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Arts Grantees Talk about Engaging and Adapting

BY Josephine Ramirez
Josephine Ramirez
As Arts Program Director, Josephine is leading the implementation of a new grant
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| 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.


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In the News: March 2014

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
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| Apr 01, 2014

In March 2014, the following published articles mentioned the work of the Foundation or our grantees:

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Spotlight on 2014 Leadership Award Recipients

BY Catherine Hazelton
Catherine Hazelton
As a Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program, Catherine is e
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| Mar 28, 2014

The 2014 Leadership Award recipients are making headlines. In the month since the awards were announced, media outlets across the state have been highlighting the work of these extraordinary individuals and pairs advancing innovative solutions to some of California’s biggest challenges.

The Los Angeles Daily News featured an op-ed by Susan Burton describing how A New Way of Life Reentry Project has helped hundreds of formerly incarcerated women rebuild their lives in Los Angeles.

Recipients Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and Suzy Loftus of Center for Youth Wellness were the focus of a San Francisco Chronicle article for developing effective responses for children affected by significant adverse childhood experiences.

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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
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| 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:

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Irvine Board Approves $5.5 Million in Grants

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
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| Mar 17, 2014

The James Irvine Foundation Board of Directors approved $5.5 million in grants at its quarterly meeting last week. Of the 10 approved grants, seven grants are within Arts, two grants are within California Democracy and one is in our Youth program.

Here are some highlights of the new grants:

Exploring Engagement Fund for Larger Organizations — The Arts program made grants to six organizations totaling $3.6 million within the Exploring Engagement Fund for Larger Organizations. These grants will support experimentation by each organization on how to increase arts engagement in a new or deepened way.

Voter and Civic Engagement — Our California Democracy program made grants to two organizations as part of the Voter and Civic Engagement priority. One grant, for $800,000, went to Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education to support voter mobilization and civic engagement activities among 500,000 voters across 12 California counties.

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An Update from Irvine Board Chair Greg Avis on CEO Search

BY Greg Avis
Greg Avis
Greg Avis is chair of the board of The James Irvine Foundation. Avis is a Foundi
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| Mar 17, 2014

In our efforts to find the next Irvine Foundation President and CEO, both the search committee and our consultants Spencer Stuart have spent recent months talking with staff, the board, Foundation partners, and thought leaders in California. As result of this work, we now have available the completed position and candidate specification. You may find that posted on our website.

Spencer Stuart is beginning the candidate development process at this time. Please feel free to contact Spencer Stuart if you would like to nominate a candidate, or self-nominate, via the following This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

While respecting the confidentiality involved in any such process, we will continue to provide updates here when available.

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Irvine at 2014 GEO Conference

BY Kevin Rafter
Kevin Rafter
As Manager of Impact Assessment and Learning, Kevin oversees evaluation efforts
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| Mar 10, 2014

My colleagues and I are looking forward to sharing lessons and insights from our work and several initiatives in breakout sessions at the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations conference this week in Los Angeles. If you are attending the conference we hope to see you at these sessions. Please come up and introduce yourselves! (And if you are not, please join the discussion using the hashtag #2014GEO).

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Irvine Leadership Award Recipients are all the Buzz!

BY Joyce Sood
Joyce Sood
As Digital Communications Officer, Joyce Sood leads Irvine's social media and di
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| Mar 07, 2014

The 2014 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award recipients were recently announced at a luncheon held in Sacramento. This year's class of leaders offered innovative solutions to some of California's most critical challenges. Here are some highlights from the conversation happening over Twitter.

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Foundational Knowledge: Assessment and Learning

BY Kevin Rafter
Kevin Rafter
As Manager of Impact Assessment and Learning, Kevin oversees evaluation efforts
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| Mar 03, 2014

Editor’s Note: Foundational Knowledge is a new and occasional series on News & Insights, providing three bullet points on a topic of interest to Irvine’s partners and grantees.

Assessment and learning are buzzwords that generate excitement and dread in the social sector. Sometimes lumped under the heading of evaluation, assessment and learning simply means the practice of collecting data about the outcomes of our work to understand progress and impact.

Here are some important points I keep in mind about using measurement to help us understand our impact and progress:

  • Aligning your measurement plan to key decisions is important! The most valuable assessment is one that is timed to provide data, analysis and insights at the right time to inform decisions about future grants or a strategic refinement.
  • This is new territory in many parts of the social sector, so don't let perfect be the enemy of the good - work with what's available, and refine as you go.
  • You learn as much from discovering what’s not working in your programs as you do from learning what works well. In this way, it’s always valuable to do an assessment.
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In the News: February 2014

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
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| Feb 28, 2014

In February 2014, the following published articles mentioned the work of the Foundation or our grantees:

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