Steve Jobs famously said, "Customers don't know what they want until you show it to them." Thankfully, the Atlanta-based Boys and Girls Clubs of America ignored that advice when creating their Youth Arts Initiative. They interviewed over 150 "tweens" for their opinions on what they're looking for in an arts program and the Wallace Foundation rewarded the organization with a $5.35 million, two-and-a-half year commitment.
The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation recently awarded $250,000 to Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona. What's most striking about this announcement is the immediate and tangible effect of the funding. The gift will enable the program to take in an additional 1,300 children and sign up 100 more volunteers.
California's Central Valley farmers may be facing a horrendous drought, but fortunately, there's no shortage of funding for regional arts organizations, thanks to the Fresno Regional Foundation. As of late January, the foundation began accepting applications for $200,000 in grants, which will be awarded to arts and culture projects around the region.
Miami's Miramar Cultural Trust was recently awarded a $12,000 Knight Foundation Challenge grant after presenting a compelling case showing how they would use the money to expand accessibility to the arts in the community. The issue of accessibility is universal, and Miramar's approach can be emulated by other arts organizations. Today we take a closer look at their strategy.
We as writers always look for a "hook" to lure in readers, and when writing about anything Texas-related, the temptation is strong to fall back on the "everything's bigger in Texas" trope. It's predictable, it's lazy, and in the case of recent news that the Arts Community Alliance (TACA) recently gave out the most money to Dallas area arts organizations in its history, it's completely and totally accurate.
Chicago's Beverly Arts Center was a recent recipient of an $80,000 grant from the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince Charitable Trusts. What's most interesting about this announcement, however, is how arts organizations that are focused on trying to reach as many people as possible, rather than a focused target demographic, can learn from Beverly Art Center's success.
It's hard to imagine, but long ago, in the very distant past, nonprofits had to promote the arts the old fashioned, non-Facebook way. A chilling thought, isn't? You may not believe it, but you'll have to take our word for it.
The Knight Foundation wants to—in their own words—"weave the arts" into people's"everyday lives. It may sound like a vague concept, but if you take a closer look at some of the foundation's recent moves, you can start to see a slight paradigm shift in how people perceive and (for a lack of better term) "consume" the arts. Here are five examples.
The DreamWorks Animation Charitable Foundation made it possible for Inner-City Arts (ICA) founders Irwin Jaeger and Bob Bates to bring their vision of an arts academy in Los Angeles to reality. With a $500,000 grant, the Inner-City Arts Academy opened its doors in 1989 in an area of Los Angeles that reportedly has one of the largest homeless populations in the United States—Central City, better known as Skid Row.