news from Americans for the Arts
Ford Foundation Dedicates $100 Million to Arts Spaces and Housing
The New York Times, 4/5/10
"As part of an effort to increase the impact of its giving, the Ford Foundation is to announce a plan to dedicate $100 million to the development of arts spaces nationwide over the next decade. The plan is by far the largest commitment the foundation has ever made to the construction, maintenance, and enhancement of arts facilities. The plan, called the Supporting Diverse Art Spaces Initiative, is one of several large financing projects that have resulted from a strategic overhaul of the foundation’s operations since its president, Luis A. Ubiñas, took over in 2008…In addition to helping arts groups build new spaces and renovate and expand old ones, the latest initiative aims to encourage the construction of affordable housing for artists in or around some of these spaces and to spur economic development in their surrounding areas. Mr. Ubiñas said that during his travels around the country he had been astonished when he would visit an arts organization and find that 'all around it have developed whole neighborhoods—of artists and their families, of businesses that cater to them, of diverse people who want to live in a thriving community.'"
Harvard Medical Artist-in-Residence Fosters Dialogue Between Scientists, Artists
The Harvard Crimson, 4/6/10
"In a world of periodic tables and algorithms, it’s easy to forget how to let the creative juices flow. 'I find the scientists I work with to be very creative people,' says Brian Knep, an associate and the artist-in-residence at the Systems Biology department in the Harvard Medical School (HMS). 'What I find kind of sad is that a lot of the science world feels very constrained in a way that’s not very good for inspiration in general.' With an obligation to address this concern in mind, Knep has been inviting local artists on a monthly basis to come discuss their work with the various scientists, chemists, and engineers on the medical school campus. By organizing these talks, Knep says he hopes to encourage the explorative and imaginative nature of science that is often subdued by the demands of hard data, precision, and controlled objectivity."