In Rural, Conservative South Dakota, NEA Funding Is Crucial to Arts Community

A recent article in The New York Times highlights the impact of National Endowment for the Arts funding in South Dakota, “a largely rural, politically red state”:

South Dakota, which has fewer than a million people, received the fifth-highest amount of federal arts money per person in the nation last year, and the endowment’s generally small grants can have a bigger impact here than they would at the Metropolitan Operas of the world. The endowment sent the state $966,600 last year, most of which went to South Dakota’s arts council, which gets roughly half the money it disperses [in South Dakota] from Washington.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

Survey: Grantmakers Expect Philanthropy to Play a More Important Role in Society as a Result of Recent Changes in Washington, DC

A new survey by Exponent Philanthropy shows the vast majority of its members (82%) expect the institution of philanthropy to play a more important role in society as a result of recent changes in Washington, DC. Issued in late March to Exponent Philanthropy’s members – foundations with few or no staff, philanthropic families, and individual donors – the informal “Pulse Check” survey looked at how changes today in politics may impact philanthropic behavior in the year ahead, both in terms of giving practices and investments.

Read the full announcement from Exponent Philanthropy.

How Foundations Are Using a Systems Change Approach to Work Toward Social Change

A recent article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review discusses how some foundations are using a systems change approach to work toward social change in the current political climate. “A key differentiator for systems change foundations,” author Mark R. Kramer writes, “is that they no longer try to pilot a small-scale program first and then take it to scale later; they confront the system at scale from the start.”

The article describes how systems change foundations approach social issues in ways that “think beyond their grantees” to address the ecosystem of factors which affect communities. Included are statements and examples from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Ford Foundation, T.L.L. Temple Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and others.

Read the article on the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Barr Foundation Announces Grants Supporting Freedom of Press

Barr Foundation has announced a set of grant awards totaling $1.43 million to support freedom of the press. This is the second set of grants in Barr’s 2017 Special Initiative, responding to dramatic shifts in the national context, to increased polarization, and to growing concerns about equity and opportunity for vulnerable populations.

Read more from Barr Foundation.

Funders Collaborate to Host Training on Digital Security for Artists

From Robert W. Deutsch Foundation:

From political dissent and protests against injustice, to influencing the public discourse and criticizing actions of the government, artists and cultural workers have been at the forefront of social change using creativity to help shift the way people think about the world. Now more than ever, artists and cultural workers need to protect their data and communications on digital platforms given the ways in which the Internet and new mobile technologies can increase the threat of mass surveillance and digital discrimination.

On Saturday, March 4, the ​Media Democracy Fund and Robert W. Deutsch Foundation co-sponsored a training session for artists and activists at Open Works. The workshop was free and focused on privacy and security tools for mobile phones, computers, and Internet usage.

Read more.

City of Seattle Forms Rapid Response Policy Coalition

In response to federal policy changes, the City of Seattle has formed a Rapid Response Policy Coalition, a group of City staff, private sector attorneys, non-profit staff, and other policy experts to offer analyses and action items on federal executive orders and legislation. The coalition has published a number of articles detailing the potential local impacts of federal policy in healthcare, arts, museums and libraries, and other sectors, including the following:

Center for Cultural Innovation Hosts “Know Your Rights” Training for Artists in Protest

Funders have shown interest in offering resources for artists related to safety, security, and legal issues in the current political climate. For example, the Center for Cultural Innovation, a GIA member, has recently collaborated with the National Lawyers Guild to present a “Know Your Rights” workshop for artists interested in engaging in civil disobedience.

Read more.