The Ford Foundation has given itself 10 years--and a $100 million budget--to positively impact the arts. The foundation’s new Supporting Diverse Arts Spaces initiative funds arts groups undertaking three types of projects; 1) Developing new arts spaces; 2) Launching new programs and addressing sustainability; and 3) Expanding and renovating established facilities.
In general, the initiative argues that having spaces for art and artists (things like sustainable arts facilities, incubators and affordable living for artists) not only supports the health of the creative economy, it can also impact an entire local economy and revitalize neighborhoods. The initiative involves granting funds for development and redevelopment projects, as well as seminars on “topics related to sustaining arts centers,” which will be presented by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., over a two year period.
According to the Ford Foundation, “The cultural richness of our country is no less important in times of economic uncertainty. We must promote the creative work of individual artists and institutions in these difficult times," said Luis Ubiñas, president of the Ford Foundation. "We also believe that this investment in arts infrastructure will advance the well-being of our communities because artists and art spaces can play a significant role in boosting local economies,” he said.
Call for Proposals: The Ford Foundation, Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC) and the MetLife Foundation have teamed up to offer Ford Foundation Space for Change planning and predevelopment grants for “organizations that are in the early stages of planning facilities that support artistically innovative and culturally diverse endeavors that will strengthen relationships between the community and artists,” according to the Ford Foundation. Grants of up to $100,000 will be distributed through an open RFP process.