The Bay & Paul Foundations make grants with a desire to support a social movement that creates a just and ecologically sound society. Or, as the foundation puts it: “Our vision is of vibrant communities whose skillful collaborations assure just and ecologically robust outcomes for present and future generations.”
Theater is an aspect of Bay & Paul's vision, through their Arts & Humanities Education focus area. What's particularly promising for your theater program is how the foundation distinguishes itself from other arts education funders by stressing that it's as interested in adults as in youth. That means more opportunities and more flexibility for how your program can synergize with arts education, which really is more closely related to arts engagement for this funder. In fact, Bay & Paul also emphasize that while your theater program can take place in a classroom setting, it’s more interesting to them if it doesn’t. The foundation encourages you to think outside the box, stating:
. . . we favor initiatives that engage the broader community to help youth and adults acquire powerful expressive literacies and cross-cultural intelligences. Our grantees embrace the arts not as an adjunct or “enrichment” offering but as central to learning, growth, achievement, and an evolving sense of personal and collective identity.
This expression of arts education also fits in with the foundation's mission “to foster and accelerate initiatives that prepare agents of change working to strengthen our social compact and develop authentic solutions to the challenges of this pivotal century.”
Other key words reinforcing this foundation’s view of its granting as a “social compact” are found in its values statement: Courage, patience, humility, listening, understanding, collaboration, opportunities.
For theater programs, recent support includes:
- $8,000 to the Epic Theatre Ensemble (New York, NY)
- $7,500 to The Pearl Theatre Company (New York, NY)
- $5,000 to the Big Apple Playback Theatre (New York, NY)
- $2,500 to the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company (Weston, VT)
- $2,500 to La Mama Experimental Theatre Club (New York, NY)
- $1,000 to Glimmerglass Opera (Cooperstown, NY).
As is evident from these grants, Bay & Paul tend to support arts programs in the New York City area, but it’s not an absolute. (For the record, Vermont is another geographic focus for this funder, though it’s not formally stated.) The foundation has an open, online LOI process. Biannual deadlines vary; check the website for upcoming dates.