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  • Barry's Blog: Bill Ivey's new book: Handmaking America
    arguing that we simply no longer trust those we elect to act in our stead But the biggest failure of the political left has been not to effectively counter the assertion that there is too much government and that government itself is a bad thing extraordinary evidence to the contrary III Consumption Bill shows how business and advertising have accelerated the commoditization of everything not the least of which are our very values He discusses the toxic effect of envy as the driving force behind our race for things as a means to define our worth as individuals and as a nation In many respects the heart of the matter lies in our addiction to endless spending and consuming exacerbated by the financial system s extolling of relentless debt assumption As Bill explains Consumerism honors spending and buying as the surest indicators of achievement and happiness Comoditization and advertising encourage this comingling of spending and quality of life In the age of the Kardashians we have become obsessed with acquiring things an obsession in part created and continuously facilitated and nurtured by corporate America and especially the finance industry He concludes with thoughts on responsibility and happiness Responsibility of the education system to nurture our children to be informed citizens the responsibility of parents to teach them that happiness does not lie exclusively in consumption the responsibility of government to prevent the excesses of business the responsibility of citizenship to understand that in the end we are all in this together I like this book very much I think everyone should read it For a serious work of analysis it is written in a very easy style Though of an extended essay length it is a slow read because there are so many ideas within that you want to frequently stop and savor the thinking Of course the devil is always in the details and with neither politicians nor the media even remotely interested in drilling down this far into examining what is going on one wonders how we will ever get our citizens to slow down to re examine those things that are pulling us apart and weakening the fabric of our society let alone give up addictions long in the making This book is really about vision or rather a response to our lack of having any sense of where we are going and how we might get there One hopes it will be a springboard for a wider serious national discussion but it will be enough if it is read and discussed This is the kind of thinking I would personally like to see come from our candidates or at least the independent thinkers Alas it is very likely too risky for any of them to adopt The media Not the so called mainstream media their mantra is as Don Henley of the Eagles noted twenty five years ago Get the widow on the set At the end the challenge is clear and Bill says it more

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2012/10/bill-iveys-new-book-handmaking-america.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: GIA to Meet in Miami / Mini Interview with Regina Smith
    with Regina Smith BARRY What motivated the Kresge s recent commitment to Creative Placemaking REGINA The Kresge Foundation partners with nonprofit organizations nationwide to improve the quality of life and create access and opportunity for underserved communities Since 2009 the goal of Kresge s national Arts and Culture Program has been to contribute to creation of healthy vibrant places To achieve that goal we developed a portfolio of three integrated and mutually reinforcing initiatives Institutional Capitalization Artist s Skills and Resources and Arts and Community Building By 2011 we recognized an imbalance in the implementation of the portfolio it was siloed and neither integrated nor mutually reinforcing It also became apparent that to achieve our goal of healthy vibrant places we required a unified strategy Creative Placemaking is the integration of arts and culture into comprehensive community improvement efforts We view it as a natural evolution that unifies the three initiatives of our previous work It is also the most succinct demonstration of the Team s alignment with the Kresge Foundation s aspiration BARRY What role do you think the nation s arts funding foundation programs will play in shaping the future of the sector in the face of diminishing government funding support REGINA This is an interesting and extremely loaded question It implies that the funding levels of the nation s arts funding foundations have remained level and the declines have been exclusively in government funding That hasn t been the case The contraction of resources in the philanthropic community has resulted in program revisions and a re examination of priorities Neither the public nor private sector can in isolation support the arts sector As a result I think the opportunities are rich for a shared vision amongst public and private arts funders at the local level on how to effectively support the cultural sector BARRY How has GIA the organization changed in the past three years REGINA Like every affinity group Grantmakers in the Arts GIA strives to deliver quality programs and services to its members The range of arts funders and supporters has grown over the years which has been great for the field For a membership association however it was challenging to remain true to the mission as an affinity group of arts funders and yet be inclusive of the expanding universe of organizations that support the arts field I would characterize GIA three years ago as trying to be all things to all people In an attempt to overcome the criticism of being an exclusive club of large arts foundations GIA overcompensated and honestly lost a bit of its focus It happens It s a challenge for any organization but for a national affinity group with a small staff and modest budget it was challenging Over the past three years GIA has sharpened its focus It s very much a work in progress but internally and externally GIA has a greater sense of clarity on who we serve and how we can best deliver on

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  • Barry's Blog: Oops. Small error on the WHAT I HAVE LEARNED entry
    learned how easy it is from the safety and security of my perch to be incurious and to gloss over the urgency of mission communicated in telling detail being offered up by someone on the other side of the table People who are not empowered are hyper vigilant and command a far more richly concrete understanding of their situation and their objectives than those of us who listen by choice rather than necessity So if you want to do well and to do good honor your constituencies by making your listening a necessity Don t Quit Barry Posted by Barry at 4 29 PM No comments Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Creative Vitality Suite Defined by the 59 SOC codes used in CVSuite Subscribe via email Enter your email address Delivered by FeedBurner Subscribe via Reader Subscribe in a reader Barry s Blog is a service of the Western States Arts Federation WESTAF The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of WESTAF Followers Buy Barry s Book HARDBALL LOBBYING FOR NONPROFITS Barry learned political advocacy the hard way convincing the California legislature to multiply many fold its investment in arts funding In his new book Barry extracts the lessons of his long experience into a readable and impassioned tutorial that has broad application throughout the nonprofit sector John Kriedler former President Community Initiative Fund This is a powerful provocative and daring look at the ups and downs of fighting for beliefs The book straightforwardly mixes together simple clear definitions strong opinions new ideas and in your face strategies all designed to help the good guys win Robert L Lynch President CEO Americans for the Arts Hardball Lobbying is an essential tool for every nonprofit leader who wants to see systems change and public dollars flow to the causes they care about Tim Wolfred Psy D Director of Leadership Services CompassPoint For those who want to begin a nonprofit I can think of no better guide and toolkit that Hardball Government students should read this as an insight into decision making as Barry explains how government and groups interact with one another at all levels Hardball is definitely not a book to collect dust but one to get dog eared highlighted debated and used Representative Adam Schiff U S Congress 29 th District California Click here http amzn to d1whZU HIRE BARRY TO SPEAK AT YOUR CONFERENCE email barryarts comcast net HIRE BARRY TO LEAD WORKSHOPS in Advocacy full and half day sessions customized to your situation Managing the Generational Divide in the Workplace The Business Side of the Music Industry email barryarts comcast net Popular Posts Widget by Blogger Buster Blog Archive 2016 11 April 1 March 4 February 3 January 3 2015 57 December 2 November 4 October 6 September 4 August 8 July 4 June 8 May 5 April 3 March 5 February 4 January 4 2014 68 December 6 November 4 October 7 September 6 August

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  • Barry's Blog: The WHAT I HAVE LEARNED Blog
    entered the arts field because we were personally inspired by an arts experience and we are passionate about classical music literature theater dance or the visual arts With evangelical zeal we have embarked on careers to promote these art forms and to help others see the light We have been convinced that excellence requires stepping outside of the commercial realm and protecting our beloved art forms from the vagaries and the banality of the marketplace So we find ourselves defending particular types of art that get produced and presented by particular types of organizations nonprofits But there is a difference between an evangelist and a public leader in the arts The former is an ideologue a faithful fan that does not question the value of the thing they love We need evangelists in the arts I am inspired by the army of people working in the arts who want to share with others their love for classical music or painting or dance This is a truly humanistic impulse But a public leader in the arts must approach the world more pragmatically and seek to define the public interest apart from one s own private interests or passions A public leader identifies a collective problem or benefit and then works creatively to solve the problem or advance the public good In other words if we want to lead in the arts we must try to be agnostic about the specific form and content of our programming What experiences do we want audiences to have What does cultural vitality mean for a city or community How can we advance artistic careers How can we guarantee that every child has the opportunity to express his or her own creativity When I seek answers to these questions I don t begin with an assumption that orchestral music performed on stage in a symphony hall will necessarily produce deep cultural engagement Or that taking drawing lessons or learning to play the piano is the best way to help children express their creativity I don t assume that advancing artistic careers means increasing the number of opportunities for artists to present or perform their work in nonprofit cultural venues I don t assume that cultural vitality requires that a community has a local dance company an orchestra a museum and a professional theater troupe In some contexts investing in classical music or traditional theater might be exactly what a community needs In other cases it might be the wrong solution crowding out investments we might make instead in festivals film popular music comics and graphic novels and the everyday practice of arts not just the nonprofit arena My point is that the public interest gets served when we seek to advance cultural vitality by any and all possible means Good leaders bring a broad tool kit to their work They get beyond special interest advocacy They question their own assumptions And importantly they realize that if they are to be public leaders and not evangelists they must be willing to subordinate their own personal passions to the policies and practices that advance a shared notion of cultural vitality For example let s say my goal is to help children develop a meaningful and deep creative practice I should not care whether that practice involves painting playing traditional instruments creating dance beats on a computer designing a video game making a film doing origami sewing costumes or writing poetry I do care that the engagement is creative requires craft and involves personal reflection If I don t limit myself to the art forms I love I have many more alternatives for reaching my goal In addition to my work in the arts I am also a sociologist who teaches in a university setting Were I in a leadership position to improve undergraduate education I certainly would not limit myself to advocating for more sociology classes In fact perhaps we teach enough sociology maybe what we really need is more foreign language instruction Likewise if our collective goal was to build tolerance and respect for group norms teaching and reading more sociology might be one tool But surely there are other ways that have nothing to do with the discipline of sociology that might better achieve this goal We need evangelists We need people who want to share their faith But we also need strong cultural leaders who will look beyond their own interests and passions and work on behalf of the public rather than on behalf of a particular art form Frances Phillips Program Director Arts and the Creative Work Fund Walter and Elise Haas Fund I was taught that items on a list ought to be written so they are parallel with one another but my lessons occurred to me in constellations of ideas A Rude Awakening When I directed a nonprofit organization we fought on behalf of emerging artists freedom of expression and challenging work When I came to a foundation at one year into my job I was shocked to recognize that foundation leaders were struggling with the need to articulate and fight on behalf of the value of any art of any artists In spite of many thoughtful eloquent people putting their minds to this effort the need has not changed About Policy A challenge in supporting policy change is that achieving meaningful results can take many years This is a problem for organizations trying to report on results of their policy work from year to year and to foundation staff members trying to report to trustees about measurable outcomes achieved The frustration can lead the nonprofit to pursue easier near term results Hence we may distract ourselves from work toward the most meaningful goals When exciting policy change has taken place often it has been achieved because the arts have not fought for it alone but have aligned our interests with others Fear inspires bad policy and bad legislation Arts Education In a time of scarcity some fight for stand alone art and music classes and some for integrating the arts into the teaching of other subjects Both can be valuable I challenge those working on arts integration to make certain that the arts teaching and learning is as rigorous as the learning in the other subject with which it is being integrated Leadership Artists are trained to manage ambiguity and to be self critical These are invaluable life and leadership skills that often are under valued Artist Support Modest grants have the greatest effect if they are spent directly on supporting artists Helping artists expand their networks greatly enhances the value of a financial award Communication with Grantseekers The nature of a grant seeker s communication with me at our first interaction is indicative of how all communications will continue Those who call with haphazard questions and ignore guidelines also will ignore final report questions Those who are clear about who they are and what they want to accomplish and have taken time to understand the Haas Fund will be a pleasure to work with I most admire organization leaders who are honest and forthcoming when things go wrong Good grant proposals vary widely but many bad grant proposals have the same weakness the narrative and the budget don t tell the same story In London arts organizations are unafraid to say that their remit is to achieve highest artistic quality The belief we share in the United States that we need to make a cogent argument for the value of the arts makes us timid about announcing that intention Philip Horn Executive Director Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Mentors and coaches You can always use them It is useful to make a formal ask to someone to be your mentor At some point you should be a mentor or a coach Keep on the lookout for someone you can help along Give those people opportunities Asking for help is not a sign of weakness it is a sign of wisdom Being asked to help is the highest compliment Don t try to impress people with your intelligence impress them with you inquisitiveness It is almost always appropriate to ask when you don t know something If you stop being nervous push yourself into an unfamiliar place Spend as much time as you can outside your office and outside your comfort zone You ll grow that way Don t be an impediment to your staff If they need something from you get it for them as quickly as you can and they should do the same Who can afford to be wrong Sometimes it makes sense to take responsibility for something that isn t your fault What does it look like from the other person s window One of my favorite books to read and re read is Reframing Organizations It takes the different approaches to organizational behavior and presents them in four frames Structural Symbolic Human Resource and Political I like to think of them as lenses One of these lenses is more likely to give you clarity than another Trying to solve one kind of problem one a different kind of approach can be problematic if not disastrous I like this because it reminds me that one of my chief responsibilities is to always be asking What is really going on here http www josseybass com WileyCDA WileyTitle productCd 078797255X html One of my favorite articles is from the Harvard Business Review Why Transformation Efforts Fail Too bad it is cast in such a negative context but the lessons are invaluable http hbr org 2007 01 leading change why transformation efforts fail ar 1 Leadership is more of a responsibility than it is a privilege Leadership is situational If you want to be a leader start leading Finally we approve of someone in power by saying he gets it or more likely she gets it and wonder why more people don t get us But what is it that we don t get about people who don t get it And isn t it more important for us to understand what it is that we don t get so we know how to move forward The arts are strange and forbidding to many but anyone can understand our work this way We help people in our communities build and sustain programs that are important to them We don t create these programs our fellow citizens do Clearly these things are important to enough to them to make the considerable effort every year to sustain their favorite theatre or dance company or gallery or museum or poetry series And there are a lot of those folks out there who do this to whom we are too weakly connected If these programs are important to them shouldn t they be worthy of public investment I think most politicians or authorizers I hate that expression sounds like part of a 12 step program can appreciate that much more quickly than anything we like to say about the arts We provide endorsement and encouragement and some measure of financial support for the good work of our fellow citizens in making their communities more rich vibrant lively economically viable diverse and interesting It is often better to just take the arts out of the conversation to begin the conversation Justin Laing Program Officer Arts and Culture The Heinz Endowments If I were to offer a lesson I have learned in my time in the arts it would be the importance of arts mining By this I mean finding distinctive qualities of an art form or issue that will allow it to resonate with a new and maybe unlikely set of participants Not coincidentally this interest reflects a sensibility that comes from my prior art practice Capoeira an art form that defies categorization obrigado to Mistre Nego Gato Whether it was Capoeira s attraction to lovers of acrobatic performance and Afro Brazilian culture it ability to amplify the mission of an African Centered school or its value as a form of exercise in a fitness center this kind of flexibility allowed Nego Gato Inc to have a broad base of support and most importantly to invest in the art form being the best it could possibly be in Pittsburgh PA Today I do my best to employ this practice in my job as a foundation program officer When successful it allows me to highlight the unique capacities of skilled teaching artists in out of school time programs the ways quality arts practice can meet the singular challenges of African American men and boys or the role an empowering arts pedagogy can play in positive community transformation My hope is that this interest in mining has facilitated fruitful relationships with colleagues within and outside of my foundation and that it has supported quality arts practice of varied forms Betty Plumb Executive Director South Carolina Arts Alliances Be bold If your cause is not worth putting yourself on the line find one that is Don t let others define you your issues or your efforts When they do take it as a compliment because they see you as a threat then set them straight Never forget that we live in a democracy Don t let others define for you the proper role of government The proper role of government is what the people think it should be It s your responsibility to help people understand that Know what s at stake including the issues the political climate and the players who can make change happen Never forget that meaningful change must benefit everyone even those whose lack of enlightenment causes them to disregard interests other than their own Don t demonize those who oppose your cause Issues and players change Today s opponent could be your next most valuable ally If you lose the battle don t despair The war is never ending your day will come No matter what the stakes no matter how passionately you believe in something never do anything you would be ashamed to have your mother or your child learn about Brad Erickson Executive Director Theatre Bay Area Two thoughts One Stay connected to your passion What made you want a career in the arts in the first place Are you an artist yourself Was it an unbelievably moving performance you saw as a kid A teacher or parent or mentor who showed you a new way of looking at the world through the arts What does it take for you to be personally on fire for the arts Write a play Act Sing Paint Teach Produce Inspire Make sure no matter what your arts day job may be that you make time plenty of time to do that Two Take care of yourself In my first executive director job my board chair told me to make sure I was taking care of myself Taking care of me was taking of the organization What is that for you Do it Ben Cameron Program Director Arts Doris Duke Charitable Foundation What you want to do with your life is far less important than why you want to do it what your core values are what you wish your life to stand for Jobs will come and go professions will come and go Values endure In reaching that clarity declarations of I believe can be seductive How I live a rigorous self appraisal and analysis of those experiences that have been truly deeply nourishing reveals one s values in startling ways The best situations are those in which one s values and the values of the organization where one works are in harmony and a life worth living occurs when I believe and How I live are in alignment Physical exhaustion Get some sleep Burnout You ve disconnected from your core values Make a change And do everything in your power to meet and work with Ronnie Brooks Three Short Stories by Tommer Peterson deputy director Grantmakers in the Arts 1 Culture The culture of an organization or a group or an artistic company is more powerful and a more critical component of its life and work than any mission statement by laws charter or statement The culture of a group is an aggregate expression of the shared values of the participants rarely recognized or explicitly addressed but always present and informing every aspect of the work It is often unspoken but shared and recognized by all In some ways it is akin to personality intangible and not easily measured or defined It is less what the group or organization does than it is the way things are done The culture of a group deserves close attention 2 Food Stamps Decades ago there were two major Federal Food Stamp Offices in Seattle One was largely successful with well served clients staff happy and services provided The other was plagued by constituent complaints personnel difficulties employee turnover and uneven service To make a long story short a study was conducted In the end it boiled down to the fact that one director described her job as getting food assistance to those in need as easily as possible The other described her job as keeping people from getting food stamps who really don t deserve them 3 Two Versions A number of blind men came to an elephant and someone told them that it was an elephant The blind men asked What is the elephant like and they began to touch its body One of them said It is like a pillar This blind man had only touched its leg Another man said The elephant is like a husking basket This person had only touched its ears Similarly he who touched its trunk or its belly talked of it differently In the same way a person who seeks understanding in only a particular way is limited to that which can be known in that way and misses the complete picture A number of blind elephants were

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2012/09/the-what-i-have-learned-blog.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: Leveling the Playing Field
    the country Many have been at the least somewhat successful over time in leveling the playing field Yet when the dollars started to dry up many of these programs were the ones that went by the wayside And while these were and are still exemplary programs they were never universal and even now the playing field still remains unequal The work was started but not finished That is the challenge Obviously there are insufficient funds to provide all things to all organizations Reality dictates that there is always some degree of inequality Some organizations will get more some less Some may deserve more others less The issue isn t absolute equality for everyone The issue is whether there is equity in the access of all to the pie Does the system favor one group over others in its provision to them of benefits that makes it easier for them to succeed Whether intentionally or unintentionally it doesn t matter If the playing field isn t level then the danger is the existence of unequal and unfair advantages for some that are not available to others Without that access you remain a have not It isn t just a matter of a new program nor good intentions There are systemic obstacles to leveling the playing field for the have nots protocols and procedures rules and regulations habits and legacies policies and customs that perpetuate the inequities Here are four examples i protocols and rules that ban organizations with less than two three or four years existence from applying for grants ostensibly and arguably to insure that a grantee will be fiscally responsible and have the capacity to meet its stated intent but with the net effect that it is axiomatically more difficult to launch new efforts by new organizations within specific communities ii in some instances lack of a ban of having foundation or government board members also sitting on the boards of major cultural institution grantees and even where that conflict of interest is resolved by the Board member abstaining from voting or the ban is in place the camaraderie of the good old boy network insures that everyone s pet project is taken care of that is simply how it works and even where there is no such potential conflict of interest more of the decision makers come from or have deep ties to and relationships with the groups that get most of the benefits iii inadequate access to limited facilities by the legacy of a historical priority system iv rules that prohibit grants to organizations more frequently than one every X number of years or back to back grants again on its face seemingly designed to actually level the playing field but the application does the opposite because the amount of the grants going to the haves is disproportionately larger than to the have nots and so the ban impacts the big guys less All of that worked though subtlety and continues in many cases to work to keep the field from being level It isn t consciously conspiratorial but it is now built into the fabric of how we do things We need to look at it all carefully and fix what is broken Blame is not the issue Nor is the past Justification rationalization complaints and grievances none of that really matters The issue is where do we go from here And please note that I am not suggesting that in all instances the inequity is so large as to be unconscionable rather just that the inequities do exist are pervasive and need to be addressed If you want to talk about doing something about inequity at least in this one sphere I think what is needed is some major overarching commitment of all the sector s funders government and private and the rest of us to work towards a level playing field however that might ultimately be defined and however it might be best manifested at a local level We need in my opinion a LINC type decade long program a PEW DATA level project but on an even bigger scale that will have as its stated objective to make sure that the have nots in our sector at least have more access to moving to become haves A leveling of the playing field at least in access to the tools and assets that will allow all organizations equal opportunity to be viable arts providers and makers Obviously that kind of effort will take different forms and different directions across different communities No cookie cutter approach will likely be possible or even desirable And yes as alluded to above there are already scores of programs already in existence that seek to do just that And many other programs like GIA s Capitalization project or even the NEA s Creative Placemaking efforts the net effect of which would be to help level the playing field by coming at it from a different direction are part of the larger solution But too much of our approach to dealing with an unequal playing field is like a crazy quilt of unrelated fabric the effort is disjointed and haphazard The intent gets lost in the translation The effort is backdoor or as a beneficial and positive side effect The problem never seems to really go away But to give more to some doesn t that mean taking away more from others I suppose it does but it is all a matter of degree and for so long we have been doing just that in favor of some at the expense of others Accepting that some will get more others will get less that it is impossible to be precisely and always fair and equitable nevertheless the time has come to try harder to level that out I think we need a program that speaks to all that with a single voice on a mega level one that embodies a commitment of and to the field I think we need

    Original URL path: http://blog.westaf.org/2012/09/leveling-playing-field.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Barry's Blog: The Future of LAAs and the Subsidy Model of Arts Support
    good on his public pronouncement that he would zero out funding for the NEA that might signal a wholesale attack on any and every kind of public arts funding and while I doubt that would come to pass dire economic straights would likely make it an attractive position to many if for no other reason than as a symbol of a growing conservative viewpoint So it is also perhaps legitimate to ask what happens if the subsidy funding is no longer available at all What happens if there is no more government subsidy none What happens for LAAs anyway if philanthropic support virtually dries up In which case one critical question will be who will take on and provide all those services and others that LAAs already do and might take on Nobody Then what Note Here is Governor s Romney s position on the NEA as reported August 6 in Fortune magazine So first there are programs I would eliminate Obamacare being one of them but also various subsidy programs the Amtrak subsidy the PBS subsidy the subsidy for the National Endowment for the Arts the National Endowment for the Humanities Some of these things like those endowment efforts and PBS I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases but I just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries as our government does on their behalf My fear here is that the Governor in singling out now on more than one occasion the NEA for elimination not cuts is that he is backing himself into a corner and that it will be if he is elected more difficult for him to later come off this position and that will make our job of lobbying effectively as to why such elimination is not in the best interests of the nation that much more problematic I urge foundations across the sector to consider carefully the critical importance of the continued existence of LAAs to the communities they fund and to the stated aims and objectives of their own arts programs Whatever areas your foundation is involved in whatever aspirations you have for the arts in your community whatever programs you seek to support and hope will succeed the LAA is potentially your greatest partner And if your LAA disappears I can almost guarantee that your programs will suffer The really bigger question is whether or not the subsidy model for the whole nonprofit arts in general might ever be so threatened that it collapses A time where there is no longer any government money in any meaningful amount at any level no longer enough private sector foundation and or corporation money to matter Is it possible that someday the arts will need to be funded almost entirely by individual philanthropic efforts coupled with earned income What would that look like if subsidy support largely disappeared Can we do anything to anticipate and prepare for that partial eventuality no matter how remote Is it something we ought to look at In scenario planning one considers ALL the possibilities and this one seems less remote to me than some other possibilities NOT because of the political motivation behind it but because of the economic reality There is ample evidence to suggest that America s share of the world global wealth pie will continue to decline on a per capita basis as other nation s shares increase Even if the pie continues to get bigger our percentage is unlikely to again support all that our once disproportionately larger share allowed Even harder choices loom on our horizon And the arts will increasingly be seen as one of those choices Eventually it is possible the powers that be or the public itself forced between all the hard choices will have no choice but to choose something other than us So we ought to be talking about the possibility of that kind of partial funding stream collapse and more importantly how we can first prevent that and absent that then how we can adapt Have a good week Don t Quit Barry Posted by Barry at 5 26 PM 5 comments Jennifer Armstrong September 10 2012 at 8 57 AM Thanks so much for this post We have a tremendous Local Arts Network here in Illinois The Illinois Local Arts Network LAN is a partnership program between the Illinois Arts Council and Arts Alliance Illinois to build capacity and excellence amongst Local Arts Agencies LAAs so they can better serve their communities and to provide opportunities for validation and support for their leaders With guidance and leadership from the LAN Council a team of LAA leaders who assist with planning and implementation Arts Alliance Illinois and the Illinois Arts Council Provide professional development and resources to LAAs Encourage statewide and regional communication amongst LAAs Convene LAAs to exchange information and tools Activate LAA networks to build public value of and public will for the arts http arts illinois gov local arts network Reply Delete Michael Killoren September 10 2012 at 2 24 PM Thanks for shining the spotlight on Local Arts Agencies Barry Like snowflakes no two LAAs are exactly alike Your posting about LAAs and the subsidy model got me thinking about my own observations over the years as I ve watched many LAAs transform themselves into the 21st century agencies you envision I wholeheartedly agree with you that a great deal of program innovation happens at the local level The reason for this I think is because successful LAA leaders develop sophisticated navigational skills to adapt and reinvent LAAs amidst shifting priorities and constantly changing unique environments So in short the answer to your question is yes the re invented LAA already exists Grantmaking as you note is important but I think most LAA s and certainly LAAs in the larger cities play a much more important role in defining and shaping cultural policy Budget is de facto policy and there

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  • Barry's Blog: Interview with Shannon Daut
    is to utilize the arts to advance and strengthen Alaska s communities be it through suicide prevention economic development workforce development STEAM education foodways and agriculture buy local initiatives circumpolar issues Alaska Native language preservation or any other of the myriad of ways that the arts can help solve our most pressing problems BARRY There have been considerable resources time energy and commitment in the field to the emerging leaders movement in the arts something I know you have been very involved with How specifically will you as the new ASCA Director support and expand those efforts What do you see as the pressing needs for leadership development in the state SHANNON We have a unique situation in Alaska as paid jobs in the arts are not proliferate and there are some real challenges for emerging leaders to have the opportunity to develop an arts career while staying within their community most importantly if they are outside of an urban area A lot of our arts organizations are volunteer and board run which presents a challenge for younger people who are looking for paid employment in the arts at a livable wage no less So one factor in any leadership development program that we enact will be helping arts organizations establish business plans so that they can work towards having paid employees At the same time Alaska like much of the country has benefited from community leaders who have worked much of their lives to establish and build arts organizations in their communities Many of these leaders are now considering retirement so we need to ensure that there is a pipeline of arts professionals who are ready and equipped to take on the proverbial mantle and continue the work This issue is not specific to Alaska nor is it specific to the arts But there are a number of efforts underway here to provide leadership development opportunities for emerging leaders ASCA is partnering with the Institute of the North which has an existing leadership program to host an arts leaders conversation later this fall This will be the first of our efforts to establish a leadership development program at ASCA BARRY If I had asked you six months ago what you thought were the three major issues other than funding facing state arts agencies across the country and asked you the same question now would there be any differences in your response What makes you optimistic about the future of state arts agencies and what concerns you the most SHANNON My thoughts on the major issues that SAAs face is not very different from what it was six months ago To me the biggest factor is relevance How are SAAs relevant to the citizens of their state Also how are SAAs relevant to the artists and arts organizations they serve and fund These are two very different questions both of which I think are crucially important to the future of SAAs In terms of relevance to citizens I believe we need to do a better job of highlighting the ways in which we serve communities requiring our logos on program brochures doesn t seem to be doing it I don t know the silver bullet answer but I believe it requires more than a marketing push I think a lot of citizens of all political persuasions feel that the Arts are elitist and that public investments in the arts are not worthwhile and this to me says that we are not doing enough to illustrate the value of those public investments We ve made some big strides in recent years on this front but I think there is more to be done to broaden our coalitions In terms of relevance to artists and arts organizations I think we are relevant but not to the scale that we were during the boom years for arts funding At a recent ASCA council meeting we talked about re envisioning the way in which we give out grants A council member mentioned that in the 80s which was a HUGE boom in funding for the arts in Alaska due to the Pipeline the council was having discussions about whether or not it was responsible for ASCA to be providing over 50 of the organization s operating budget in operating support grants to organizations Today we are in a very different world our average percentage to grantee s operating budget of operating support funding is around 1 2 With diminished grant dollars how are we remaining relevant to the arts organizations that we serve I am optimistic about ASCA s future In Alaska we have an innovative spirit coupled with an incredibly strong can do attitude Our arts organizations are not entrenched and ossified so we are nimble and open to new ways of doing business ASCA will provide the tools to organizations as they navigate these waters of change and innovation BARRY In your new position as the head of the Alaska State Council on the Arts what specific services would you like to see provided by WESTAF the NEA and NASAA Do you perceive any needs that are currently unmet by the services provided by those organizations SHANNON Understandably I m a bit biased but I think WESTAF does a singular job providing extremely valuable services to its SAAs and public arts agencies across the country WESTAF has a high bar of expectations and consistently looks toward advancement not the status quo NASAA has done tremendous work most recently on the advocacy policy front of the 40 of NEA funds that go to states which I think is a crucial element for showing that public dollars are going into all the nooks and crannies of our country When people think NEA arts funding they often talk about high art and why can t high art sustain itself The appropriation to the states ensures that these public dollars are hitting the ground where the impact of arts programming has significant effects in communities The

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  • Barry's Blog: 2012 Fifty Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts
    hard driving and kind Diane Matarazza Independent Consultant Laura Zucker Executive Director Los Angeles County Arts Commission The penultimate local arts agency leader tough smart able to juggle complex multiple tasks from her Claremont College Arts Administration program to one of the country s largest local arts agencies to her continued work with the Los Angeles schools and she handles it all with consummate professionalism She simply knows how to make things work and she s makes it all look easy Widely respected for running a model agency Gary Steuer Chief Cultural Officer City of Philadelphia He has successfully managed more game changing initiatives over the past few years Business and the Arts pre AFTA take over and the national Arts Marketing Project to name but two than most organization leaders can claim as lifetime accomplishments A thinking man s arts leader with ideas that work Big player on the powerful Philadelphia arts scene with an ever widening national network Michelle Boone Commissioner of the City of Chicago s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Stepping into the shoes vacated by the legendary Lois Weisberg is no easy task but using her skills as a collaborator she is moving to re establish the city as a leader in the arts With a huge network of contacts and fans from her days at the Joyce Foundation she is bringing new energy and vitality to Chicago by facing foursquare the job of making the alignment between the departments of cultural affairs and the former Mayor s special events wings work Named to Chicago Magazine s 100 Most Powerful list this month Roberto Bedoya Executive Director Tucson Pima Arts Council Despite the Herculean challenges of running a mid sized city agency in cash strapped Arizona Bedoya continues to manage to thrive Oft sought out as a Latino leader with a national audience and a well earned reputation as a no nonsense advocate for equity in the arts he continues to be in demand as a speaker panelist advocate and advisor Kate Levin Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs New York City Harvard and Berkeley educated former academician she is the widely respected face of arts in New York She combines elan grace under fire and a command of the intricacies of the arts and politics in Manhattan to navigate the oft times treacherous minefield that the Big Apple can be and she does it very very effectively RESEARCHERS Alan Brown Principal Wolf Brown Alan Brown is one of the leading arts consultants in the United States He works on significant projects in the performing arts on behalf of foundations service organizations and major performing arts organizations ranging from symphony orchestras to presenters to dance companies here and internationally Alan and his research cohorts at Wolf Brown specialize in the quantitative assessment realm and through that have made a spectacular contribution to the field But beyond this specialization Alan has carved out a niche that requires much more than an MBA and a good set of quantitative tools Alan s frameworks and typologies show a deep understanding of the cultural sector and audiences that is unmatched In our work together on the typologies of arts donors the Wolf Brown team created characterizations of arts donors and participants that are nuanced and insightful and have resonated with countless arts leaders At times Alan s research is ahead of the field Arts organizations might not want to hear how much the participant wants to be the center of the performance And Alan knows both sides of this quandary and can also ask the questions about virtuosity He has been there Alan was at one time a vocal performer and a presenter He contributes greatly to our field through his ardent pursuit of marketing trends and data Most of all Alan pushes our analysis one step further at each turn A consummate professional he is a pleasure to call a colleague Marcy Hinand Principal Helicon Collaborative Randy Cohen Vice President Research and Policy Americans for the Arts The king of economic raw data collection increasingly on the road with an ever widening sphere of influence and network of friends and supporters Tireless and compelling speaker and defender of the arts He is increasingly recognized for his ability to see where things are headed and what opportunities are opening up for the field If case making has a point man he s it Sunil Iyengar Director Office of Research and Analysis National Endowment for the Arts Since his arrival at the NEA in 2006 he has re defined and invigorated the agency s research efforts A former reporter and editor with an investigative journalist s soul the Endowment has produced over 20 research publications under his tenure and more importantly begun to fund independent research done by credible third party institutions After years of predictable and limited focus on all the questions attendant to arts research the nascent arts data collection and research industry is getting a big boost under his stewardship as he helps to fashion a new and expanded era in arts research and analysis CONSULTANTS Holly Sidford Principal Helicon Collaborative Adam Huttler Holly Sidford s impact on our field can hardly be overstated Over the past three decades she has directed the arts programs of several national and regional funders created a major arts service initiative LINC and is today one of the most sought after consultants in the sector Last year she produced Fusing Art Culture and Social Change a groundbreaking study that confronted arts funders with evidence that their grantmaking was drastically out of step with larger patterns of cultural participation and demographic change Few are as willing to speak truth to power but Holly s sometimes brutal honesty is matched by her keen intelligence and intimidating track record making her impossible to ignore Adam Huttler Executive Director Fractured Atlas Russell Willis Taylor President and CEO National Arts Strategies Under Taylor s leadership NAS has developed and manages some of the most heralded and far reaching leadership initiatives in the industry Just when she seems to be winding down NAS comes up with another exemplary and acclaimed project that vaults them back into the limelight NAS denies it is a consulting service and only works with funders to create custom leadership programs for states and large cities with service organizations to create custom programs for their memberships and with large cultural institutions to create custom programs for an institution As such it one of the most highly successful consultants to the field DISCIPLINE ORGANIZATION LEADERS DANCE Trey McIntyre John Michael Schert Artistic Director Executive Director Trey McIntyre Project John Michael is a gifted and talented principal ballet dancer who also happens to be an extraordinary administrator in partnership with Trey McIntyre Together they have given example to how to build a strong effective organization in a venue other than a major urban area and in the process have redefined how to fundraise market develop a brand and most importantly work with a local community That John Michael can juggle both the demands of being an artist and those of being an administrator is nothing short of amazing and when and if he decides to pursue full bore the administrator role he will be in great demand across the sector He has made the Trey McIntyre dance project the posterboy of successful community involvement Able to put the same focus into arts management as he does with dance Schert is a very dedicated driven and smart individual with a big future in the world of dance organizations and the wider arts field Barry Hessenius MUSIC Jesse Rosen President and CEO League of American Orchestras Mr Rosen has made the League one of the stand out national arts service provider organizations and fashioned it to be involved in all aspects of support for its members Not the easiest group in the sector to bring together on either theory or practice his 2011national conference speech to the League was a brutally honest assessment that won him respect from even his detractors and it also won him attention from beyond the orchestra sub set MUSEUMS Nina Simon Executive Director Santa Cruz Museum of Art History Nina is heralded across the country for her innovative museum management style and collaborative community outreach efforts Author of The Participatory Museum and her widely read and influential blog Museum 2 0 she has brought financial stability and public interest to the Santa Cruz Museum of Arts and History and won high praise across the sector for her calculated risk taking to make the museum more responsive to and part of the local community and for pioneering ways to make cultural institutions more relevant and essential One of the future leaders in the field to watch THEATER Clay Lord Director of Communications and Audience Development Theatre Bay Area Theatre Bay Area is a model service provider organization in the greater San Francisco area with comprehensive programs and a wide variety of services to its members Clay gained considerable attention this year with the release of his edited compilation work Counting New Beans a report on two years of intrinsic impact research including essays and interviews with a host of theatre practitioners examining the ways theatre artists administrators patrons and funders value and evaluate the art they make and consume His blog New Beans is gaining audience and acclaim BLOGGERS Ian David Moss Createquity Since 2007 Ian David Moss has applied a thorough and lively intelligence to arts blogging not so much occupying a niche as creating one Ian is thoughtful and unafraid to ask questions He brings wide ranging data to bear on critical questions facing artists and arts organizations sharing insights from philanthropy economics and other realms often sequestered from the arts Articulate erudite reflective I could easily fill my word quota with synonyms for good without ever resorting to hyperbole Ian and I often disagree I challenge him for believing so deeply in the value of quantification and he challenges me for undervaluing it That never stops me from finding his work deeply interesting and useful Congratulations Ian Long may you blog Arlene Goldbard Arlene s Blog Diane Ragsdale Jumper Former program staffer at the Andrew Mellon Foundation current Ph d candidate her blog Jumper is one of the most widely read and respected blogs in the field Championing the artist and the role of the arts organization to support the artist she asks the tough questions and is not easily intimidated or turned off by those who pretend to know more but really know far less about the issues than she does Smart and thoughtful she makes people think Whether or not she is comfortable with the designation she is influential and powerful Like others in the blogger category she is pushing the envelope in pursuit of national arts policies Arlene Goldbard Arlene s Blog The conscience of the blogging field Arlene wears her heart on her sleeve and that endears her to her legions of fans across the sector No one is more passionate more informed and more willing to take on the windmills than she is A beautiful writer she is in great demand as a speaker and consultant James Undercofler State of the Art Professor of Arts Administration in the Arts and Entertainment Enterprise Department of Drexel s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design Former President and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra Dean and Professor of Music Education at the Eastman School of Music Executive and Founding Director of the Perpich Center for Arts Education formerly known as the Minnesota Center for Arts Education and Director of the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven Connecticut whew his resume alone is impressive Undercofler is the erudite intelligent champion of the burgeoning field of entrepreneurism and the nonprofit arts His thoughts and analysis on arts administration are incredibly keen and insightful and he has the ability to take complex issues and make them easily understandable Doug McClennan Editor Arts Journal Arts Journal is simply THE most important compendium of arts related media coverage available anywhere in the field Doug is one of those universally liked and respected people whose only real axe to grind is that he wants Arts Journal to be the most it can be for the field It is no accident AJ is home to many of the most widely read blogs in the industry The go to website for arts coverage and no one knows that field better than he does Thomas Cott You ve Cott Mail Director of Marketing at the Alvin Ailey Dance Company Like McClennan Cott is a curator of arts coverage His forte is organizing current coverage on specific themes and his blog is widely read because of the convenience it provides in amassing various perspectives on important issues Cott does the work for us and when he picks a topic people take note of and focus on what he has gathered More influential in determining people s thinking than he might imagine ARTS EDUCATION Sandra Ruppert Director Arts Education Partnership Since her appointment to the Director position at the Arts Education Partnership AEP in 2008 Sandra has overseen among other things a major organizational strategic planning process and the development and launch of ArtsEdSearch the first research and policy clearinghouse focused entirely on student and educator outcomes associated with in school and out of school arts education She brings a clear and practical eye to the organization s mission to secure a high quality arts education for every young person in America and has a knack for building partnerships across key sectors to address the overarching issues facing the provision of accessible and equitable arts education She does so with a sense of humor a keen understanding of the field and a steady hand Julie Fry Program Officer Performing Arts Program Hewlett Foundation Arnie Aprill Founding and Creative Director Chicago Arts Partnership in Education Aprill comes from a background in professional theater as an award winning director producer and playwright He has taught at the University of Chicago Columbia College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Add Fulbright Scholar to the list Increasingly recognized as a creative force in the arts education field and one of its truly effective public speakers and advocates On the rise Julie Fry Program Officer Performing Arts Program Hewlett Foundation While she oversees and directs a mixed portfolio of grant making at Hewlett her focus is on Arts Education and she has become one of the most knowledgable people in the sector on the issues attendant to all the challenges Sought out for her advice and counsel she is a frequent co host collaborator panelist speaker and convener Highly respected for her insights and attention to detail Eric Booth Actor businessman author teacher expert speaker consultant Simply one of the best thinkers in the entire field on arts education When he talks people listen His analysis carries weight with decision makers public officials and the media He is particularly influential in the Orchestra world Sir Ken Robinson Author lecturer Widely known and familiar to the mainstream he continues to be arts education s most public champion His 2006 speech Why Schools Kill Creativity is the most watched TED Talk of all time and has been seen on the internet an estimated 30 million times A frequent speaker at conferences across the globe he is often quoted and is as responsible as Richard Florida for valuing creativity for the future Sarah Cunningham With a strong academic background and by virtue of her status as the point person at the Endowment for Arts Education and Literature she is at the center of all the efforts across the country in the arts education arena FOUNDATIONS Regina Smith Senior Program Officer Arts and Culture The Kresge Foundation Regina manages a national portfolio of arts and culture grantees and she was influential in expanding Kresge Foundation s funding strategies to focus on institutional capitalization arts and community building and artists skills and resources In addition she has served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for Grantmakers in the Arts since 2010 where she has prioritized national conversations on capitalization and financial health social justice and equity arts education and arts and aging A thoughtful and experienced leader Regina has worked in the arts field for more than two decades at a variety of arts organizations and funding agencies John McGuirk Program Director Performing Arts Program Hewlett Foundation Dennis Scholl Vice President Arts The Knight Foundation Collector Philanthropist Emmy winning documentarian Harvard fellow Scholl is responsible for some of the funding world s best known and loved out of the box projects including Random Acts of Culture He is comfortable with risk taking to a degree most are not and he understands the importance of moving towards new ways of addressing old problems His eight city core funding community gives him local clout and national perspective and his close working ties with Rocco at the Endowment have increased his visibility beyond the arts Ben Cameron Program Director Arts Doris Duke Charitable Foundations To call Ben articulate and well spoken is to understate considerably his oratory skills Somewhere there is a law that says if you want to get the best keynoter for your conference or the best writer for the introduction to your book call Cameron But his public speaking talents often overshadow his considerable skills in the design of innovative and effective programs to move the field forward and his real contributions lie in his recognition and support for some extraordinary programs from the Emc Arts Innovation Lab to his work in supporting jazz dance theater and multidisciplinary projects John McGuirk Program Director Performing Arts Program Hewlett Foundation The Hewlett program is now his and his imprint is all over their revamped goals objectives strategies and direction He is simply the most powerful funder not just in California but

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