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Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08
Page 23
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Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08 - Page 23. July 1980 - August 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 17, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/286/show/277.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(July 1980 - August 1980). Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08 - Page 23. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/286/show/277

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08 - Page 23, July 1980 - August 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 17, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/286/show/277.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date July 1980 - August 1980
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 33 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 23
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_562at.jpg
Transcript Mary Ann Piacentini (above) takes on a demanding job as CACH's new head, replacing her former boss, John Blaine. artists working with a variety of art forms. There is a fiber art wall hanging, there will be two interior wall murals, an exterior wall mural, two sculptures and a photography exhibit. SH: Will these be distributed throughout the city? MP: Yes. There is a limitation in the sense that they all have to be Community Development Neighborhood Strategy areas. But there are 23 of those within the city. These are the projects that are closest to my heart. I have also been involved in providing services to the CACH membership and to the arts organizations. I think one important thing both John and I did, but with the very great assistance of independent experts in the field (the subpanelists), was to develop a fair process for distributing funds to smaller organizations and to organizations who do special projects. While the system is not perfect, and has sometimes been accused of being almost too flexible, that flexibility has been a key to its success. Because if an organization doesn't feel it has been locked into a specific area, it feels as if it has the chance to come in and say, "Look, this is a project we feel is very important to our development. Is it something you think you can fund?" And instead of the staff saying no or yes, the subpanels can ask the group to demonstrate that the project fits our guidelines. SH: Could you be more specific about these? Who is eligible to apply for assistance from CACH? MP: The only strict guidelines we have are that we won't fund anything retroactively and we do look for cash matches. It's very important to match money they're requesting from us with real, hard money, not just with in-kind services or donated materials. The projects funded through us must also be accessible to the public, not geared to a small group. SH: How do the smaller organizations funded through your grant cycles compare to the 10 majors in terms of competition for funds? What are the priorities in your funding? MP: It's difficult to answer that. In terms of funding, our support of the smaller institutions is probably far more important than the money is to the majors. The money is regular and consistent to the majors, and I think that helps them a great deal. They provide an incredible amount of the arts and cultural programming in the city. They are important to us, but they don't need us on a day-today basis. In working with them we have to deal with the basic issues, like how to find more support for the arts. But with the smaller institutions, we have certainly not provided all the services they need yet. Still we have been a really incredible boon. They know they can come to us and they can get a pretty fair hearing. I think that's largely because of the subpanel system. These groups are reviewed by their own peerj, not by the Arts Council staff. That's really important because I would never, never dare suggest that I am an expert in the visual arts, in music, or theater. But I know that the people who have been selected to be subpanelists have managed to work incredibly effectively. You can't say they're totally objective. But they do try to go out and see the people who are applying for grants. They give them the benefit of the doubt when there is a question or concern about them. They help them rewrite applications if necessary. I think that has been really our strongest suit, providing them with these services. Also, we've been able to help them leverage money. When we give a $5,000 grant, it's not just $5,000 we give them. What we give them is credibility in the community-they can say, "The Arts Council believes in me, you should believe in me too." We have also showed them they shouldn't just depend on the Arts Council for funding. As more organizations become aware of the funds available, competition will get keener, so that fewer dollars can be allocated to any one institution. One of the things we've been trying to say is that they need to look for other money. We can help find out what's available on the federal or state level, but they have to find the private organizations. SH: How do you view your personal role in working with the smaller organizations? MP: You know, this is really exciting to me. I used to think that I would want to think up all the ideas myself and implement those programs. But that's not at all true anymore. I'm finding that some of those organizations, or their representatives, have really wonderful ideas. SH: So you see yourself now as primarily a facilitator? MP: Well, it really is enlightening, first to hear their ideas, and second to help implement them. For instance, some of the smaller organizations have come up with the idea for having a combined arts campaign for small organizations, similar to the one the major institutions use. They will band together and go knock on the doors of smaller corporations and say to those top executives, "Hey look, we know you can't give $50,000 to the opera or to the ballet, but could you give .$5,000 to a smaller organization? Could you adopt a smaller organization?" And that notion is really exciting. Helping them use the technical skills and organizational skills of the combined arts campaign the majors have used is wonderful. SH: To change the subject a bit, CACH has recently been involved in discussion aimed at establishing a voucher system for the arts similar to the ones in New York City, Boston and Minneapolis. Could you explain a little more about that process? MP: Well, there is probably going to be a lot of activity to provide discounted tickets to special populations like the elderly, low-income residents, students, union people, that kind of thing. What CACH did was respond to a request and get people down here to talk about the voucher system. We only provided access to experts in the field. And it's nice to see that something is actually being done. Those people are meeting, they're keeping us informed, and it looks as if there might actually be a voucher system. SH: As director of CACH, are there any major changes you would like to make? In what direction is CACH heading over the next year? MP: I think we need to catch up on some things, things we've promised and begun to deliver, but want to deliver in a much more competent manner. I think there are some things we have not emphasized enough. One is long range planning. We are no longer a young enough agency to always deal in crisis management. I hope we will become more aggressive about other funding sources, that we will not continue to rely completely on the hotel-motel tax, that we will begin to look to other agencies. Also, I think my board has already expressed interest in looking at other funds that may be channelled to the Municipal Arts Commission to provide more support for individual artists. So I think what I want to do in the next few months is get the Arts Council organized so that we deal with routine matters in a very routine manner. Then we can begin to present to the board in a very deliberate way the programs we hope to implement. JULY/AUGUST 23