What the NEA means to us ... 07.24.09
I'd like to start by saying, simply, I <3 the National Endowment for the Arts. I've worked at three different arts organizations in the last 10 years (The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Mid-America Arts Alliance, and now SPACES) and all are regular recipients of NEA funding. For example, the SPACES World Artist Program (SWAP) has received NEA funding for the last six years.
Reason enough to love the NEA, right? They support fabulous art institutions that bring quality art to communities of all sizes across the United States.
But, as with all relationships, it's a little more complicated than that.
Rewind almost three years ...
I was working from my home office in Cleveland for Mid-America Arts Alliance, which is located in Kansas City, Missouri. As a fairly recent transplant to Ohio, I wanted to get to know the area, so I volunteered at the Cleveland Artists Foundation. The nice gallery manager there, Nicole Edwards, told me that there was a development manager position open at SPACES. Shortly after that, she started working for SPACES in a communications role, and I was hired for the development position.
We share an office, the same middle name (Louise) and the same taste in music. She's a really, really wonderful person to work with.
But we almost didn't live happily ever after ...
Things are tight, folks. We are a nonprofit, and I'd be kidding you, me, and a whole bunch of other people if I said that we aren't thinking a lot about where the next dollar is coming from. Fortunately, the National Endowment for the Arts used funds allocated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for job preservation. More precisely: to support the preservation of jobs that are threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn.
We applied and received funds to preserve the communications manager position. That means Nicole -- without whom I wouldn't have this job -- can count on keeping her job.
I love the NEA ...
~ Posted by Sarah Hoyt, Sr. Marketing & Development Manager