As a writer and publisher, I was excited to recently rediscover my passionate interest in creating and supporting visual art. The pandemic has had many terrible impacts on our lives, but one positive impact it had for me was getting me more engaged in my own love for art. During the extended times many of us have been spending socially distancing, I began to paint, first doing portraits of African Americans, and then moving on to still life paintings and impressionistic landscapes.
In an effort to support women and LGBT+ artists, we launched our first art contest recently. The theme for the contest was “About Women” and we received more than 100 entries of some stunning and moving visual art pieces. There were 185 votes on the entries, and the winners were chosen by public vote, so popularity was more of a factor, as opposed to a contest that is judged by a jury of artists.
Thank you to all the readers and new subscribers who are joining us daily. It’s really great to feel the Philanthropy Women community growing. As editor, I want to alert readers to the resource of our Gender Equality Funder Knowledgebase. This is the place where you can find funders for gender equality across categories of corporate, private, and family foundations.
We aim to list all funders for gender equality in both the U.S. and globally and have been steadily building this database out for over a year. We now have over 500 listings and are currently adding about 8 new entries to the database every week, so we hope these additions are helping feminist nonprofits find more resources for their work.
A newly published Dance Data Project (DDP) “Season Overview” report indicates that men choreographed 72 percent of works produced by the United States’ top 50 ballet companies during the 2019-20 season. While the gender disparity is significant; the figure represents an improvement over 2018-19 when 81 percent of works were choreographed by men. Nevertheless, as the report indicates, ballet equity has a long way to go.
“The entire DDP team is inspired by the rising number of commissioned women’s works,” said Liza Yntema, DDP Founder and President. “Yet, inequity is still present in some of the most notable categories of performance. Works choreographed by men continue to overwhelmingly populate the main stage, while women’s works are often relegated to special programs and sandwiched into male-dominated mixed bills.” Yntema also worries that women’s gains will be lost if company directors perceive that hiring more men represents a “safe choice” in a turbulent economy. Such thinking will make it more difficult to attract the new audiences that are critical to ballet’s survival.
“You don’t exist if you’re not represented… I felt a need to claim my own social existence by making the representation happen.” – Njideka Akunyili Crosby
As women, as people, and as philanthropists, what does womanhood mean to you? In ABOUT WOMEN, Philanthropy Women‘s first art contest, we seek to answer that question through the lens of the artist: finding what womanhood means in our worlds and the worlds around us.
Introducing ABOUT WOMEN: A Contest to Celebrate Women’s Art
Join us for the first Philanthropy Women art contest, designed to shine a light on women and LGBT+ artists. Enter today for your chance to win a cash prize and a six-month feature on Philanthropy Women!
How can we properly honor healthcare professionals risking their lives on the front lines of COVID-19? Philanthropist and art collector Sandi Nicholson, and her husband Bill Nicholson, recently announced the launch of “Nurse Heroes,” an art contest and fundraising campaign to support the healthcare heroes of 2020.
“This year we celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing and the first nursing college,” the Nicholsons announced in a press release. “Today, the legacy of Florence Nightingale continues, with people all over the world opening their doors and windows to show appreciation for our health care workers on the front lines. With ‘Nurse Heroes’ we recognized an opportunity to do more.”
One of Many, a short film about the 2017 Women’s March, and an official selection of the upcoming 2020 International New York Film Festival, is seeking digital distribution. As the Trump era lurches to a close, and new rounds of protests occupy the streets, One of Many documents the women’s marches that occurred nationwide three-and-a-half years ago in opposition to Trump, and more broadly, to sexism, patriarchy, and racism.
“The film captures the widespread, collective outrage that President Trump’s inauguration provoked while contextualizing it within historical human rights movements,” notes One of Many Executive Producer Jessica Good. The sixteen-minute documentary is directed by M.J. Bernier and debuted last fall at Atlanta’s Out on Film festival, one of the oldest and largest LGBTQ+ film festivals.
Sheridan Road, a “luxury and lifestyle” magazine out of Chicago that focuses on North Shore activities, did a recent feature of Elizabeth “Liza” Yntema, whose work in dance equity we have covered here at Philanthropy Women. Liza has also participated in our Feminist Giving In Real Life (F-GIRL) series.
The wonderful thing about this interview, written by Allison Duncan, is how effortlessly it moves through different layers of experience as we come to understand the subject’s world view. The article starts with a foray into Liza’s family history of accused Salem witches, early women scientists, and Depression-era bankers with integrity. From the article:
Yolanda F. Johnson is rolling out Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy (WOC) to support her colleagues in the field. Johnson is a multi-faceted juggernaut whose life’s work encompasses the performing arts, teaching, and non-profit management, with an accent on women, and women of color, in philanthropy and the arts.
Johnson is the first African-American to serve as President of Women in Development, a 40-year-old organization devoted to empowering and supporting New York-area women in the development field. She has an M.A. in arts management, and is a lyric soprano and music composer, teacher, and director. Johnson has performed nationally and internationally in operas, solo concerts, oratorios and sacred music, and is a recitalist and lecturer with a particular interest in spirituals related to the Underground Railroad. She is co-creator of Music She Wrote, a concert celebration of women composers.
“Rather than seeking stark divisions between approaches or themes within feminism, perhaps we should instead look for the many possibilities for productive coalitions.” – Sally J. Scholz
It’s no secret that art comments on, fights against, and breaks the molds of society. Sometimes, it even forms the basis from which activists and earth-shakers build platforms to enact real social change.
The Feminist Art Coalition (FAC) seeks to create a platform where art projects can build creative collaborations between artists and their societies, in exhibitions that give established institutions a way to give voice to their commitments to social justice and structural change. Supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, FAC connects art museums and nonprofit institutions to present a series of events beginning in Fall 2020, and continuing over the course of one year–a critical year, as we’ve mentioned, leading up to the next American presidential election.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced the appointment of Deborah Cullen-Morales as the Foundation’s new program officer for Arts and Cultural Heritage. Cullen-Morales will join the Foundation on May 1.
As a program officer, Cullen-Morales will help shape and direct work in the visual arts across a range of grants and research initiatives supporting art museums, cultural heritage preservation, and conservation.
“Having led multiple arts institutions, including museums, university galleries, and artist-run spaces, Deborah brings to the position field-wide perspective, deep appreciation of the central role of artists in shaping arts organizations, and a vast network of relationships with artists, curators, scholars, and cultural leaders,” said Elizabeth Alexander, president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “We are thrilled to welcome Deborah and look forward to working with her.”