Blog Posts for lead

What the Midterm Elections Mean for the Arts: Summary of 2014 Election

Posted by Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Narric Rome, Nov 06, 2014 0 comments

Nina Ozlu Tunceli Nina Ozlu Tunceli


In this year’s midterm elections, Republicans took back the Senate, kept control of the House and won governorships in 31 states and counting. What does that mean for you and for us, as strong advocates of the arts and arts education? Here we break down the national, state, and local results - and their potential impact on the arts:   In Congress The U.S. Senate will be Republican-led. This means all Senate committees will see new chairmen, and since those committees control and recommend federal spending, these new chairmen could have significant impact on federal arts funding.

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An Interview with Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts

Posted by Jane Chu, Ms. Caitlin Holland, Oct 23, 2014 0 comments

Jane Chu was confirmed as the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) this past June. She recently answered a few questions about the NEA’s priorities in relation to local arts agencies.

1) Was your decision to pursue a career in the arts a conscious one, given your background in performance, arts administration, philanthropy, and business leadership?

Yes, it was. I understood already what it was like to be an artist, to produce, to create, to perform.The arts are the keystone of my studies, and have been an important touchstone throughout my life and career. At the same time, I wanted to truly understand the systems and processes related to business, so I got my MBA. As a fundraiser, I loved the aspect of connecting donors to give to the things they cared about, and the organizations that made it their mission to address a need in the community. It turns out that all of these things -- art, business and philanthropy -- are key aspects of my job, and give me the tools to help us create an environment for the arts to bloom and thrive.

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Board Member Seeks Other Board Member for Long-Term Relationship

Posted by Tim Bresnahan, Oct 22, 2014 0 comments

Tim Bresnahan Tim Bresnahan

Serving on a “working board” is challenging. Rewarding, but challenging. I recently had the honor of taking over the reigns as the Board President for Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, a small but mighty theatre in Chicago with a mission focused on promoting women theatre artists.  As we like to say at Rivendell, “It’s women’s work!”

Without a doubt, one of the greatest challenges we’ve faced as a board during my tenure has been attracting and retaining qualified board members.

Let me repeat: attracting AND retaining.

I understand that we need to build and sustain a deep and dedicated board of directors in order to build a sustainable organization that is positioned for long-term growth.  But I also understand that achieving this goal could be more easily attained if we had help. So I have a small but simple request.

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Tax Policy Time: Take Two

Posted by Kate McClanahan, Oct 22, 2014 0 comments

Kate McClanahan Kate McClanahan

If you saw my first post this week, Tax Policy Time: Who wants that?!, you’ll know that an entire bullet was saved for later discussion on tax treatment of donated artwork—perhaps another yawn-inducing subject to some, but wait until I tell you that it’s been said in Congress that there is nothing more permanent than a temporary pilot program, and nothing more temporary than permanent law. Despite the humor, a quick search of “permanent than a pilot program” turns up these truth-verifying headlines:

Why is this relevant? Because in 1969 Congress permanently changed tax law to prohibit artists from being eligible to take a fair-market value deduction for their works donated to a museum, library, or archive. Many are now working to revert the law, including the Art Dealers Association of America and the American Alliance of MuseumsLegislation is pending in Congress, and many have hope that “permanent” only means until Congress changes its mind—and are counting on that fickleness.

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A four step plan to engage younger patrons

Posted by Elaine Maslamani, Oct 21, 2014 0 comments

Elaine Maslamani Elaine Maslamani

Every organization needs a plan for their board members and major donors of the future. If engaging young professionals ages 25 to 35 is integral to your organization’s objectives, here are four tips that other young professional groups for arts organizations that I have worked with have found helpful.

  1. Project a inviting welcome

From the outside looking in, arts organizations can sometimes appear to have a “clique-y”-culture that would ignore new members unless they have the proper pedigree. Often, the ideal candidates for young professional art groups are shy to come forward thinking that they won’t “belong” if they can’t name the artist, converse in a detail about the composer’s work, quote Shakespeare, or be able to contribute more than $1,000.

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Grinding Gears for the Arts

Posted by Kyle Dlabay, Oct 21, 2014 0 comments

Kyle Dlabay Kyle Dlabay

When you think about the performing arts, the first image that comes to mind probably isn’t thousands of cyclists. But in Milwaukee, bike riding and the performing arts have been connected since 1981 when the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) started the UPAF Ride for the Arts, sponsored by Miller Lite. Back then it was known as “Arts Pedalers,” then it grew immensely as “Uecker’s Ride for the Arts” and “Miller Lite for the Ride for the Arts.” The current name, which our title sponsor graciously agreed to in 2010, ensures the focus of the event is on its reason for being–to support the performing arts in Southeastern Wisconsin.

Founded in 1967, UPAF is an umbrella fundraising United Arts Fund with a threefold mission: 1) to raise much-needed funds to ensure entertainment excellence, 2) steward the dollars our donors so generously give, 3) promote the performing arts as a regional asset. As the single largest funder to 15 of the largest performing arts organizations in our region, including the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Ballet, and Milwaukee Repertory Theater, UPAF is essential to sustaining the valuable asset that we have in the performing arts.

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