Irvine Foundation Selects Slover Linett to Review Arts Innovation Fund

April 27, 2012

The James Irvine Foundation, a leading California philanthropy, has engaged Slover Linett to conduct a review of one of its key funding programs for cultural organizations, the Arts Innovation Fund. Our team, which includes consultants Nick Rabkin and Laura Samson, will be interviewing grantees about their experiences with the program and talking with other arts leaders in California and elsewhere about adaptive change in the nonprofit arts sector. 

Since 2006, the Arts Innovation Fund has supported new program, audience engagement, marketing, and internal management initiatives at 19 of California’s leading arts institutions, from art museums to symphonies, dance companies, and theaters. In addition to grant support, the program provided consulting and facilitation services from EmcArts, a New York-based social enterprise dedicated to transformative change in the arts and cultural field. The Foundation made its last grants through the AIF program in 2011 and is introducing a new arts strategy and grant program this year focused on engaging Californians in the arts.

Our review of the Arts Innovation Fund will focus on the lessons learned in the course of this diverse set of experiments. We’re delighted to have this opportunity to contribute to knowledge in the sector about how arts organizations can successfully adapt to evolving conditions. 

“This unique program covered a challenging, even tumultuous period in the arts sector, thanks in part to the recession,” says Slover Linett chairman Peter Linett. “I hope our review is a valuable snapshot of how arts organizations go about finding new solutions in response to new challenges, and what we can all learn from both successes and failures along the way.”

For the project, Slover Linett’s arts & culture research staff is joined by our frequent collaborator, Nick Rabkin, and by Laura Samson.  Both colleagues bring years of experience in arts philanthropy, policy, management and education to the Irvine Foundation project.

For more information about our work with the Irvine Foundation, please contact Sarah Lee, vice president for arts & culture, via e-mail or at (773) 348-9214.

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