Blog Archives

The Heard Museum gets a makeover

[Source: Phoenix Business Journal]

Photo credit: Daniel Greene on Flickr

The Heard Museum is undergoing renovations and is using a recent Piper grant to help pay for the work.

The $300,000 project will include a coffee bar, shop and bookstore with a $150,000 from the Virginia G. Piper Trust helping to finance the renovation, said Heard spokeswoman Deb Krol.

The project will relocate and expand the museum’s bookstore and create a coffee bar and cantina, which will offer up drinks and food in a casual atmosphere. The Heard Museum Cafe will continue its operations as a full-service sit-down venue.

As part of the project, space will be created for live artist demonstrations, while the store will be able to feature more works from Native American artists.

The project is expected to be complete by the end of the year with the new area to open in 2011.

In addition to this project, the Heard’s auditorium is getting a head-to-toe renovation that will includes audio visual upgrades. A confidential financial gift from the late Marjorie Blum is financing that work, said Krol.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Piper, Flinn foundations allocate funds to metro Phoenix arts groups

[Source: Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust & Flinn Foundation] — A total of $1.25 million will go into a one-time arts and culture initiative resulting from redirecting remaining grant funds from the wind-down of Metro Phoenix Partnership for Arts and Culture (MPAC).   The Flinn Foundation and Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, MPAC’s two major funders, have designated the outstanding funds for the Flinn-Piper Strengthening the Arts Initiative.  The initiative has two parts:

  • The Flinn Emergency Fund for Arts Organizations comprising $500,000 in unrestricted grants to 21 arts and culture organizations.
  • The Piper Arts Restructuring and Transformation Fund (ART Fund) of up to $750,000 to implement new nonprofit structures, processes and collaborative ventures to increase revenue and reduce costs.  Piper Trust previously made one-time unrestricted grants to 39 arts and culture organizations.

The Flinn fund will make grants to Maricopa County arts and culture organizations that had received funding historically from the Flinn Foundation. Grant amounts are based on the annual operating budgets of the 21 arts and culture nonprofits.  Flinn does not provide general operating support as a rule but has made an exception given the urgent needs of arts and culture organizations, according to Jack Jewett, president and CEO, Flinn Foundation.  “The arts and culture institutions that play such an important role in our community continue to face severe challenges in the midst of the ‘Great Recession,'” said Jewett.  “We hope these modest grants will provide at least temporary relief in meeting immediate operating needs.”

Piper Trust will use the ART Fund to award two-year grants of $50,000 to $150,000. Successful projects will investigate and implement new business methods that change the organization’s business model and approach to mission to promote long-term financial stability.  The grants are not intended for short-term, cash-flow needs or current core operating costs.  “The daunting new arts and culture world of changing demographics and persistent economic insecurity requires arts and culture organizations to examine new ways to do business,” said Judy Jolley Mohraz, Piper Trust president and CEO.  Organizations eligible for the program are Piper Trust arts and culture grantees with annual operating budgets over $250,000.  The Trust will send application information directly to the 36 eligible Maricopa County organizations.  Piper Trust hopes to award the ART Fund grants by mid-August.

The Flinn Foundation and Piper Trust also have agreed to co-sponsor a four-day April 2011 Arizona Town Hall about the impact of arts and culture on Arizona’s economy.  A survey of Town Hall members revealed the need to address the creation of a vibrant statewide economy incorporating arts and culture.  Each organization will make a grant of $25,000 for the program.  [Note: Read the full press release at Piper, Flinn foundations allocate funds to metro Phoenix arts groups.]

MPAC board votes to ‘wind down’ organization in flagging economy

[Source: MPAC, Flinn Foundation, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust] — Confronted with difficult economic times, for itself and the arts and culture organizations it was formed to support, the Metro Phoenix Partnership for Arts and Culture (MPAC) board of directors has voted to cease the nonprofit organization’s staffing and programmatic operations.  MPAC will support the plan of its major funders to use remaining grants funds to directly assist arts and culture organizations.

For five years, MPAC has led the state in understanding the vital connection between the creative community and economic development.  Formed in 2004 by grants from the Flinn Foundation and Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, MPAC has worked to promote a vibrant creative community in Maricopa County and harness arts and culture as an economic driver.  The foundations supported the nonprofit organization with the goal of it achieving self-sufficiency by the conclusion of the grants, scheduled for early 2011.

The recession challenged MPAC’s economic viability and fundraising efforts, as it has done to arts and culture organizations across the nation.  It ultimately thwarted plans to place a revenue-generating initiative for arts and culture on the statewide ballot—a strategy that has been successful in other major metropolitan areas during better economic times.  “Rather than continue to consume valuable grant monies, the board made the decision to wind down the organization and support the foundations’ plans to use the remaining grant funds to support arts and culture organizations directly,” said Sandra Werthman, who chairs the MPAC board of directors.

“MPAC has made substantial progress in setting the framework for arts and culture to thrive from an economic perspective in the Phoenix area,” said Myra Millinger, MPAC president and CEO.  “We just could not ignore the fiscal realities that jeopardize MPAC’s long-term existence.”

The Flinn Foundation and Piper Trust have agreed to work together in fashioning a one-time arts and culture initiative with the remaining grant funds.  Plans will be announced once program details are decided in upcoming weeks. [Note: Read the full press release at MPAC board votes to ‘wind down’ organization in flagging economy.]

Grand opening set for Phoenix Steele Indian School Park’s restored Memorial Hall

Memorial Hall built in 1922 as it is todayThe city of Phoenix will celebrate the grand opening of the newly restored Memorial Hall at Steele Indian School Park on Oct. 29 at 6:30 p.m.  Memorial Hall is one of three buildings remaining at the park from the Phoenix Indian School, a federally run school for Native Americans that previously occupied the site of the park.  The grand opening celebration will open with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 6 p.m., followed by self-guided tours from 6:45 to 7:15 and performances by the Phoenix Boys Choir, Phoenix Chorale, and other local musicians at 7:30 that will showcase the hall’s acoustics.  All events are free and open to the public.

After its opening, Memorial Hall will be available for rent as a space for musical performances, special arts presentations, and community meetings.  Originally designed as a musical performance space, the Hall is uniquely suited for choral and musical presentations.  Detailed facility and rental information is available online on the Arts, Culture, and History page of the Parks and Recreation Department website.  The Hall’s renovation recently earned the Valley Forward Crescordia Award for Historic Preservation for 2008.

Memorial Hall, a two-story Mission Revival style building, was constructed in 1922.  The school used it for general assemblies, graduation ceremonies, and theatrical activities.  In the 1930s, students began carving their names in the red brick outside the main entrance, a tradition that students continued over the ensuing decades.  Because the buildings red brick exterior was preserved, those carved names are still visible.  To this day, former students of the school return to the site to find the names they carved decades earlier.

During rehabilitation, the original building fabric was restored to preserve as much of the structure as possible and reduce the need for new materials and increased landfill waste. The original maple floor was refinished and reinstalled, most of the windows were rehabilitated rather than replaced, saving the original wood that was used to make them in 1922, and the standards for the chairs on the balcony level were all reused in the restoration of the seating.  Although many of the tin ceiling panels had been damaged when heating and air conditioning duct work was put in place after the 1940s, many of the stunning ceiling tiles were salvaged in the restoration.  Great care was taken in planning the new heating, cooling, and ventilation system for the building.  A central plant was installed, ductwork was concealed under the crawlspace and in the attic to minimize detrimental effects to the historic character, and insulation was added under the floor and in the attic to improve energy efficiency.  New electrical and plumbing systems were designed with energy efficient lighting, low flow fixtures, and state of the art control systems to reduce long term energy consumption.  The restoration cost just under $5 million, 75% of which came from 2001 and 2006 bonds. The remaining funding came from grants from the National Park Service and the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.