News from Ohio Citizens for the Arts

The 2012 elections will have a profound impact on the direction of our country and our state. In the upcoming months we will all surely be bombarded with ads focusing on each candidate’s record on job creation, experience in business, and ideals about education and the economy. The words “jobs” and “economy” will be seared into our brains until they become as meaningless as any other buzz word in an election season. But noticeably absent from the broader discussion, at least so far, has been the arts and the immeasurably positive impact they have on us personally and the economy as a whole.

With the upcoming election in November we have the opportunity to make sure that those wishing to represent us and our interests are armed with the knowledge that their constituents value the arts and many of us in a variety of business sectors depend on them financially. It is up to us to make candidates for office realize that the arts are an essential part of the economy and, in fact, a proven way to encourage economic growth. A glance at the numbers behind the arts in Ohio gives a snapshot of just how important the arts are to the all-important buzzwords of “economy” and “jobs.” In central Ohio, for example, arts-related industries annually generate over $3 billion in business receipts and employ 25,000 with $932 million in employee wages, generating $67 million in state and local tax revenue. Further, nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in central Ohio generate $330.39 million annually for the local economy, a figure that incredibly represents triple what Ohio State athletics generate per year.

These staggering statistics are typical of the arts across the state and nationally yet they capture only part of the picture. The arts are cost effective. It costs less to fund the arts in the state of Ohio than it does to build 30 miles of highway. Students who experience arts learning show improved test scores on standardized tests. Finally, there is the fact that the arts are a central part of our quality of life: entertaining us, bringing us together as a community, and representing who we are. With all this in mind, we must take advantage of the opportunity to make sure that the arts are recognized by politicians seeking to be representative of us as a community.

The Fourth of July is a time when we can reflect on what makes our country great, and the arts are certainly part of that. It is also a time when candidates for office will be out in your community sharing their hopes and dreams for Ohio’s future and getting a sense of the pulse of the voters. The arts are a vibrant and important part of the message we must all be delivering, so the next time you see a candidate in your community let them know how important the arts are to you, and to the economy as a whole. Your conversation will make a positive difference.

Together we can deliver the all-important message that an investment in the arts at the local, state, and federal levels is an investment in our cultural heritage, economic vitality, and educational excellence.

See you at the parade and picnic. You’ll know me – I’m the guy standing by the candidates telling my personal story about the value of the arts.

By: Andrew Gordon Seifert

Andrew Gordon-Seifert is a student at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, a graduate of the School of Music at Ohio State, and intern at Ohio Citizens for the Arts.

Now Available: 2010-2011 Ohio Arts Council Biennial Report

Every biennium, the Ohio Arts Council publishes a report of grants awarded in the previous two fiscal years. The 2010-2011 Ohio Arts Council Biennial Report is now available online. This report offers a detailed breakdown of biennium highlights and lists the grant awards given to Ohio artists, arts and cultural organizations and schools in fiscal years 2010-2011.

The Ohio Arts Council celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2010 amidst serious challenges, including significant reductions in both budget and staff levels. Despite these reductions, the agency still awarded more than $10 million in grants to artists, arts organizations and schools, and provided support for more than 35 million arts experiences for Ohioans. The agency also completed its most in-depth strategic planning effort ever, and last year released A New View: A Strategic Plan to Strengthen Ohio Through the Arts 2011-2013, which represents the agency’s bold view of how the arts can be a major partner in restoring the prosperity of the state.

Click here to download a PDF copy of the 2010-2011 Ohio Arts Council Biennial Report. Please note that this report is only available online. To request a hard copy version, or to see previous biennial reports, please contact the agency’s Public Information Office at oac.publicinformationoffice@oac.state.oh.us or 614/466-2613. You may also search past Ohio Arts Council grants using the OAC Funding History database.

Arts & Economic Prosperity IV

At our Annual Convention in San Antonio, Americans for the Arts released the findings from Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind ever conducted. Like the past three iterations, it documents the key role played by the nonprofit arts and culture industry in strengthening our nation’s economy. But this time around, the results of this study are a bit more extraordinary.

For the first time in its history, Arts & Economic Prosperity IV documents how the arts industry fared during a recession. And not just any economic slowdown. This study shows how the arts sector fared during The Great Recession, the most shattering economic downfall our nation, and the world, has experienced in generations. And there is encouraging news to share.

Despite the economic headwinds that our country faced in 2010 when the study was conducted, the arts and culture industry continued to serve as an economic engine, generating $135.2 billion dollars of economic activity-$61.1 billion in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations, plus an additional $74.1 billion in spending by their audiences. This economic activity had a significant impact on the nation’s economy, supporting 4.2 million full-time jobs, and generating $23 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments every year-a yield well beyond their collective $4 billion in arts allocations.

Like most industries, the Great Recession left a measurable financial impact on the arts-erasing the gains made during the pre-recession years, and leaving 2010 expenditures three percent behind their 2005 levels at an estimated $61.1 billion, demonstrating the industry’s resilience even if in the face of an extremely challenging fiscal environment. In addition, the 94,478 audience intercept surveys collected for the 2005 study showed an average event-related expenditure of $27.79, per person per event, beyond the cost of admission. The 151,802 audience surveys conducted for the 2010 report show an 11 percent decrease in that amount, to $24.60.

These findings are remarkable given the economic climate that was present when the study was conducted. Unemployment was at 9.7 percent in 2010-more than double the rate from when Arts & Economic Prosperity III was conducted in 2005. The Consumer Confidence Index-the degree of optimism that consumers are expressing through their spending and saving as measured by the Conference Board-plummeted to 54 (nearly half its 2005 level), and the number home foreclosures tripled to 2.9 million from the number in 2005.

Throughout the recession, the arts industry continued to produce new and exciting work-performances and exhibitions and festivals that entertain, inspire, and draw audiences. So as the economy rebounds in the coming years, the arts are well poised for growth.

Arts & Economic Prosperity IV demonstrates that America’s nonprofit arts industry is not only resilient in times of economic uncertainty, but is also a key component to the nation’s economic recovery and future prosperity. This study shows that the nonprofit arts and culture industry is an economic driver in communities-an industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism. The arts mean business!

Source: Americans for the Arts

For the First Time in its History, the National Endowment for the Arts Awards Grants for Arts Research

For the first time in the 47-year history of the National Endowment for the Arts, the agency’s Office of Research & Analysis will award grants to 15 research projects to investigate the value and impact of the arts in the United States. These grants, totaling $250,000, support projects designed to use existing, high-quality datasets to examine novel and significant research questions about the arts. The grantees are from 11 states and their awards range from $10,000 to $30,000.

The recommended projects explore three different areas:

  • the impact of the arts on local and/or national economic development,
  • the health and viability of arts and cultural organizations,
  • the links between arts engagement and cognitive, social, civic, and behavioral outcomes.
  • At the conclusion of each project, the researchers will submit a report of their findings, methods, and data sources for posting on the NEA’s website, arts.gov.

“In order to create well-designed and responsive arts programs and policies, we need to have solid, research-based evidence about how art works,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “We are excited to learn what these projects will reveal and look forward to sharing each of them broadly with the American public.”

NEA Director of Research & Analysis Sunil Iyengar said, “I’m pleased that in addition to publishing research reports and hosting research and policy conferences, the NEA can support the work of other researchers dedicated to promoting a better understanding of the value and impact that the arts can provide for our country’s citizens.”

Examples of projects supported with these grants are:

  • Researchers with the California Alliance for Arts Education will conduct a statewide analysis of the access, equity, quantity, and diversity of arts education in California schools. The report will detail the status of arts education in California’s K-12 public schools, explore five-year trends, and investigate how California compares with other states and nationwide.
  • Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin will use data from the Urban Institute’s National Survey of Nonprofit Governance to see whether the racial/ethnic and gender composition of arts organizations’ boards has had an impact on the diversity of populations served by those groups.
  • At Williams College, researchers will use cutting-edge economic models pioneered in studies by non-arts sectors to demonstrate a causal relationship between spending patterns of arts and cultural organizations and the economic well-being of U.S. cities.

Please see full descriptions of the grants.

Ovation, in Partnership with Americans for the Arts and with Guidance from the National Endowment for the Arts, has Developed the innOVATION Grant Program!

Ovation has developed the innOVATION Grant Program to fund and recognize the impact of artists and the arts in communities’ revitalization efforts.

Three $25,000 innOVATION grants and two $10,000 innOVATION grants will be awarded through a panel review process. In addition, communities can compete for a “Viewers’ Choice Award” of $15,000.

Total funding available for the innOVATION Grant Program is $110,000!

Applications will be reviewed and the innOVATION grants will be awarded by a panel comprised of representatives from Ovation, Americans for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, with the exception of the “Viewers’ Choice Award,” which will be chosen by voting members of the public. In addition to funds, recipients will gain national visibility for their stories across Ovation’s various media platforms (TV, online, VOD, and TVE).

Eligibility (at the time of application)

  • Applicants must be Americans for the Arts Organizational Members. (Not a Member? Join Now.)
  • Only one submission per community will be accepted.
  • All applicants will be eligible to compete for the Viewers’ Choice Award.
  • A community revitalization program, with the arts at its core, and a demonstrated record of success already in place.
  • Applicants must be willing to be featured in various Ovation electronic media and print publications.
  • Applicants must be nominated by an elected official (Mayor, County Executive, etc.).

Review Criteria

  • The creativity and innovation of the revitalization project.
  • Evidence that the community has made artists and the arts central to their community revitalization strategies.
  • Evidence that the project has contributed to community revitalization and economic development.
  • Evidence that the project has directly benefitted the arts and artists in the community.
  • Specific plans for future arts-based revitalization OR specific plans for how the grants funds will further arts revitalization efforts in the community.

Required Supplementory Materials

Organizations are required to submit all of the following supplementary materials in support of their applications:

  • One-page letter of support from an elected official. (Mayor, County Executive, etc.)
  • One to three images relating to the project in jpg or png format

Timeline

innOVATION Grants
June 18, 2012 – Application Process Opens
July 31, 2012 – Deadline for Submissions – 5:00 p.m. (EST)
September 10, 2012 – Applicant Review Process Completed and Grantees Selected
October 2012 – Grant Winners Announced

Click here to submit your grant

Viewers’ Choice Award

October 15, 2012 – Viewers’ Choice Award Nominees Posted and Public Voting Begins
December 31, 2012 – Viewers’ Choice Award Voting Closes
January 2013 – Viewers’ Choice Award Winner Announced

Questions?

Program requirements, funding requirements, or the timeline: Theresa Cameron at tcameron@artsusa.org or call 202.371.2830.

Americans for the Arts organizational membership: Anette Shirinian at membership@artsusa.org or 202.371.2830.

Download a PDF version of these guidelines.

Fund for National Projects: The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Strategy

  • The Fund for National Projects supports projects that:
  • Strengthen the national infrastructure of the professional nonprofit dance, jazz, presenting and/or theatre fields; or
  • Improve conditions for the national community of performing artists in professional nonprofit dance, jazz and theatre.

Grant Details
From 2009 through 2014, the Fund will award a total of up to $1 million in grants each year to support key national projects in the professional nonprofit dance, jazz, presenting and/or theatre fields. Grants range from $60,000 to $200,000 and cannot exceed 40% of a project’s total cost.

National projects engage a broad national constituency, occur once (or periodically) rather than annually, and have the potential to significantly impact a field.

Organizations are encouraged to submit letters of inquiryfor projects that strengthen the national infrastructure of the professional nonprofit dance, jazz, presenting and/or theatre fields, or that improve conditions for the national community of performing artists in dance, jazz and theatre, such as:

  • Research projects assessing the national health of professional nonprofit arts groups or of individual professional artists;
  • Special national convenings for entire professional nonprofit performing arts fields (beyond traditional national annual conferences);
  • Special projects that address unique circumstances that affect an entire professional nonprofit field.
  • Highest priority will be given to projects that improve the health of the Arts Program’s priority performing arts fields and do not duplicate ongoing efforts or existing services.

Areas Not Funded
The Fund expressly does not support the following types of activities:

  • Projects by single performing arts entities (e.g., national tours of a particular dance or theatre work, even if they aspire to be a national model for others);
  • Ongoing annual conferences
  • Individually produced conferences, performances or symposia (e.g., a festival produced by a single organization or by a consortia of local groups in a specific city or locale);
  • Re-granting programs;
  • Translations or commissions of new works (even if expected to have national impact);
  • Production start-up activities/production costs;
  • Arts education;
  • Avocational arts activities;
  • Capital projects;
  • Endowments.
  • Eligibility
  • Single nonprofit organizations and consortia are both eligible to apply.

Application Process
Interested organizations should submit a letter of inquiry to the Arts Program using the online submission form (see Application Deadlines & Submission Instructions).

The Arts Program staff reviews letters of inquiry on a rolling basis, schedules meetings to learn more about promising projects, and invites full proposals based on meetings with prospective applicants.

Competitive proposals that demonstrate the potential for direct and significant impact on the national professional nonprofit dance, jazz, presenting and/or theatre fields are reviewed by an advisory panel, which recommends the strongest applicants for funding based on the criteria for support outlined below.

Application Deadlines & Submission Instructions

  • The deadline to submit a letter of inquiry is July 2, and letters of inquiry must be submitted online. Full proposals are due approximately six weeks after receiving an invitation to submit.
  • Letters of inquiry should outline the project and articulate its impact on the professional nonprofit dance, jazz, presenting or theatre field. A brief history of the organization(s) involved should also be included.

Please use the following instructions and links for submitting letters of inquiry online:
Tutorial of Online Submission Process
Start a New Letter of Inquiry
Return to a Pending Letter of Inquiry

Criteria for Support
In reviewing proposals, the panel considers the following questions:

  • Project Concept/ Structure/ Participants
  • Does the project address a significant need for artists and/or organizations working in the dance, jazz, presenting and/or theatre fields?
  • Is the project well conceived and structured?
  • Does the project reflect clear understanding of the state of the performing arts today?
  • Does the project reflect sharp, refined, strategic thinking?
  • Does it identify an appropriate and significant group of partners/participants? (e.g. Have participants been strategically identified? Are they the “right” group to move this project forward?)

Impact

  • Will this project have significant impact on the national dance, jazz, presenting and/or theatre field?
  • Does the project expand the range of services, activities or body of knowledge available today?
  • Does the project do more than replicate existing programs and services?
  • Capacity
  • Does the applicant have the financial and administrative ability to execute the project successfully?
  • Grant Request
  • Does the scope of the project warrant the level of support available in this fund from DDCF ($60,000-200,000)? (Grants can cover up to 40% of total project costs.)

Donations Barely Grew at All Last Year, ‘Giving USA’ Finds

For the second year in a row, charitable giving barely grew, rising by just 0.9 percent after inflation in 2011, according to today’s release of “Giving USA,” the annual yearbook of American philanthropy. The study estimated that the total donated was $298.4-billion.
The glacial pace of the economic recovery caused “Giving USA” researchers to make a far gloomier forecast about when a full recovery in charitable giving will occur.

“If we continue to grow at this rate, it will take more than a decade to get back to where we were in total giving in 2007,” said Patrick Rooney, executive director of the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, which compiles “Giving USA.”

Last year Mr. Rooney predicted that a recovery in giving could occur by 2016; now, given current conditions, he says it will more likely be 2022.

No Stronger This Year
Slow fundraising growth in 2011 comes nowhere near to erasing record historic losses-the deepest ever recorded in the report’s five decades-caused by the recession.

Total charitable giving last year was still 11 percent below what it was in 2007, before the effects of the recession were felt. Donations to charities dropped by a total of 13.4 percent in 2008 and 2009, “Giving USA” said as it released new estimates for contributions in those years.

The drop in those years was largely caused by a 17.6-percent plunge in donations by living Americans, who provide more than 70 percent of all donations.

Interviews conducted in the past week with more than 40 charity officials and other fundraising experts suggest that 2012 will not be any stronger for charitable giving than 2011.

And while some people may accelerate gifts in 2012 because they think the charitable deduction will be reduced next year, uncertainty about the global economy, the presidential election, health-care policies, and tax rates will cause many others to hold off making big gifts this year, said Robert Sharpe, a Memphis fundraising consultant.

“The bleeding stopped in 2010,” he said, “but the recovery is anemic.”

Aid Groups Did Better
American charities that conduct development and relief work overseas were the only type of nonprofit to outpace inflation by a significant percentage, at 4.4 percent, while donations to environmental causes increased by 1.4 percent after inflation. Giving to every other type of organization was either flat or declined.

Religious organizations suffered the biggest drop, with donations falling nearly 5 percent, in part because of a decline in the number of Americans who belong to churches, synagogues or mosques, “Giving USA” said.

Among the other key findings:
Donations to foundations dropped by nearly 9 percent, to $25.8-billion. That drop might not be as ominous as it appears for future grant making, however. “Giving USA” said, because affluent people seemed to be putting a lot of their money into donor-advised funds. The three biggest such funds had an average rise in donations of 77 percent last year, the study noted.

Contributions by living individuals were stagnant at $217.8-billion.

Donations by corporations fell by more than 3 percent, to $14.6-billion last year, while foundations gave 1.3-percent less, at $41.7-billion.

Bequests were the only source of growth in donations last year, rising nearly 9 percent, to $24.4-billion.

A free executive summary of “Giving USA 2012” is available online. The full report costs $45.

Suggested Reading

2012 Grant-Making and Funding Highlights: NASAA continuously collects data on state arts agency grant making and funding. The 2012 State Arts Agency Grant Making and Funding report highlights summary grant statistics, select state-by-state information and funding trends over time, and includes grant award maps. The report offers a succinct introduction to state arts agencies’ grant-making activities and revenue sources from a broad perspective.

State of the States: Arts Education State Policy Summary 2012: The State of the States 2012 summarizes state policies for arts education identified in statute or code for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Information is based primarily on results from the AEP Arts Education State Policy Survey conducted in 2010-11, and updated in April 2012. AEP extends special thanks to the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education for their assistance with all aspects of the AEP State Policy Survey.

75% of Young Adults Gave to Charity Last Year, Study Finds: Charities rarely make deliberate efforts to solicit young adults because they think people in their 20s and early 30s are unlikely to give. But a new survey of more than 6,500 people ages 20 to 35 shows they are inclined to give — and more than willing to ask their friends and relatives to do the same — when they feel passionately about a cause. About 75% who provided data for the 2012 Millennial Impact Report said they gave money to a nonprofit in 2011, while 70% said they have helped solicit donations. But 58% reported their largest contribution was $100 or less. Only 16% gave $500 or more to one organization. The survey was conducted by Achieve and Johnson, Grossnickle, and Associates, two groups that consult with charities on fundraising. “What we heard over and over again is that millennials are eager to give if they’re already engaged in a conversation with the charity,” says Derrick Feldmann, chief executive of Achieve. About 63% of those surveyed reported they volunteered for a nonprofit last year, while 90% said they expect to volunteer this year. The report found that young adults who volunteer were far more likely to make a donation. “What we found is that there is a continuum of involvement that starts with communicating, then moves on to volunteering and leadership roles,” says Angela White, chief executive of JGA. She notes that, in three focus groups, participants sent a clear message about the sorts of leadership opportunities they’re searching for. “They want real responsibilities and an opportunity to put their skills and expertise to work,” Ms. White says. “They don’t want to sit at the kiddie table.” Groups that offer those kinds of opportunities are more likely to forge the type of relationships that lead to donations, the report found.

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