Monday, March 9, 2009
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BUILDING ARTS PARTICIPATION
Wallace Excellence Project & Awards
Washington State Arts Commission
The Wallace Foundation and the Washington State Arts Commission (WSAC) have announced a four-year arts funding partnership designed to develop the skills and expertise of leaders of arts organizations to build arts participation. The partnership builds on WSAC's past Wallace START Program that funded arts participation grants and learning for underserved communities. Nine Seattle arts organizations will receive Wallace Excellence Awards (WEA), totaling $6.1 million over four years, for their commitment to community and participation building activities. WSAC will be working with these organizations to form a learning network with a focus on establishing a knowledge framework about arts participation; building arts participation among youth and young adults and diverse populations; and building the capacity of arts organizations to expand access to the arts through new technology.
WSAC will also receive a Wallace Excellence Award, totaling $1.6 million over four years, to foster arts engagement throughout the Puget Sound region. WSAC is calling their effort the Wallace Excellence Project and it is designed to strengthen the commission's participation building work, to document and share lessons learned, and to build on the Wallace funded START Program that has developed into the Commission's Arts Participation Initiative. As part of the project the WSAC will convene WEA grantees twice yearly; hold forums and workshops for arts leaders in the Puget Sound area; commission research; hire artists to create "artistic responses" to key topics; and establish a technology network. In addition, WSAC will regrant some Wallace funds to Seattle arts organizations to increase arts participation and technology efforts. For more information, contact WSAC Executive Director Kris Tucker.
ALIGNING GRANT PROGRAMS WITH STATE PRIORITIES
Guide to Programs and Services
Texas Commission on the Arts
The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) has adopted changes to its Guide to Programs and Services. The changes are part of an ongoing effort to streamline TCA's grant programs and meet the priorities of the state of Texas. As a result of an extensive guidelines review and revision process, the TCA now offers two kinds of grant support: Arts Create and Arts Respond. The Arts Create program provides two-year operational support to established arts organizations and subgranting dollars to local communities. The Arts Respond program provides short-term project assistance grants to arts organizations. To be eligible for an Arts Respond award, organizations must address one of the priority issues areas facing the state of Texas identified by the governor and legislature. Priority areas include education, health and human services; economic development; public safety and criminal justice; and natural resources and agriculture. Other significant changes to TCA grants include eliminating other grant programs, no longer accepting in-kind donations as half of the required match, new evaluation criteria, and requiring a DUNS number on all grant applications. For additional information, contact Texas Commission on the Arts Deputy Director Jim Bob McMillan.
INFORMING ARTS ADVOCACY
The Arts: Part of the Solution
Ohio Arts Council
To help constituents and advocates make the case about the importance of arts funding during the recession, the Ohio Arts Council has prepared a compendium of examples that showcase how arts projects make meaningful contributions to the economy, education and community life. "The Arts: Part of the Solution" profiles numerous organizations, artists and arts projects from across the state. Each profile includes a concise summary of the project and its impact on community vitality, a picture to capture readers' attention, a state map pinpointing the project's site, and a compelling quote from a participant or civic leader. The profiles are available on-line for the public, and will be used by the state arts agency to promote the arts, catalyze media coverage and support advocacy efforts. The Council's portfolio of stories is growing each day, and when the Council knows which legislators will hear the 2010/2011 budget testimony, it will be able to select meaningful stories from those legislative districts to help make its case for support. For more information, contact Ohio Arts Council Public Information Office Director Jami Goldstein.
Artist's Innovation Award
Montana Arts Council
The Montana Arts Council (MAC) is launching a new program, the Artist's Innovation Award, which is designed to honor the innovative ideas and contributions of Montana artists to the state's culture and economy. The program will recognize up to five Montana artists per year who show extraordinary innovation in their work and artwork, outstanding originality and dedication in their creative pursuits, and a marked capacity for self direction. Each $3,000 award will be unrestricted, but must include a public activity that will convey the artist's innovation (and showcase MAC's sponsorship of the award) to other Montanans. A working group of Council members spent the summer developing the program, which embodies the agency's commitment, articulated in its strategic plan, to "foster an environment where leaders look to the innovation of artists and the arts to enliven, invigorate and enrich their endeavors and their communities." As MAC Executive Director Arlynn Fishbaugh stated, "The new program bridges needs of both individual artists and an agency that has to be accountable for how it spends all of its public funding." For more information please contact Arlynn Fishbaugh.
INTEGRATING THE ARTS INTO HEALTH CARE
AIM in the Panhandle
Florida Division of Cultural Affairs
The Florida Division of Cultural Affairs (FDCA), in collaboration with the Shands Arts in Medicine Program (AIM) and the George E. Weems Memorial Hospital, recently announced the Apalachicola Arts in Medicine Program as part of the AIM in the Panhandle project. This initiative will foster collaborations between artists and health providers in Florida's panhandle region, and will demonstrate the power of the arts in health and wellness, one of four central goals of the FDCA's Culture Builds Florida's Future plan. The project, which has received tremendous community support, intends to become a model for the implementation of arts in health care programming in rural hospitals. The Shands Arts in Medicine Program, which began in 1990 with $5,000 in seed funding from the FDCA and a grant from the Children's Miracle Network, has grown into a national and international model. To learn more, contact FDCA Arts Administrator Laura Stone.
DEDICATING TAX REVENUE TO THE ARTS
Clean Water, Wildlife, Cultural Heritage and Natural Areas Amendment
Minnesota State Arts Board
In the November 2008 election, the citizens of Minnesota voted to approve a constitutional amendment that dedicates sales tax revenue to the state's natural resources and the arts. The amendment raises the sales tax 3/8ths of 1% starting on July 1, 2009. This is estimated to raise approximately $270-$300 million per year, depending on consumer spending, until the year 2034. The revenue generated from the sales tax increase will be allocated into four funds intended to supplement traditional funding sources from the state's general appropriation. The four funds are the Outdoor Heritage Fund (stipulated to receive 33% of revenues), the Clean Water Fund (33% of revenues), Parks and Trails Fund (14.25% of revenues), and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (19.75% of revenues). The Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund must be used for the arts, arts education and arts access and to preserve Minnesota's history and cultural heritage. The Minnesota State Legislature must now determine how to allocate the funds that will be generated. The Minnesota State Arts Board hopes to receive a significant portion of the new funding. Planning for this initiative took many years as well as an extensive citizen education and advertising campaign, in which the arts invested about $4 million. Advocacy collaboration between the environmental and cultural communities and strong leadership from influential state legislators were all pivotal to the ultimate passage of the referendum. For further information, contact Minnesota State Arts Board Executive Director Sue Gens.
NASAA's information-sharing depends on your participation. What are your most successful current initiatives? Have you launched any great programs, policies, services or partnerships? We want to hear about them! Contact NASAA Policy and Program Associate Jesse Rye (202-347-6352 x118) and include your name, your agency, a brief description of your project and whom to contact to learn more about it.
NASAA works continuously to keep you abreast of the latest trends in the state arts agency field and let you know about innovative state arts agency programs. The State to State column provides a sampling of state programs, products and services for you to browse for information and inspiration. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to this column.