2018 GIA Conference
Race, Space, and Place
Oakland, CA  |  October 21–24

Investing in Capitalization and Adaptive Capacity

Lessons learned

Tuesday, October 23, 2:00pm – 4:30pm

Salon 2/3

Organized by San San Wong, director of Arts & Creativity, Barr Foundation; and Laura Sherman, director, Greater Boston, Grantmaking, The Klarman Family Foundation.

Moderated by San San Wong, director of Arts & Creativity, Barr Foundation. Presented by Laura Sherman, director, Greater Boston, Grantmaking, The Klarman Family Foundation; Susan Nelson, executive vice president, TDC; Maure Aronson, executive director, World Music/CRASHarts; and Andrea Howard, chief executive officer, West End House.

Over the past decade, arts funders and their grantee partners have engaged in a national conversation around capitalization. Applying their learnings, Barr Foundation and The Klarman Family Foundation collaborated on a five-year (2012-2017), $22M Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Building Initiative to further Boston-area artistic vitality by investing in 30 mid-sized and youth arts mastery organizations representing a diverse range of budget sizes ($260K to $35M), disciplines, and business models. The initiative’s learning agenda focused on understanding the role of effective capitalization. At the initiative’s conclusion, the cohort-wide financial evaluation offers valuable lessons for peer funders about how targeted training and technical assistance around capitalization, coupled with general operating support, can 1) build the adaptive and risk-taking capacity of grantee partners, and 2) incentivize behavior change around financial health. Both foundations will speak to their partnership on leading investments in capitalization during this time period, as well as to lessons learned that have informed the design of a new Massachusetts-wide initiative that the funders are launching together in fall 2018. Partner-consultant, TDC, will present the financial evaluation’s principle capitalization findings, and two grantees – World Music/CRASHarts and West End House Boys and Girls Club – will discuss their experiences in the initiative and the importance of board buy-in for developing a capitalization strategy.