News & Insights

This is some blog description about this site

BY Josephine Ramirez
Josephine Ramirez
As Arts Program Director, Josephine is leading the implementation of a new grant
User is currently offline
| Apr 02, 2014

When we made our first grants in the New California Arts Fund in December, we knew we were asking these grantee-partners to learn with us how to successfully engage a broader and more diverse community of Californians---a process that calls for transforming and sustaining a new way of thinking and operating as arts organizations. We’ve already been inspired by the creative ideas and plans that the grantee-partners have been developing. We asked a few of them to talk about what they are excited about as they begin this journey. Watch this video to find out more; I hope you find them as inspiring as I do. The organizations in this video do not represent all of our NCAF grantee-partners. We plan to produce more videos through the course of this project to share the full range of voices and grantee-partners.



Read more >>

The Next Generation of Arts Leaders

BY Jeanne Sakamoto
Jeanne Sakamoto
Jeanne Sakamoto has worked at Irvine since 2004 and helps oversee many of the Fo
User is currently offline
| Mar 26, 2014

Editor's Note: In 2010, the Hewlett and Irvine foundations partnered to support organizations that are cultivating the next generation of California arts leaders through professional development, networking, and mentorship. At the time, our CEO Jim Canales posted this letter describing our interest in supporting next generation leaders. As we share an independent assessment of that initiative, we thought we'd bring the assessment to life with reflections from two initiative participants.

Face of the Past – by Josh Russell

I know I am going to sound like an old man, but back in 2007, the idea of an emerging leader was barely a blip on the arts radar. After the idea of "next generation leadership" was introduced at a meeting at the Hewlett Foundation, I asked seven of my friends who worked in the arts to explore what we could do. I was motivated by a few different things:

Read more >>

Picture This

BY Chris Henrikson
Chris Henrikson
Chris Henrikson is the Founder and Executive Director of Street Poets Inc.
User is currently offline
| Feb 12, 2014

After writing for a few minutes, a passerby records his contribution to a community poem along Central Avenue in South Los Angeles. Street Poets' Poetry in Motion van, supported by the Irvine Foundation's Exploring Engagement Fund, is a mobile poetry performance venue and recording studio designed to inspire creativity in unexpected places.

Photo Credit: Todd Bigelow

Read more >>

Weaving Arts Engagement into our DNA

BY Josephine Ramirez
Josephine Ramirez
As Arts Program Director, Josephine is leading the implementation of a new grant
User is currently offline
| Jan 10, 2014

At Irvine, we talk a lot about the “new California.” It’s shorthand for the ongoing evolution of our state, one driven by demographic shifts, innovations in technology and other forces that drive home the adage, the only constant is change.

For the past two years, our arts program has focused on encouraging arts organizations to adapt to these changes. Through our Exploring Engagement Fund, we’ve made grants to nonprofits that are experimenting with arts engagement practices and reshaping the who, how and where of engaging new and diverse audiences and participants. This type of risk innovation is essential for the future and health of the field and we will continue to invest in it.

But piloting innovation has always been just one aspect of our strategy. From the beginning, we’ve known that, to truly adapt to a new California — which is to say, a state of continual change — requires a much deeper approach: one that shifts engagement from something we do to who we are.

Read more >>

A Look Inside: How we Selected Grants for Arts’ Exploring Engagement Fund

BY Rick Noguchi
Rick Noguchi
Rick Noguchi has been with Irvine since 2008 and helps oversee many of the Found
User is currently offline
| Jul 15, 2013 1
One of the common criticisms that foundations hear from grantseekers is that we aren’t always clear about how we make decisions about grants. It can be frustrating for a grant-seeking organization to try to understand why they did not receive a grant, while similar organizations did. Foundation funding can be a critical source of income, particularly in the arts, so it’s understandable that arts nonprofits want better insight into our decision-making processes.

With that in mind, I would like to share some thoughts about grant decisions we made for one of our funds in the Arts Program here at Irvine, the Exploring Engagement Fund for Large Organizations (EEFLO). While each of our funds has unique considerations, these insights will give you a sense of how we make grant decisions regardless of the particular fund. (EEFLO is for a select group of arts organizations with annual operating budgets above $5 million. Read more about the proposal guidelines here.)

The family of Exploring Engagement Funds falls within our Piloting priority. Piloting grants are designed to help organizations experiment with new ways of engaging Californians in the arts. Since experimentation can be daunting when financial resources are limited, EEFLO is designed to provide “risk capital” to allow arts organizations to take a risk, to experiment with project ideas that might engage more and different kinds of people than those who are typically drawn to their venue.

Read more >>

Arts Grantees Explore Arts Engagement

BY Jeanne Sakamoto
Jeanne Sakamoto
Jeanne Sakamoto has worked at Irvine since 2004 and helps oversee many of the Fo
User is currently offline
| Jun 18, 2013
Last Friday, our board approved 27 new grants as part of our statewide Exploring Engagement Fund and another six grants as part of our more targeted Exploring Engagement Fund for Priority Regions (focused on the Inland Empire and San Joaquin Valley). We are now partnering with 86 grantees across the state to experiment with a wide variety of new arts engagement opportunities for Californians.

With this latest round of grants, organizations from Ukiah to Fresno to San Diego will be experimenting over the next two years with new models of arts engagement. While each project is distinct to the organization’s expertise, community and artistic discipline, we saw some recurring themes across this diverse set of grants.

For many organizations, Exploring Engagement Fund projects will help them connect to specific types of audiences and participants that may have had little contact with the organization or the art form it presents. The Anaheim Ballet, for example, will connect to new audiences in new ways through a series of unexpected, brief dance performances and participatory instruction sessions in nontraditional spaces during peak pedestrian traffic times, attempting to spark interest in and conversation about their art form.

Read more >>

Continuing the Dialogue on Our Arts Strategy

BY Josephine Ramirez
Josephine Ramirez
As Arts Program Director, Josephine is leading the implementation of a new grant
User is currently offline
| Feb 26, 2013 1

A number of compelling conversations have been taking place over the last several weeks as a result of some very thoughtful blog posts about our Arts grantmaking strategy. (Nina Simon kicked it off with this post and then linked to related posts here.) What I find most exciting about all of this is the fact that a range of thoughtful leaders are engaging with ideas that are obviously important to Irvine, and their engagement will help make our grantmaking better. I’d like to take the opportunity to add to the dialogue as well as clarify a few points about our Arts strategy that were raised in the conversation so far.

Irvine has funded the arts since our inception because we care deeply about the importance of a healthy arts ecosystem that connects people and builds communities. We have an interest and an obligation in strengthening the arts system as a whole and we believe that the system will thrive if it focuses on engaging Californians who so far have largely been absent as audiences, visitors and donors. In becoming an adaptive, relevant and responsive field, we become more able to address the fact that the majority of Californians don’t engage with our system---not responding to this situation is clearly not the answer. Our response then, the core focus of our grantmaking that launches later this year, will be to support sustainable, core operational shifts as arts organizations expand engagement.

Read more >>

New Arts Grants Explore Engagement

BY Josephine Ramirez
Josephine Ramirez
As Arts Program Director, Josephine is leading the implementation of a new grant
User is currently offline
| Feb 19, 2013
Late last year, our board approved 19 new grants as part of our statewide Exploring Engagement Fund and another five grants as part of our more targeted Exploring Engagement Fund for Priority Regions (focused on the Inland Empire and San Joaquin Valley). We now have 52 grantee partners that are providing an array of exciting new arts engagement opportunities for Californians.

What I find most exciting about this latest round of grants is that it creates fresh possibilities for the field to learn about how to effectively engage more Californians in the arts. Our goal of promoting engagement can only be successful if there is a robust, nimble, responsive group of nonprofits that are actively exploring how they can engage audiences and visitors. “Business as usual” has not been working for many arts organizations that are experiencing declining audiences and revenues, and it’s gratifying to see so many groups primed to learn more about engaging their communities through these grants.

Read more >>

ArtPlace Honors Oakland

BY Ted Russell
Ted Russell
Ted Russell has been with Irvine since 2005 and helps oversee many of the Founda
User is currently offline
| Jan 29, 2013

Last week, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan joined ArtPlace director Carol Coletta in touring the Oakland neighborhood that was designated one of America's Top 12 ArtPlaces. As she announced the award at the press conference, Carol made the point of saying this award was data-based and in fact entirely statistical. Since it’s not biased or subjective, the selection carries even more weight for many in the Oakland community.

Mayor Quan proudly accepted the award on behalf of the city that has become, in her words, "cooler than San Francisco!" And she emphatically credited a public-private-nonprofit partnership for the incredible turnaround of several depressed neighborhoods ranging from Old Oakland to Uptown. It's clear that the vibrancy brought to the areas by the emergence of arts nonprofits, in conjunction with for-profits, had economic and human impacts.

ArtPlace, an initiative of national and regional foundations, federal agencies and major banks to accelerate creative placemaking, identified the top ArtPlaces in the nation’s largest U.S. metropolitan areas. An array of data and other factors were considered in selecting the neighborhoods, which were successful at combining art, artists and venues for creativity and expression with independent businesses, retail shops and restaurants, and a walkable lifestyle to make vibrant neighborhoods. Other California neighborhoods that joined Oakland in the Top 12 were San Francisco's Mission District and Central Hollywood in Los Angeles.

Read more >>

Learning from Experiments in Arts Innovation

BY Josephine Ramirez
Josephine Ramirez
As Arts Program Director, Josephine is leading the implementation of a new grant
User is currently offline
| Dec 05, 2012 1

Staying relevant amid a shifting landscape is an obstacle that’s very familiar in our field: arts organizations are challenged to meet the changing expectations of communities they serve. My predecessors at Irvine responded to that growing relevance gap in 2006 and launched the Arts Innovation Fund (AIF), a multiyear initiative that provided support for 19 large, established arts institutions in California to experiment with different ways they might adapt. The grants were intended to create the necessary space and freedom to try something new — and to learn from it.

We all know that a robust and vibrant arts community is essential to the general well-being of our many communities in California and beyond. And we also know that the past several decades have seen a significant overall decline in the number of people who attend arts events in California and throughout the U.S.

Findings from this initiative are now available following an independent report by Slover Linett Strategies. In keeping with the theme of innovation, we’re pleased to make an overview of these findings available in an exciting new format: an interactive infographic designed for viewing online or on your tablet. These findings are significant to arts organizations of all sizes, as well as to funders, policymakers and others who care about the vitality of the arts.

Read more >>

Categories

Irvine Publications

Contributors

Aaron Pick
2 post(s)
"As Senior Program Officer of the Youth program, Aa..."
Alex Barnum
57 post(s)
"Alex Barnum was a Communications Officer at The Ja..."
Amy Dominguez-Arms
14 post(s)
"As Director of the California Democracy program, A..."
Angela Glover Blackwell
"Angela Glover Blackwell is the founder and CEO of ..."
Anne Stanton
7 post(s)
"As Director of the Youth program, Anne Stanton lea..."
Anne Vally
7 post(s)
"Anne Vally was with The James Irvine Foundation fr..."
Catherine Hazelton
14 post(s)
"As a Senior Program Officer for the California Dem..."
Chris Henrikson
1 post(s)
"Chris Henrikson is the Founder and Executive Direc..."
Connie Malloy
1 post(s)
"Connie Galambos Malloy is Senior Program Officer f..."
Daniel Silverman
55 post(s)
"A native Californian, Daniel Silverman leads the F..."
Don Howard
3 post(s)
"Don Howard was appointed Interim President and Chi..."
Doug Chapin
2 post(s)
"Doug Chapin directs the Future of California Elect..."
Ekta Chopra
1 post(s)
"Ekta Chopra is Irvine's Director of Technology, le..."
Greg Avis
4 post(s)
"Greg Avis is chair of the board of The James Irvin..."
Hilary McLean
1 post(s)
"Hilary McLean serves as deputy director of the Lin..."
Jeanne Sakamoto
3 post(s)
"Jeanne Sakamoto has worked at Irvine since 2004 an..."
Jennifer Ortega
1 post(s)
"As the California director for the national busine..."
Jim Canales
56 post(s)
"Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executiv..."
John Jenks
2 post(s)
"As Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer, John di..."
Josephine Ramirez
14 post(s)
"As Arts Program Director, Josephine is leading the..."
Joyce Sood
3 post(s)
"As Digital Communications Officer, Joyce Sood lead..."
Karthick Ramakrishnan
"Karthick Ramakrishnan is associate professor of po..."
Kenji Treanor
4 post(s)
"Kenji Treanor has worked at Irvine since 2004 and ..."
Kevin Rafter
6 post(s)
"As Manager of Impact Assessment and Learning, Kevi..."
Lisa García Bedolla
"Lisa García Bedolla is Associate Professor in the ..."
Manuel Pastor
1 post(s)
"Manuel Pastor directs the Program for Environmenta..."
Mark Baldassare
1 post(s)
"Mark Baldassare is the president and CEO of the Pu..."
Ralph Lewin
1 post(s)
"Ralph Lewin is President and CEO of Cal Humanities..."
Raphael J. Sonenshein
"Raphael J. Sonenshein is the Executive Director of..."
Ray Delgado
55 post(s)
"Ray Delgado was with The James Irvine Foundation f..."
Reshma Shamasunder
"Reshma Shamasunder has served as Executive Directo..."
Rick Noguchi
4 post(s)
"Rick Noguchi has been with Irvine since 2008 and h..."
Stephen Levy
1 post(s)
"Stephen Levy is director of the Center for Continu..."
Ted Russell
2 post(s)
"Ted Russell has been with Irvine since 2005 and he..."
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
68 post(s)
"As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides p..."
Vince Stewart
2 post(s)
"Vince Stewart was a Senior Program Officer for the..."