nonprofit

Improving the work through equity in the board room

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by Sarah Lockridge-Steckel When we started the Memphis Music Initiative, we knew a few things were true. More than 26% of youth in Memphis’ underserved communities will not graduate from high school, and only 5% of youth have access to after-school music programming. This is critical because music is a powerful tool that can deepen […]

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Empowering youth as agents of change

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by Lawrence Blackwell Meet our youth where they are.  This has become the guiding mantra for many of the community partners, schools, and programs I work with in Memphis.  It is a core principle from which we grow our programs at Hattiloo Theatre.   But what does meeting them where they are  mean?  Where are we […]

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Toward the Future of Arts Philanthropy: 5 Recommendations for Action

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It’s not about you, “Philanthropy.” Philanthropic work is not about showing how smart you are, it is about empowering and liberating the people. Those who seek to help must respect the community as experts in order to drive solutions that work for the world that they know best. Whether it’s musicians, neighborhood leaders, youth or teachers, […]

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Philanthropic redlining in practice

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A conversation with Lar’Juanette Williams, Memphis Black Arts Alliance In the study, we explore this idea of “philanthropic redlining,” where essentially certain groups – primarily black- and brown-led organizations – are just excluded from traditional funding. Can you explain how you have experienced that with Memphis Black Arts Alliance or within the nonprofit sector? I […]

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Using what we know to guide what we do

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by Doug Waddill “I know, I know, I know…oooh oooh, call on me, I know…”  We have all been in classes with THAT guy or girl.  The “know it all.”  As a former teacher, I was always amazed at that stereotypical kid that had to be first and had to know it all.  Usually when […]

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Honoring crossroads

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by Kiesha Davis This summer as we closed out the last learning session for leaders of youth serving music organizations in our Institute for Nonprofit Excellence (INE), a capacity building model developed as an approach to supporting the organizational development goals, we offered a panel discussion on nonprofit operational practices.  Over the prior months, cohort participants […]

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Equity and inclusion ain’t easy – but it needs to happen

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by Sam O’Bryant  Since 2011, I have worked on projects and initiatives that have deliberately and intentionally discussed the role of race and equity in America. My work has included planning regional conferences on racial healing in the American South, hosting community conversations on race in the Delta, and even promoting black male achievement within […]

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Arts, equity and social justice: Americans for the Arts Conference

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Hot, sunny, and beneficial would be the best way to sum up my experience in San Francisco. The Americans for the Arts Conference was held in the beautiful Bay Area from June 14-18. My experience in San Francisco was not typical according to locals that I encountered because of the extreme heat (90 degrees plus!); […]

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From the cohort: Stax Music Academy

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by Adrianna Christmas I am extremely honored and grateful to have been a part of MMI’s first Institute for Nonprofit Excellence cohort. The yearlong experience has been extremely impactful to my organization and my growth as a leader. It offered much more than funding. It was a brilliant model that provided training, an executive coach, […]

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From the cohort: PRIZM Ensemble

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by Roderick Vester As a pianist, I have always been fascinated with the tuning process. Piano tuning is complex. It doesn’t simply consist of placing stress on the strings and aligning the intervals for correct tonal qualities. Piano tuning requires assessment. And while there is an equal tempered scale, each piano is different and unique […]

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