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A 'Flip' Chat With...Will Maitland Weiss, Executive Director, Arts & Business Council of New York

October 22, 2010

(This is the ninth in our series of conversations with thought leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. You can access other chats in the series here, including our conversation with Allison Fine, co-author of the Networked Nonprofit: Connecting With Social Media to Drive Change)

Every year, the Foundation Center hosts a series of events in October that focus on funding for the arts. This year is no exception, and last week I had the opportunity to attend a Dialogue with Donors event at the center's New York library featuring panelists Perian Carson of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Susan Feder of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Stuart Post of the Brooklyn Community Foundation. (For more information about the event, be sure to read my colleague Tracy Kaufman's post at the Philanthropy Front and Center – New York blog.)

I had hoped to interview panel moderator Will Maitland Weiss of the Arts & Business Council of New York after the event, but he was already late for another appointment. So, earlier this week I stopped by the ABC/NY offic to chat with Weiss about the council and its work.

ABC/NY, a chapter of the national organization Americans for the Arts, "serves both the arts and the business communities of New York, with programming in volunteerism, professional development, leadership development, and economic impact." The breadth of services provided by the organization's five-member staff is vast, impressive, and especially welcome in this period of economic distress and uncertainty.

During our chat, Weiss described what the funding climate is like right now for arts organizations and discussed how social media has the potential to increase individual giving for the arts. He also offered some advice to nonprofits interested in partnering with business.

If you're reading this in an e-mail, click here.

(Total running time: 8 minutes, 7 seconds)

As the Great Recession continues to exact a toll on artists and nonprofit arts groups, PND is especially interested in examples of the arts and the business community working together for mutual benefit. Are you seeing more or fewer examples of successful partnerships between arts groups and business in your community? What do those programs look like, and what do they have in common with partnerships in other fields? And what advice would you give to nonprofit arts groups looking for support from the business community? Feel free to share your thoughts/opinions/advice in the comments section.

-- Regina Mahone

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