- Posted by Mike Scullen on November 22nd, 2011
When the friendly folks at the New Music Centre Project asked our team to participate in their latest fundraising efforts we responded with some seasonal enthusiasm. It is a sure sign that the holidays are upon us when you find yourself constructing local landmarks out of quantities of baked goods and sugar. This Edible Eddy project is a way to bring some funds and awareness to the New Music Centre's goal of restoring the beloved King Edward Hotel to former glories. It's going to be quite the comeback.
We are lucky to have Deeter Schurig on our team, who has studied architecture and has experience designing theatrical sets. He responded to this challenge as any good architect would and fired up the computer aided design software. The technology behind the construction doesn't end there either; the latest techniques in transferring pixels to icing were also employed to tell our story about the transformation of Calgary's arts and cultural landscape both then, now and tomorrow.
The Eddy is not the only grand old king in our city. The other Eddy resides in South Calgary and is also undergoing a transformation. King Edward School, with the help of the Calgary Foundation, is on its way to becoming an arts incubator (here is an impressive fly through of the vision). To further infuse Dickens (see title), the ghost of Eddy(s) past and the ghost of Eddy(s) future have informed this gingerbread construction while the ghost of Eddy(s) present wants to bring you sweets while you support these projects.
We all want new Eddys for Christmas. You can support the New Music Center by donating online or by coming out to their fundraising event: The CORE ‘Twas the Night on November 30th. Cantos will be debuting the top three Edible Eddys that night, you can vote live at the event on our Edible Eddy and enter to win a $250 Shopping Spree to The CORE. You can help us be one of the top three by voting for us through Cantos' Facebook campaign.
- Posted by Terry Rock on November 10th, 2011
As our City Council embarks on a few weeks of budget deliberations, confronting tough choices on how to spend limited public dollars to continue building Calgary as "a great place to make a living, a great place to make a life," (from Imagine Calgary) I'm reminded of one of my favorite exchanges in literature:
I bought you some books in Lutsk, he told her, shutting the door on the early evening and the rest of the world.
We can't afford these, she said, taking the heavy bag. I'll have to return them tomorrow.
But we can't afford not to have them. Which can we not afford more, having them or not having them? As I see it, we lose either way. My way, we lose with the books.
- A conversation between Yankel and Brod in Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated
- Posted by Terry Rock on November 3rd, 2011
It has been just over a month since Calgary’s first Arts Champions Congress. We were thrilled with the turnout, the enthusiasm and the sheer quality of the conversation. We were overwhelmed (really!) with the great ideas that came forward. In the few weeks since the event, our team has worked together to deliver on our promise to act quickly on high impact ideas that we are able to execute. I’m really pleased that we’re doing that through today’s announcement.
Our motivation for the congress was pretty straightforward: we want to expand the circle of arts champions in Calgary. The first step? Let's increase the level of connection within the community of those who are already champions of Calgary's dynamic arts sector. The arts are an ecosystem: there are big and small players, individuals and organizations, artists, administrators, marketers, board members, and many disciplines with increasingly blurred edges. Rarely do people from these various parts of the system find each other in the same room, even though they have a common interest to see the arts thrive in our city. The ability to convene this wide group is a unique feature of Calgary Arts Development, and it is one we intend to use more in the months and years ahead.
We observed many things during the day that were inspiring and motivating. Most interesting was the tremendous desire to continue the learning that happens when peers get together. Much of our response to the congress is framed by this observation. We also saw a need and desire to make inter-generational connections for the purpose of mentorship. There's a lot of wisdom in our community, and we hope to facilitate the transmission of wisdom onto the next generation.
Speaking of the next generation... we were pleasantly surprised by the number of attendees who are starting new ventures in Calgary's arts scene. This group is hungry for knowledge and to get connected into the sector. The initiatives we're undertaking are intended to play a role in facilitating the development of this exciting next generation.
Finally, it really makes us smile when we hear of groups that were inspired by Ben Cameron's talk and his subsequent interaction with us. Ben's generosity of time and ideas has stuck with our team as well. We were able to have him speak to a smaller group at a breakfast the next day to work more specifically on plans to expand the circle of arts champions. It is safe to say that that group was inspired to go even further than they were the day before.
Plans are already forming up for the 2012 version of the Arts Champions Congress. Today, we're providing more opportunities for you to connect and learn as a community. Regardless of how you choose to engage, we are listening! Please stay in touch.
- Posted by Emiko Muraki on October 20th, 2011
Self-proclaimed "professor of dirt" Paul Curtis partnered his Reverse Graffiti Project with the eco-friendly cleaning company GreenWorks to provide public art in San Francisco's dirt-covered Broadway Tunnel.
A 140-foot mural showcases native plants and trees that would have adorned that very landscape hundreds of years ago for the enjoyment of over 20,000 commuters and pedestrians daily.
Click here to read more on the Reverse Graffiti Project-GreenWorks partnership.
- Posted by Terry Rock on September 14th, 2011
In my weekly Grantmakers in the Arts newsletter, there is a link to "The Arts Need New Advocates" by Elizabeth Kramer in the Courier-Journal (which I gather is located in Kentucky). We're two weeks away from Calgary's first annual Arts Champions Congress, finalizing the agenda, watching registrations roll in, calling everyone we can think of and asking them to join us for some or all of what we intend to be a solid day of inspiration, new connections, ideas and, quickly soon after, action. The article was timely.
I was particularly struck by Kramer's discussion of how difficult it is to bring a strong arts voice to public dialogue:
To be effective, advocates and groups have to unite to make their case for the arts. As it stands now, very few arts organizations have the resources and connections to successfully get their messages across to lawmakers or the general public.
Those that do are often very large groups that are lobbying primarily for themselves, which is completely understandable. But for the arts to truly reach people of all walks and for the public to understand the reach of art — in all its colors and shapes — they need to be able to recognize it in their communities and in their own lives. Reaching that level of understanding often requires someone with passion who can help them see where art shapes their lives.
Over the years, Calgary Arts Development's connection to the community has grown in size and scope. We now fund 162 organizations through our operating grant program (up from 119 when we took on the granting function for Calgary). Our clients work in all corners of the city, are increasingly diverse (in ethnicity, age, and artistic practice), and range in size from small collectives to large institutions. In addition to this existing client group, we expect the number of organizations that we could or should fund to grow by an additional 50% over the next 3 years (most of those new organizations have already been in touch with us). Finally, we are keenly aware that we do not currently have any programs to support the thousands of individual artists studying and working in Calgary. In short: Calgary Arts Development is a hub in the large and growing circle that is the arts in Calgary.
Kramer's observation that "to be effective, advocates and groups have to unite to make their case" couldn't be more true. Since we published our first white paper on the organizations we fund, our eyes have been opened to the power of that collective story. When you dig just a little bit deeper, you realize that these organizations each has a detailed story of artistic and public impact, has dedicated board members (at least 5 per organization), employs artists, has volunteers, works with children, advocates, etc.
Back of the envelope calculations tell us that at least 10,000 people could be considered "champions" of the arts sector through their active support of the organizations we fund. The Arts Champions Congress is an opportunity for these people to get together in the same room. Lets put a visual on this abstract notion of "champions." Let's talk to each other about what we're doing and figure out if there are things we can do together that strengthen our organizations and enhance our impact. Let's challenge ourselves to sharpen our message and expand the number of people who really understand the multiple dimensions of value of a thriving arts sector brings to their lives.
- Posted by Emiko Muraki on June 24th, 2011
For non-profit arts organizations, the expertise of a well-formed board can be invaluable in helping organizations achieve their mission. Board Members are ambassadors across different social groups as well as the corporate sector and as such must be properly aligned with your organization.
Forbes blogger Elmira Bayrasli discusses tips to building a successful non-profit board based on the work of Lucy P. Marcus, a well known expert on best practices for board development in both for-profit and non-profit sectors. Bayrasli stresses the importance of a board with diverse skills, stating "Whether in finance, marketing or human resources, individuals asked to join a non-profit board should bring added value to the institution - and its staff. Because the majority of non-profits bootstrap their operations, taking care to 'minimize overhead,' they often make do with a small staff that is expected to juggle several responsibilities, none of which few are experts in."
Bayrasli concludes the post with a list of suggestions on how to recruit a non-profit board.
- Posted by Emiko Muraki on June 13th, 2011
Brett Wilson's first article for Alberta Venture, Return on Investment: The Give and Get Play, explores the give and take relationship between corporations and charitable organizations and provides ample support for both a philanthropic giving model and a corporate sponsorship model. In the article Wilson issues a challenge to his colleagues "...to think differently about how businesses and non-profit organizations can benefit mutually from collaborative relationships."
This challenge is well-timed as Calgary Arts Development prepares to launch artsVest Calgary: a new sponsorship training and matching incentive program developed by Business for the Arts. The goal of artsVest is to develop new mutually beneficial partnerships between Calgary businesses and arts organizations. Through an intensive series of workshops, arts organizations accepted to the program will receive training on building stronger partnerships that address the needs of both the arts organizations and their business partners. Matching incentive funds, provided by Canadian Heritage and The City of Calgary through Calgary Arts Development, offer a great return on investment for first time business supporters of the arts. It's a win-win situation!
For more information on artsVest nationally please visit the artsVest website.
- Posted by Karen Ball on June 8th, 2011
- Posted by Mike Scullen on April 27th, 2011
Calgary’s newest performing arts hall is going to be a real Alberta beauty.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi was among the dignitaries on hand at Mount Royal University Tuesday for the sod-turning of the university’s new $73-million Bella Concert Hall and Conservatory.
The new venue, which the university anticipates will open in the fall of 2013, will provide the campus, and the entire city, with a state of the art performing arts venue and arts educational hub. read article
- Posted by Mike Scullen on April 27th, 2011
Developers may just be drawing up designs for new condos in East Village, but city artists have already turned an existing EV building, the former Seafood Market, into a living, breathing, hub of the emerging neighbourhood.
The Seafood Market Studios, a CMLC initiative in partnership with Calgary Arts Development Authority (CADA), opened its doors just last September. Today, the studios house 45 artists of all disciplines in all stages of their careers: there are playwrites and visual artists of every medium, emerging talents and well-established figures. It’s a microcosm of the East Village to come: varied, dense, friendly, creative...and very good at ping pong.