The end of Hull House will likely become an excellent dissertation study for students in community development or Women’s Studies or history. Regardless, it seems a pivotal study for those in nonprofit governance as to the pivotal moments when an organization will either survive or die.
It is unclear at the moment whether the end of Hull House stems from Board neglect or gross mis-management or a symptom of an imbalanced social system in Chicago. Regardless, it should strike a chord for all nonprofits that all organizations, regardless of history and import, are vulnerable in this time.
The world and the economy are eco-systems no different than natures. Environments change, lives pass, new organisms emerge. The best and most recent case study of a healthy attitude toward this ecosystem comes from the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
I believe that the recent planned dissolution of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company is the most responsible and visionary action in the current environment. Funds and audiences are limited, thus, by creating a planned closure Merce Cunningham actually supported a healthy eco-system, making way for NEW artists to engage current and future audiences and funders.
Diane Ragsdale’s blog offers a nice perspective: http://www.artsjournal.com/jumper/2012/01/a-planned-ending-for-merce-cunningham-dance-co/#comment-2698