No result found
The inaugural three years (2015-2018) of the Creative City pilot program supported artists of all disciplines to reimagine places for art in Boston, engage public imagination, and inspire community members to share in civic experiences. With acknowledgement of the Barr Foundation's funding and thought partnership, NEFA is excited to share the learnings through the Creative City Report and video series featuring the inspiring stories of the pilot program grantee work and the transformative power art can play in civic life.
Sustainable Solutions Lab University of Massachusetts, Boston;
As this report indicates, implementing CRB is necessary but not sufficient to prepare Boston's built environment for the freshwater and coastal flooding anticipated to result from climate change. Additional steps we must take include reforming existing tools, monitoring and evaluating flood adaptation activities, and establishing governance for district-scale coastal flood protection implementation. This report presents an array of options for moving forward. Over the next year or so, the City and relevant stakeholders will need to come together and decide which, if any, of these options provide the best paths forward for a more resilient city and region.
We recommend that the Governor of Massachusetts and the Mayor of Boston establish a joint commission to explore the options and determine a path forward. There is an opportunity for us to learn from the transition to clean energy as we prepare for climate change impacts. We recommend that the legislature take a leadership role in this effort as well, in order to evaluate the different options available to the Commonwealth as we attempt to address this dynamic challenge.
As home to America's first subway, Boston has been a transit-oriented city for more than a century. In fact, much of our regional economic success is due to the connectivity that a transit system provides. It is no coincidence that the area served by the MBTA houses almost 70 percent of the state's population, offers 74 percent of the jobs, and generates 84 percent of Massachusetts's gross domestic product. The MBTA is the backbone of our economy and any successful strategy for continued growth and prosperity for the region must begin with smart investment in this system.
Luckily, the calculus is straightforward as the benefits from our transit system far outweigh the costs we dedicate to support it. A new report from A Better City, made possible through support from both the Barr Foundation and The Boston Foundation, measured the MBTA's performance and economic impact. It found that through travel time and cost savings, vehicular crashes avoided and reduced auto emissions, the MBTA provides an estimated $11.4 billion in value to Greater Boston each year for both transit users and non-users alike. Boston residents experience all of these benefits from the T's annual operating budget of approximately $2 billion.
The report also considered the alternative, examining what would it cost if our transit system did not exist. Our economy would require the capital cost of nearly 2,300 additional lane miles of roads and 400,000 more parking spaces. If we needed to build that today, the cost for this vehicular infrastructure would be over $15 billion. The MBTA is a bargain today and for the future.
Technical Development Corp (TDC);
This document provides an overview of a financial health evaluation TDC conducted in 2017 to capture the financial health trends of a Boston-based cohort of arts organizations who participated in the Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Building Initiative (2012-2017), a joint grant program of the Barr Foundation and The Klarman Family Foundation. TDC's financial health evaluation was designed to impart a clear financial picture of the cohort at the program's end, as well as complement the qualitative evaluation of the Initiative (2016-2017) led by Diane Espaldon and Sara Peterson.
The financial health evaluation measured the growth and scale of grantees' operations over the course of the Initiative; assessed cumulative financial health; and observed capitalization literacy. TDC evaluators provided each grantee with a capitalization assessment reflecting their organization's balance sheet and income statement trends over the course of the program. Grantees subsequently participated in a follow-up phone interview with TDC to discuss their financial results, and answer questions regarding the impact of the Initiative's capitalization training program on their strategic decision-making and financial goal-setting. With a sample of 30 organizations, TDC evaluated grantee financial performance in the context of each organization's individual goals, not against a cohort-wide benchmark. Cohort-wide trends were elicited from an aggregation of individual performance.
This summary document provides an overview of the Initiative's capitalization program, the capitalization framework TDC employed, and high-level results from the financial health evaluation.
Diane V. Espaldon Strategic Consulting;
The Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Building Initiative ("BKI") was created and funded by the Barr Foundation ("Barr") and The Klarman Family Foundation ("KFF") and managed by nonprofit research and consulting group TDC. Launched in early 2012 by the Barr Foundation, with The Klarman Family Foundation joining in partnership shortly thereafter, the Initiative sought to support the artistic quality and long-term strength of select arts and cultural institutions in Boston. BKI served 30 organizations across three cohorts –1) large/mid-size, 2) small/mid-size and 3) youth arts mastery organizations. The Initiative focused on four capacity areas:
1.Role of effective capitalization
3.Defining and achieving arts mastery outcomes with youth
4.Growing cultural competency and proficiency.
Over five years, the Initiative invested over $22 million through multi-year grants, knowledge-building activities, and technical assistance. At the time of the Initiative's design, both foundations were in an early phase of building their arts programs and were also new to collaborating with each other, so while the Initiative had broad goals and principles, it also retained an approach of adaptation to changing needs and learning along the way.
Applied Economics Clinic;
Community Choice Energy (CCE) allows a municipality to purchase electricity from a competitive supplieron behalf of participating electric customers. CCE would allow Boston to pool customers together, using this greater bargaining power to benefit customers in the City. In addition, through CCE, the City would purchase at least five percent more Class I renewable energy than required under the Commonwealth'sRenewable Energy Portfolio (RPS) law.
Currently, 127 cities and towns Massachusetts have adopted CCE—more than one-third of the 351 municipalities in the Commonwealth. Many municipalities that implement CCE procure five percent more renewable energy than is required by the Massachusetts RPS. Some are going even further, such as Brookline, which is purchasing 25 percent more renewable energy than required, and Greenfield, which is purchasing 100 percent renewables.
This report reviews commonly asked questions that the City should consider as it assesses whether to adopt this policy.
This report summarizes the main findings of the recent research, revisiting the reasons why addressing diversity and equity issues in the cultural sector matters more than ever and reviewing six key findings related to national and local patterns of funding distribution, the demographics of people making funding decisions, and the distinct issues facing cultural organizations whose primary artistic mission is to serve communities of color or low-income communities. It concludes with suggestions for how to speed progress toward a more inclusive and equitable system of cultural philanthropy.
A Better City facilitated the formation of a team among three of its members – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston Medical Center, and Post Office Square Redevelopment Corporation – to purchase the output of a large-scale renewable energy facility. This aggregation was unique in the diversity of the partners, the scale of the project, and the mutual benefit to all parties involved. This case study provides lessons learned for organizations interested in aggregating the purchase of renewable energy including: the benefits of renewable energy beyond environmental impact; the value of partnerships and collaboration to yield results; the organizational flexibility gained through renewable energy purchasing; and the necessity for ongoing recruitment and anchor partners.
Boston Opportunity Agenda;
The Boston Opportunity Agenda is a public/private partnership among the City of Boston, the Boston Public Schools, the city's leading public charities and many local foundations to ensure that all Boston residents have access to the education necessary for upward economic mobility, civic engagement, and lifelong learning for themselves and their families. We fervently believe that by combining our resources, expertise and influence around a single agenda, we will have a greater impact on Boston's cradle-to-career educational pipeline.
While Boston has many exciting programs and organizations that focus on providing opportunities for individuals, the Boston Opportunity Agenda is a long-term partnership focused on achieving system change that will ultimately affect all Boston residents. It is with this in mind that in 2014 the leadership of the Boston Opportunity Agenda expanded the focus of our work to include not only Boston Public Schools, but also Catholic and Charter schools located in Boston.
Over the past several years, the Boston Opportunity Agenda member organizations have used three organizing principles to guide our collective work and network structure. The partnership is governed by the CEOs of each member organization who identify strategic issues facing our educational pipeline in whole or in part, formulate the Boston Opportunity Agenda priorities and strategies, and provide a call to action for community stakeholders.
National Fund for Workforce Solutions;
The full report, Connecting Young Adults to Skills and Jobs: Lessons from the National Fund's Sectoral Strategies, provides in-depth analysis on the effectiveness of sectoral strategies in connecting young adults to employment and documents a range of local efforts from across the National Fund network.
Health Care Without Harm;
Health care institutions and the communities they serve are intimately interconnected, especially during and following extreme weather events and human-made disasters. This Summit focused on leveraging community health and climate resilience as a key strategy in the strengthening the health care sector's climate preparedness. Outputs address health care sector engagement in climate public policy; a business case for climate resilient health care; innovative solutions to backup and reliable power generation for health care facilities and community providers; and creating robust networks of partnerships. The lessons learned, questions raised and next steps are relevant to many places.
The Boston Foundation's Boston Indicators Project, MassINC, and the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, released The Geography of Incarceration: The Cost and Consequences of High Incarceration Rates in Vulnerable City Neighborhoods, a new study that compares the geography of incarceration to the geography of crime in our city.
The report accessed a novel data set from Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins and depicts how incarcerations have had a disproportionate impact on Boston's most vulnerable neighborhoods.
"This is needed work because the American criminal justice is characterized by high incarceration rates, especially for people of color. This produces cascading negative effects, not just on the lives of the imprisoned but on their families, neighborhoods and our city as a whole," said Paul Grogan, President and CEO of the Foundation. "I'm hopeful that this work will build on the leadership Chief Justice Gants and the commitment from Governor Baker, Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Rosenberg to work with the Council of State Governments to produce meaningful reform."
Among the report's findings, are:
Even as Massachusetts has touted its "progressiveness," incarceration rates have been rising faster in recent years in this state than in the rest of the United States, as a whole.
More was spent in 2013 incarcerating Codman Square residents than on statewide gang prevention efforts.
The cost of housing all Suffolk County Jail inmates in 2013 was two-and-a-half times the Commonwealth's combined FY13 budgets for Bunker Hill and Roxbury community colleges and nearly as much as Boston's combined budgets for Parks and Recreation and Youth and Families departments.
The report was released during a forum at The Boston Foundation that included a panel discussion with Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins, Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell, State Representative Evandro Carvalho, and John Larivee, President & CEO of Community Resources for Justice. The report recommended a series of reforms, including the redesigning houses of correction so they excel at addressing risks and needs, and eliminating mandatory minimum jail sentences, and in increased focus on diversion and re-entry programming for offenders.