The Gifford Newsletter

Winter 2021  |  The Transformation of Arts Organizations

Sheena Solomon is the Executive Director of The Gifford Foundation.

Broadening Perspectives:
The Power That The Arts Hold

This is the power of the arts. Whether it deals with something happy or sad, it makes us feel the information in a way that we normally couldn’t. It expands our understanding and our empathy, and is the starting point for many powerful and necessary conversations. As Executive Director of The Gifford Foundation, I often have to make difficult decisions about where we put our resources. During a pandemic…

Why The Pandemic Could Create Bigger Audiences

Theaters, galleries, museums, and performance halls of all types have been among the most drastically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Relying on live and often crowded events to engage with the public, most arts venues across CNY and the world have had to shut their doors since March of 2020. The drive to stay afloat has pushed many to redesign their operations…

Using Art to Teach Capacity Building

Abby Wilkymacky comes from an industrial design background and is the Founder of Mindflower Studio – a consulting company based in Phoenix, Arizona. Kim Larkin also comes from an arts background with an M.A. in Arts Management. Her consulting company, MXDArts, is also based in Phoenix. The two work together frequently and boast an impressive client history that includes Fortune 100 and 500 companies. Driving their collaboration is a shared belief that many businesses and nonprofits alike are held back by an overly sterile and robotic planning structure.

Photo Credit: The Everson

Re-imagining Arts Access at the Everson

Accessibility has become a top priority for arts organizations, and it takes many forms. While some efforts are focused directly on surviving the coronavirus pandemic, others are designed to break down the barriers that have historically kept communities of color from participating in these institutions. The leadership at the Everson Museum of Art is working to connect these initiatives towards a common goal of building connections with larger and more diverse audiences.

Introducing Our Newest Team Member

It has been widely and correctly observed that the internet has become the new “town square”. Breaking news, social dialogue, commerce, the arts, political activism, and even classroom education has all gone digital, a process that has been accelerated by the coronavirus. Moreover, this shift has meant that organizations and businesses alike have to incorporate digital media into their daily operations. With this in mind, The Gifford Foundation decided at the end of last year to bring on a full time team member to concentrate primarily on communications. I am extremely excited to take on that role as their…

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