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Posted by Jessica Stern, Jun 26, 2019 0 comments

First launched in 2012, the pARTnership Movement is a program and online platform of Americans for the Arts which demonstrates that by partnering with the arts, businesses can gain a competitive edge. Over the past seven years, Americans for the Arts has developed toolkits, shared stories of success, published how-to workbooks to engage employees, and continued to celebrate America’s best businesses supporting the arts—all for the purpose of supporting the work of local arts organizations and businesses as they seek to build creative relationships. Our goal has always been two-fold: build the capacity of the arts field to cultivate and sustain mutually beneficial partnerships with business; and make the case to businesses why partnering with the arts is good for their people, their companies, and their communities. We are pleased to introduce a new pARTnership Movement website to help us (and you) further this work.

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The Impact of TCJA on Individual Giving and a Plan to Do Something About It

Donations by individuals are the oxygen of nonprofit organizations. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) has added new urgency to the question of what is the future of charitable giving by individuals in the United States. Specifically, how large of an impact, and for how long, will the new tax law affect individual giving—and which charities will be most adversely affected? In 2018-19, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Americans for the Arts set out to understand the challenges that TCJA could pose on the philanthropic landscape. We reviewed philanthropic trends, donor behavior research, data-lag issues, tax policy, and economic models of the TCJA’s impact. After careful consideration of this material by academics, fundraising professionals, and tax policy experts, it is clear there are troubling phenomena in motion that, without intervention, could bring the nonprofit arts sector to a critical tipping point. 

To address the issue in a timely manner, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Americans for the Arts have designed a research solution that will bring reliable data to the table within a single year of deployment. It is built around a national panel study of 2,000 nonprofit organizations representing the full range of size, subsectors, and geographic regions. We will track key fundraising metrics and pair those with a qualitative on-the-ground perspective about shifts in contributions by individuals, changes in demand for services, and the ability to meet that demand. In other words: Real people at real organizations telling real stories about the impact of the tax law changes.

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7 Essential Tools to Empower Artists as Entrepreneurs

Posted by Mr. Ceylon Narvelle Mitchell, Jun 18, 2019 0 comments

Arts organizations can help individual artists succeed by providing professional development opportunities that build artists’ sustainability and capacity, thereby boosting our nation’s overall creative economy. Here are 7 essential tools that can empower artists as entrepreneurs.

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pay artists.

Posted by Yolonda D. Lavender, Jun 07, 2019 0 comments

THEM: “We can’t pay you, but you’ll get lots of exposure!”

ME: “I can’t eat or pay my bills with exposure!”

If I had a nickel for every time the sentiment of exposure as compensation was offered to me as an artist, I probably would not need to be writing this blog post about the importance of compensation for creatives. Too often artists are asked to provide their services in exchange for nothing or for compensation that is not comparable to the time and effort that is required to create and efficiently develop their artistry. Soul Artistry LLC’s goal is to push a new culture and narrative forward that begins to normalize the practice of artists being compensated for their work. Soul Artistry LLC is the company I started in 2012 when I began to understand the importance of artistry professional development and adopting business practices as an artistic entrepreneur. At the beginning of 2019, Soul Artistry LLC launched the pay artists. campaign. The idea for the campaign was birthed from many conversations and experiences that fellow creatives and I had been having very frequently.

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Out of the Mouths of Babes: The Nation’s Youngest United Arts Fund Speaks to a Winning Tradition

Tulsa has a storied history in the arts. As the one-time oil capital of the world, arts and cultural enterprises have been prevalent in our community for well over a century. We are still the smallest large city in the U.S. that maintains an opera company, a ballet company, and a symphony orchestra. Add to that renowned museums like Gilcrease and Philbrook, along with unique offerings like the Woody Guthrie Center, the Bob Dylan Archives, and the future OK Pop Museum, and you have the ingredients for a cultural tourism mecca. Despite a strong cultural community, when we started Arts Alliance Tulsa in 2012, local corporate giving was stuck at an average of 3% to the arts, while it was at 58% nationally if you combined corporate and workplace giving. After the first two years of AAT’s existence, overall giving to our individual member organizations (not including what AAT allocates) grew by 18%. We are a living example of a city that has seen all the boats rise with the tide as a result of the presence of our United Arts Fund.

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Creating Space for Human Connection

Posted by Ms. Kelly Lamb Pollock, May 28, 2019 0 comments

Every day, the sound of jackhammers provides a soundtrack to my workday. My organization, COCA–Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis, is expanding with a 50,000 square foot addition. Historically, arts organizations have built facilities and spaces in service to their art, such as grand museums and acoustically pristine symphony halls. In planning for our expansion, we have done more than our fair share of discussing, debating, and decision-making about the technical specifications and “performance” of our new space. However, as the project has evolved, I’m more interested in thinking about how our space, and our art, can be in service to humanity, not the other way around. Can we, as arts organizations — with our abundance of theatres, studios, museums, and community spaces — do a better job of serving as cornerstones of community connectivity and human engagement?

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