CANVAS 2020/2021 Network Grants

Asylum Arts: Ella Ponizovsky Bergelson, Among Refugees Generation Y.

The first grant cycle for CANVAS is dedicated to supporting networks of Jewish artists and/or arts organizations.

Who We Support (When We Support Networks)

Asylum Arts – Visual Artists
CAJM – Museums
Jewish Book Council – Authors & Presenting Orgs.
LABA – Creatives (deep learning)
Reboot – Creatives (high-influence, low-engagement)

In networks, we see a natural one-to-many opportunity to support a vast array of Jewish creatives. But we also see now that this investment will satisfy some of our other goals (strengthening distribution channels, encouraging media coverage, etc.) as well, further justifying a significant and sustained investment.

In The Jewish Book Council, LABA, and Reboot, we see organizations that not only engage creatives, but also provide meaningful mechanisms for distributing their work.

In addition to the 270+ authors it will showcase this year, The Jewish Book Council boasts an unparalleled network of 130 presenting organizations (venues that host book fairs and author talks, and that pay a fee to access services and materials provided by JBC).

LABA’s network is smaller than the other applicants because its intensive learning fellowship takes just a handful of artists each year. But LABA also has a physical home for producing and showcasing work in the 14th Street Y and those productions have outperformed visiting projects staged in the same venue in both revenue and attendance.

Reboot has made a name for itself by assembling a network of high-achieving, minimally-engaged creatives and activating them around Jewish projects. But Reboot also consistently finds ways to distribute its projects and the projects of its members, through a well-developed network of 1,250 program partners. It supplements this work by securing extensive media coverage thanks to relationships formed within the network. And it is now piloting a new project — The Reboot Ideas Festival — to try and both generate new creativity and increase exposure for the creatives within its network.

In CAJM, we see a vital hub of presenting organizations/distribution channels — one that has been focused historically on professional development and sharing best practices. Now, however, CAJM is finding increased relevance in field-building and education around urgent issues facing the Jewish community like antisemitism and bigotry (as evidenced recently in a New York Times article on the subject).

We also see, in CAJM’s conference, fellowships, and workshops, an important opportunity to leverage shared learning around capacity-building skills for a community that faces existential challenges, as highlighted most recently by the National Museum of American Jewish History’s bankruptcy filing.

With Asylum Arts, we recognize a huge, international network of visual artists that represents the cutting edge of new Jewish creativity. Asylum’s retreats are beloved, and its role as connector between artists and opportunities is well-documented (including the opportunity for one of Asylum’s artists to design the CANVAS logo).

But Asylum Arts is also one of the last grantmaking entities available to individual artists in the wake of the Foundation for Jewish Culture’s closing. The value to its members is unquestionable, but Asylum also provides value to CANVAS partners as a way to fund artists directly, without having to manage large dockets or contend with controversial picks.

As we forge a path toward field-building, we view opportunities like these as leveraged philanthropic investments that maximize our impact and minimize our risks.

2020 + 2021 Network Allocations

Asylum Arts: $200,000
CAJM: $86,000
Jewish Book Council: $150,000
LABA: $100,000
Reboot: $200,000
TOTALS: $736,000

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