Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh
Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh (Advancing Black Arts) is a joint grantmaking program created and managed through a partnership between The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments. The program is committed to helping create a vibrant cultural life in Pittsburgh and the region. Advancing Black Arts’ grantees are artists, programs and organizations that advance the art of Africa and the African Diaspora. Created over 30 years ago, this grantmaking program was intentionally designed to enhance the support made available to black artists and arts organizations that have historically been under-resourced and have far less working capital than their counterparts working in western, European-based art forms.
In its latest iteration, Advancing Black Arts prioritizes a transformation that is not limited to the grantees selected for funding. It acknowledges that all stakeholders (i.e., grantees, program staff, local/national arts community) engaged in the work become agents to change the paradigm that exists in traditional grantmaking. As such, the grantmaking program offerings extend beyond financial grants. The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments hired MCE to: (1) identify and track the most applicable performance measures for the program, (2) document if and how the Advancing Black Arts program is meeting its intended and expanded goals; and (3) identify how and why this program is needed and the impact it’s had on all program related stakeholders.
The International Association of Blacks in Dance
The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) preserves and promotes dance by people of African ancestry or origin, and assists and increases opportunities for artists in advocacy, audience development, education, funding, networking, performance, philosophical dialogue, and touring.
MCE provided data analysis, data visualization and writing support toward the development of The Black Report: The State of the Union for Blacks in Dance. This report is a call to action meant to highlight the experiences and challenges of a representative sample of black dance companies in the United States and advocate for increased funding and capacity support for black dance companies in the United States.
MCE has also advised IABD on the strategy and program design for their Next Generation Leadership Program (NGL), funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Organization. NGL is a leadership development program designed to 1) identify and cultivate the next generation of Black Dance leaders, and 2) support IABD’s desire to create a road map for building and operating a healthier, more sustainable organization.
For over 20 years, the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation (RMHF) has prioritized and invested in efforts that strengthen health outcomes for people in the Richmond, Virginia region. The Health Equity and Arts (HEArts) Program was RMHF’s first attempt to invest in the arts and explore the role that the arts could play in achieving health equity in the Richmond, VA region. Through HEArts, RMHF funded artists to create works that would amplify the voices and experiences of the residents of greater Richmond. MCE was hired by RMHF to conduct an assessment of the HEArts Program’s inaugural year. MCE launched a four phase assessment process-that incorporated a mixed methods research design-to document (1) if and how the HEArts program met RMHF’s goals, (2) what worked well with HEArts’ implementation, (3) opportunities for improvement for the next iteration of the HEArts program, and (4) ideal ways to build connections that integrate artists into RMHF’s overall efforts in the Richmond, VA region.
National Arts Strategies (NAS) develops market-leading education services for individuals who play a variety of roles in the arts and culture ecosystem: artists, cultural entrepreneurs, board members, staff members and executives. MCE is part of the faculty (which includes professors from leading business and graduate schools) for three NAS programs that serve arts and culture leaders across the country. In this role, MCE designs and refines the program content and learning experiences, delivers program content and ensures the mastery of content delivered across all mediums. Program content is delivered online and through in-person convenings.