innovative funding and programming strategies to maximize support for grantees and their communities. In this panel, intermediary funders Metro Arts Nashville, Memphis Music Initiative, and another TBD, will consider:
- How does being an intermediary influence granting? How does it shape who and how we fund?
- How does being an intermediary shape evaluations of the work? Does running direct programs influence our understanding of program efficacy?
- How do intermediaries leverage partnerships to provide programming on a limited budget?
- What insights on programming, grantmaking, and evaluation can intermediaries offer to other, more traditional funders?
The panel use the Interactive Workshop Lite format, providing case studies and question and answer to solicit feedback and encourage dialogue.
Evidence-Based Arts Grantmaking: What do we know and where do we want to go?
Presenters: Judilee Reed, program officer, William Penn Foundation; Jennifer Novak-Leonard, research associate professor, University of Illinois; Gwendolyn Rugg, research scientist, NORC at the University of Chicago; Aviva Kapust, The Village of Arts & Humanities, Philadelphia; Arnaldo Cruz, director of Research and Policy of the Financial Oversight and Management Board of Puerto Rico, former Research director of Foundation for Puerto Rico; Lindsay Tucker So, program officer, William Penn Foundation; Michelle Currica, program and grants manager, Samuel S Fels Fund
There is a great desire to use an evidence base to justify funding decisions, but to what extent does it exist in relation to arts and culture? This session will address issues and challenges around needs for evidence-based grantmaking. This session will offer perspectives from grantmakers, practitioners, and researchers on the existing evidence base on the outcomes of engaging with arts and culture, specifically focusing on what is known about the link between arts engagement and community health, wellbeing, and resilience in the face of community-wide challenges such as public health crises, natural disasters, and social inequities. Arts funders and practitioners from Puerto Rico and Philadelphia will discuss the link between their work and the research base. The conversation will be anchored by lessons learned from a new research report commissioned by the William Penn Foundation that examines the evidence base for the outcomes of arts engagement for individuals and communities, including lessons about the extent to which questions of racial equity are addressed in the current evidence base. The session will prompt discussion and reflection related to strategic grantmaking in the arts, as well as implications for arts policy and practice.
All Funding is Local: Community Foundations Leveraging Donor Partnership for Local Arts Investment
Presenters: Jerry Tischleder, program officer, Arts and Culture at the Oregon Community Foundation; Salem Tsegaye, program associate, Arts & Culture at the New York Community Trust; Lindiana Semidei, program associate, Greater Worcester Community Foundation
Donor partnership has increasingly become a focus for community foundations seeking to grow their impact. While these collaborations can allow foundations to undertake exciting initiatives (such as funding artists directly or investing in artistic risk), they can also entail significant work, result in permanent programs that lose relevance over time, and prioritize the interests of a largely white donor base. Intended for those working at, interested in working at, or hoping to partner with community foundations, this session will feature program staff from three to four different foundations candidly discussing the way they collaborate with development and donor relations staff to cultivate donor relationships, keep arts in focus as a foundation priority, and identify opportunities for partnership. In an interactive conversation that invites attendee participation, presenters will explore the challenges of donor partnership in competitive philanthropic markets and give specific examples of the opportunities presented by authentic, long-term relationships with arts-interested donors.
Artist Talk: Arte de Base Communitaria
Panelists: Chemi Rosado Seijo, Jesús ‘BUBU’ Negrón, Edgardo Larregui
Join artists Chemi Rosado Seijo, Jesús ‘Bubu’ Negrón, and Edgardo Larregui in an informal talk about their community based-art projects in El Cerro, La Perla, Puerta de Tierra, Bayamón, and Comunidad El Gandul in Santurce. Discuss their practices and challenges together and get insight into social impact of artist-led, community-based change.
The Cultural Policy Action Lab
Presenters: Jen Cole, National Collaborative for Creative Work at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts; Randy Engstrom, Third Way Creative
Grantmakers in the Arts has engaged with Jen Cole of the National Collaborative for Creative Work at ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, in collaboration with Randy Engstrom of Third Way Creative, to co-create a Learning Lab series focused on advancing racial justice through intersectional cultural policy. With an aim of transformational change in the public sector, this partnership will include codesign of content, a series of public presentations, and a cohort that will build a deeper community of practice. The Cultural Policy Action Lab seeks to engage with GIA members via facilitated breakout groups to inform the content, focus, and structure of the model as it begins its development.
Defining and Centering Community Culturally Grounded Organizations
Presenters: Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, Founder, Creative Justice Initiative; Olga Garay-English, Principal, OMGArtsplus; and E’Vonne Coleman-Cook
Organizations grounded in the cultural and racial communities that motivated their development are a critical component of the cultural arts field in our nation. Many developed due to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and they continue to address the unrelenting challenges required to achieve equity, racial, social, and economic justice. Culturally grounded organizations are a sector in the U.S. arts ecosystem that must be nurtured and grown.
Arts and culture undergird the aesthetic and cultural frameworks that inspire our organizational missions. Arts and culture define the philosophy and democratic principles of the diverse cultural mosaic that demarcates our nation. The Cultural Equity Survey data gathered by the Cultural Equity Initiative indicates that these institutions - too often marginalized for their social justice artistic focus - have been historically underfunded. Foundations need to establish a funding category that recognizes these organizations as a sector, which are at the forefront of decolonizing the aesthetic of Eurocentric-ness. Instead, we need to establish sustainable and stable funding that recognizes the global aesthetic, which asserts that all our nation’s cultures must be equitably funded. The Defining and Centering Community Culturally Grounded Organizations roundtable will address the need to establish a framework to support and institutionalize culturally grounded organizations.
Thursday, November 11
For the Record: Documentation Support for Individual Artists
Presenters: Stanlyn Brevé, National Performance Network; Adriana Griño, Kenneth Rainin Foundation; Lillian Osei-Boateng, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
With so many artists struggling to secure funds to just get their projects off the ground and on the stage, documentation of their work is often left as an afterthought. In our increasingly digital world, this can no longer be the case as more and more grantmakers and presenters/producers look for high quality work samples and marketing materials as they select artists who they will partner with. This session will focus on the unique ways that grantmakers are serving artists by helping them to create materials they can use in their self-promotion and documentation efforts.
The Role of Affirmation and Care in Racial Equity Work
Presenters: Sage Crump, National Performance Network; Natalie Bamdad of Change Elemental; Jackie Clay, Coleman Center for the Arts
Leveraging a Network for Equity has been in deep relationship with a cohort of arts organizations of color and rural organizations for almost a decade. As we come to a close, we are working to share with the field the harvest of learning form that time. In small groups, participants will have the opportunity to discuss key systemic barriers facing artist organizations of color and rural arts organizations and use the deck to understand how they are addressing these challenges and ideate on other potential pathways for funders to support.
Building Supportive Climates for Artists
Presenters: Kelly Sicat, director, Lucas Artists Program, Montalvo Arts Center; Kamra Hakim, founder, Activation Residency; Megha Ralapati, residency manager, Hyde Park Art Center; Lisa Funderburke Hoffman, executive director, Artist Communities Alliance; Arleta Little, Arts program officer & director of Artist Fellowships, McKnight Foundation; Edwige Charlot, director of Community Learning, Artist Communities Alliance; Seitu Ken Jones, multidisciplinary artist; Dr. Katherine Hogan, community psychologist.
Join us as we share the learning journey on how to create fair, just, inclusive residency environments and support artists during a pandemic, racial reckoning, and environmental crisis. The Artist Communities Alliance and McKnight Foundation embarked on a partnership in 2020 to expand McKnight Foundation’s support for individual artists. This program aims to enlarge the equitable capacity (the ability of an individual or organization to be equitable in their work and address white body supremacy) of participating artists residencies while providing McKnight Artist Fellow with residency opportunities. In its first three years, up to 98 McKnight Artist Fellows will participate in residencies at seventeen partner host sites. ACA provides professional development and facilitates learning between host sites to create the most healthy and generative environment for artists to thrive.
Youth Voices Leading for Racial Justice
Presenters: Matt Woods, Ingenuity's Executive Leadership and Philanthropic Leadership; Paul Sznewajs, Ingenuity's Executive Leadership and Philanthropic Leadership; Elizabeth Graettinger Cole, Ingenuity's Executive Leadership and Philanthropic Leadership; Nicole Upton, Ingenuity's Executive Leadership and Philanthropic Leadership; Ola Faleti, Ingenuity's Executive Leadership and Philanthropic Leadership
Throughout the early months of the pandemic, Ingenuity, as a sector-service organization, convened student, teacher, philanthropic, and arts leaders to examine the implications of this unusual year on the arts writ large. The Arts Education Response Collective (ARC) issued a call to action for the arts sector to broaden and deepen its commitment to equity so that it more explicitly includes racial justice, economic parity, and human dignity. Following the onset of the pandemic, school closures for a full year, and nationwide mobilization following police murders – Chicago’s youth voices were at the forefront of local protest, community organizing, and activism, as well as student driven movements to protest the use of School Resource Officers, or police, in schools. Centering youth voices within the ARC equity conversation has transformed approaches to arts education, trauma-informed arts teaching practices, organizational grappling with anti-racism practices, and philanthropic focus. Leading questions within the conversation include: What reckoning within the arts education sector will drive anti-racism principles and equity practices to the center, rather than the edges, of our work? What role can youth voices play in defining and activating a vision for change? How do we teach and learn within this important work together?
Funding Cultural Equity and Spatial Justice in Public Artmaking
Presenters: Glenn Ayars, Cultural Programs manager, City of Dallas; Adriana Portillo, Cultural Programs coordinator, City of Dallas; Kim Szeto, program director, Public Art, New England Foundation for the Arts; Kenneth Bailey, Sector Organizing and Strategy lead, and co-Founder, Design Studio for Social Intervention
Public spaces are not neutral. They are steeped in histories, policies and practices of exclusion and oppression. For many who identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of color, public space is anything but public. What role can artists, residents and municipal allies play in reimagining and reshaping public spaces to support the rights of BIPOC to be, thrive, express, and connect? The City of Dallas has a vibrant, active, and rapidly evolving artistic landscape. After the implementation of a new cultural plan, their focus on the key priorities of equity and support for artists has become fundamental to the creation and evolution of our funding programs and responding to the needs of our artists and residents. Join the New England Foundation for the Arts in collaboration with the Design Studio for Social Intervention, and City of Dallas in a conversation about what we are learning from and with our communities as we center cultural equity and spatial justice in our programs as we work towards more just, joyful, and inclusive public spaces.
The Role of Artists in Democratizing the Digital Economy
Presenters: Laura Poppiti, program director, Center for Cultural Innovation; Lauren Ruffin, co-founder, Crux; Blair Russell, Producer, Crux
Nearly everyone is increasingly dependent on the digital economy for information, commerce, income, education, entertainment, and political action. But technology is still monopolized by a small group of Big Tech founders. Artists can help democratize the digital domain and to shift power and accountability. Artists’ interest in controlling their online business and platforms, means of distribution, and creative content make them well-suited to shape a digital space that is favorable to people, rather than corporate owners and venture capitalists. In this session, digital artists will discuss how they are collectivizing through cooperative ownership models in order to amplify the work of BIPOC artists, their approach to creating distribution platforms authored by and for them, and what is needed to support the building of an infrastructure that will prioritize BIPOC voices in digital content creation and generate wealth for BIPOC creators.
Arts for Health Care Providers: Remind Us We are Human!
Presenters: Katherine Reed, Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program, Children’s Hospital Colorado; Michael Henry, Lighthouse Writers’ Workshop, Denver, Colorado; Marc Moss, MD, University of Colorado Hospital; Gary Steuer, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation
CORAL, the Colorado Resilience in Arts Lab, is a one-of-a-kind partnership between the University of Colorado Hospital, the Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and the NEA. This 90-minute session will explore CORAL’s research in Health Care Provider Burnout Prevention through art, music, dance, and writing workshops. The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened the demands on Health Care Providers, creating new levels of trauma and loss. CORAL has responded to this global crisis with hands-on artistic experiences designed to process vicarious trauma and offer a sense of solidarity through the arts. The presenters will represent CORAL’s multidisciplinary team of writers, creative arts therapists, and NEA funders, who will review the 12-week, peer-reviewed protocols designed to facilitate community-building, artistic expression of vulnerability and authentic story-telling. Presentation will include dance and musical performance through video by the Health Care Providers themselves, reading of original prose and poetry, and exhibition of artwork. The participants of this session will witness and experience the transformative power of the arts to build community, develop resilience, and process trauma. The session will also touch on how both arts and health care funders are prioritizing investment in intersectional work like CORAL.
New, Old Story: Artists-Led Spaces
Panelists: Vanessa Hernández, El Lobi; Roberto ‘Yiyo’ Tirado, KM 0.2; José López Serra, Hidrante
Join artists- curator; Vanessa Hernández (El Lobi) Roberto ‘Yiyo’ Tirado (KM 0.2) and José López Serra (Hidrante) in an informal talk about alternative-artists led spaces, the role played in the local art scene, challenges, and opportunities.