Posts Tagged ‘ArtPlace’


Diane Kaplan, President and CEO

Maybe it’s the time of the year, but philanthropy is springing up all around.

Willie Hensley is featured in a spot from ACT.

Willie Hensley is featured in a spot from ACT.

The Alaska Children’s Trust (ACT) held a benefit Feb. 10 at the Governor’s Mansion. It was the first ACT event hosted by First Lady Donna Walker, honorary chair. Nearly 175 people attended the reception, which raised $51,500. ACT has launched a “Start Small. Dream Big.” campaign that focuses on the positive impact adults can have in children’s lives. In its February e-newsletter, ACT quotes Willie Hensley: “Words are very powerful and children are absorbing what you say all the time, so the right word at the right time could change a person’s life.”

PCG

The Pick.Click.Give. campaign is on track to break last year’s records in both number of participants and dollars raised for Alaska’s nonprofit sector. As of today, the campaign had raised $2.95 million. The number of donors has increased 33 percent from last year, and total giving is up by 25 percent. Alaskans have until midnight, March 31, to file for their dividend.


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Rasmuson Foundation
    National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman addresses foundation leaders at the annual Foundations on the Hill gathering in Washington, DC

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman addresses foundation leaders at the annual Foundations on the Hill gathering in Washington, DC

(On March 22, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman addressed a group of foundations about how the idea of creative placemaking evolved into ArtPlace, a new, national initiative to revitalize communities through the arts. Rasmuson Foundation was an inaugural investor. In January, ArtPlace announced that seven Alaska organizations were among the finalists for $15 million in creative placemaking grants. We share Landesman’s remarks here.)

The last chairman of the NEA was a poet, and he made great advances in the agency’s work with poetry, literature, and Shakespeare. When my appointment was announced, I think the theater community puffed up a bit and said, “Great! Now it’s our turn.”

Sadly for them, that has not turned out to be the case. I think my tenure at the NEA will be remembered for two things, our focus on creative placemaking and our partnerships with other federal agencies and all of you in the private sector.

Let me start with creative placemaking, which is simply the ways in which communities use the arts to help shape their social, physical, and economic characters. Or to put it another way, cities and towns literally change when you bring artists to the center of them. I witnessed this first hand during my time in New York City as I watched the transformations of everything from Times Square to the South Bronx. And now that I am at the NEA, I have seen this happen from Sitka, Alaska, to Opa-Locka, Florida. In each of these towns, I saw the same three critical ingredients for success:

  • A history and tradition of the arts. You can’t just parachute into the desert and make something happen…I mean, not unless you’re in Marfa, Texas, or at Burning Man.
  • A committed philanthropic sector: 87% of the support for the arts in this country comes from non-governmental funds.
  • Local political leaders that “get it.” And almost all of the mayors I have met in the past three years do.


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Rasmuson Foundation

Artists and the arts can be – and in many places, already are – central to economic development. That’s the fundamental concept behind ArtPlace, a nationwide initiative to revitalize communities through a new investment model.

Rasmuson Foundation has joined with nine other national foundations, six major financial institutions, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and several federal agencies, in a collaboration that is spanking new at several levels. It’s a blended approach to local community investment from sectors  – finance, philanthropy and government – that don’t typically invest together or in this way.

In the first round of grants announced September 15, ArtPlace awarded $11.5 million in grants to 34 local projects around the country. A second round of grants is coming up and Alaska organizations may submit Letters of Intent by November 15 for consideration. For additional information, contact Jayson Smart (jsmart@rasmuson.org).
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