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Women Artists Come to Life in Ringling Students’ Comic Series


Ten Ringling College of Art and Design students have created spectacular biographical illustrations of the lives of ten great women artists.

Cover of Shayna Cohen's "Portrait: A Comic about Mickalene Thomas". (Image credit: Shayna Cohen / Smithsonian American Art Museum)
Cover of Shayna Cohen’s “Portrait: A Comic about Mickalene Thomas”. (Image credit: Shayna Cohen / Smithsonian American Art Museum)

Ten Ringling College of Art and Design Illustration students created a series of biographical sketches for the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) based upon the lives of ten women artists whose work is featured in the Museum’s collection. With aligned missions to inspire creativity and provide platforms for professional experience, the project was a collaboration between SAAM and Ringling College’s INDEX program.  As winners of the INDEX competition, the ten students created short comics comprised of 12 to 16 frames apiece to convey the story of each of the ten women artists, some of whom may not have received the attention they deserved in their lifetimes.

The ten winning students were chosen from the 29 Illustration students that entered the Ringling College INDEX competition. Each winning student received a $1,000 award and the opportunity to gain professional experience by working on Drawn to Art: Ten Tales of Inspiring Women Artists. All ten comics are viewable at https://americanart.si.edu/art/art-comics.

“This INDEX project with the Smithsonian American Art Museum has been a phenomenal career-advancing opportunity for our students,” said Ringling College of Art and Design President Dr. Larry R. Thompson. “Working to tell the stories of these important women artists has drawn upon our students’ talent, creativity and ability to work collaboratively with faculty advisors and Smithsonian American Art Museum staff, providing valuable professional experience prior to graduation. We are very impressed with, and proud of, their work.”

In creating this project, the Smithsonian American Art Museum wanted to give young people the opportunity to identify with the struggles and triumphs of ten visionaries and rule breakers, to see themselves reflected, and to draw strength from that visibility.

The Ringling College students and the artists’ story they illustrated follow:

Student: Rachel Bivens

Artist: Edmonia Lewis

Student: Micaela Borovinsky Botta

Artist: Corita Kent

Student: Shayna Cohen 

Artist: Mickalene Thomas

Student: Emily Ehlen  

Artist: Kay Sekimachi

Student: Emily Fromhage  

Artist: Annie Albers

Student: Ezra Gaeta

Artist: Carmen Herrera

Student: Maddie Kneubheul

Artist: Berenice Abbott

Student: Lauren Lamb

Artist: Alma Thomas

Student: Abigail Rajunov

Artist: Romaine Brooks

Student: Kippy Sage 

Artist: Maria Oakey Dewing

The Ringling College INDEX program is an experiential education initiative that provides students the opportunity to gain industry experience prior to graduation by connecting them with leading brands and clients to develop creative solutions to business challenges. INDEX is designed to enhance the quality of student learning at Ringling College by providing professional experiences that allow students to build their portfolios, strengthen their resumés, and acquire confidence and familiarity with professional best practices. 

ABOUT RINGLING COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN
Since 1931, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The private, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in twelve disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. The College’s rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers. Follow Ringling College on FacebookInstagramTwitterLinkedIn and YouTube and for more information, please visit www.ringling.edu.

Media Contact:

Rich Schineller

Ringling College of Art and Design

941.780.8100

[email protected]





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Candid launches ‘U.S. social sector’ dashboard | Philanthropy news



Candid has launched a U.S. Social Sector Dashboard, a free resource designed to “demystify” the sector by providing data on its scope, constraints, and potential.

Developed with funding from Amazon Web Services and Vanguard Charitable, the dashboard offers key data and insights about the makeup and impact of civil society, including previously unreleased statistics on the racial composition of leaders and funding flows to charities. According to the dashboard, the social sector, which employs 12.5 million people, comprises more than 1.81 million nonprofit organizations: 501(c)(3) charitable organizations (80 percent), which include public charities (73 percent) and private or community foundations (7 percent); 501(c)(4) advocacy and social welfare groups (4 percent); 501(c)(6) business associations (4 percent); 501(c)(7) social and recreation clubs (3 percent); labor unions and other 501(c)(5) groups (3 percent); and fraternal societies categorized as 501(c)(8) and 501(c)(10) organizations (2 percent).

According to the dashboard, religious organizations currently make up 18 percent of public charities, followed by those focused on human services (17 percent), community and economic development (15 percent), education (14 percent), sports and recreation (8 percent), arts and culture (7 percent), philanthropy and nonprofit management (7 percent), health (7 percent), and the environment and animal welfare (4 percent). In terms of funding flow, in 2018 public charities received $292 billion in contributions from individuals, $76 billion from foundations, $40 billion from bequests, and $20 billion from corporations; $174 billion in government support; and $1.6 trillion in earned income.

And among reporting nonprofits, 60 percent of CEOs identified as white, 10 percent as Black, 5 percent as Latinx, 3 percent as Asian/AAPI, 1 percent as Native American/Indigenous, 3 percent as multiracial/multiethnic, and 1 percent as additional ethnicities, while 17 percent did not disclose. Among board members, 66 percent were white, 15 percent Black, 7 percent Latinx, 5 percent Asian/AAPI, 1 percent Native American/Indigenous, 2 percent multiracial/multiethnic, and 0.4 percent additional ethnicities, while 4 percent did not disclose.

“Candid exists to get people the information they need about the social sector to do good. Many of our tools focus on one organization, one grant, or one issue at a time; that kind of focus can be critical for decision makers,” said Candid executive vice president Jacob Harold. “This new dashboard builds on that focus by offering a fuller picture of the social sector as a whole. We hope that this tool will help people build a better understanding of the nonprofit and philanthropic ecosystem and its central role in our society.”

(Photo credit: GettyImages/Prostock Studio)



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UW–Madison receives $20 million for Letters & Science building | Philanthropy news



The University of Wisconsin–Madison has announced a $20 million lead gift from brothers and alumni Jeff Levy (’72) and Marv Levy (’68, JD ’71) in support of a new academic building in the College of Letters & Science.

Construction on Irving and Dorothy Levy Hall, named for the parents of Jeff and Marv, is expected to begin in 2023 and be completed in 2025. Once complete, the building will establish a unified home for the Department of History and nine other L&S academic departments, programs, and centers that currently are spread across eight facilities on campus. The five-story building will feature nineteen classrooms as well as a space where students can gather and interact informally with each other and their instructors to maximize collaboration.

The Levy brothers own and operate Phillips Distributing Corporation in Madison. Their commitment was contingent upon the Wisconsin state legislature and governor including the project in the 2021-23 state budget with $60 million in state support, which occurred earlier this year.

“We envision this vital new facility as a highly collaborative and state-of-the-art learning environment for all,” said College of Letters & Science dean Eric Wilcots. “We are immensely grateful to the Levy family for their support of this vision. Our students deserve classroom space that enhances interactive learning and engagement through cutting-edge technology. They also deserve a building that inspires, rather than intimidates. The Levy family’s gift will reverberate through future generations, touching many lives.”

“We are proud to help make this building a reality. We hope it will be a central educational location for the undergraduate experience at UW-Madison,” said Marv Levy. “Our hope is that by honoring our family legacy of charitable giving with this gift, we can offer to future generations some of the opportunity that the UW has provided us.”



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U.S. nonprofit sector uneven in impact and recovery, report finds | Philanthropy news



While nonprofits have contributed significantly to U.S. society and economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health of the sector is uneven in both impact and recovery, a new report from Independent Sector finds.

Based on aggregated survey and research data from multiple sources in four categories — financial resources, human capital, governance and trust, and public policy and advocacy — the second edition of the Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector (43 pages, PDF) found that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic varied by subsector and organization size, with arts organizations and those that rely on fees for service hit especially hard. Yet, even as 40 percent of nonprofits saw declines in total revenue and all subsectors except social services saw drops in gross output, the sector contributed 5.9 percent of GDP in 2020 — up 0.4 percentage points from 2019. And while 57 percent of nonprofits cut overall expenses, 64 percent suspended services, 44 percent reduced the number of programs or services, and 47 percent reported serving fewer people in 2020, Independent Sector’s Trust in Civil Society survey found that, as of early 2021, 57 percent of surveyed Americans had received nonprofit services and 84 percent expressed confidence in the ability of nonprofits to strengthen American society, up 3 percentage points from 2020.

According to the report, the sector’s advocacy efforts in 2020 helped secure notable federal resources that served as financial lifelines to nonprofits, particularly through the Paycheck Protection Program, payroll tax credits, and temporary universal charitable deduction. In addition, a study by Nonprofit VOTE found that voter engagement efforts helped reach underrepresented communities and narrow participation gaps.

The report outlines recommendations in each category to strengthen the sector, including prioritizing flexible funding, developing a shared understanding of equitable financing, promoting evidence-based practices to close workforce diversity and equity gaps, building capacity of virtual volunteering, improving the quality and depth of metrics for equity and “healthy” governance, improving digital access and literacy, and establishing public policy advocacy as a core competency of nonprofit management and governance.

“We have much to do to build the nation we, as changemakers, dream of becoming,” wrote Independent Sector president and CEO Dan Cardinali in the report’s foreword. “What can galvanize us to greater positive action? It’s that the everlasting human qualities of resilience, kindness, and collaborating for collective progress do not fade easily. They are within our grasp every day, giving all of us hope and confidence. The health of our nation is the sum of the richness and diversity of our members and sectors working together, elevating dignity, honoring our differences, and building for the common good.”

(Photo credit: Los Angeles Regional Food Bank)



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