As part of an effort to increase the impact of its giving, the Ford Foundation is to announce a plan on Monday 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.Yeah, that's pretty much unqualified good news. I know there's a lot of talk of the edifice complex and places that spend money on space over artists. I know because I've talked it. And I believe it, to boot. But there's also a need for more space, hopefully cheaper spaces, more multi-use spaces. The quote at the end of the NY Times article sounds the right note:
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. He has moved the foundation in the direction of bundling its hundreds of millions of dollars in grants — which have traditionally varied widely in their focus — into large programs oriented toward specific issues. Other recent commitments include $80 million to bolster public programs for the unemployed and underpaid, $100 million for secondary education in seven cities and $50 million to help cities buy foreclosed properties.
Judilee Reed, executive director of LINC, said the foundation’s initiative is particularly well timed.Right on. More like that, please.
“I think people are beginning to understand that spaces for artists and art are more than just buildings, structures,” she said. “The way these spaces animate their communities and the relationships they have to their communities is ripe for development.”
*In honor of this (we're just pretending last night didn't happen) and because "game changer" is, well, pretty over-used these days.