News from Ohio Citizens for the Arts

Ohio Citizens for the Arts has a host of resources available to assist you with your advocacy efforts to support public funding for the arts in Ohio.  Please take a moment to review the following resources and take action!

Talking Points – Support Public Funding for Arts and Culture through the Ohio Arts Council

Curtain Speech – In just a few seconds you can remind your audience about the value of public funding for the arts and your funding from the Ohio Arts Council

Advocacy Is A Habit of Mind – Spend a few minutes each day to be informed.

Ohio Arts Council FY2011 Grant Awards by County – Use this list as a resource to demonstrate the wide-range of grant awards provided across the state of Ohio.

Ohio Arts: A Foundation of Innovation, Creativity, and Economic Strength – a creative industries research report that calls out the value of the arts in Ohio to jobs, education, and cultural vibrancy.

A List of Things Every Advocate Should Know – Take a minute to read over the list and take advantage of the hyper-linked resources you will find throughout the article.

The Ohio Arts Council’s Making the Case page is a terrific resource too!  Take a few minutes to look at the following materials:

The Arts: Part of the Solution – a series of stories from around the state that highlight the impact of the arts in Ohio!

The FY2012-2013 budget timeline

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies’ Research-based Communication Toolkit.

Focusing the Light – The Art and Practice of Planning – Volume 1 of the 7 volume series focuses on Arts Advocacy and Strategic Planning.

And finally, we hope that you will Take Action on the latest Action Alert posted by Ohio Citizens for the Arts … it is your opportunity to speak up for the arts!

The Creative Economy of Northwest Ohio: A new documentary from WBGU-TV puts a spotlight on the importance of arts industries to northwest Ohio. “Creative Economy of Northwest Ohio,” is a 30-minute documentary that showcases the economic and community impact of the region’s arts and culture and features interviews with cultural, state and business leaders.

Northwest Ohio’s creative economy generates more than $2.4 billion in economic impact, sustains 33,000 jobs and provides more than $250 million in local, state and federal tax revenue. A fast-growing sector, it fosters the entrepreneurialism, innovation, collaboration, and communication needed by 21st century enterprises. With non-profit arts at its core, it includes museums, historical societies, arts companies, independent artists, as well as design services, motion picture, video and sound recording industries, book and newspaper publishing, and art schools and services. The arts and the creative industries are working hard to support Northwest Ohio’s jobs, quality of life, community collaborations and preparation for a 21st century economy!

“Creative Economy of Northwest Ohio” was produced, directed, written and edited by Tony Howard, producer/director at WBGU-TV and shot by Matthew Blinn, videographer at WBGU-TV. Dr. F. Scott Regan, a BGSU professor emeritus of theater and film, narrates the piece.

“Creative Economy of Northwest Ohio,” will air:
May 1st at 5:30 PM
May 5th at 8:30 PM
May 11th at 9:00 PM
May 12th at 9:30 PM
May 22nd at 5:30 PM

May 9th at 10:30 PM
May 10th at 4:30 PM
Watch the ten minute trailer.

Arts Education: The Key to Workforce Preparation and Performance

Move over, math and science. It’s time to make room for art.

Employers and government alike have long advocated math and science as the primary subject areas for those who want to excel in today’s knowledge-based careers. But now art is earning its rightful place alongside its more popular and heavily promoted sister subjects. And its biggest support is coming from employers.

But the value for employers isn’t in the actual learning of how to play an instrument, draw the human figure or compose poetry. The real benefit from employers’ standpoint is the skill set that seems to come primarily from studying the arts.

According to Fred Behning, an IBM retiree who has a music background, “The fine arts carry additional developmental benefits. Whether it’s music or dance notation, sculpture or painting, or translation of written word to emotion and action, all fine arts experience is built on conversion of the abstract into reality. This is Creativity 101 as taught in no other academic setting.

Find out what you can do, if you are already immersed in the workforce, to incorporate arts learning in your life.

Source: University of Phoenix

10 Burning Questions About How Charities Should Use Social Media

During a frank town-hall style meeting, nonprofit workers, who gathered at the annual Nonprofit Technology Conference here last week, discussed how to use social media to advance their causes. Some questions had good answers and examples of what worked, but others did not. So we invite readers to add their suggestions in the comments section at the end of this post.

Do blogs with a call-to-action at the end of each post do well?
Oceana, an ocean-conservation group, says its blog items often include fund-raising appeals or requests to take action. They’re “particularly effective when timed along with an e-mail campaign” that also urges supporters to take action, a representative said.

Do any organizations offer incentives to court more fans or dollars?
Camfed USA, which builds schools in Africa, offered a trip to Africa to the person who recruited the most people to follow it on Facebook. An 18-year-old who recruited 500 people won. It took the organization 10 years to attract 10,000 donors but less than six months to attract that many followers on Facebook. Camfed now has more than a million supporters. Also, Camfed offers an incentive every time someone joins its e-mail list: It gives 10 pencils to girls in Africa.

The National Parks Conservation Association, with Nature Valley as a corporate sponsor, got 100,000 new fans in 24 hours after Nature Valley offered to donate a dollar to the organization for each new fan.

The Conservation Trust for North Carolina, as part of a coalition of organizations, used a contest (“North Carolina’s 10 Natural Wonders Contest”) to get people to its Facebook page. A link there directed people to a Survey Monkey page, where they entered their e-mail addresses. Now it has 1,400 fans, up from 300.

Inner City Computer Stars Foundation, a Chicago group that educates students about technology, got 500 Facebook fans in three days when a local company offered to provide a dollar for every new Facebook fan. But it hasn’t converted those fans into donors yet.

Do Facebook ads work?
They do, said participants, and often they do better than other prominent outlets. An attendee said to the audience: “Sorry, New York Times. Buy Facebook ads, not New York Times online.”

Filiberto Gonzalez, a fund-raising consultant in Los Angeles, says charities should aim their Facebook ads at people with traits that are like the people who already give. “Do they listen to NPR?” says Mr. Gonzalez, founder of Social Impact Consulting. “Do they like a particular book?”

Is it worthwhile to promote causes through Groupon?
The United Nations World Food Programme is participating in a Groupon daily deal that would provide stoves to families in Third World countries. It’s found a donor who will match what it collects on Groupon, but it won’t have results until July, a representative said.

How do charity departments get credit for money that comes in response to a social-media appeal combined with direct marketing or other efforts?
Some charities mentioned having a different link from each place a donor can give so the organizations can keep track of where those gifts come from, but most groups haven’t integrated their online and offline fund-raising budgets.

To determine how people like to interact with the charity, the Nature Conservancy is conducting a survey asking, among other things, whether they prefer donating through e-mail or through social networks. “I think e-mail is still huge for us,” a representative says.

Do fund-raising sites that encourage people to raise money from friends work?
Not many charities have made them work, participants said.

Conservation International
says the effort works when celebrities promote them. But even then, they might not do so well. A Crowdrise campaign pitched by the actor Harrison Ford raised just $10,000. (To learn more about fund-raising sites that spread messages through friends and relatives, see this article from The Chronicle of Philanthropy.)

How do you persuade people who “like” your group on Facebook or retweet your posts on Twitter to give?
Many didn’t have an answer to this. They’re trying but not successfully. Some are using third-party vendors to handle the process.

Is anyone measuring what effect mobile devices and text messages have on donations?
Attendees didn’t know and didn’t have concrete examples to determine whether people are giving less because text-message campaigns typically don’t allow donors to give more than $10 at a time or because raising money through iPhones is cumbersome.

And no one had answers to the following questions:
Have staff members been cross-trained to work in social media? Are direct-mail workers moving to online fund raising?
How do you persuade your organization to budget for fund raising using social media?

Source: Chronicle of Philanthropy

Clark County Commissioner Changes Tune: Clark County commissioner Rick Lohnes did an about-face at the end of March on funding for two arts projects for at-risk kids and families once it was explained they don’t cost the county a dime.

The county funds those Project Jericho programs – totaling $179,058 – completely with money donated by the Turner Foundation and federal funds.

The Turner Foundation this year is contributing $256,250 to multiple programs in partnership with the county, down nearly $90,000 from last year. The Springfield Foundation’s contributions increased to $48,000.

“By them donating that money to us, we’re able to draw down additional federal dollars,” said Erin Thomas-Brodine, Clark County Job and Family Services contracts manager.

Last year, the Turner Foundation contributed $345,950 to these programs, and the Springfield Foundation shelled out $38,500.

The county was able to use this as a local match to bring in federal funds totaling $526,425 for child support funds and $121,238 for financial assistance.

“If we didn’t have this type of thing happening, our child support staff would probably be half of what it is now,” JFS Director Bob Suver said.

Turner Foundation Director John Landess said that due to the recession, his organization has donated less money this year than previous years.

But the amount given to the county by both agencies fluctuates every year, based on whether programs the non-profits fund happen to be eligible for a federal match.

“I think any time you can bring more money into the community, and bring our tax dollars back, we’re interested in talking,” Landess said. “It’s a very innovative idea Bob (Suver) had to do this.”

Suver said the foundations’ contribution is down from a peak of nearly $800,000 a few years ago.

How the county splits its money may change as commissioners struggle to cope with ballooning public assistance rolls, and face a proposed 15 percent cut to child support enforcement in the state’s budget.

County commissioners praised their partnership with the Turner and Springfield foundations as innovative and indispensable.

“Very few communities anywhere in the United States have the creation you have,” said Commission President John Detrick told Suver.

Source: Springfield News Sun

Highlights of NEA Survey: The National Endowment for the Arts, Rocco Landesman chair, released on February 24, 2011 the results of the “2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts” (SPPA). The SPPA is the nation’s largest and most representative periodic study of adult participation in arts events and activities. It has been conducted by the NEA in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau five times since 1982. The results of a 2012 survey will be released in 2013.

To obtain a more accurate picture of arts engagement in this technological and web-based world, the NEA invited Nick Rabkin and E.C. Hedberg of NORC, University of Chicago; Mark J. Stern of the University of Pennsylvania; and Jennifer L. Novak-Leonard and Alan S. Brown of the research firm WolfBrown, to examine the 2008 survey results in more detail. Their findings are published in three separate reports that confirm the importance of arts education for students, support a more expansive system to measure arts participation, and “challenge the notion of the “graying” of arts audiences.”

The three reports are entitled:

Arts Education in America: What the declines mean for arts participation by Nick Rabkin and E.C. Hedberg

Beyond Attendance: A multi-modal understanding of arts participation by Jennifer L. Novak-Leonard and Alan S. Brown -Age and Arts Participation: A case against demographic destiny by Mark J. Stern.

Highlights of the 2008 SPPA: According to the 2008 survey results, 75 percent of adults attended arts activities, created art, or engaged with art via electronic media. This is more than twice the share of adults (34.6 percent) who attended “benchmark” arts events such jazz or classical music concerts, opera, plays, ballet, or who visited art museums or galleries.

The highest rates of participation via electronic media-including mobile devices and the Internet-were reported for classical music (18 percent), Latin music (15 percent), and programs about the visual and literary arts (15 percent each).

In 2008, 24 percent of U.S. adults attended a music, theater, or dance performance at a school, and 19 percent attended such a performance at a religious institution. These percentages are among the highest rates of attendance for any arts activity captured by the 2008 SPPA.

Nearly one-third of all American adults (30 percent or 67 million) both attended and created or performed art in the 2008 survey (down from 42 percent in 1992). The percentage of adults who only attend or only create art has remained relatively stable across survey years.

There is a strong link between creating and attending art. Adults who attended a dance performance reported the overall highest rate of creative participation (80 percent) in any artistic discipline. Eighty-one percent of people who engaged in creative writing also read literature, and 60 percent of Americans who created visual art or acted in a play also attended an art museum or gallery, or a theater performance, respectively.

In addition to reporting higher arts-attendance rates, those who receive arts education as a child are more likely to create or perform art, engage with the arts via media, and take art classes as an adult.

In 1982, nearly two-thirds of 18-year-olds reported taking art classes in their childhood. By 2008, that share had dropped below one-half (2.6 million), a decline of 23 percent.
Declines in childhood arts education from 1982 to 2008 are much higher among African American and Hispanic children than among white children. In that time frame, there was a 49 percent drop for African Americans, and a 40 percent drop for Hispanic children, compared with a statistically insignificant decline for white children.

Source: National Endowment for the Arts

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