NASAA Notes: May 2021


May issue
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May 3, 2021

From the Field

Solidarity Not Charity: Grantmaking in the Solidarity Economy

Solidarity Not Charity: Arts & Culture Grantmaking in the Solidarity Economy, written by Nati Linares and Caroline Woolard, examines opportunities for systems change in cultural grant-making practices. The report explores and makes the case for the intersection of the cultural sector and a solidarity economy—an economy centered on community ownership and democratic governance that works equitably for all involved. Recommended actions, examples of current work, potential partners and further resources are offered to guide grant makers toward more equitable, large-scale change.

Arts, Social Cohesion and Well-Being

In its new report, We-Making: How Arts & Culture Unite People to Work Toward Community Well-Being, Metris Arts Consulting offers a comprehensive look at how the creative process can bridge divides, foster community and promote health equity. The report is broken into a Conceptual Framework, Theory of Change and Case Studies, Literature Review and Appendices, as well as a Memorandum authored by PolicyLink. Together, these resources provide solid evidence and strategies for using place based arts and cultural practices to positively shape the social determinants that affect health equity.

COVID-19 Jobs Update

The Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies has published its latest COVID-19 Jobs Update analyzing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on how nonprofits are recovering from the pandemic-induced recession. It found that the nonprofit sector regained 81,000 jobs in March, representing 4.9% of the jobs initially lost in the first three months of the pandemic. Of these regained jobs, 10,000 were arts, entertainment and recreation related. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the nonprofit workforce has shrunk by 6.6%, with the arts, entertainment and recreation making up almost a third of that. The center estimates that it will take an additional 18 months for nonprofit jobs to recover to prepandemic levels, with the arts, entertainment and recreation jobs taking 21 months.

Native Arts and Culture Convening Report

A recent report, Native Arts and Culture: Resilience, Reclamation and Relevance, highlights the proceedings and takeaways from a significant convening discussing Native arts hosted by the Native Arts and Culture Foundation with the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The event highlighted best practices and common challenges in creating, sharing, curating, researching and resourcing Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian arts, humanities and cultural heritage. Report recommendations point toward critical areas of work to strengthen the well-being of Native communities in America, such as:

  • advocating for equitable resourcing of Native artists, culture bearers, and the arts and cultures field;
  • increasing Native power in policymaking and institutional practice; and,
  • advancing truth-telling about Native peoples, history, and our arts and cultures.

Case Studies of Resilience in the Arts

Photo courtesy Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit

Organizations in Detroit and Philadelphia entered the pandemic fresh off of a training program in adaptive capacity provided by EmcArts. To better understand impacts of the training program, Knight Foundation enlisted WolfBrown to conduct a study with participants. A new report, Adapting in Crisis: Case Studies of Resilience in the Arts, includes case-studies of these organizations and details how this training was applied immediately to pandemic response. These case studies provide lessons learned for organizations in developing adaptive capacity, which will be relevant to nearly every program-producing organization at this time.

Shifting the Evaluation Paradigm

The Equitable Evaluation Initiative (EEI), in partnership with Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, has just released Shifting the Evaluation Paradigm: Equitable Evaluation Framework. Drawing from conversations between the EEI and research, evaluation and learning staff at six large U.S. philanthropic foundations, this publication explores reflexive practices for moving toward equity in evaluation methods. The framework offers rich examples of how to start this process, challenge assumptions, embrace complexity and create new mindsets that center on equity.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

The Research Digest

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA




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