OAKLAND — Under the auspices of the California Confederation of the Arts, the state's arts advocacy organization, nearly 400 artists, arts organization leaders and members of arts boards of trustees are convening here today for the confederation's 10th annual Congress of the Arts.
The theme at the three-day convention is "Trustees: Is the Partnership Working?" But the behind-the-scenes talk will center about a replacement for June Gutfleisch, executive director of the confederation, who has privately told colleagues that she intends to resign early next year.
Milton Savage, program director for the confederation, said the arts community for the first time is formally addressing the roles of the directors, trustees and commissioners responsible for the governing as well as the survival of nonprofit arts organizations. Convention participants will examine the roles played by trustees, commissioners and boards of directors in arts politics and in public and private sector arts funding, their relationship to artistic administrative staff and how they nurture artistic growth.
The confederation will discuss a new three-year plan that the California Arts Council is beginning work on for submission to the National Endowment for the Arts a year from now. This year's one-year plan is due in Washington on Nov. 1. One of the NEA's criticisms in temporarily deferring the art agency's basic state grant last February involved the lack of community input in the arts council plan.