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.

talent round-up day

Highlighting nonprofit organizations and individuals doing stellar work!

  • I’m currently obsessed with the Philbrook Museum of Art cat-cams, courtesy of Acer and Perilla, two felines that roam the Tulsa, Oklahoma museum’s 23 acres of gardens.  Jeff Martin, Philbrook’s Online Communities Manager, offers some background on the project via the Center for the Future of Museums blog.  I’m tempted to place cameras on my own cats, but I’m sure the view from their near-constant perch on the sofa would be pretty boring. 
  • After scads of bad publicity, a lawsuit and general condemnation from the art community at-large, Brandeis University has decided to not sell The Rose Art Museum’s collection (official press release here.)  Although more debate is needed regarding the myriad confusing and conflicting guidelines for deaccessioning art, selling off an established collection wholesale just to keep the lights on is never a good idea.
  •  Community Housing of Wyandotte County (CHWC) has a burgeoning arts program, suppported by the Youth ART Fund, that is transforming lives and landscapes in Kansas City, Kansas.   Mural projects, photography, art and creative technology classes encourage young people and their families to artistically express themselves, develop new skills and help create community sustainability.  

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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