Tag: Arts

Landmark education bill will reshape Maryland’s public school system

EDUCATION | A landmark education bill designed to reshape Maryland’s public school system will become law without Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature, and will send an additional $855 million to schools over the next two years. (WaPo, 5/15)

Over the next two years, the funding will pay for school-based health centers, grants for schools where at least 80 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, raises for teachers — the state will provide a 1.5 percent raise if the local district gives 3 percent — and grants to improve teacher standards.

The Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence, also known as the Kirwan Commission, was asked in 2016 to devise a plan to create a world-class school system in Maryland and ensure that all students, regardless of race and ethnicity, are “college- and career-ready” by 10th grade. The Kirwan Commission also was charged with coming up with funding formulas to pay for the plan, but the panel released its recommendations this year without a breakdown of how the state and local governments would share the costs.

IMMIGRATION | Between 75 and 150 adult adoptees in the District and up to 1,700 Virginians are at risk of being deported. (WAMU, 5/15)

RACIAL EQUITY/HEALTH
– An emergency Task Force on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health has been created by the Congressional Black Caucus to address access to mental health care and suicide among Black youth, including those who are LGBTQIA. (Washington Blade, 5/7)

Opioid Addiction Drug Going Mostly To Whites, Even As Black Death Rate Rises (NPR, 5/8)

CENSUS | Mayor Bowser officially kicked off the District’s 2020 Census efforts by presenting a proclamation to honor the selection of her Complete Count Committee.

CHILDREN/SAFETY | A Centers for Disease Control study has found that 1 in 14 public and charter high school students in DC has exchanged sex for something of value. Students who had been kicked out of their homes, run away or been abandoned were most likely to have exchanged sex.  (WAMU, 5/16)

HEALTHCARE | How safe are Greater Washington’s hospitals? Some earn top grades for quality and safety, and others don’t score as well. (WBJ, 5/16)

ARTS | Mayor Muriel Bowser Wants Big Changes for the City’s Arts Commission (CP, 5/16)

WOMEN/EQUALITY | June 4 marks the 100-year anniversary of Congress’ passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, and there are a number of places around the Greater Washington region to learn the history of women’s suffrage. (WAMU, 5/16)


Social Sector Job Openings 

Grants Manager | Arabella Advisors – New!
Institutional Development Officer | Martha’s Table – New!
Development Manager, Washington, DC | Reading Partners – New!
Director of Individual Giving | Horizons Greater Washington
Grants Compliance Manager | Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter
Director of Communications, Technology, and Administration | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Director of Corporate and Foundation Advancement | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Engagement Officer | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Grants and Communications Associate | Neighborhood Health
Senior Manager of Member Engagement and Partnerships | United Philanthropy Forum
Director of Development​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation
Director of Operations​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation
Director, Flamboyan Arts Fund​ | ​Flamboyan Foundation
Membership Director​ | ​Council on Foundations
Development Director​ | ​Council on Foundations
Communications Director​ |​ Council on Foundations
Learning Engagement Manager​ | ​ Council on Foundations
Program Coordinator | TGR Foundation – A Tiger Woods Charity
Individual Giving Manager | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.


Community Calendar

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click here to view the community calendar.


Architecture is like a tree … it grows and matures and branches out. I am part of that tree, of that movement, not starting, or ending, or following anything.” I.M. Pei has died at 102.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back next week on Monday, Thursday and Friday!

– Buffy

Montgomery County sees significant increase in the number of uninsured children seeking health care

HEALTH | According to the Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services, for the first time there is a significant increase in the number of uninsured children seeking health care in the county. The increase may be linked to an increasing number of immigrant children released from detention centers earlier this year. (WAMU, 4/16)

While new immigrant children are seeking more health care services, the broader relationship between immigrants and social services in Montgomery County is more complicated … the fear of deportation is limiting the uptake of certain benefits and services. Even with the uptake in requests for services … “there is now clear evidence of families who are reluctant to access those services for fear that it will impact their applications for long-term status here in the country,” said County Council member Gabe Albornoz. According to the Pew Research Center, 425,000 unauthorized migrants lived in the Washington Metropolitan Area in 2016.

CENSUS 2020 | Last week, the United Philanthropy Forum joined a number of foundations and other philanthropy-serving organizations in signing an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court. The brief discussed the ways in which philanthropy relies on census data and made the case to uphold the lower courts’ rulings to set aside the citizenship question from the 2020 Census. (Forum, 4/4)

HOUSING/HOMELESSNESS
Despite Housing Crunch, Montgomery County Expected To Freeze New Development (WAMU, 4/16)

– The recently opened Downtown Day Services Center offers many services, including a clean shower and laundry, to those experiencing homelessness. (WaPo, 4/15)

EMANCIPATION DAY | As DC commemorated Emancipation Day yesterday, the DC Fiscal Policy Institute recognizes the District’s important position as the first place where enslaved Black people were freed by federal action, and highlights the long history of institutional policies that maintained racial inequities, with impacts that continue to this day. (DCFPI, 4/16)

ARTS/CULTURE | Cities across the country, including DC, are drafting documents to help protect their cultural resources from economic changes — but do they really help cities save their art and music scenes?  (CityLab, 4/10)

DISTRICT
Tragedy At Notre Dame Might Accelerate Fire Safety Work Underway At National Cathedral (dcist, 4/15)

– Capital Bikeshare is removing electric bikes from its fleet after receiving  complaints that the front wheels aren’t working well. (WaPo, 4/14)

PHILANTHROPY As We Wait for Attorney General Barr to Release the Mueller Report, What Foundations Should Do (Chronicle, 4/11 – Subscription)


City Paper has a Peeps diorama contest – vote for your favorite!

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Thursday!

– Buffy

Thousands of families in the District could be moved out of public housing for urgent repairs

HOUSING | Years of neglect in the District has led to a crisis in public housing and the DC Housing Authority has asked local government to step in and help the agency pay for repairs. In testimony before the DC Council last week, Housing Authority director Tyrone Garrett said thousands of families in the District could be moved out of public housing to allow for urgent repairs to be made. (WAMU, 4/12)

The agency said 2,610 of its “extremely urgent” units need attention before the end of this year and an additional 4,445 units of its approximately 8,000-unit portfolio are in “critical condition,” – which means the vast majority of DC’s public housing is in serious disrepair. Garrett said the Housing Authority would need $2.2 billion over the next 17 years to get all of DC’s public housing back in good shape — and $343 million is required in the next fiscal year just to address lead and environmental hazards in the city’s most unsafe units.

EDUCATION
– In honor of 15 years, PNC Financial Services Group has made an additional $150 million pledge to PNC Grow Up Great, its program to expand access to high-quality early learning for young children in 40 communities.

– They believe more students should attend neighborhood schools. But what happens when it’s their child? (WaPo, 4/13)

ARTS/CULTURE | In the New Haven, CT, neighborhood of Dixwell, a once-thriving historic African-American neighborhood, Titus Kaphar – last year’s WRAG Annual Meeting keynote speaker – found a home for himself, and he’s creating a center there to nurture emerging artists. (NYT, 4/12)

GUN VIOLENCE | What Are Maryland Schools Doing To Prevent Gun Violence? (Kojo Nnamdi Show, 4/15)

RACIAL JUSTICE 
– Nikki Highsmith Vernick, President and CEO of the Horizon Foundation, writes in a Letter to the Editor that philanthropists should tackle racial justice. (Baltimore Sun, 4/11)

– A new documentary, Segregated By Design, examines the forgotten history of how our federal, state and local governments unconstitutionally segregated every major metropolitan area in America through law and policy. The film is based on The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein (another past WRAG annual meeting speaker).

How Parole Perpetuates a Cycle of Incarceration and Instability (Truthout, 4/7)


Never give up – it’s all about the come back. Congrats, Tiger.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Thursday!

– Buffy

Lack of foster parents in DC puts vulnerable children at risk

CHILDREN/FAMILIES | There is a shortage of foster parents in DC, which child welfare advocates say is putting children at risk of harm. Some children have even had to sleep at the office of DC’s Child and Family Services Agency while they waited to be placed in a home. (WAMU, 4/8)

“We’ve seen cases where kids have been exposed to a lot of violence, have been physically hurt, but have remained in their homes … because there are not enough foster homes right now” … the shortage has been caused in part by increased housing costs, experienced foster parents retiring, and changing demographics in the city. A spokesperson for DC’s Child and Family Service Agency says they are looking to add 40 new beds in the foster care system over this fiscal year … and specifically have a shortage of parents for children with special needs and for older children.

Related: Last year, WRAG’s president Tamara Copeland, urged philanthropy to focus on the child welfare system, a topic that is often invisible to many in our region. (Daily, 9/2018)

ARTS & CULTURE
– DC’s first-ever cultural plan lays out a strategy for growth through investments, infrastructure and programming. The plan was developed by the DC Office of Planning, in consultation with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment – and includes input from over 1,500 artists, art consumers, and experts from the cultural sector. (WAMU, 4/4)

– The owner of Bethesda’s Union Hardware is promoting a plan to open a collective art studio in downtown Bethesda for up to 30 artists by this summer. (Bethesda Magazine, 4/3)

ECONOMIC INEQUALITY | America’s growing geographic divide derives from economic inequality, especially the tremendous gains of the one percent. (CityLab, 4/3)

EDUCATION
– DC’s Low-Income Neighborhood Schools Are Losing Money. Is The Budget Or Enrollment To Blame? (WAMU, 4/5)

– In Montgomery County, a $5.7 billion budget proposal is being questioned by those who want to see more money focused on education. (WaPo, 4/7)

MARYLAND | Mike Busch, the longest-serving state House speaker in Maryland history who helped shepherd laws that improved access to health care and legalized same-sex marriage, died on April 7 at age 72. (WaPo, 4/7)

VIRGINIA | As Amazon builds and staffs up HQ2, other tech companies who orbit them could follow. (WBJ, 4/4)

FOOD | Hungry, a new Arlington-based healthy food delivery service, has received star-powered support. (WAMU, 4/5)

PHILANTHROPY | The Road Ahead: Will Philanthropic Critique Change Philanthropic Practice? (NPQ, 4/4)


How would you improve the Metro map when it’s reprinted?

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Thursday and Friday!

– Buffy

Census Day is now just one year away

CENSUS
Census Day 2020 is one year from today. In an op-ed, Heather Peeler, President & CEO of ACT for Alexandria, explains why it is critical for the community to ensure everyone is counted in the 2020 Census. (Alexandria Times, 3/28)

Failure to count all Alexandrians is a threat to representational democracy and the values that are core to our country. An undercount means fewer dollars for schools, housing vouchers and many critical federal programs that our community members depend upon. The dollars add up quickly. On average each person counted represents about $2,000 in federal dollars per year for ten years. An undercount of even 1 to 2 percent means tens of millions of dollars in lost federal funding for our community.

– Over the next year, philanthropy, nonprofits, local government, business, and other community stakeholders are mobilizing around the 2020 Census. In a new blog post, Rebekah Seder, WRAG’s senior program manager, looks at why a fair and accurate census count is essential to an equitable future for our region. (Daily, 4/1)

Census 2020: For all to count, all must be counted (Black Press USA, 3/30)

For The First Time, US Census To Collect Responses In Arabic Among 13 Languages (NPR, 3/31)

House panel threatening subpoenas over census question (WaPo, 3/29)

HOUSING
– To address concerns about housing affordability in the DC suburbs, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam will ask state lawmakers this week to add $4 million to a housing trust fund. (WaPo, 4/1)

 – Now more than ever, DC must comply with fair housing rules (GGW, 3/28)

ARTS | Arts and culture are an economic power, contributing more than $800 billion a year to US economic output. (CityLab, 3/28)

RACIAL EQUITY
Dismantling racism and oppression
within school systems can be prioritized with mandatory worker training. (Truthout, 3/28)

– Opinion: Economic inclusion and criminal justice reform are intertwined — and why the business community should care. (CityLab, 3/28)

NONPROFITS | 4 Ways Nonprofits Can Tackle a Growing US Divide (Chronicle, 3/26)

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: Why Philanthropy Must Do More to Help Transgender People (Chronicle, 3/28)


Tips to get great cherry blossom pics with your phone!

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Thursday and Friday!

– Buffy

Charitable giving in Loudoun County lags behind the region’s giving

CHARITABLE GIVING | A new analysis by the Chronicle of Philanthropy found that Loudoun County’s giving rates have remained the same since 2014. Amy Owen, executive director of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, which recently launched the Faces of Loudoun campaign responded to the news with disappointment. WRAG worked on the Faces of Loudoun campaign with the foundation to bring awareness to challenges faced by low-income families in the county. (Loudoun Times, 2/1)

The first study, released in 2014, showed the median total gifts given to charity from Loudouners was $3,167, or 1.9 percent of their income. The 2017 study shows the figure remained at 1.9 percent, which equates to a median gift of $3,685.

Amy Owen, executive director of the Community Foundation, said she is disappointed by the findings.
“This is based on 2015 data, there is a two year time lapse to get the data out. We are very hopeful we are making an impact,” Owen said.

HOUSINGHUD May Push New Work Requirements for Public Housing Residents (CityLab, 2/2)

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | The Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility has announced its 2018 faculty. Staff include:

  • Timothy J. McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation;
  • Diane Melley, Vice President of Global Citizenship Initiatives at IBM
  • Catherine Foca, President of the Capital One Foundation
  • Kim Fortunato, President of the Campbell Soup Foundation
  • Katherine Neebe, Senior Director, ESG, Trust & Transparency at Walmart
  • Aman Singh, Head of Content Strategy at FUTERRA.

There’s still time to register through March 1st or until the class is full. Download an application here.

ARTS PHILANTHROPY | Janet Brown, former executive director of Grantmakers in the Arts, discusses why the organization made racial equity a priority and the future of arts funding. (Barry’s Blog, 1/29)

TRANSGENDER RIGHTS | On Consumer Health Foundation‘s blog, I wrote about the life expectancy of transgender women of color and how the District can support the health of this community. (CHF Blog, 2/5)

EDUCATION
– Fairfax County’s appeals process for students in advanced academic programs in public schools is facing criticism from parents and students. (WTOP, 2/3)

– Students at a Maryland high school created videos to show how they practice kindness at their school. Watch the videos here and here. (Gandhi Brigade Youth Media, 2/2)

TRANSIT | DC officials are looking into public transportation options that cater to seniors and night-shift workers. (WaPo, 2/3)

HOMELESSNESS | A proposed bill to prohibit panhandling in Montgomery County drew opposition from firefighters at a recent hearing. (Bethesda Beat, 2/2)


Watch these adorable kids impersonate journalists and talk about black excellence here.

– Kendra

How required occupational licensing is hurting workers

WORKFORCE
– Requiring workers to obtain licenses to work is seen as a way to create a standard of safety, but what happens when licenses becomes burdensome? A new Institute for Justice report, License to Work, analysed occupational licensing laws in the US and found that dropping some of the requirements would not create any harm. (Atlantic, 11/17)

Occupational-licensing obstacles are much more common than they once were. “In the 1950s, about one in 20 American workers needed an occupational license before they could work in the occupation of their choice,” the report states. “Today, that figure stands at about one in four.” These requirements are at their most reasonable when regulating occupations such as anesthesiologist or airline pilot, as in those instances, they can mostly affect a privileged class.

They are at their most pernicious when they are both needless and most burdensome to the middle class, the working class, and recent immigrants to a society.

– DC will extend its deadline for childcare workers to obtain a college degree, which is a new requirement. (WAMU, 11/17)

ARTS/ EDUCATION | A new art exhibit at the US Department of Education is displaying the work of youth with disabilities. (WaPo, 11/19)

HOMELESSNESS | Advocates in the District urge councilmembers not to make it more difficult for individuals and families to receive homeless services. (Bread for the City Blog, 11/16)

PUBLIC SAFETY | Prince William County’s police department will begin carrying Naloxone, which counter the effects of an opioid overdose. (InsideNOVA, 11/19)

NONPROFITS | Vu Le, executive director of Rainier Valley Corps and Nonprofit AF blogger, discusses the future of the nonprofit sector and how we can build infrastructure that supports organization leaders and their missions. (NAF, 11/13)


Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Read why today is important here.

– Kendra

Virginia goes to the polls tomorrow

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT | Virginia will vote for governor tomorrow. The three candidates – Ed Gillespie, Cliff Hyra and Ralph Northam – have different perspectives on the issues facing Virginians, but they agree on some things, such as raising teachers’ salaries and the reality of climate change. Here’s a guide to the candidates and issues. (WaPo, 11/5)

Virginians head to the polls Tuesday to choose a new governor in a neck-and-neck race that began as a genteel affair but devolved into an intense battle that mimics the country’s deep partisan divide.

The contest has drawn record spending for the three statewide contests — governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general — and much of it is coming from outside groups eager to claim victory in Virginia. In addition, all 100 House of Delegates seats are on the ballot.

ARTS / RACIAL EQUITY | Lara Davis, Grantmakers in the Arts conference blogger, recaps a Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy conference session where participants were asked how institutions could approach racial equity. (Grantmakers in the Arts Blog, 10/29)

ARTS & HUMANITIESDupont Underground welcomes world’s best photos in new international exhibition (WBJ, 11/3)

HOUSING | How a thriving black community was pushed out of its DC neighborhood almost 80 years ago. (WCP, 11/2)

IMMIGRATION‘We Want To Stay’: Haitian Immigrants In U.S. Fear End Of Temporary Protected Status (NPR, 11/5)

HOMELESSNESS
– France prohibits evictions from November 1 until March 31. Should the US follow suit? (Citylab, 11/2)

– D.C. Breaks Down Homeless Encampment in Foggy Bottom (WCP, 11/3)


Create a masterpiece with sand (double-click to make the sand flow faster).

– Kendra

A new guidebook for increasing housing affordability in the Greater Washington region

HOUSING AFFORDABILITY | The Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington (HLG) just released A Guidebook for Increasing Housing Affordability in the Greater Washington Region. It is a compilation of planning and policy tools that local governments, nonprofit and for-profit developers, and advocacy groups in the Greater Washington region are using—or could be using—to promote the production and preservation of housing that is affordable for all in the region. WRAG, along with Citi Community Development, Enterprise Community Partners, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, is a co-convener of the Housing Leaders Group.

Diana Meyer, community development state director at Citi, says, “This is a great resource for anyone interested in increasing housing affordability in our region and how to start to make it happen. It highlights the many local jurisdictions that are using these strategies already.”

ARTS/CRIMINAL JUSTICE | An art collector sold a $150 million painting to create a fund, in partnership with the Ford Foundation, to support criminal justice reform and reduce mass incarceration in the US. (NYT, 6/11)

MENTAL HEALTH
– DC area mental health providers weigh in on the barriers communities of color face when trying to access mental health services in the District. (CHF Blog, 6/7)

– Virginia’s top behavioral health official outlines looming mental health challenges (Richmond Times, 6/12)

BUSINESS | As a part of the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital (DCC) program, it has granted Latino Economic Development Center $300,000 to support small business owners in DC and Baltimore. (Wells Fargo, 6/13)

WORKFORCE | Two local nonprofits focused on providing job opportunities for people with disabilities are merging. (WBJ, 6/12)

DIVERSITY | Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers and CEOs from other companies have committed to bringing diversity and inclusion to their workplaces. (NYT, 6/12)

EDUCATION | To reduce academic failure due to suspensions, a new Virginia law encourages the state board of education to establish alternative actions to misbehavior. (InsideNOVA, 6/13)

IMMIGRATION | In this Northern Virginia community, the police force cooperates with ICE. (WAMU, 6/12)

ENVIRONMENT | The Justice Department no longer wants funds won in settlements with companies to be given to nonprofit organizations. (NYT, 6/9)


Congrats to the Golden State Warriors! (I guess)

– Kendra

District’s death with dignity bill is officially law

HEALTH | DC Council passed the Death with Dignity Act, legislation allowing physicians to prescribe medical aid in dying, last November. A few weeks ago, members of the House and Senate, mainly the House committee that oversees the District, pledged to overturn it. In the end, the bill passed because Congress ran out of time to defeat the bill. (DCist, 2/17)

While a disapproval resolution for Death with Dignity passed the House Oversight Committee on Monday, it never made it to a vote on the House floor (where Norton doesn’t have a vote) or to mark-up in a Senate committee. Thirty legislative days passed on Friday, though Norton acknowledged that “House and Senate parliamentarians are the arbiters” of when the deadline lapses. Even so, [Congressman] Chaffetz has admitted defeat for now.

– Governor Terry McAuliffe urges Virginia legislators to include funding for mental health screenings in jails and to hire investigators to examine suspicious jail deaths in the budget. (WTOP, 2/20)

RACIAL EQUITY | After a year of learning about racism and racial equity, local funders are ready to move toward action, with the launch of the Racial Equity Working Group at WRAG. We report back on the discussion and the three major areas that the working group will focus on moving forward. (Daily, 2/21)

EDUCATION
– Maryland lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit schools from suspending pre-K to second grade students. (WTOP, 2/20)

– DC’s first all male high school gives a progress report on its first year. (WaPo, 2/19)

IMMIGRATIONImmigrants are a huge part of DC’s workforce (GGW, 2/17)

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT | Ward 7 Economic Development Advisory Council formed to figure out how to bring more development to DC’s ward 7 community. (WBJ, 2/17)

ARTS / GENDER | Female Musicians and Artists of Color Are in the Spotlight at Represented DC (WCP, 2/17)


Some quacky sculptures for your Tuesday afternoon.

-Kendra