The article in the paper today was a nuanced look at the path ahead for a family foundation that has been a cornerstone of philanthropic activity across the state. ( Rasmuson Foundation hits pause on giving out money: State’s largest charitable funder taking time to reassess internal systems amid major leadership change. By Zachariah Hughes )
I pondered the article and was reminded of the attached perspective of economic transformation work from the Agile Lab work I’ve been guided by the last couple of years. At first, I rejected it since I knew the foundation’s support of arts and culture was so important, elements that are not explicit in the model, though implicit in each area of activity.
However, if we don’t reverse the decline of our state’s community and economic outlook and capacity, arts and culture will be sucked down the drain with our education and opportunity. So, perhaps this framework merits some consideration.
We will release the AURA community (exploratory type) scenarios soon, following a year of community workshops in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Whitehorse. (ISER/UAA NSF navigating the new arctic project). They offer various paths ahead that I don’t expect politics to fully address if voters are being drawn further into the vicious scarcity battles rather than the virtuous work of preparing a better place for the next generation.
While I value the foundation’s role to support our communities’ capacity to care for people and protect our arts and culture, I also see that the foundation has the independent capacity to be the catalyst our state needs to prepare people and communities for what could and should be. And perhaps help set the stage for a needed change in civic and political leadership that will be selected by voters responding to the dominant perception of vicious scarcity or virtuous opportunity.
What’s Next Rasmuson?
What’s Next Alaska?
I expect they are closely connected.