CANVAS grants are by invitation only.
CANVAS supports networks that develop, nurture, and connect individual cultural creatives and Jewish cultural institutions whose work:
- Focuses on ideas or themes inspired by Jewish religion, history, tradition, ritual, or culture
- Prioritizes artistic excellence worthy of (inter)national recognition
- Fosters meaningful engagement with Jewish and secular communities.
Why networks? Because in addition to supporting individual artists and institutions, networks are crucial to the field of Jewish arts and culture. Networks inspire the creation of new work while providing a long-lasting and emotionally rewarding sense of community. Networks provide artists with a much-need opportunity to share and learn best practices, whether they are creative or financial. Networks help artists survive and thrive.
We define networks as places that:
- Act as a hubs of activity for creatives
- Provide education, funding, or other connections for creatives
- Connect creatives to one another
- Connect creatives to distribution channels, sources of revenue, and career development
- Ideally, providing these services in an ongoing way.
Emerging Network Grantees (2022)
The Alliance for Jewish Theatre develops, promotes, and preserves theatre with a Jewish sensibility, as well as developing powerful theatre productions that serve diverse communities. In addition, the AJT strengthens the connections between its 300+ members—institutions and individuals—with its inspiring annual conference.
The Institute for Jewish Creativity is based out of American Jewish University in Los Angeles. Its mission is to provide cultural programming of Jewish interest and encourage artistic contributions that help create an authentic, thriving, American Jewish culture. Since 2015, the IJC has over 100 artists in Los Angeles who have affiliated with its programs or received its support.
The Jewish Art Salon indefatigably supports visual artists who work with Jewish themes—in fact, it is the largest international artists’ and scholars’ network for contemporary Jewish visual art. The JAS provides exhibitions, resources, and programs, developing lasting partnerships with artists, institutions, and the general public. JAS currently has 450 active members around the United States and the world.
The mission of The Jewish Plays Project is “to put bold, progressive conversation on world stages.” With an “innovative and competitive development process,” the JPP champions new voices and works toward production opportunities for the best new plays. Each year, the JPP selected 7 to 10 playwrights for development. As a network, JPP connects with over 60 writers.
The Jewish Studio Project puts creativity at the service of personal transformation and social change. The “Jewish Studio Process” helps participants access their creative power for self-discovery and collective liberation. They offer a range of specific programs: Studio Immersives, Creative Facilitator Trainings, and professional development.
The Kultura Collective is a network of 14 Toronto-based Jewish arts, culture, and heritage organizations, in collaboration with the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. Through the network, the collective supports the visual arts, photography, Yiddish, and Holocaust education, providing opportunities for cultural enrichment, intellectual growth, and spiritual fulfillment, enriching live across Toronto and beyond.
The New Jewish Culture Fellowship is a network of Jewish artists, writers, and performers who investigate the elusive “cultural Judaism” that marks the identity of so many Jewish people today. NJCF brings together a yearly cohort of Brooklyn-based Jewish artists for learning and creative feedback. NJCF fellows then produce new work for the public—concerts, workshops, readings, screenings, talks, and more. The NJCF is looking to expand its model to a national level.
Based in Philadelphia, The Rising Song Institute “sparks the musical soul of the Jewish people.” It nurtures high-caliber, professional artists who seek to bring Judaism into their music; provides participatory concerts and musical gatherings; and offers a leadership training program.
Network Grantees 2020-2022
“The Workshop” is a 10-month, New York-based arts fellowship that supports the work of artists from the JOCISM community (Jews of Colors, Indigenous Jews, Sephardim, and Mizrahim). It is housed by the JTS Hendel Center for Ethics and Justice. The fellowship provides contemporary Jewish artists the opportunity to explore how Jews understand themselves and how contribute new answers to the quest for Jewish meaning.
Asylum Arts, a global network of Jewish artists with 676 members in the Americas, Israel, Europe, Australia and Africa, supports contemporary Jewish culture on an international scale, bringing greater exposure to artists and cultural initiatives and creating opportunities for new projects and collaborations. Artists join the network by attending facilitated multi-day retreats, and receive small grants to create new work. Asylum Arts believes in the power of face-to-face meetings as a way to build community and to strengthen relationships and skills among artists working in the Jewish cultural landscape. Since 2013, it has held 20 retreats in 11 locations throughout the world, and it currently runs an artist residency in California. Asylum Arts provides professional development, skill-building and capacity support for artists as they seek to build careers in the arts and have a greater impact on audiences.
Asylum Arts also supports select network artists with small grants that enable them to develop creative projects that explore Jewish and Israeli ideas.
The Council of American Jewish Museums (CAJM) is the national voice for Jewish museums across 60 communities in the United States and Canada. For more than 40 years, CAJM has been the central network for Jewish museums—bringing together colleagues and thought leaders for field-wide advancement. CAJM is the field’s source for promoting new thinking, collaborations, innovative practice, and community engagement. It works to strengthen its member institutions as visible, vibrant, magnetic arenas for the expression of Jewish culture and community. It is the leading forum for Jewish museums in North America and the professionals and creatives that work with them, and is a conduit to colleagues working in Jewish culture and museums at large.
Jewish Book Council‘s mission is to promote the reading, writing, and publishing of Jewish literature. Engaging and educating authors and readers across the globe, Jewish Book Council’s goal is to enrich the connection to Jewish life and identity and to create conversations with generations of readers across our Jewish communities. Through public programs; book club resources; a print literary journal, Paper Brigade; weekly essays, interviews, and reviews online; conferences; partnerships with cultural arts organizations; and over 20 literary awards, including the National Jewish Book Awards, JBC provides tools for substantive conversations about Jewish experience.
LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture is a premier incubator for Jewish art and culture. Its goal is to present Judaism’s rich literary and intellectual tradition in a free-flowing, intellectually rigorous, and endlessly playful environment so that these stories and ideas spark new thought and art. LABA’s mission is to reignite the community space with a constant exchange between artists, their work, and the community.
LABA is a non-religious house of study and culture that uses classic Jewish texts to inspire the creation of art, dialogue, and exploration. LABA’s home is the 14th Street Y, one of Educational Alliance’s community centers in New York City. Educational Alliance has a storied history of investing in Jewish arts and cultural programming. For 130 years, Educational Alliance has inspired culture-makers to innovate Jewish life through the arts. Since 2008, LABA has been the modern, successful manifestation of this legacy extending into all programs at the Y and encouraging deep engagement with Jewish text and life. The creative output of LABA pushes the boundaries of what Jewish art can be and what Jewish texts can teach. LABA has been named one of the most innovative Jewish organizations in North America by the Slingshot Guide and is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. In 2015, LABA expanded to Buenos Aires and recently to the East Bay. With CANVAS funding, the LABA network can seed new work, expand its reach through its satellite locations, and enhance LABA content and thought.
Reboot reimagines, reinvents and reinforces Jewish culture and traditions for wandering Jews and the world we live in. Reboot envisions powerful creative arts and cultural experiences – drawn from the rich treasures of Judaism – transforming, inspiring and rekindling Jewish connections and meaning in our day-to-day lives. As a premier R&D platform in the Jewish world, Reboot touches lives by engaging the most talented community of creatives to design, produce, and share with the world enticing, imaginative, memorable, and experiential projects and programs that are relevant for the 21st century.
CANVAS supports media organizations interested in more fully exploring modern creativity informed by Jewish ritual, tradition, history, and culture. The purpose of CANVAS Media Grants is to increase the quantity, sophistication, and range of coverage dedicated to contemporary Jewish arts and culture. Other goals include more imaginative presentations of contemporary work, such as interactive reporting, multimedia, and public events.
Media Grantees 2021-2022
This multifaceted media group received CANVAS funding to expand its coverage of Jewish arts and culture on the Alma platform. Alma posts features, interviews, and videos, and deftly makes social media magic with coverage devoted to Jewish artists, musicians, and cultural figures—Alma’s Instagram is a must-follow. Much of Alma’s original content finds its way across the 70 Faces landscape, from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency to Kveller and Nosher.
The Forward is a leading Jewish voice in American journalism. Digital-only since spring of 2019, The Forward is providing the ideal 21st century platform for Jewish news, information, conversation, and debate.
The Forward boasts a rich history of cultural reporting—serious culture journalism has been a pillar of the brand since its founding as a socialist Yiddish daily. With CANVAS funding, The Forward is now expanding that coverage to include more modern Jewish artists, exploring how their work impacts the Jewish world and the broader cultural landscape. The Forward’s digital storytelling is becoming more substantive and sophisticated, keeping pace with the field of Jewish arts and culture, and its diverse range of mediums and makers.
Hyperallergic is a leading voice in contemporary perspectives on art, culture, and more. Since 2009, it’s been a forum for playful, serious, and radical perspectives on art in society.
In 2017, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard surveyed 300 visual arts writers and critics working regularly for U.S. publications. The survey cited Hyperallergic for the quality of its criticism and also named it the top digital resource for arts journalists. In fact, Hyperallergic was the only digital newcomer that topped the list, which included The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, Artforum, and Art in America.
Hyperallergic has long reported on Judaism and Jewish engagement in contemporary art and its ability to adapt into secular and non-secular forms. CANVAS funding is helping Hyperallergic focus on covering the renaissance in art that grapples with Jewish themes, subjects, artists, and beyond.