In 2010 and 2011, NAMAC set out to better understand the challenges, opportunities and emerging strategies for independent media arts organizations in the digital era. Through four regional gatherings, a total of 64 media arts leaders in Boston, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area and Texas shared their experiences. Following the gatherings, NAMAC commissioned a series of eight case studies to learn more. This Report from the Field synthesizes key findings from all four convenings and incorporates rich illustrations gleaned from the case studies.
This is my sixth and final post about the Grantmakers in the Arts 2010 conference, where I was invited to take part as a live blogger. It was tremendous fun: I got to write morning, noon, and night, which is my preferred type of ecstatic meditation. It was also a perfect antidote to the anxiety I sometimes feel when thrown into a sea of contacts and expected to network. Usually, the first time someone I'm talking to scans the room for a conversation-partner with more status, my heart sinks. This time, it was all just material. I've gotten lots of great response from readers already, a writer's dream. Now I want to do it more, so if you're planning a conference that needs up-to-the-minute blog commentary, let's talk.Tweet
On Tuesday, I attended a Grantmakers in the Arts conference presentation on "Participatory Arts and Community Health: Challenges and Opportunities," organized by Amy Kitchener of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. It began with presentations on exemplary projects braiding art with individual and community well-being, offered by Maria Rosario Jackson of the Urban Institute, Beatriz Solis of The California Endowment; Josephine Ramirez of The James Irvine Foundation; Alaka Wali of The Field Museum; and Christine Dunford of Lookingglass Theatre and The Field Museum. They were so fiercely articulate that when I heard the Catalyst Quartet play Mu Kkubo Ery’Omusaalaba so beautifully at lunchtime, my mind skipped back to that group of women asserting art's bond with well-being: different instruments, same story.
Joi Ito, founder and CEO of Creative Commons, was the luncheon speaker at Monday's GIA meeting. His relaxed and likable presence comes across as realness personified. His low-key style gives me a sort of internal headshake. By the time Ito's presentation ended, I was buzzing with a frequency of intellectual excitement I'd normally associate with verbal pyrotechnics. How did he do it? Brilliance, originality, groundedness…. You had to be there: I wish you had been.
The first plenary session of this Grantmakers in The Arts' conference focused on the National Capitalization Project, a GIA initiative launched this past January. It was premised on the plain truth that arts organizations are often under-capitalized. A task force of funders and experts studied the literature, agreed on terms, and has just now published a "National Capitalization Project 2010 Summary," summing up its findings. They are foregrounded in an extensive "Literature Review on Capitalization" issued last spring, (Both documents can be downloaded from this page.)
Annals of Philanthropy: GIA 2010 Conference Blog 2: Shine on Me: Scenes from the Support for Individual Artists Preconference
I spent the day at Grantmakers in The Arts' Support for Individual Artists preconference (entitled Artists and Grantmakers: A Shared Enterprise). Dozens of artists and funders took part in the program, performing, offering panel presentations, Web pages, video clips, and PowerPoints.
Two notes to you, dear readers:
First, from Sunday through Wednesday (17-20 October 2010), I'll be one of three bloggers invited to attend and write about the annual conference of Grantmakers in the Arts. I'll be posting at least once a day, perhaps more, both through my own site and at GIA's site. If you're concerned about information overload, don't worry: I'll be back to my usual pace and range of subjects in a few days!
In order to foster online communities, arts and cultural organizations must first foster their physical communities, or vice versa.
Artists and arts organizations are owed the respect from funders to be treated professionally as peers. With candor and directness, I find these conversations to be substantive and informative as potential grantee and grantor learn more about each other’s work.