Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Updates, Play Santa Claus in July, Congratulations and Happy 4th

Good morning.
"And the beat goes on…………………."

Some miscellaneous stuff as I am basically off this week.

S.F. Situation:
Nothing really to report from the last blog post on the situation in San Francisco pitting portions of the multicultural community against the more established arts organization community, but for some increased expressed anger / disappointment at the tactic of calling the multicultural group seeking to re-allocate some of the Grants for the Arts funding to the S.F. Arts Commission Equity program --"fringe elements" -- and apologies issued by those responsible for making that reference.   For the moment the ball is in the hands of the Board of Supervisors as this is a budget issue. One hopes that the issue of equity in funds allocation gets an open, transparent and full hearing out of all of this, and that the various diverse segments of our community can talk in a frank discussion of what is at stake here.  For us to have real unity as a field (which we really need to do), we need to have some honest give and take.

Want to Play Santa Claus in July?
Createquity (Ian David Moss' blog) is in the process of ramping up a new website and plans some new content for the blog and site, and is trying to raise some funds via an Indiegogo campaign to finance the changes (but the campaign only has about a week left to go!)

As he explained in an email to his subscriber list:

"Createquity is relaunching in the fall with a whole new editorial agenda, an expanded team, and a new website! We’re building upon everything we’ve learned over the past seven years to tackle the hard questions that matter and make principled, evidence-backed recommendations for the field that we can confidently stand behind."

Like a lot of people in the field, I am a fan of, and have the greatest respect for, Ian and his Createquity Blog.  He has provided a valuable service to the field with his unpaid efforts.  He asks hard questions, provides research and well thought out ways to approach challenges, and puts a lot of information into his blog that is useful to both the practitioner in the field and the national leaders focused on policy.  He bridges academia's concerns and issues with what matters on the street.  And more than that, he has expanded the whole concept of the blog, by recruiting bright, upcoming leaders to be part of his "fellowship" program -- and these people do some very interesting in-depth researched blog posts each year.  He has also created the Cultural Research Network - an open, online group of people interested in arts centered research and its attendant issues - which network is very active.  These efforts are all valuable to the field - to you and me as individuals and as part of a whole.

I hope you will go to the Indiegogo site and support this effort.  I did.  I know everybody gets hit on for a donation for everything nowadays.  I get dozens of requests a week.  None of us can possibly give to all of them.  You have to pick a few here and there.  Usually, we give close to home - to our own organizations, and then to causes of people we know.  Not much is left for the occasional left field effort that sounds good and is indeed worthy.

I can give you two good reasons why you might part with the cost of a couple of Starbuck's half caffeine, double mocha, caramel, latte frappacinnos:  First:  Ian and the people he has assembled to help with his newest reinvention of his site are exactly the people we want to support in our field - young, smart, dedicated, committed people who are already making a contribution to the field to help make things better for everyone.  Supporting that alone ought to be worth ten or twenty bucks.  But Second, I can almost guarantee you that if you follow whatever Createquity does over the next year you will read two or more posts that you (you personally) will find of great value to what you are doing on your job.  That ought to be worth a few bucks, no?

And how often do you get to play Santa Claus in July?

Congratulations for two excellent hires:
Danielle Brazell - the Executive Director for Arts for L.A. since its inception was named the head of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.  Danielle has done a remarkable job at Arts for L.A. and she has earned this appointment and I join the chorus of those who applaud its announcement.

F. Javier Torres - Senior Program Officer at the Boston Foundation, has been named to head the grant making program at Art Place - the principal "placemaking" funder for the field.  Torres has earned a place on many people's leaders for our future list, including mine, and I think this is a great move by Jamie Bennett at Arts Place.  Congratulations to both.

Wishing you all a Happy July 4th.

Have a great holiday.

Don't Quit.