Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Novel Coronavirus and the Arts

It's clear that COVID-19 has (temporarily, we hope) devastated whole swaths of the economy. Gyms are closed, airline passengers are down by 95%, movie theaters are sitting empty.

And the pandemic has been devastating to the arts world, a world that quite frequently relies on public performance both to raise revenue and to encourage donors. The novel coronavirus has devastated the jazz world (which is my love), killing jazz legends and shutting down performance spaces.

And then there's dance, an art form perhaps less-well-known and less appreciated than jazz. In Illinois alone, dance companies expect to lose $4.5 million in revenue through April 30, and more if (as is likely) the shutdown lasts longer. Hubbard Street Dance Company, for instance, ended up cancelling the last week of its Decadence tour in Italy in February and then, hours before it opened the performance in Chicago, Gov. Pritzker ordered closed gatherings of more than 1,000 people, closing the performance before it opened.

So how do arts organizations survive? Fortunately, the federal government has provided some help, including the Paycheck Protection Program and $75 million to be distributed by the National Endowment for the Arts.

State and local governments have been stepping up too. Chicago and Illinois have joined together with the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund, which provides grants to artists and arts organizations. The Fund is funded by the city, the state, and private philanthropy (of both the wealthy and the ordinary person type).

Still, the ability of arts organizations to weather this storm, while backstopped by state and philanthropic money, is, at best, tenuous. Once we get past the current crisis, arts organizations may need to rethink their funding models.

In the meantime, while I'm familiar with the steps Chicago and Illinois are taking to protect nonprofit arts organizations, I am less aware of what other cities and states are doing. Does anybody have examples of COVID-19-related support that their city or state is undertaking to protect and shore up the arts?

Samuel D. Brunson

April 22, 2020 in Current Affairs, Federal – Executive, Federal – Legislative, Music, State – Executive | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 3, 2019

Soccer, Rock Climbing, and Jazz, Oh My!

I'm excited to be here! (Thanks to the Nonprofit Law Prof Blog folks for inviting me!)

Because I wasn't told any differently, I thought I'd take today to briefly introduce myself. I'll get to more substantive blogging tomorrow.

ClimbingI've been teaching at Loyola University Chicago for a decade now. In addition to here, I do some tax blogging at the Surly Subgroup and some religious/Mormon/tax blogging at By Common Consent. I'm broadly interest in tax and nonprofit issues, and am really interested in questions of the taxation of religious stuff.

My outside-of-work time largely consists of two things: shuttling kids to (and sometimes participating in) an insane number of extracurricular activities and listening to jazz. (I'd like it to involve a little more saxophone playing, but you do what you can.) And both of these things implicate tax-exempt organizations and nonprofits, and may provide me with future blogging fodder.

For instance: today after work, I'll take a bus to pick my daughter up from school. Then we'll take the train to First Ascent. I'll climb and work out while she (and my other daughter) practice with their climbing teams. (Side note: did you know that competitive rock climbing was a thing? Me either, until my kids started doing it. But it'll be in the 2020 Olympics.) Competitive rock climbing is governed by USA Climbing, a 501(c)(3) organization.

I also coach my son's soccer team, through AYSO. (My sister is still incredulous, probably rightfully, since I quit soccer when I was 8. Still, I know more than my son and his cohort, and by coaching, I get to choose when we hold practice, which is kind of critical given my family's schedule.) Like USA Climbing, AYSO is a 501(c)(3) exempt organization.

It makes sense, of course: section 501(c)(3) explicitly allows an exemption for organizations that "foster national or international amateur sports competition." I'll admit, though, that I haven't yet carefully thought through this exemption. When I've thought about it, the two organizations that first come to mind are the NCAA and the US Olympic Committee. My suspicion is that both of these organizations are substantially different, though, from USA Climbing and AYSO. I'll be interested in casually exploring the amateur athletics exemption in future posts.

On the jazz front, I've recently become aware of Giant Step Arts, a nonprofit focused on presenting and recording live jazz. I know basically nothing about Giant Step Arts, though several of the projects it has recorded have made for great listening. I plan on looking at it, its mission, and its tax-exempt status (I think, assuming the linked organization is the same as the jazz nonprofit).

Until those posts, though, thanks for having me, and I look forward to my time on this blog!

Samuel D. Brunson

June 3, 2019 in Music, Other, Sports | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, June 28, 2010

China Philanthropy Update

·      New philanthropy research institute created.  Wang Zhenyao, the head of China’s first philanthropic research institute, is calling on all Chinese billionaires to donate a million yuan a year to charity.  Wang says multimillionaires should give a hundred thousand yuan annually.  For the past two decades, Wang worked in the Ministry of Civil Affairs.  He is famous in China for his efforts to help victims during the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake.  He has also promoted care for orphans and asked the government for more money for the elderly.  But Wang wants more than government support for China’s poor.  He wants professional, sustainable, private philanthropy to grow.  Now he has left the ministry to head the new Beijing Normal University One Foundation Philanthropy Research Institute full-time.  While Wang has long been a firm believer in the importance of charity, one of his subordinates says that makes him “a rather lonely person” in official circles, according to a 21st Century Business Herald article.  Charity is an emerging field in China, a sign of economic growth and a response to rising inequality.  Traditionally, financial assistance came either from the state or from extended family networks.  The Chinese government has long spoken of “serving the people” and “serving society.” However, China lags behind Western countries in private donations.  The Chinese Civil Affairs Development Report shows that the Ministry received 6.86 billion yuan (just above $1 billion) in donations in 2009, reports a recent China News article.

 

· The China Charity Donation Information Center in partnership with Shanghai NPO Development Center completed its report on Diaspora Giving to China 2008-2009 as part of APPC’s Diaspora Philanthropy Grants.  The grants provided seed money for specific research activities that lead to making operational databases that will map out the dynamic relationships being cultivated from the giving end to the receiving end.  These grants were awarded to organizations in China, Pakistan, the Philippines and Bangladesh in July 2009 to conduct various database studies on Diaspora giving to home communities, as follow up work to APPC’s 2008 regional conference “Diaspora Giving: An Agent of Change in Asia Pacific Communities?”

Highlights of China Report on Diaspora Giving

· Between 1 January 2008 and 30 June 2009, 24 provinces and municipalities in Mainland China received Diaspora giving valued at RMB 6.7 million from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas Chinese around the world.

· Sichuan province received the most donations due to the Earthquake and snow disaster in early 2008, receiving 37% of the total Diaspora giving to China.

· Second biggest receiver was Beijing, receiving 19.6% of diaspora monies. The city of Beijing houses majority of national charity organization headquarters, such as the China Red Cross Society and China Charity Federation.

· Individuals compose the largest composition of givers followed by overseas Chinese groups and organizations and overseas Chinese enterprises.

· Diaspora funds received in this period were allocated to disaster relief, education, science and sports, poverty alleviation and development.

· Seeing the response of overseas Chinese, provincial and municipal governments passed related overseas donation regulations, which provide policy support and guarantees to further enhance the overseas Chinese donations’ impact.

Email to info@asiapacificphilanthropy.org for more information or the full report.

 

kws

June 28, 2010 in International, Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)