New York, NY—Today, The Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Judith Rodin announced the winners of the Foundation's 2011 New York City Cultural Innovation Fund competition – and with it nearly $3 million in grants to support local New York City art and artists. Each of the 16 winning New York City-based organizations will receive a two-year grant of up to $250,000, underscoring the Foundation's commitment to artistic expression and innovation, and bolstering the vital economic impact that the creative sector has on New York City. This year’s winners were selected from nearly 400 diverse projects.
Throughout the works of many of this year’s winners is an emphasis on breaking down silos – between institutions and community-based organizations, between artists and community members, between artists and climate scientists and between local and international artists.
In the Stanford Social Innovation Review article, "Collective Impact", John Kania and Mark Kramer argue that social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, not the isolated intervention of individual organizations. They state that "collective impact is not merely a matter of encouraging more collaboration...It requires a systemic approach to social impact that focuses on the relationships between organizations and the progress toward shared objectives." It is in this spirit of collective action that the Rockefeller Foundation has recognized so many collective efforts to create and present artists' work.
"The Rockefeller Foundation is thrilled to continue our tradition of supporting art and creativity in our home town of New York City through the Cultural Innovation Fund," said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation. "As the creative sector continues to struggle in today's economy, it is critical that our city's artists have the resources they need to continue to create innovative and thought-provoking work that challenges all of us to question and explore new ideas."
Another strong theme amongst this year's winners is the development of new models for resourcing the creation of art. With diverse approaches ranging from the development of 3D high-definition films of dance productions aimed at broadening potential audiences to mentors gathered to support film artists, many of the projects find a unique way to support art-making.
Started in 2007, the New York City Cultural Innovation Fund awards two-year grants, ranging from $50,000 to $250,000, for groundbreaking initiatives that enrich the City's cultural life and help to ensure the continued economic strength and diversity of the City's creative sector.
Three prominent leaders from the fields of innovation and the arts served as advisors to the Fund: David Thorpe, Director of Innovation, Institute for State Effectiveness; Andrew Zolli, Founder, Z + Partners and Curator, annual Pop!Tech Conference and Eungie Joo, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs at The New Museum.
The New York City Cultural Innovation Fund builds on the Rockefeller Foundation's tradition of support for the arts. The Foundation supports artists in a variety of fields through its investments in national arts organizations including United States Artists, and Renew Media. Historically, the Foundation provided major support for the establishment of several of New York City’s landmark cultural institutions, including Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
The Rockefeller Foundation fosters innovative solutions to many of the world's most pressing challenges, affirming its mission, since 1913, to "promote the well-being" of humanity. Today, the Foundation works to ensure that more people can tap into the benefits of globalization while strengthening resilience to risks. Foundation initiatives include efforts to mobilize an agricultural revolution in sub-Saharan Africa, bolster economic security for American workers, inform equitable, sustainable transportation policies in the United States, ensure access to affordable and high-quality health systems in developing countries, support strategies and services that help vulnerable communities cope with the impacts of climate change, and promote environments in which creativity can flourish.
Brooklyn Academy of Music to explore and develop creative approaches to serving local artists, community-based organizations, and audiences
Casita Maria to host Dancing in the Streets as a company in residence and work together with their community to develop a performance series illuminating the South Bronx's cultural legacy
CEC ArtsLink to launch One Big City, a series of public events created collaboratively by New York City and international visiting artists engaging with and responding to New York City’s diaspora communities, presented at local cultural venues
Center for Urban Pedagogy to develop a design clinic that helps community organizations to demystify and visualize complex urban issues
Chimpanzee Productions to bring to life New York City's hidden visual history using personal family photographic archives and stories through the interactive Digital Diaspora Family Reunion: One City, One Family project
Dance Films Association to produce, market and distribute high definition and 3D films of NYC dance companies’ performances in partnership with TenduTV
El Puente to investigate the overlap between the creative, health and sustainability practices of their Southside Williamsburg community
Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center to develop a city-wide network of Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts in partnership with Arts + Community Change, Fourth Arts Block, El Museo del Barrio, El Puente, NY Chinatown History Project, Queens Museum of Art, and others
Groundswell Community Mural Project to partner with The Majora Carter Group for youth, artists and other community members to identify transportation-related concerns in the South Bronx and recommend design, signage and policy solutions with the Department of Transportation
Misnomer Dance Theater to utilize behavioral science for a stakeholder-engagement program for NYC’s performing arts organizations in partnership with strategy and marketing firm Orcasci
National Association of Latino Independent Producers to provide professional mentoring to New York Latino/a and Native writers, producers and directors of narrative and documentary projects to create and advance new films
New York Foundation for the Arts in partnership with Mary Miss Studio for a public art installation along the length of Broadway that makes the city's sustainability initiatives tangible to citizens at street level through collaborations between the artist, scientists and the community
New York Live Arts, which is the re-imagining of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Dance Theater Workshop, to support a new mid-career resident artist program
New York University and The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics for their collaboration with a series of NYC arts organizations to support and train performance-based political artists to develop and share new work
Performance Zone (The Field) in partnership with OurGoods to expand OurGoods.net, an online barter network for creative people
Wildlife Conservation Society to build an online forum that allows the public to develop and share their own preferred ecological climate-resilient designs for Manhattan