The Lesher Center for the Arts, home of the Diablo Regional Arts Association. Photo courtesy of Ben Krantz.
The Center for Cultural Innovation's NextGen Arts Leadership Initative provides small grants to emerging arts leaders between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five to enroll in workshops, attend conferences, work with consultants or coaches, or pursue other professional development activities to enrich their skills and experiences. Logo courtesy of the Center for Cultural Innovation.
Headlands Center for the Arts provides residencies for artists to engage in research, experimentation, and peer-to-peer exchange and to develop new ideas and new work. Here, artist-in-residence Dohee Lee performs at an Open House for visitors. Photo courtesy of Andria Lo.
The California Cultural Data Project is an online management tool that strengthens arts and cultural organizations by gathering and disseminating reliable, longitudinal data that supports the sector. Logo courtesy of the Cultural Data Project.
KALW public radio features stories about the arts and helps to promote the visibility of Bay Area artists, arts companies, and arts activities. Photo courtesty of Erica Mu.
Artists and arts organizations must have the resources they need to grow and thrive. Of course, this means money, but it also means that grantees need easy ways to collaborate, access to useful data about their fields, and the ability to train and retain quality staff. Often, however, arts organizations find themselves without this infrastructure necessary for success. The Program invests in critical infrastructure and organizing efforts to encourage solutions to the field’s needs.
This investment is made through three categories of support: encouraging connections within the arts community; providing tools for collecting, organizing, and accessing field information; and ensuring proper human and financial capitalization.
- Connection. We encourage increased cooperation and sharing of information about best practices across the field. Grantees include arts service organizations and other funders that enable arts organizations to cooperate and address the collective needs of specific disciplines or communities. A small portion of this work includes sponsorship of conferences and workshops.
- Field information. We invest in activities that provide tools, standards, and services for collecting and using reliable data about the state of the performing arts in the Bay Area. With better information about the arts environment and its constituent organizations, artists, arts administrators, funders, and policymakers can make decisions that will be most effective. The Program funds activities including research studies like the California Cultural Data Project and other tools that benefit the arts sector.
- Human and financial capital. Arts organizations struggle to attract, train, and retain staff. This funding area addresses organizational capacity issues across the field through projects like the Next Generation Arts Leadership Initiative and other professional development opportunities. In addition to human capital, organizations need financial capital to succeed. The Program’s strategy in this area is to support grantees’ overall financial health, primarily through its preference for providing multiyear general operating support whenever possible.
The Program does not accept unsolicited Letters of Inquiry for its Infrastructure grantmaking at this time. We encourage Bay Area performing arts grantseekers to explore additional resources with these organizations that provide support for arts organizations and individual artists.