Tag: arts and humanities

Virginia anxiously awaits for a decision on CHIP as another deadline approaches

CHILDREN / HEALTH CARE | Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program ran out on September 30. Hoping that Congress will approve funding on December 8, the Department of Medical Assistance Services, which uses CHIP funds to run Virginia’s program, has yet to notify families that their children will lose coverage after January 31. (Richmond Times, 12/3)

“We don’t want to send a letter Dec. 1 and then Congress act by Dec. 8,” said Linda Nablo, deputy director of DMAS, which runs Medicaid in Virginia. “At this point, it’s going to be a week-by-week, day-by-day judgment call, still knowing we need to give families a lot of notice because we are still saying we can’t cover any services after Jan. 31.”

But Nablo also wants to avoid unnecessarily scaring or confusing families. If a letter goes out too late, it could arrive around the holidays and be lost or ignored. If it goes out too soon and Congress does act within the next few weeks, families may get the first letter saying the program is ending, but not the second saying it is continuing.

TAX REFORM | House and Senate Now Seek to Reconcile Tax Plan Many Charities Oppose (Chronicle, 12/2 – Subscription needed)

ARTS & HUMANITIES | High school students in Bethesda, MD are creating a temporary museum to display artwork that depicts aspects of their lives that are often misunderstood. (WaPo, 12/3)

EDUCATION | The District is investing in education for adults without high school diplomas and disconnected youth. (AFRO, 11/30)

FOOD INSECURITYD.C. Food Stamp Recipients Say New Computer System Left Them Without Benefits (WAMU, 11/30)

ECONOMIC INEQUALITY | Moving federal agencies outside of DC and into economically distressed cities would address the US’s growing inequality. (Citylab, 11/30)

– Metro has hired a consultant to analyze the impact of ride-hailing services on its declining ridership. (WaPo, 12/3)

– National Park Service Approves More than $200 Million for Memorial Bridge Repairs (ARLnow, 12/1)

The Daily will be back on Wednesday!

Check out this artist who paints with Microsoft Excel.

– Kendra

How pollution is killing the communities living closest to industrial facilities

ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM | A new report from the NAACP and the Clean Air Task Force found that black people are 75% more likely to live in communities near industrial facilities, which puts them at higher risk for diseases such as asthma and cancer. (Citylab, 11/15)

According to Fumes Across the Fence-Line, a report from the NAACP and the Clean Air Task Force—an advocacy group dedicated to reducing air pollution—black people are 75 percent more likely to live in so-called “fence-line” communities that are next to industrial facilities. These facilities release a toxic stew of pollutants—including formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer, and benzene, which has been linked to brain damage, birth defects, and cancer. Using the data on how many Americans are affected by toxic air pollution that CATF compiled for their Fossil Fumes and Gasping for Breath reports, the new study focuses on the specific impact of pollutants in the air on black Americans.

Most fence-line community residents are low-income and predominantly of color. The study reports that more than 1 million black people live within just half a mile of an oil or gas facility and face serious health risks such as cancer, asthma, and other respiratory diseases as well.

PHILANTHROPY | Jeanné Isler, vice president and chief engagement officer of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, lists the ways funders can truly support their grantee partners. (NCRP, 11/15)

FOOD INSECURITY | Some District officials are expressing concern over a proposed bill to offer free lunch to students in the city’s public, public charter and some private schools. (WTOP, 11/17)

WORKFORCE | The Durfee Foundation has released a report analyzing 20 years of its sabbatical program. The evaluation found that taking a sabbatical has many benefits, including shifting a nonprofit leader’s perspective from daily management to distributed leadership and generative thinking and activity. (Durfee Foundation, 9/17)

Related: Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, wrote about the value of sabbaticals for nonprofit leaders earlier this year.

TRANSPORTATION | A University of Maryland researcher will study whether the Purple Line will make Prince George’s County residents healthier. (WaPo, 11/16)

ARTS & HUMANITIESWhat’s Inside D.C.’s New Museum Of The Bible — And What Isn’t (WAMU, 11/15)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Receptionist (part-time) | Greater Washington Community Foundation – New!
Director of Development | Open Society Institute – Baltimore – New!
President & CEO | ACT for Alexandria – a community foundation – New!
Program Manager | Washington Area Women’s Foundation
Assistant Director of Digital Marketing & Communications | The Children’s Inn at NIH
Program Director, Washington, DC Community | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Program Director, Virginia Community | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Senior Director, Strategy and Racial Equity | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Vice President, Program and Community | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Communications Coordinator | Calvary Women’s Services
Controller | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health
Sr. Manager, Corporate Relations | Exelon
Program Coordinator | Exponent Philanthropy
Content Manager | Exponent Philanthropy
Communications Manager | United Philanthropy Forum

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 the image below to access the calendar.

Here’s some food art for your Friday afternoon.

– Kendra

Implementation of the District’s paid family leave act may be delayed

– While the DC Council is debating how to pay for the paid family leave act, one District official worries that the council has not put enough funds aside to begin to implement the program, which includes building its infrastructure and hiring employees. (WAMU, 10/10)

The District’s paid family leave law isn’t expected to take effect until mid-2020. But a slate of proposed changes the D.C. Council is considering and the realities of building a city-run program from scratch means delays and higher costs may come to pass.

That was the message City Administrator Rashad Young conveyed to legislators during a day-long hearing on Tuesday on the paid-leave bill that was passed by the Council late last year and became law earlier this year.

– Women of Color Have High Ambition, But Little Help In The Corporate World (WSJ, 10/10)

CENSUS | On Thursday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will ask Congress for more funding for the 2020 Census. (WaPo, 10/10)

NONPROFITS | The Center for Nonprofit Advancement has named its 2017 Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman Excellence in Chief Executive Leadership (EXCEL) Award winners. Congrats to the honorees!

HOUSINGThe federal government spends more than twice as much subsidizing homeowners as it does helping people avoid homelessness (WaPo, 10/11)

HEALTH | A recent Virginia Commonwealth University report exploring the health of 39 states found that a person’s socioeconomic status overwhelmingly impacts their health. (Citylab, 10/9)

ARTS & HUMANITIES | How philanthropy can invest in making arts funding truly inclusive for disabilty arts and disabled artists. (PND Blog, 10/9)

Can you recognize the different languages from these short clips?

– Kendra

A year later, seeking a solution to growing homelessness in the District

A year after the disappearance of Relisha Rudd from the shelter at the former D.C. General Hospital uncovered a number of problems at the facility, the city is finding that the continuing growth of homeless families in the area has no simple solution. (WaPo, 3/8)

More recently, city officials have said some changes have been made at D.C. General, such as additional case managers, extra police patrols, a new playground and improved building maintenance.

In addition, some are concerned that the city is creating a new D.C. General as it deals with a surge in homelessness this winter by sheltering several hundred families at hotels on a run-down strip of New York Avenue in Northeast Washington with little support or oversight. Another Relisha [Rudd], they say, could easily fall through the cracks.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | David Bowers of Enterprise Community Partners spoke on the WPFW’s Business Matters show this morning on the housing affordability crisis affecting the city. You can listen to the audio from the interview here. (WPFW, 3/9 [at the 4:30 minute mark])

ARTS & HUMANITIES | Although construction is behind schedule, supporters remain optimistic about the forthcoming National Museum of African American History and Culture that will be the Smithsonian Institution’s 19th museum. (WaPo, 3/6)

Related: In 2013, Dr. Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, spoke to our community about the enduring relevance of history to social change efforts today. (Daily, October, 2013)

Related: WRAG president Tamara Copeland also recently touched on the importance of understanding black history to move toward social justice in today’s society. (Daily, 2/2)

PHILANTHROPY | In a newly-released report on the compensation and demographics of foundation staff, the Council on Foundations found that salary increases for program officers and chief executives slightly outpaced inflation since the recession. The study also found that, with more than 40 percent of foundation employees over the age of 50, significant changes in leadership may soon be on the horizon. (Chronicle, 3/5)

TRANSIT | Transportation chief asks if troubled District streetcar system can be saved (WaPo, 3/8)

– Montgomery County leads the country’s large urban school districts in graduation rates for black male students. According to reports, in 2012 three out of every four black male students in the district had earned a high school diploma. (Gazette, 3/4)

– A new report finds that more than half of the District’s high school students were considered chronically truant during the 2013-2014 academic year. A student must accumulate 10 or more unexcused absences in order to be found chronically truant. (WaPo, 3/9)

Opinion: Don’t trust complaints that schools are too rigorous for low-income students (WaPo, 3/8)

DISTRICT | D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser discusses her plans and goals for expanding and supporting the District’s middle-class residents amid a rising wealth gap. (WBJ, 3/5)

WORKFORCE | What 27 Weeks of Unemployment Does to the American Worker (Atlantic, 3/6)

Hopefully, the brutal winter weather is long gone….but, while it’s still fresh in our memories, this must be addressed! Where do you stand?

– Ciara

A renewed focus on the arts and humanities

By Rebekah Seder, Program Manager

At WRAG, we keep finding ourselves discussing how the problems and the assets of the Greater Washington region are often overshadowed by the fact that we’re the home of the federal government.

It’s a blessing and a curse. As the nation’s capital, D.C. and the surrounding area are often seen as synonymous with the Capitol, and our unique character is invisible. When it comes to arts and culture, we are fortunate to be the home of world-class cultural institutions like the Smithsonian, the National Gallery of Art, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, but smaller arts organizations that do amazing work are often left scrambling for funding. As we wrote in last year’s edition of “Our Region, Our Giving,” our local industry – the federal government – doesn’t generate the kind of major wealth that leads to homegrown philanthropic giants like those in other major cities. And while institutions like the Smithsonian attract (deservedly) massive levels of philanthropic support from both inside and outside our region, there’s considerably less philanthropic investment in locally focused organizations.

Late last month, arts and humanities funders convened to re-launch the Arts & Humanities Working Group (perhaps best remembered to date as the group that initiated the process of bringing the Cultural Data Project to D.C. back in 2011). This group of funders is committed to raising the profile of the arts and humanities in our region and making sure that the broad range of arts nonprofits that serve local audiences aren’t forgotten by other funders.

The working group is diverse, representing private foundations and public arts funding agencies, community, family, and corporate foundations. The group’s express goal is to strengthen the local arts and humanities sector in our region and to increase public and private philanthropic investment in the sector. The Arts & Humanities Working Group aims to help other funders understand that the arts, in addition to their inherent artistic value, are important tools for improving the quality of life in our region by promoting economic growth and community development, and serving as vehicles for education, youth development, and social justice.

The arts are part of what makes the Greater Washington region a great place to live – and, by celebrating, nurturing, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of our creative sector, the region will just keep getting better.

Funders interested in the Arts and Humanities Working Group should contact Rebekah Seder at seder@washingtongrantmakers.org.