Wallace Excellence Awards – SFMOMA

Wallace Excellence Awards provide support to exemplary arts organizations in selected cities to identify, develop and share effective ideas and practices to reach more people.  Eleven arts organizations with budgets over $1 million received these four-year grants.  Findings from their projects are reported here.

In 2008, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) received a Wallace Foundation Excellence Award.  Our grant of $778,000 over four years has supported researching, developing, and marketing new and expanded on-site, online, and community programs and resources for families with young children (ages 4-11).

Prior to the Wallace grant, SFMOMA offered programming for families once a month (including two annual, large-scale Family Days).  Aside from the occasional family guide, we didn’t really have any family resources to speak of.  Dedicated marketing resources and money to conduct ongoing formative and evaluative research were a necessity/luxury we could rarely afford. The Wallace Foundation has enabled us to not only expand on-site participatory art activities led by artists and educators, create both print and online interpretive resources, including multimedia programs for families, and begin to establish lasting relationships with community organizations, but also the opportunity to devote resources to market and promote family programs and funds to conduct research about our family audiences.

SFMOMA - Family Programs

Beginning in 2008, we doubled the frequency of our family programs and this past July, we began offering family programs every Sunday.  Family Sundays include a range of activities—from artist-led art projects in the Koret Visitor Education Center, to docent-led family tours of our exhibitions, to educator-led gallery activities, to book readings and film screenings.  Themes for our Family Programs now change seasonally rather than monthly.  This change came about after focus groups informed us that given their busy schedules and the range of offerings in San Francisco, it was hard for families to imagine visiting the museum more than three or four times a year and, as such, did not expect the Museum to change its programs more frequently than that.  By offering programming every Sunday, we are better able to promote Family Programs: “Every Sunday is for Families at SFMOMA!”

SFMOMA - Family Guides

Besides offering regular programming, we have also created various resources for families that are available at the museum (and online) all the time.  So far, we have published family guides for seven works from SFMOMA’s collection, with two more on the way.  Not only are these guides available in the Koret Center, they are also downloadable as pdfs from www.sfmoma.org/families.  Additionally, we produced an “all-purpose” family guide, called Not Your Ordinary Treasure Hunt.  This guide engages families in interactive and kinesthetic activities that are not geared to specific works.  In this way, the guide can be used repeatedly and regardless of what works are on view in the museum’s galleries.

One of the highlights of SFMOMA’s new family resources is the interactive feature, The Country Dog Gentlemen Travel to Extraordinary Worlds, which premiered in SFMOMA’s Koret Center as the centerpiece of Family Day on March 15, 2009, and was quickly and enthusiastically embraced by families.  The feature is comprised of animated stories with accompanying activities related to works in SFMOMA’s collection. Each of the activities allows visitors to submit their creations to the Dog’s Best Friends Art Gallery, a collective online display space, and to email a link from their work to a friend or family member.

Most recently, we launched SFMOMA’s mobile multimedia tour for families, Country Dog Gentlemen Gallery Game.  Initially, we assumed we would create a more traditional multimedia tour, focusing on specific, family-friendly artworks in the collection.  As it turns out, we decided on a very different approach.  The end result is more of a game than a tour, with goals, team-based activities/tasks to perform, and a reward for rounds completed.  The Country Dog Gentlemen Gallery Game does not focus on specific artworks; instead, it asks families to explore works of art they encounter (“Find the largest artwork in this gallery. . . ”), while following a set of specific, yet random, navigational directives (“When you’re ready, sidestep like a crab into another gallery”).  This open-ended approach enables families to play the game over and over again.

SFMOMA - The Country Dog Gentleman Gallery Game

The research that was made possible by the Wallace Foundation, has been crucial to the development of our family programs and resources. We probably know more about our family audience than we do about almost any other audience to SFMOMA.  Besides knowing the demographics, visitation patterns, and membership status of our family visitors, our research firm, Randi Korn and Associates, used K-cluster analysis to develop visitor types based on local parents’ ratings of preferences for experiencing art, family programs and SFMOMA.  From this analysis, three family clusters were identified at SFMOMA— Enthusiasts, Art Lovers, and Socials.

Knowing about these family types and their inclinations, has influenced our decisions about programming and communications strategies.   For example, Socials (25% of our family audience) feel the least comfortable visiting art museums with children, report that they don’t feel particularly knowledgeable about modern and contemporary art, and are most likely to be first-time SFMOMA visitors, coming to the museum to attend a specific program or event.  This knowledge influenced our decision to staff a Family Programs welcome table in the museum’s main lobby every Sunday.  This table is instrumental in enabling us to reach out to families as they enter the museum, making them feel welcome and informed.  At the table, we are able to direct families to programs and resources they can take advantage of during their visit.

SFMOMA - Family Table

As you can see, SFMOMA’s commitment to families has come a long way since 2008.  Not only has the range of family offerings and communications expanded, but the importance of the family visitor to the museum has grown as well.  The fact that just this week (October 11), a new Family membership package has become available, with enhanced benefits especially for families, is testament to SFMOMA’s commitment to better serve Bay Area families.  Furthermore, as we plan for the future of an expanded SFMOMA, we’re striving to create not only a building with new family-friendly amenities, but a place that inspires future generations to appreciate and enjoy modern and contemporary art.

To learn more about family programs at SFMOMA, visit our website at www.sfmoma.org/families and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SFMOMAfamilies.

Julie Charles is the Associate Curator of Education at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Wallace Excellence Awards – San Francisco Girls Chorus

Wallace Excellence Awards provide support to exemplary arts organizations in selected cities to identify, develop and share effective ideas and practices to reach more people.  Eleven arts organizations with budgets over $1 million received these four-year grants.  Findings from their projects are reported here.  

In 2007 the San Francisco Girls Chorus became one of 11 Bay Area organizations to receive a Wallace Foundation Excellence Award.  With a grant of $489,000 over four years, SFGC embarked on a range of audience-broadening activities, and was subsequently selected to be the subject of a case study by Wallace, to be published later this fall.

The long-term goals outlined in the Wallace grant included an overall expansion of marketing efforts, designed to increase audiences by 10% over four years.  Other long-term goals, intended to increase overall participation, included:

● more collaborations with other multi-disciplinary arts organizations

● engaging prominent guest artists for self-produced concerts

● ongoing commissions of new work.

All of these efforts were proposed to help address an ongoing and fundamental challenge — how to broaden audiences for our public performances beyond “friends and family?” Although SFGC had a long history and reputation for providing high quality music education, serious concert music audiences in the Bay Area were largely unaware of our performances, or of the artistic potential for girls choruses in general, and of SFGC in particular.

With funding from Wallace we embarked on activities directed largely at classical music patrons, and began a rebranding campaign that has subsequently touched all facets of our organization — including strategic planning, fundraising, and even board development.  This work is still in progress, and has involved not only changes in marketing, but also a refocusing of organizational identity around artistic excellence in performance.

Energized by the Wallace grant and the audience-building work being done, the SFGC Board developed a new five-year Strategic Plan in 2008.  The goal guiding the investment of time, energy and financial resources during this five-year period is “To assure that the San Francisco Girls Chorus is widely recognized as a world-class performance ensemble.” Several years of audience data, marketing and program developments, along with a lot of internal soul searching, indicate that progress has been made, but much work remains to be done.

That’s where we stand today, while we also undergo a change in artistic leadership later this season. This transition has received some negative public attention in recent weeks.  Change is never easy, and it is often emotional, especially when it involves young people and their parents.  However, it’s time for all of us at SFGC to look ahead to the future, so I’ve chosen to write about what we might want to learn or try next, if we had a similar grant for the next four years.

During the same period as the Wallace grant, but outside the scope of that award, we also launched our first in-school education program, called Creating Choral Music. Now entering its sixth year at two public elementary schools, the program gives 100 third-graders and 60 second-graders the basic training and skills to sing, work together, and eventually perform as an ensemble.  For schools and community organizations that can’t sustain a consistent, weekly collaboration, SFGC offers workshop programs that illustrate the elements of music and a basic introduction to choral singing.

So here’s what I’d wish for – the opportunity (and of course, funding) to offer Creating Choral Music in more schools around the Bay Area, or to more students within specific schools.  We see these in-school partnerships as the most direct way to build, broaden and diversify participation in all our choral music programs. While performances may now be the more visible side of the SFGC coin, they wouldn’t be possible without our core multi-year training program, known as the Chorus School, that prepares our performers, often over a six-to-eight-year trajectory, to be not just good singers, but real choral artists.

Placing our faculty and curriculum in local public schools would open the door for many more students (both boys and girls) to get a solid foundation in music education. We all know about the paucity of serious musical study available in public education these past many years.  We also know that music can provide an important hook for many kinds of learning and literacy. And, most children are able to sing and can learn to be part of an ensemble anywhere, at any time — no special equipment required.  But they do need good teachers, a strong curriculum, and the opportunity to learn.

That’s where we come in. By significantly expanding the two programs we are currently able to offer, for free, in local public schools, we could have greater impact in the community and potentially increase participation in all our programs, both education and performance.  What might happen if we were able to follow an entire grade level, continuing to build on their music education sequentially, year by year, until they left elementary school?  What might those students be able to do as young musicians, as team members, as scholars, and as members of the community?

That’s what we’d love to find out.

Melanie Smith is the executive director at the San Francisco Girls Chorus.

Wallace Excellence Awards – Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Wallace Excellence Awards provide support to exemplary arts organizations in selected cities to identify, develop and share effective ideas and practices to reach more people.  Eleven arts organizations with budgets over $1 million received these four-year grants.  Findings from their projects are reported here.

As part of our mission to place “contemporary art at the heart of community life,” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts  (YBCA) invested in a series of online and onsite “tools” designed to broaden our audience base by  attracting more culturally-active Bay Area visitors and to deepen the experience of its current patrons by providing additional background and contextual information, creating greater opportunities to interact with the art and artists, and utilizing technology to provide a customized experience.

Our primary online vehicles were a new website with programming categorized around four Big Ideas rather than by discipline; a concerted effort to move away from print-based advertising and communications, to web based media; creation of a New Media Manager position to oversee online utilization of social networking media (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, FourSquare, etc.); and integration of online media into our overall promotional and contextual tool kits.

As a result of these efforts, we have seen our online community triple in size over the past three years.  Our web/media team has grown from a single Webmaster responsible for all online media activity, to a team of four which includes Webmaster, Web Assistant, New Media Manager and Media Producer.  Our Curatorial and Community Engagement departments are launching an online/print-on-demand multidisciplinary arts journal in 2012 in response to our rapidly growing online audience, many of whom may never actually visit our facility. Our New Media Manager was recently invited to do a presentation at Facebook headquarters with YBCA serving as a model for how small businesses and nonprofit organizations can effectively use new media to enhance their visibility and strengthen their brand.

Our onsite programs focused on broadening and diversifying audiences included Big Idea Nights, a series of free, interactive, art parties that partnered with a variety of community based organizations that ranged from Oakland hip hop group The People, to The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, to Literary Death Match; to the Crucible, a consortium of Burning Man artists; and the Room for Big Ideas, an exhibition/performance space that partnered with an equally diverse group of organizations, including Global Lives, the Chinese Cultural Center, San Francisco Mime Troupe and Red Poppy Art House. Both programs were hugely successful in bringing their own unique following into YBCA, many for the first time.

A recent survey conducted in June indicates that YBCA’s audience has become significantly more diversified, primarily through the success of Big Idea Nights and the Room for Big Ideas at bringing in new audiences. Whereas in 2004, 37% of our audience was non-white, this demographic has grown to 45% in 2011.  42% of survey participants also reported that their attendance had increased from what it was in 2008 – a finding supported by an overall 11% increase in attendance for 10-11.

Onsite programs focused on deepening audience experience were the ones that were the most impacted by our research findings and, as a result, were the ones that resulted in the most change.  They are also now our most successful programs and have become the basis of our overall audience development strategy.

When we first entered the Wallace initiative, we assumed that our non-core audiences (those we hoped to attract) were older, less tech savvy and less comfortable with contemporary art than were our core patrons.  We also believed that while they had considerable experience with other Bay Area arts events and organizations (though not necessarily contemporary arts organizations), they were less inclined to see YBCA as a place that reflected their interests and values as strongly as the other institutions they patronized. We were dead wrong. While it was true that non-core patrons attended other Bay Area arts events, more of them patronized contemporary arts events than non-contemporary arts events; 87% of them were tech savvy (74% report using at least some new technology while 18% described themselves as always looking for the next new thing); more than 60% of them saw YBCA as a place that reflected their values.

This information, combined with what we learned from focus groups about the need for better “guidelines” to help patrons contextualize the work for themselves and the overwhelming desire by Big Idea Night attendees to experience art in a social setting, led us to the creation of YBCA: YOU.

YBCA: YOU is a self-curated approach to experiencing contemporary art where participants engage with a personal aesthetic fitness coach to develop a plan of action to help them reach their aesthetic goals.   Each participant receives an all-access pass to YBCA events, exclusive pre-and post-performance programs, personalized art-fitness training to help navigate the variety of programming offered by YBCA, field trips to other contemporary arts events in the Bay Area, and their own website with recommendations about upcoming programs, information about who is attending what and online conversations, comments and reviews by other “Youers.”  YBCA: YOU participants are encouraged to attend at least one YBCA activity each month and engage each other in online discussions about their arts experiences, sharing resources, thoughts, and ideas about contemporary art.   More than 100 participants are currently enrolled in the YBCA: YOU pilot program and we plan to make it public in 2012.

As a result of our participation in the Wallace Initiative, YBCA has completely changed the way we engage with audiences, both through our marketing and communications efforts and the types of programs we offer.  We have changed our focus from looking for quantitative measures of success, to qualitative measures; from programmatic marketing to an institutional approach; from butts in seats to building a core audience.  Even our mission has evolved, from “bringing contemporary art to the heart of community life” to “revolutionizing how the world engages with contemporary art and ideas.”  Our goal is to build a community that is as vibrant, curious, diversified and daring the artists whose work we present.

To learn more about YBCA and our programs, visit www.ybca.org.

Kathy Budas is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Wallace Excellence Awards – SFJAZZ

Wallace Excellence Awards provide support to exemplary arts organizations in selected cities to identify, develop and share effective ideas and practices to reach more people.  Eleven arts organizations with budgets over $1 million received these four-year grants.  Findings from their projects are reported here.

Now in its 29th year of presenting jazz and related forms of music to the San Francisco Bay Area, SFJAZZ one of only two major year-round organizations in the country dedicated to cultivating jazz as a living art form with a rich past. The primary goal for our Wallace-funded project has been to reach the 18-34 year old demographic, thus strengthening our sustainability as we move into the new SFJAZZ Center in 2012.

We have employed three strategies to achieve our goal.  The first of these has been the inclusion of artists presented during our two presenting seasons who are likely to appeal to younger audiences. With artists such as Meklit Hadero and Bela Fleck, Zakir Hussain & Edgar Meyer attracting our target demographic, our artistic team keeps an eye on balancing the mix of artists in each season.

The second strategy was a decision to shift away from print based advertising to a greater online marketing presence, creating banner ads that have appeared on Facebook, Pandora, and other, similar sites. These efforts have been essential in the promotion of the San Francisco Jazz Festival and SFJAZZ Spring Season. Targeted online advertising now accounts for over 50% of our core outreach, and we have seen growth in both ticket sales and brand awareness from it. On average, with this form of advertising, we are seeing a lower CPM (cost per impressions), yet with a higher number of overall impressions.

Finally, we launched a new concert series, Hotplate, which has given us the opportunity to reach out to the vibrant local music scene and younger demographic. Happening the second Thursday of every month, the series features up-and-coming local talent paying tribute to jazz legends. At a lower ticket cost than our other shows, the nightclub is usually at capacity by the first set, with an eclectic jazz mix of both younger enthusiasts and older aficionados.

Video and photography shot at the Hotplate series, provides content for our social networks pipeline (Facebook/Twitter/YouTube), which we have been actively growing since the beginning of the grant. For the first time we are able to give SFJAZZ a “face” behind the presenter and shine a spotlight on our upcoming shows/events/programs.

See SFJAZZ Hotplate videos by clicking here!

If you are interested, the remaining Hotplates this year are Haggai Cohen Milo plays Zorn (10/13), Marc VW plays Jaco Pastorius (11/10) and Erik Jekabson plays Chet Baker (12/8).

See the SFJAZZ website for more information on our 29th Annual Fall Festival and other happenings!

Collin Moore, Youth Marketing Coordinator, SFJAZZ

Wallace Excellence Awards – The de Young Museum

Wallace Excellence Awards provide support to exemplary arts organizations in selected cities to identify, develop and share effective ideas and practices to reach more people. Eleven arts organizations with budgets over $1 million received these four-year grants. Findings from their projects are reported here.

Now, in its Sixth Season, Friday Nights at the de Young has brought the special exhibitions and permanent collection alive with themed interdisciplinary arts programs, including live music, poetry, films, dance, tours, talks, food, drinks, and more. Each week, Public Programs, a team that operates within the museum’s Education department, creates a uniquely  themed event every Friday from January through the last week of November. These events  are memorable to many people ranging from infants to elders. It is a huge undertaking that requires the careful orchestration of many moving parts. Navigating an endless array of community collaborators, artists, performers, interactive art experiences, logistics, print materials, audio-visual components, and floor plans are a continuous juggling act for our small team of four staff, and thankfully our large group of interns. The team seamlessly works together to present museum-goers with an experience they’ll never forget!

The Wallace Foundation has helped make each of these Friday Nights happen for the Bay Area Community and its visitors. Families and couples alike of all ages rely on Friday Nights to start their weekend off with fantastic and free entertainment. On average, 2,000 museum-goers will come through the doors from 5 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. each week for the free programming.

One of the many staples of the evening is the art table, which has become a fixture of Friday Nights at the de Young. Kids, adults, regulars, and new-comers all crowd around paper-covered tables to take part in the evening’s hands-on art project. The projects are created and led by one of three museum artists and are always reflective of and inspired by special exhibitions or the permanent collection. This past spring we celebrated Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico and Balenciaga and Spain working with local folkloric performance groups of Mexico and Flamenco dance/music groups while the summer, we focused on music of Spain and France to celebrate Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris.

Friday Nights is included within Cultural Encounters at the de Young, which is a series of interconnected programs created in collaboration with community arts organizations and performing and visual artists. These programs are designed to attract new and diverse audiences to the museum while creating exciting educational and artistic possibilities with the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. The Wallace Foundation has been integral in making this high level of audience engagement possible.

Please note that the last night of season 6 is November 25, 2011 and our grand re-opening of the 7th season is scheduled for Friday March 30, 2012 which will celebrate The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk with a splash!

Please see the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco website  for more information.

Renee Baldocchi, Director of Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Public Programs

Wallace Excellence Awards – The Contemporary Jewish Museum

Wallace Excellence Awards provide support to exemplary arts organizations in selected cities to identify, develop and share effective ideas and practices to reach more people. Eleven arts organizations with budgets over $1 million received these four-year grants. Findings from their projects are reported here.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) opened its new doors in June 2008 armed with a Wallace Excellence Grant to broaden and deepen our family audience. By investing in content, responding to the needs of our audience, and remaining committed to the belief of exposing families to art, the CJM has garnered a reputation for engaging and serving family audiences well. But, how did we find the nuanced balance of outreach and programming that works?

One of first successes can be attributed to family-friendly curatorial decisions. The CJM has presented a number of exhibitions featuring prominently known children books illustrators including William Steig, Maurice Sendak, Maira Kalman, and Margaret and H. A. Rey. The ability to reach across perceived barriers to entry with familiar children’s stories such as Where the Wild Things Are and the Curious George series made our job that much easier. From this experience, the Museum now plans to continue showcasing family friendly exhibitions.

Stroller Parking

Stroller Parking at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Second: Timing and Freedom. We listened to parent requests and responded accordingly – particularly with Preschool Gallery Hour (PGH)—one of our signature programs. On select Sundays throughout the year, the Museum opens early—exclusively for preschoolers and their families. These early hours allow parents to engage actively with their children in a museum setting without cutting into mid-day nap-time and without fear of disturbing other patrons. Originally the museum opened one hour early for PGH. But with more than 500 parents and children regularly attending, the museum now opens two hours early.

As the CJM moved further along in its grant period, we got tougher on ourselves to crack the tougher nut—the goal of broadening our audience, one of the hardest needles to move in the world of museums. Yet, studies have shown that children who visit museums with their parents and caregivers are much more likely to become art connoisseurs in their adult life then those who didn’t have this experience. Could our institution help find the strategy to include those family audiences who were less likely to visit–and help affect the long-term diversity in our halls even on days that didn’t have the marketing and entertainment of the successful and well funded Target Community Days?

To be fair, as Professor and educator John H. Falk argues, “Museum-going is far too complex…to be understood on the basis of easily measured, concrete variables such as demographics….”
In his prolific writing, Falk offers a identity driven motivational breakdown of visitor ship and I fully agree. We (art institutions) aren’t learning to reach our audience better through studying demographics. Could we better utilize our understanding of visitor motivations to diversify our audiences?

From this position, we were able to provide a number of course corrections resulting in our School Family Partnership Program which has three touchstones of engagement reaching:
1. Students and teachers through customized multi-session school and museum visits
2. Parents through a “Parenting and the Arts Learning Night”
3. Families through individual school “Family Days” at the CJM

This program shares tricks and tools with parents for family Museum engagement, builds comfort with visiting a museum, and contains opportunities for community building. Our hope is that the ”new to museum visit families” will find meaning, value, and entertainment in their CJM connection; that their own motivations for Museum engagement will surface; and that they will continue to find fulfillment from the CJM and other museum exhibitions and program offerings.

Wallace invested in audience engagement and the rigorous study of the methods, practices, and course corrections that we employ to reach our audiences. This unique grant approach has deeply connected our city’s arts institutions and promises to lead to many shared lessons learned. I look forward to the continued conversation.

Fraidy Aber is the Director of Education at the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

SFArts.org Revamped

In 2008, The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF) and Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund (GFTA) embarked on a four-year funding partnership to encourage systemic and sustainable structural change in the relationships of Bay Area arts organizations to their audiences, supported by the Wallace Foundation. Community offerings during the grant period (2008-2011) included seminars, workshops, large public convenings, implementation grants,  development of a regional shared mailing list, and expansion of the SFArts.org website.

Since 2000, SFArts.org has been the Bay Area’s leading online arts and entertainment resource, directing hundreds of thousands of visitors and locals to arts events in the city and larger Bay Area. In 2009, with support from the Wallace Initiative and Grants for the Arts, SFArts.org launched a completely revamped website with a customizable user interface. SFArts.org offers its users a powerful search tool, a completely customizable experience, a one-stop resource for events information, insider picks on great arts values, RSS feeds and feature articles about San Francisco arts and artists, all with the ultimate goal of increasing support of and attendance at local arts events.

In 2010, SFArts.org created an online form that allows arts groups to input their own data, which is posted to the SFArts.org site after editorial review. More then 1,400 events and 400 arts organizations have been added to the database from public input. Additionally, SFArts.org entered into a partnership with Bay Citizen, in which the data from SFArts.org populates Bay Citizen’s online arts calendar. SFArts.org has also created apps for the iPhone and Android. The iPhone app has become a major source of traffic to the SFArts.org database. Currently, it has served nearly 155,000 requests for information since it was launched in September 2010. SFArts.org is currently working on a push notification system that will build upon this success.

Despite the proliferation of local online arts calendars, SFArts.org remains the top-ranked site in web searches for San Francisco arts on both Google and Bing. With the launch of its new user-event submission system, concurrent with the Bay Citizen launch, the site has also seen a significant rise in event listings from outside of San Francisco.

Betsy Crabtree is the publisher/editor of SFArts.org and San Francisco Arts Monthly.

Thoughts from John Killacky

Today, we share at two blog posts by John Killacky, former Program Officer for Arts and Culture at The San Francisco Foundation, one of the initiators of the Wallace Foundation Cultural Participation Initiative in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a deep thinker  much missed in our community.

Written earlier last year, this post on ARTSblog outlines the “Essential Skills for Making the Most of Resources in the Nonprofit Arts, referencing the Dynamic Adaptability convening hosted by the Initiative last year.

And from BlueAvocado.org, John Killacky weighs in on cultural equity funding and other philanthropic trends in his provocative “Regrets of a Former Arts Funder.”

John Killacky is currently the executive director at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, Vermont.

Coming soon: an interview with John Killacky and Grants for the Arts’ Kary Schulman about the start of the Cultural Participation Initiative in the San Francisco Bay Area.


In 2008, The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF) and Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund (GFTA) embarked on a four-year funding partnership to encourage systemic and sustainable structural change in the relationships of Bay Area arts organizations to their audiences, supported by the Wallace Foundation. Community offerings during the grant period (2008-2011) included seminars, workshops, large public convenings, implementation grants, development of a regional shared mailing list, and expansion of the SFArts.org website.