I cannot overstate the importance of CANVAS in helping shape what looks like a healthy future for Jewish culture.Yona Verwer, Founder, Jewish Art Salon
This is the time of year when we feel compelled to express our gratitude: for contemporary Jewish creativity, for our good fortune to be able to support it, and for you.
For contemporary Jewish creativity.
The field has given us so much in a year when just being Jewish felt more challenging, and more important, than in recent memory. Whether it was listening to Fragments, the debut album from Yoni Battat, or discovering I missed Batya Levine’s 2020 earworm “We Rise”; virtually visiting the Yiddishland Pavillion at the Venice Biennale or catching the beguiling short film Holy Holocaust in the New Yorker; reading the new translation of Olga Tokarczuk’s The Books of Jacob or HyperAllergic’s look into Leonora Carrington’s Little-Known Explorations of Jewish Mysticism; getting a sneak preview of William DeMeritt’s one-man play Origin Story about a “Blewish” (Black and Jewish) man growing up in NYC, delighting in Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik’s Jewish superhero/golem collages or witnessing Arlekin Players Theatre’s live human/digital mashup Witness—each time I was reminded of just how vibrant and diverse the Jewish community has become, and how vital its cultural outpouring is in this moment.
For our good fortune to support it.
In just two and a half years, CANVAS has committed more than $2.25 million to the field of Jewish arts and culture, focusing specifically on what we view as the backbone of the ecosystem: networks of Jewish creatives, distribution channels for their creative work to make its way to audiences, and media coverage of that work to ensure that audiences know to look for it.
We’re continually impressed by the energy and imagination our grantees bring to the field, and we can’t wait to see what they bring in 2023.
CANVAS network grantees:
- The Alliance for Jewish Theatre
- Asylum Arts / The Neighborhood
- The Council of American Jewish Museums
- The Jewish Art Salon
- Jewish Book Council
- Jewish Plays Project
- The Jewish Studio Project
- Kultura Collective
- The New Jewish Culture Fellowship
- Rising Song Institute
- The Workshop
CANVAS media grantees:
Our COO, Sarah Burford gave a more detailed summary of our grantmaking and field-building efforts in this September report.
And this newsletter, the CANVAS Compendium, has also been a key part of our strategy to elevate the sector. We’ve been delighted to see it newsletter grow in audience and influence. The top five articles for 2022 in terms of readership:
- Our profile of grantee Alliance for Jewish Theatre
- Our write-up of grantee CAJM’s joint conference with AAAM on culturally specific museums
- The Artists on Artists edition by Ayin Press
- The Q&A with the curator of The Academy Museum’s Hollywoodland Exhibit
- The Mandel Foundation’s new Cultural Leadership Program.
Our work is being felt across a field that has, for so long, been under-resourced and undervalued.
And for you.
By reading this newsletter, by supporting artists, by joining CANVAS in the effort to fuel this new Jewish cultural renaissance, you are helping to create a new vision of what being Jewish in the 21st century looks like. You are elevating new work that connects Jews to their roots and branches, and that connects the Jewish community to the broader world.
If you believe in this work, please help us continue to advance Jewish creativity today, while it’s still on your mind. If the work surprises and excites you, please donate. If the potential for cross-cultural connections gives you hope, please hit that button. If a work of Jewish creativity has ever moved you to look more closely at who you are or where you come from, please give back.
We wish you joy, peace, good health, and the rejuvenating power of creativity this Hanukkah and throughout 2023.
Founder + President