Earlier this year, we published a post titled "If You're An 'Artist-Activist,' You're Living in the Right Moment." Our thesis was simple: We've been noticing a uptick in the amount of grants earmarked towards artists whose work acts as a "vehicle for conversation" about current events and culture at large.
We still stand by that thesis, but would like to add a caveat. The word "activist," understandably, implies an individual artist. And while most of the programs we've come across from sponsoring grantmakers like the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, A Blade of Grass, Surdna Foundation, and Creative Capital all focus on the single artist, there are notable exceptions.
Take the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation's Art and Social Justice initiative. Launched in August of last year, the program supports organizations that provide access to art for a broad audience, art in the service of social justice, art in the service of social change and discourse, and under-recognized artistic practice. The initiative mirrors the foundation's "art-focused social justice mission" by collective action, promoting equality, contributing to advocacy and policy change, and developing capacity for greater civic engagement.
If you're a New York City-based organization that missed the opportunity to apply for this inaugural round, fear not. The foundation is already back at it, accepting applications from arts and cultural organizations for projects that "embody ethical artistic practice and broaden access to the arts in the five boroughs of New York." Past grants have ranged from $2,500 to $100,000.
The deadline for receipt of applications in 2016 is September 15.
As with the program's inaugural round, funding is not provided for grants to individuals, capital (building) projects, endowment funds, scholarships or fellowships, or fundraising activities.
Now, by this point you may be thinking, "Sounds great. But something akin to a CliffsNotes for this program—like, real-world examples of winning organizations—would be even more helpful." We hear you loud and clear. The Foundation announced the winners of its inaugural round in January of this year. Click here to check out the 46 winning organizations.