“That was then; this is now.” A blunt expression often used in negotiations when one party wants to make clear to the other that previously reasonable expectations are unlikely to be met because of some adverse and unalterable change in circumstances. It is an expression that the cultural sector’s leadership is likely to hear frequently over the next few years as it seeks to navigate a radically changed economic and political map. The global recession that we have entered will not just knock the froth off things; it will permanently reconfigure the cultural landscape. This may happen more slowly and the events may be less flamboyantly newsworthy than the bankruptcy of Iceland, the collapse of the international banking system or the failure of the American mortgage industry, but the underlying forces at work are just as strong—indeed, they are the same forces.
Arts, Culture & Humanities
The Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach has received a big boost to its long-term financial outlook with a $25-million endowment from the estate of its founder. Dr. Robert Gumbiner, a pioneer in managed healthcare, who established the museum in 1996 and died in January at 85, made the gift to help preserve his cultural legacy.
Today, the National Endowment for the Arts announces the availability of grant guidelines for The Arts and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5 ("Recovery Act"). This opportunity was created in response to passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which includes $50 million to assist the nonprofit arts sector through funding to the National Endowment for the Arts. The new program will fund projects that focus on the preservation of jobs in the arts.
Dr. Ford Bell, president and CEO of the American Association of Museums, addressed more than 200 museums and nonprofit professionals on February 13 at the second annual Robert F. Smith, Jr. Cultural Arts Leadership Symposium, a program presented by the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership (BPCP), a collaborative of 24 San Diego cultural institutions.
U.S. nonprofit theaters are cutting staff and expanding discounts as they anticipate disappointing ticket sales and fundraising, according to a new survey by the Theatre Communications Group.
Getty Images, Inc., the world's leading creator and distributor of visual content and other digital media, today announced an expansion of its photographer grant program to involve the creative community, whose work often benefits the non-profit sector. Getty Images Grants for Good will award two photographers $15,000 each to cover costs associated with creating compelling imagery to raise awareness about the issues and work of a non-profit they admire.
Membership organizations looking for ways to entice constituents who have demonstrated an interest in their organization but haven't made the commitment to join are sure to find inspiration from Brooklyn Museum, which recently launched a socially networked museum membership called 1stfans.
One would be hard pressed to argue that a call from Robert Redford to the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, helped salvage money for the arts in the economic-stimulus bill last week.
As Los Angeles art museums face the future in a down economy, building their collections may not be the highest priority, but it's a big worry.