Saturday, May 17, 2008

Arts Advocacy Update XLI

The content below is from Americans for the Arts' Cultural Policy Listserv, email blast of May 7, 2008:

Arts help culture, economy flourish
Poughkeepsie Journal (NY), 5/1/2008
According to a recent economic impact study by the Center for Creative Community Development in North Adams, Mass., Dia:Beacon, the contemporary art museum housed in a former Nabisco factory in upstate New York, "contributes more than $10 million a year to the economic development of the region."
Love the Dia: Beacon -- gorgeous, gorgeous space.

Bill to require P.E. eliminates arts electives
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (GA), 5/6/2008
"[A] bill before the Alabama Legislature could limit or eliminate choir and other electives from the curriculum in favor of more physical education time. The bill, sponsored by House Majority Leader Ken Guin, D-Carbon Hill, seeks . . . to set minimums for the amount of daily exercise students will be required to have in school, with at least 200 minutes a week for elementary school students and 225 minutes for middle and high school students."
225 minutes of gym? Are we living in Sparta?

SNAAP Judgments
Chronicle of Higher Education, 5/5/2008
Princeton professor Stan Katz comments on the newly announced Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), a longitudinal assessment of arts alumni to show, among other things, “how students in different majors use their arts training in their careers and other aspects of their lives.” The project has been developed by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University.
First, definitely go and read this PDF. Second, I'm not sure I understand how one gets chosen for this sort of thing, but it's a great idea for a project. I'd like to see a little bit more information on methodology, too.

Florida Legislature OKs cuts to cultural affairs, historic resources
Palm Beach Daily News (FL), 5/6/2008
"State funding for culture and historic preservation will fall sharply under the belt-tightening budget approved Friday by the Legislature. The Division of Cultural Affairs, which administers grants to cultural organizations, will get nearly $6 million — down from last year's $12.5 million — while funding for the Division of Historical Resources, which oversees grants for history museums and historic preservation, will drop from $7 million to nearly $1.2 million. That's a plunge from two years ago, when the state earmarked $32.7 million for culture and $18 million for history."
As usual, the Republican-dominated Florida legislature takes a bat to the arts and whacks it, repeatedly. Talk about a croc.

The irony here is art itself
New Jersey Star-Ledger, 5/3/2008
After reporting to New Jersey's Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee how much the arts contributed to the state economy, Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells then was faced with defending "the severe cuts in arts funding the governor had asked her to make," with arts and history funding "being cut anywhere from 25 to 100 percent from a variety of programs."
Poor NJ can't catch a break. First a gay governor and now cuts in arts funding.

Bottom-line philanthropy
Boston Globe, 4/30/2008
Sacha Pfeiffer features the Social Innovation Forum, a program designed to "help nonprofits become more businesslike, understand the language of the private sector, and win the backing of influential, deep-pocketed donors." Each year the program selects six nonprofits through a competitive process, then "gives them free services like management consulting and executive coaching, and introduces them to potential donors" at an event where the nonprofits "make a formal, 15-minute funding appeal, complete with PowerPoint presentation and prospectus, to a large group of prospective funders."
Speak "the language of the private sector"? Shouldn't the private sector equally be incentivized to speak the language of the artists, too?

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