|Showcasing State Arts Agency Ingenuity|
Positioning Arts Organizations for Growth
The Missouri Arts Council (MAC) has announced a new grant program replacing its former Capacity Building grant. The new Accelerate program not only awards financial support, but also strengthens organizational capacity through a three-step process: assess, act and accelerate. First, boards and senior staff of participating organizations evaluate their programming, operations, fund-raising and leadership using the Unity Foundation's on-line Capacity Quotient™ tool. The cost of this diagnostic self-assessment and resulting report is covered by MAC. Organizations then develop an action plan, which must be approved by their board of directors, with hands-on assistance from MAC staff. Finally, organizations execute their plan with $1,500 in MAC funds (and $1,500 in matching funds). Funding may be used for a variety purposes—including strategic planning, technology upgrades, trainings, consulting and accessibility improvements—provided they build capacity. Accelerate launched in July and is operating as a pilot program in fiscal year 2014. To learn more, contact MAC Capacity Building Program Specialist Donald Rice.
Connecting Students to the World of Work
This fall, the Oregon Arts Commission (OAC) kicks off its new Connecting Students to the World of Work grant program. Through the program, OAC awards grants to organizations that introduce underserved students, grades 6–12, to the artistic and creative job market through internships, externships, mentorships, job shadowing and professionals in residence. The program builds on several of OAC's priorities—reaching underserved communities, providing access to the arts and arts learning, and fostering the future creative class—by connecting students with successful arts professionals who model how to earn a living and make a life in the arts or the creative economy. To ensure these relationships are substantial, grant eligibility is limited to organizations that provide hands-on learning opportunities for students, contribute to students' sequential learning, and strengthen connections between schools and cultural activities or creative industries. Grants range from $20,000 to $50,000 and have a one-to-one matching requirement. Find out more from OAC Arts Education Coordinator Deb Vaughn.
With the conclusion of the Arts Participation Leadership Initiative (APLI), a four-year experiment to bolster audience engagement and arts participation conducted by the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) and The Wallace Foundation, ArtsWA remains committed to sharing the knowledge the project created and to growing a learning community around it. ArtsWA's APLI web portal now includes a host of project resources, including evaluations, research reports, summaries and videos of the nine APLI forums, "forum response" articles by participating artists, recommended readings, and 10 "takeaways" consolidating the initiative's findings and relating them to experiences of the 26 participating arts grantee organizations in King and Pierce counties. Also available are web pages dedicated to the three APLI goals (increase engagement by youth and young adults, work with diverse communities, and use social media/technology) and their respective strategies—as well as related case studies and toolkits showing how to implement them. The APLI web portal features a personalized portfolio tool (a.k.a. "shopping cart") through which site users can save and share APLI resources. For more information, contact ArtsWA Grants to Organizations Program Manager Mayumi Tsutakawa.
Arts Participation Leadership Initiative Ends, but Its Community of Learning Grows