Internet as Oracle
Yeah, I know it's silly, but in scanning the contents list of news stories on Artinfo today, I couldn't help but notice that right above a headline about how the Harlem School of Arts needs $50,000 to remain open...here's that story...
Just when it seemed safe to believe that the string of recession-based closings of art institutions was coming to an end — or at least slowing down — the Harlem School of the Arts announced last week that it would be closed until April 10, by which time the nonprofit’s board will have decided if the institution will be closed permanently due to lack of funding.
The H.S.A. has provided dance, music, theater, and visual art classes to the Harlem community since 1964, offering instruction to about 3,000 students a year, some of whom received scholarships or attended at no charge. The institution has a reputation for placing students at top arts schools like Julliard, and alumni have performed on Broadway and appeared in feature films.
Board chairman Christopher Paci said that the school will need at least $500,000 to stay open through the end of the academic year. The institution's closing comes two weeks after the school announced the layoff of five of its faculty members.
...there was a headline announcing that the "Ford Foundation Revs Up $100 Million Arts Initiative"...
The Ford Foundation announced today that it plans to spend $100 million over the next decade to support arts groups throughout the United States. The new program, Supporting Diverse Arts Spaces, will offer grants to finance the creation of new spaces, the development of new programs, and the renovation of existing structures.Now it may not be feasible under the Ford Foundation's own guidelines to assist the Harlem School of the Arts unless the money went specifically to "the creation of new spaces, the development of new programs, [or] the renovation of existing structures." But with $100 million at their disposal, and the Harlem School of the Arts needing but a tiny fraction of that to stay open, you'd hope that some sort of accommodation would be possible. You'd hope.
Ford Foundation officials says they hope the initiative not only helps the arts organizations themselves but spurs broader improvements in the neighborhoods where they are based. In a statement, Alison Bernstein, vice president for education, creativity, and free expression at the foundation, said the program would allow for the sharing of “best practices that will have an enduring effect on the cultural dynamics of American neighborhoods.”
In New York, the foundation has already been active in making grants to community organizations, presenting a $1 million grant to El Museo del Barrio to help pay for its recent expansion and providing funds that helped the Pregones Theater expand its facilities and programming in the Bronx.
Labels: arts funding