talent round-up day

Detail from "Cattle Roundup" by Thomas Stell, Jr., 1940

 Highlighting nonprofit organizations and individuals doing stellar work!

  • It’s been a long road but the Black Archives of Mid-America finally has a permanent space in Kansas City, Missouri’s historic 18th & Vine District. Slated for a June 2012 opening, the collection of objects (previously relegated to storage bins and boxes) relating to the history of African-Americans in the region is vast and worthy of being seen by all.
  • The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits recently launched Nonprofit Insurance Advisors, a service that assists in securing coverage for nonprofit organizations that is reasonable in cost and tailored to the specific insurance requirements of the sector. The needs of small and mid-sized nonprofits can definitely get lost in the crowd, so this effort is commendable.
  • ArtsFwd, created by arts and cultural collaborative EmcArts, is a one-stop shop for viewing and showcasing innovative nonprofit programs and initiatives. Featuring a blog, case studies, podcasts and resources, the heavy emphasis on user input ensures a constantly-evolving space.
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talent round-up day

 

Highlighting nonprofit organizations and individuals doing stellar work!

  •  In June 2011, No More Homeless Pets Kansas City and Animal Haven, organizations dedicated to animal welfare, merged to become Heartland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  By combining resources, Heartland SPCA is better equipped to handle the needs of a large population and provide affordable veterinary services (my cat was examined and fully vaccinated for $35!).  Nonprofits with complimentary missions should seek collaboration, but the reduction of nonprofits with nearly identical missions is a model worth following.
  • Nonprofit Technology Network will broadcast its August 29, 2011 “Nonprofit Cloud Computing Summit: Using the Cloud to Meet Your Message” workshop from San Francisco via free livestream (RSVP required).  Kudos to NTEN for providing professional development on the cheap!
  •  Setting a high-profile example of mining its staff for gold (commonly known as promoting from within), The Art Institute of Chicago recently selected Douglas Druick as its new President and Director.   Druick has logged 26 years with the museum, formerly chaired two curatorial departments and has been holding it down as the interim director since James Cuno controversially jumped to The Getty in June.  While it’s not surprising that the 132-year-old museum is sticking with the traditional (and arguably outmoded) Curator-to-Director model of museum leadership, it is encouraging to see that dedication, loyalty and hard work in the field has its rewards. 

talent round-up day

Highlighting nonprofit organizations and individuals doing stellar work!

  • Rosetta Thurman’s list of 10 Young Nonprofit Bloggers to Watch in 2011  is extremely diverse, with writers covering a range of topics from social justice to philanthropy to chasing your passions.  I was thrilled to see the inclusion of folks that I already follow along with new writers to admire.   Despite what some may think,  young people are ably pushing, prodding and pulling the kicking-and-screaming nonprofit sector into the future and redefining what it means to be an emerging leader.
  • Betty Farrell and Maria Medvedeva’s article, “Sea Change” (excerpted from the Center for the Future of Museums’ report Demographic Transformation and the Future of Museums) implores museums to account and plan for demographic shifts in the United States from both programming and staff perspectives.   The article is timely as I have been conducting research about African-Americans in the museum field and carefully examining my own career in light of what I discover.   Anyone who works in museums with even the slightest responsibility regarding programming, visitor services and/or human resources should pay special attention to Elizabeth E. Merritt’s “call to action.”  As the founding director of the Center for the Future of Museums, she challenges her colleagues to addresses issues of diversity and inclusion (or the lack thereof) in concrete rather than theoretical ways. 
  • The Kansas Arts Commission is fighting back against Governor Sam Brownback’s decision to legislate them out of existence in his proposed fiscal year 2012 budget.  Mr. Brownback supports transitioning the Kansas Arts Commission from a state-supported entity to a nonprofit organization, which would result in the immediate loss of federal matching funds and grants and services from other local partners.   It seems ridiculous that anyone has to make the case that the arts are big business –with a demonstrated ripple effect that carries far and wide into surrounding communities–but time and again, when administrators seek to trim their budgets, the arts are first on the chopping block. 

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