NEW YORK: The Wallace Foundation recently announced a five-year, $53 million initiative focusing on arts organizations of color, and invited researchers to respond to a proposal for the first of several studies associated with the initiative. All submissions are due Aug. 20.
This project is part of the foundation’s effort to cultivate equity in the arts, drawing on the idea that community orientation contributes to the relevance and resilience of organizations.
“Equity has long been a central value at Wallace, and we hope this initiative advances that commitment,” said Bahia Ramos, director of arts at the Wallace Foundation, in a statement. “By listening to and partnering with arts organizations of color, and documenting and studying their work, we hope to highlight their important contributions and better understand the practices that make them matter so deeply to their communities.”
For the first cohort, Wallace is considering organizations with budgets between $500,000 and $5 million. From the applicant pool, the foundation will select 10 to 12 organizations spanning the visual and performing arts, as well as literary and media fields. Each awarded organization receives five years of funding to a total of approximately $2 to $3 million to develop and pursue projects after a period of season-planning in cooperation with Wallace.
Throughout the course of the initiative, grantees participate in research to advance knowledge of the field. Ethnographic researchers will work closely with each organization to document its history, practices, and organizational culture, providing important archival accounts both for the organization itself and the field.
Information for arts organizations: For details on eligibility, the application and selection process, and what participation entails, visit the online information hub. Before submitting, organizations are encouraged to review the FAQ and sign up for one of Wallace’s optional 15-minute consultations. Applications are due by Aug. 20.
The initiative will later focus on a second, larger cohort focusing on organizations with budgets below $500,000. This phase is anticipated to begin in late 2022.
Information for arts researchers: The first research component of the new initiative is an up to $3.2 million study of community orientation. The Foundation seeks a research core, or collaborating team of researchers, with a deep understanding of arts organizations of color and their relationships with the communities they serve. The study will focus on the organizational activities, the context for those activities, and how they contribute to relevance and resilience. The research studies will result in a set of public-facing reports and academic papers. Learn more in the request for proposals.
For the purposes of this open call, the Wallace Foundation uses the term “arts organizations of color” to describe organizations that have been founded by (in either artistic or administrative leadership) and for communities of color. Wallace recognizes that no one umbrella term can accurately represent the plurality and diversity of arts organizations that serve communities of color including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic/Latinx, Arab American, Asian American, and Pacific Islanders.
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